An American philosopher from the late nineteenth century, Peirce (pronounced "purse") was a chemist who spent three hours a day for two years studying Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. He put it down and said "now I shall do philosophy as Kant would've done it IF HE'D KNOWN A DAMN THING ABOUT LOGIC!"

Peirce is regarded as the father of the school of American pragmatism. Coming from a scientific background, he was very familiar with the empirical method, and sought to use it and logic to reveal larger truths about philosophy. He is generally associated with 'falliblism', a school of thought that attempts to use to the empirical method to establish how we can know something (in an epistemologiclly secure way) at one time, and be wrong at another.

Peirce, Charles Sanders (1839-1914), American philosopher, physicist and mathematician and the founder of pragmatism, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father, Benjamin Peirce, was the leading American Mathematician of the time and Perkins professor of mathematics and astronomy at Harvard.

… He worked, more or less privately, at philosophy and logic, steadily publishing works on these subjects from 1866 on.

From Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards ed, Vol 6 Macmillan 1967

...For despite his brilliance, and originality—indeed, perhaps because of his brilliance and originality, and his refusal to “popularize” his writings—he was unable to obtain a regular teaching post in any American university. His last years were spent in poverty and ill health. During his whole life he wrote voluminously, but much of what he wrote remained unpublished until long after his death. (P 262)

... Peirce believed that love--love in exactly the sense in which the New Testiment asserts that "God is love"-- is the animating force in the evolution of the cosmos. (P 297)

From History of Western Philosophy Vol IV, W. T. Jones,

Harcourt Brace Jonanovich College Publishers, 2nd Ed, 1975

...Peirce introduced the term “Pragmatism” in 1878 as the name of a theory of meaning whose criterion was the Pragmatic maxim. Among his statements of the maxim we cite the following: “In order to ascertain the meaning of an intellectual concept one should consider what practical consequences might conceivably result by necessity from the truth of that conception; and the sum of these consequences will constitute the entire meaning of the conception.” Years later in his final treatment of the maxim he held that it allows for “would-be’s,” e.g. that a diamond buried in the sea, or forever swathed in cotton, and never put to the test of hardness, is nonetheless to be regarded as hard. In 1905, troubled that the popularizers of pragmatism—including William James—had turned it from a theory of meaning to a theory of action, he renamed his own doctrine “Pragmaticism,” a name “ugly enough” to be safe from kidnappers.

From Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, W. L. Reese,

Humanities Press 1980, p 419

The above quotes summarize the ideas presented by Peirce sufficiently for my needs, and can hardly be stated more clearly or succinctly.

Here is a Dictionary of terms he utilized to communicate his meaning.

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