The American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce was, in the words of one modern philosopher who knew and understood Peirce's life and work as few have done since, namely Max Fisch (1981): "the most original and the most versatile intellect that the Americas have so far produced". Fisch goes on to credit Peirce with having maintained a truly vast range of interests and consistent and lasting involvement in many different fields of science throughout his life - he was, he writes: "Mathematician, astronomer, chemist, geodesist, surveyor, cartographer, meteorologist, spectroscopist, engineer, inventor; psychologist, philologist, lexicographer, historian of science, mathematical economist, lifelong student of medicine; book reviewer, dramatist, actor, short story writer; phenomenologist, semiotician, logician, rhetorician [and] metaphysician[.]" [ibid.]Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 10, 1839, Charles Peirce was second son of the influential and respected Harvard mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Peirce and his wife Sarah Hunt Mills Peirce. His original and innovative thought and proliferous writing (some estimates, see e.g. Fisch, Ketner & Kloesel (1979), put the total number of publications throughout his life to 800, running to around 12,000 pages, and his complete Nachlass comprises around 100.000 pages in all (though estimates vary - see also footnote 2 below)) remained largely unread on a wider scale during his lifetime, and he was generally misunderstood in his own time. Partly due to this fact, as well as to his rather complex and abrasive personality as well as his general lack of concern for what others might have thought of him, both his academic and private lives were not easy ones, and he died of cancer in 1914 in more or less abject poverty with his greatest, life-long philosophical project not yet realised.It is not the purpose of this essay to examine Charles Sanders Peirce's tortuous and tragic life history in detail - those readers who may be interested in doing so are encouraged to read those more specifically biographical works which have already been published, such as those by Joseph Brent (1993) and Robert Corrington (1993) - see also Murphey 1993 for some useful biographical information on the dynamics of the father-son relationship between Charles and Benjamin Peirce. I think though, in passing, that it is important to mention here that it is still my, and many other much more experienced Peirce scholars' than I, contention that a completely adequate, fair and fully representative biography of Charles Sanders Peirce multifaceted and intensely productive life, thought and work has yet to be written, and it is only to be hoped that this sorry lack in the social and cultural history of philosophy and science will be satisfactorily remedied at some future time.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||1997|
|Titolo:||Grammar, Logic and community in science: Charles Sanders Peirce and his presuppositional classification of the sciences|
|Titolo del libro:||Festschrift til Johan Arnt Myrstad i anledning 50-årsdagen. [Festschrift per I 50 anni di Johan Arnt Myrstad]|
|Nome editore:||Tapir Forlag|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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