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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Richard Robin

Received from Robert Lane, Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society.

Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 1:53 PM
Subject: PEIRCE SOCIETY: Richard Robin

Members of the Charles S. Peirce Society,

I am sad to report that Richard Robin has died. He passed away peacefully at his home on Monday night. I have not yet received any information about arrangements but if I do I will send it along.

For those who may not know much about Dick and his many contributions to Peirce scholarship and to American philosophy generally, I share a brief excerpt of an essay that Peter Hare wrote for the 2002 issue of the Transactions honoring Dick's work:

"Richard S. Robin was present at the creation - more exactly, at many creations, including the creation of these Transactions and of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. With deep roots in the American tradition as a student of Ralph Barton Perry and C. I. Lewis, Robin has played a major role in the development of scholarship in the history of American philosophy. I shudder to think of how many scholars would have wandered helplessly in the wilderness of Peirce's papers if his celebrated Catalogue had not been published. And for almost 40 years his Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, co-authored and co-edited with Edward Moore, has served as a touchstone of Peirce scholarship. No less influential has been his meticulous work as editor since 1971 of this journal. With quiet, self-deprecating discernment, Dick has nurtured hundreds of aspiring Peirce scholars from all over the globe. Never has a mind as sharp as a tack been matched so well with a warm heart."

Robert Lane
Robert Lane, Ph.D.
Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society
Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118

[email & office phone at ]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hookway reviews W 8

Surfed via Philosophy's Other to Christopher Hookway's review (posted August 10, 2010 at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews) of the recently published Volume 8: 1890-1892 of Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition.

Hookway (University of Sheffield, U.K.) is the author of Peirce (1985), Quine: Language, Experience and Reality (1988), Scepticism (1990), Truth, Rationality, and Pragmatism: Themes from Peirce (2000, 2002), and numerous articles.

Hookway begins:

This book is volume eight of a multi-volume edition of Peirce's writings in logic and philosophy that was launched in the 1970s. The edition is important because, unlike most of its predecessors, it presents material chronologically, making it possible to study the development of Peirce's thought. It is also invaluable because of the extensive study of manuscripts and texts which has been involved in its production. Many manuscripts have been re-dated, others have been reconstructed from fragments, and we are now provided with extremely reliable transcripts of their contents. And, as in previous volumes, the editors have included drafts of important published papers and a lot of unpublished material. The current volume contains fifty-six items, ranging from published papers on metaphysics to manuscripts on logic and mathematics and reviews, mostly from The Nation, on a wide variety of topics, including William James's Psychology. Like earlier volumes, it contains a long introduction which gives us yet another chapter in a fascinating detailed and scholarly account of Peirce's life and work as well as providing insights into American academic and philosophical life in the later nineteenth century.

The period covered by this volume is an important one in Peirce's life. His teaching post at The Johns Hopkins University had lapsed in 1884, and he was struggling to earn enough to live on by working for the US Coast Survey and by writing definitions for the Century Dictionary. Around this time, Paul Carus launched a philosophical journal, The Monist. Peirce was in regular contact with Carus, and most of his writings between 1890 and his death in 1914, were either published in The Monist or intended for publication there, including five papers on metaphysics included in the present volume. Although not all are among the most accessible of his writings, these papers presented ideas that he had been working on for ten years or more and that continued to be important for his later work. Because these papers provide the intellectual core of the current volume, my comments will focus on them.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Peirce

Re-posted with update
Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Writings by Charles S. Peirce, edited by Matthew E. Moore, has been published, according to Amazon. Indiana University Press is publishing it: Catalog page (cloth). Catalog page (paper).

The publisher says "This volume collects Peirce’s most important writings on the subject, many appearing in print for the first time."

It is the first in a new IUP series Selections from the Writings of Charles S. Peirce.

The Amazon item mentions Joseph W. Dauben as a contributor to the book, but there's nothing about that at the IUP site. Here's the Table of Contents. Irving Anellis (a historian of logic) said at peirce-l that he has just received the book and that Dauben does not appear to be contributor.

This is from the publisher's page, also quoted in the Amazon entry:
"Focuses on the major writings Peirce produced that are of greatest significance for a correct appreciation of his larger philosophical agenda." —Joseph W. Dauben, City University of New York

The philosophy of mathematics plays a vital role in the mature philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. Peirce received rigorous mathematical training from his father and his philosophy carries on in decidedly mathematical and symbolic veins. For Peirce, math was a philosophical tool and many of his most productive ideas rest firmly on the foundation of mathematical principles. This volume collects Peirce's most important writings on the subject, many appearing in print for the first time. Peirce's determination to understand matter, the cosmos, and "the grand design” of the universe remain relevant for contemporary students of science, technology, and symbolic logic.
The publisher's page adds:
Matthew E. Moore is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College. He is editor of New Essays on Peirce's Mathematical Philosophy.
Update: I had said that New Essays on Peirce's Mathematical Philosophy, Matthew E. Moore, ed., Open Court (catalog page), 384 pages, trade paper, was "recently published" but in fact it is available by pre-order from Amazon. Thank you to Matthew E. Moore for noting that it's still and very soon to be published. I had bcc'd Moore on a discussion of his new edition of Peirce's writings, and he responded, also adding a list of contributors to the anthology New Essays on Peirce's Mathematical Philosophy:

Christopher Hookway, Sun-Joo Shin, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen, Daniel Campos, Susanna Marietti, Claudine Tiercelin, Elizabeth Cooke, Fernando Zalamea, Philip Ehrlich, Jérôme Havenel, and Moore himself.

End of Update.

Moore has written essays including:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2010-11 CSPS Essay Contest

Received from the Charles S. Peirce Society:


2010-11 Charles S. Peirce Society Essay Contest

Topic: Any topic on or related to the work of Charles Sanders Peirce.

Awards: $500 cash prize; presentation at the Society's next annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Pacific APA (in San Diego, California, April 20-23, 2011); possible publication, subject to editorial revision, in the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.

Submission Deadline: January 23, 2011

Length: Because the winning essay may be published in the Transactions, the length of contest submissions should be about the length of an average journal article. The maximum acceptable length is 10,000 words, including notes. The presentation of the winning submission at the annual meeting cannot exceed 30 minutes reading time.

Open to: Graduate students and persons who have held a Ph.D. or its equivalent for no more than seven years. Entries from students who have not yet begun their graduate training will not be considered. Past winners of the contest are ineligible. Joint submissions are allowed provided that all authors satisfy the eligibility requirements.

Advice to Essay Contest Entrants:

The winning entry will make a genuine contribution to the literature on Peirce. Therefore, entrants should become familiar with the major currents of work on Peirce to date and take care to locate their views in relation to published material that bears directly on their topic.

Entrants should note that scholarly work on Peirce frequently benefits from the explicit consideration of the historical development of his views. Even a submission that focuses on a single stage in that development can benefit from noting the stage on which it focuses in reference to other phases of Peirce's treatment of the topic under consideration. (This advice is not intended to reflect a bias toward chronological studies, but merely to express a strong preference for a chronologically informed understanding of Peirce's philosophy.)
We do not require but strongly encourage, where appropriate, citation
of the Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition. Ideally, citation of texts found in both the Collected Papers and the Writings should be to both CP and W.

Submissions should be prepared for blind evaluation and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Cover letter or email should include complete contact information, including mailing address and phone numbers, and a statement that the entrant meets the eligibility requirements of the contest.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Submissions should be sent as email attachments (Microsoft Word documents, RTF files, or PDF files only) to Robert Lane, secretary-treasurer of the Society:
[find email address at ]. Please include "Peirce Essay Contest Submission" in the subject line of your email.

Submissions by traditional mail are also acceptable. Please mail submissions to:
Robert Lane
Philosophy Program
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118
Attn: Peirce Essay Contest

[To be removed from the Charles S. Peirce Society list-serv, please respond to this email with the word "remove" in the subject line.]

Robert Lane, Ph.D.
Secretary-Treasurer, Charles S. Peirce Society
Associate Professor and Director of Philosophy
Department of English and Philosophy
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118

(xxx) xxx-xxxx
[find phone number & email address at]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Interesting material on threefold divisions' having been taken curiously far in past anthropology was recently deleted by some editors from Wikipedia's "3 (number)" article. It lacks references but is, I thought, worth preserving, but I didn't know where, but then I thought, why not here? (The reason for the deletion was not the lack of references but the editors' desire to strip the article down).

One really would little expect the evolution of kinds of primates or any living thing to exhibit a pattern of threefold division. But maybe it really did seem that way for a while with primates, as the material's original writer suggests (I myself, before its recent deletion, did some mostly stylistic and link-embedding later edits of it at Wikipedia). As a four-ist myself, I would not expect a pattern of fourfold division in biological evolution either! Peirce, of course, had a few things to say about triadomany - in "Triadomany" - wherein he argues that trichotomies are not to be expected to abound in natural history, and that logical division is to be distinguished from, among other things, genealogical division; the text as rendered by the Collected Papers' editors ends with his noting, with a kind of twinkle in his eye, Huxley's division of vertebrates into Ichthyopsida, Sauropsida, and Mammalia.

So here it is, discarded from Wikipedia:


Attempts to recognize tripartite patterns in human evolution were somewhat popular in the early-mid 20th century. Today, with new knowledge about the fossil record and phylogeny, they are all but refuted. However, one must wonder why there ever was a recurring predilection for a tripartite organization instead of some other pattern, whether or not a specific enumerative identity (such as the "three") presented itself.

With the realization that the Bonobo represents another and very distinct chimpanzee, humans are instead being referred to as "third chimpanzee", as among living creatures they are most similar to the Bonobo and Common Chimp.

Material from Wikipedia Copyright Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Graphic Peirce

Long time no post! Happened upon a time upon a Trip to Berlin March 2010 post at the Thoughts in Progress blog of Aud Sissel Hoel. Read her whole post there. She visited a workshop "Peirce's Pictorial Thinking":
March 21 and 22 this year I took part in a scholarly event quite out of the ordinary. The focal point of this event was a tableau of drawings made by the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), exhibited here, in the premises of the Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment (Humboldt University, Berlin), for the first time in history. As it turns out, Peirce drew incessantly throughout his life, quite literally sketching out his philosophical ideas.
Having found that, I searched around a bit and added the following to External links at the Charles Sanders Peirce article at Wikipedia:
Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment: The Peirce Archive, John Michael Krois, Horst Bredekamp, Humboldt U, Berlin, Germany. Cataloguing Peirce's innumerable drawings & graphic materials.
Those are the drawings and graphic materials in Peirce's Nachlass in the Houghton Library at Harvard. The project was initiated by John Michael Krois.

Aud also says:
Similar attempts are made by the Graduiertenkolleg Schriftbildlichkeit at the Free University of Berlin, directed by Sybille Krämer, where Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer is currently pursuing a postdoctoral project focusing on Peirce’s notation systems.
Perhaps many already know about all this, but it was news to me at the time. (I should have posted this sooner, but I didn't find out till after the exhibition anyway.)

Correction: I originally embedded a linked search on Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer and Peirce inside Meyer-Krahmer's name in the quote from Aud, but I shouldn't add things to people's quotes! (Unless they obviously didn't embed a URL, like back in the 1800s.)