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Peirce's Philosophical Perspectives$
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Vincent G. Potter

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780823216154

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823216154.001.0001

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Peirce on Normative Science

Peirce on Normative Science

(p.37) 3 Peirce on Normative Science
Peirce's Philosophical Perspectives

Vincent G. Potter

Fordham University Press

This chapter investigates Charles Sanders Peirce's interest in the normative sciences. Although logic received most of Peirce's attention throughout his long career, he was always interested in ethical systems. Until the 1880s, however, he considered ethics to be nothing more than an art or a practical science which relied little upon theoretical principles. It should be remembered that the first formulation of the pragmatic maxim and his analysis of belief in terms of what one is willing to act upon appeared in the 1870s. Pierce says that he began to see the importance of ethical theory around 1882. As a result of this illumination he undertook a serious study of the great moralists and began to suspect that there was some important connection between ethics and logic.

Keywords:   Charles Sanders Peirce, normative sciences, logic, ethics, ethical theory, pragmatic maxim, belief, practical science

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