Charles Sanders Peirce by Joseph Brent
A Life

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Charles Sanders Peirce was born in September 1839 and died five months before the guns of August 1914. He is perhaps the most important mind the United States has ever produced. He made significant contributions throughout his life as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, geodesist, surveyor, cartographer, a historian of science, a lifelong student of medicine, and, above all, a philosopher, whose special fields were logic and semiotics. He is widely credited with being the founder of pragmatism. In terms of his importance as a philosopher and a scientist, he has been compared to Plato and Aristotle. He himself intended 'to make a philosophy like that of Aristotle.' In this edition Brent refines his interpretation of Peirce's thought and character based on new research, and has added a glossary and a detailed chronology. "Brent ...has given us a full and compelling account of Peirce's troubled career and a wealth of persuasive arguments and plausible inferences (what Peirce called 'abductions') to help explain it." - "Science". "Joseph Brent's splendid biography of Charles S. Peirce (1839ETH1914) dispels much of the mystery that has surrounded the difficult life and career of America's greatest philosopher." - "American Historical Review" "This outstanding book, the first full-scale biography of Peirce, illuminates both Peirce's life and his philosophy." - "Library Journal". " extraordinary, inspiring portrait of the largely forgotten Peirce, a progenitor of modern thought who devised a realist metaphysics and attempted to achieve direct knowledge of God by applying the logic of science." - "Publishers Weekly". " ...a forceful and beautifully written account of the life and work of Peirce ...places the demonic aspects of Peirce's personality in their proper social and psychological contexts." - "Semiotica". "Brent's book is a great example of biographical writing. The final essay, "The Wasp in the Bottle," is astonishingly good, a masterpiece." - "Charles Hartshorne".

About Joseph Brent

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Joseph Brent, an intellectual historian, was formerly on the faculty at the University of the District of Columbia.
Published January 1, 1993 by Indiana University Press. 388 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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After completing his doctoral dissertation on Peirce (1839- 1914), Brent (Intellectual History/University of the District of Columbia) waited 30 years to gain access to the private papers of the controversial founder of pragmatism and semiotics--papers that were suppressed by a Harvard faculty wh...

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Publishers Weekly

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To produce this work of literary nonfiction, Ketner has inserted imagined speeches by Peirce and passages from Peirce's letters and philosophic writings where he ""waxed autobiographical."" To move the story along, Ketner introduces a narrator and two other fictional characters who function as in...

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London Review of Books

According to legend, when some small work by Peirce had been adopted as a class text – we may imagine by William James or Josiah Royce – a disgruntled Harvard undergraduate inscribed the inside cover of his copy with the laconic comment: ‘Who steals my Peirce steals trash.’ I might seize this occ...

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