Chapter

Logical Principles and Philosophical Attitudes: Peirce’s Response to James’s Pragmatism

Christopher Hookway

in The Pragmatic Maxim

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199588381
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745089 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588381.003.0011
Logical Principles and Philosophical Attitudes: Peirce’s Response to James’s Pragmatism

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This chapter discusses Charles Sanders Peirce’s reactions to William James’s version of pragmatism. Peirce insisted that pragmatism was a logical principle and regarded pragmatism as a tool for scientific research. James, by contrast, had no place for principles: Peirce accused James of turning pragmatism into a‘doctrine of philosophy and described his position as nominalistic. This chapter explains the differences in their formulations of the doctrine of pragmatism. However, although Peirce rejected James’s pragmatism, he recognized similarities between his ‘pragmaticism’ and James’s ‘radical empiricism’. But Peirce is primarily concerned with methods of inquiry and the growth of knowledge, while James’s pragmatism is ‘an attitude’ which views proposals as things that can yield fruits of many kinds.

Keywords: pragmatism; William James; Peirce; logic; radical empiricism

Chapter.  7853 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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