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Stanford University Metaphysics Research Library

27 Feb 2017Other Essays

Stanford University Metaphysics Research Library stated that Charles Sanders Pierce was born in the year 1839 at Cambridge Massachusetts (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). The records about his death mentioned that he died in the year 1914 at Milford, Pennsylvania (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). He lived as a writer for a total of 57 years. He had 80,000 known unpublished manuscripts and 12, 000 printed writings (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). There are two extremes of Pierce’s writings. The subjects of which he had written immensely talks about mathematics and physical science at a different extreme and economics to the social sciences in opposite side (“Charles Sanders Pierce”).

The father of Charles was the one who greatly influenced his works. His father was a professor at Harvard University (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). His father was also one of the authors or founders of U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and Smithsonian Institution (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). Charles Sanders Pierce always received intellectual encouragement of his father. As such, he was trained by his father in so many ways that he gained a kind of thinking that is related to solving scientific problems and philosophical challenges.

Pierce studied in Harvard University and graduated in the year 1859 (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). His degree is on Chemistry in the year 1863. Later on, he worked asked a geodetic surveyor and investigator at U.S. Coast Geodetic Survey. Pierce has also another job and that is teaching logic at Johns Hopkins University. The life of Pierce was affected by cohabiting with a Gypsy wife. He started to experience hardships at this time. His academic job was terminated in the year1891 due to funding objections given by Congress. After all this time, Pierce experienced financial constraints and only survived due to the help of his friend William James (“Charles Sanders Pierce”).

The writings of Pierce was scattered in all forms of sources. It is however hard to collect his writings due to the fact that it was immensely scattered in all publication media (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). After the death of Charles Sanders Pierce, his widow was able to sell his manuscripts to Harvard University. However, the papers were not properly taken cared of after the World War I (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). Even so, the writings of Pierce were located with all the things that he contributed to philosophy.

Pierce was considered as an important person in the history of philosophical thought because he contributed many writings related to it. He was also considered as talented. At the year 1851, he was first exposed to the study of logic. He was able to absorb a textbook on logic by a certain author. So then, he started to think that all problems involved logic to be solved by a person. His fascination to logic resulted in this condition. At the start of the year 1860 up to his death, Pierce output on logic was ample enough and in a variety (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). At that time, he was also considered as a well-known logician.

It is important for Pierce to be able to write about logic since it made him contribute to the academe on that subject. The people who were able to familiarize his works consider him as one of the great logicians of his time. He was influenced by the works of Ernst Schroeder, Bishop Richard Whately, Schiller, and Kant as well as of his father (“Charles Sanders Pierce”). Most of the people who studied logic were influenced on the writings of Kant. He was able to analytically study the works of Schiller and Kant (“Charles Sanders Pierce”).

The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy had written about a particular work of Pierce and that is entitled “C. S. Pierce’s Architectonic Philosophy. In this paper, we are going to summarize the aforementioned writing.
Human knowledge is the main consideration in this writing. There is a need to classify all human knowledge and explain the relationship of each one of them. This thought of Pierce was actually derived from Kant (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1). Besides, this work was considered by him as the most important intellectual contribution in his entire life.

There were many important passages in this work of Pierce. With respect to the architectonic system, he started this work by organizing human knowledge (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1). The area oh human knowledge that he focused was on science which was a broad subject. As a result, he counted the area on art, history and even biographical study as science. For him, philosophy is a formal science of discovery (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1). As such, Charles Sanders Pierce was able to make a hierarchical structure of the subject philosophy. The said structure is as follows:

Philosophy which consists of:


  • Normative Science
  • which consists of:
  • Aesthetics
  • Ethics
  • Logic
  • which consists of:
  • Philosophical grammar
  • Critical Logic
  • Methodeutic
  • Metaphysics

3. Physical Science
Figure 1: (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1) http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/Peirce

The very foundation of this structure is to create a connection on all of man’s ideas. Pierce simply wants to include himself and the way he organizes his ideas. Although this structure was considered as like an abstract simplifying relation of sciences, it is also a vital tool in organizing scientific theories (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1). The structure speaks of itself on how Pierce regarded the different disciplines. Mathematics is considered by him as superior over Philosophy down to the lowest level.

Aside from that, Pierce also focused his explanation on the importance of philosophy. For him, the main facet of the subject is general principle suggesting emotional standards of a person which can be manipulated by sound (The Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 1). It is interplay of sad music or joyful one being played by the musician. Hence, general principles of human emotion rest on reality. Yet, mathematics is still the central and superior subject of this writing by Pierce.

It is very interesting to study the life of Charles Sanders Pierce. Personally, I am inclined to discuss some issues about him. First, let me talk about the issue of the influence his father had given him in matters of intellectual development. It was the best his father had given him. Being a professor in Harvard University, the things that Pierce father learned on that situation are vital to the intellectual development of Pierce regarding philosophy and mathematics. In fact, it is not surprising that the work of Pierce was the same with that of is father as a geodetic surveyor.

Second, Pierce interest in the studying is undeniable and enviable. Only a few people are always interested in the study of mathematics and philosophy. But for Pierce, it was as if it is part of his very life. At a young age, Pierce also developed that love of books pertaining to those subjects. He even studied the book of Whates and was able to absorb it at a young age. He is also a hardworking unselfish thinker who used to serve his country. Although he experienced financial hardship while he lives his life, he was considered as one of the greatest logician at the time.

The third reason why I chose this philosopher is because of his innate ability to deeply study and understand mathematics and philosophy. His philosophical structure of different disciplines is a hint that he is an organized person. The organization of his ideas is unique and it was never boring. It largely contributed to the academe especially in the area of reasoning. It is also obvious that Pierce is good in organization of ideas. His writings were never difficult to understand. The influence that he got from the writings of Kant and other thinkers helped him develop his own principles. He was never a sloppy learner since he studied a lot. It was also good that his writings reached the Harvard University. It was a chance that his works can be collected and used even up to now.

Lastly, I personally agree with all the ideas of Pierce. His title as the most original intellectual had remained uncontested nowadays (“Charles S. Pierce” 1). He lived his life in accordance to his passion which is mathematics and philosophy. Aside from that, I agree that Piecre is also the premiere American writer who gained international fame (“Pe” 1)

However, I am also affected on the fact that the saddest part of the life of Pierce was when his personal life had become unstable (“Charles Sanders Piecre”). Yet, I know that he was still considered as the founder of philosophical pragmatism (Halton 1). Essentially, I would like to apply the idea of organization in my life. The way Pierce managed to organize his knowledge is good.
Lastly, my studies in different intellectual disciplines are also structured in such a way that it could be easy to remember, follow and understand. I am also applying his principles on pragmatism since it is a good guide in studying different subjects. All in all, Charles Pierce Sanders is a good influence in my life as well as in my studies since I learned a lot from his experience in living his life.

Works Cited

  • “Charles Sanders Pierce”. 2008. University of Stanford Metaphysics Research Library. 13 August 2008 < http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/peirce/>
  • “C. S. Peirce’s Architectonic Philosophy”. (2008). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 
  • “Charles Pierce”. (2008). Pierce Organization. 13 August 2008 < http://www.peirce.org/ >
  • “Charles Sanders Peirce”. (2008). Philosophy Pages. 
  • “Pe”. (2008). Marxists Organization. 

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