Peircean Modal (and Moral?) Realism(s): <i>Remarks on the Normative Methodology of Pragmatist Metaphysics</i>

Sami Pihlström

in The Normative Thought of Charles S. Peirce

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242443
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823250769 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy (FUP)

Peircean Modal (and Moral?) Realism(s): Remarks on the Normative Methodology of Pragmatist Metaphysics

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This chapter compares Charles S. Peirce's metaphysics of the modalities—or rather, a “Peircean” approach to this metaphysical issue that can be derived from his defense of synechism and scholastic realism—to the modal realist views defended by important twentieth-century and contemporary philosophers. This application of Peircean ideas to contemporary metaphysics of modality will yield a pragmatic, critical evaluation of both. In particular, the chapter questions the strict dichotomy between metaphysics and ethics, thus also questioning the separation between theory and practice that Peirce himself, at least apparently, subscribed to in his 1898 Cambridge Conferences Lectures, Reasoning and the Logic of Things. This questioning is carried out through a perhaps somewhat surprising argument for the entanglement of modal and moral realisms, pragmatically articulated. The outcome is an irreducibly normative methodology for metaphysics, ethically enriched and grounded, which hopefully provides a novel perspective on Peirce's (or at least Peircean) normative thought.

Keywords: modality; scholastic realism; synechism; modal realist; ethics; normative thought

Chapter.  11237 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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