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Charles Sanders Peirce

Charles Sanders Peirce

Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) was an American philosopher and scientist who is often called the "father of pragmatism." Peirce's father was a professor at Harvard, and it was there that the younger Peirce earned his degrees, forming a friendship with William James and other leading thinkers. However, he also earned the lifelong hatred of Professor Charles William Eliot, who as President of Harvard, kept Peirce from being employed there. Let Paper Masters help you with your research paper on Charles Sanders Peirce.

Peirce's Professional Career

Peirce's professional career was spent in the United States Coast Survey and at Johns Hopkins University. The bulk of Peirce's writing was in academic and scientific journals, rather than single-books. Indeed, Peirce only published one book in his life, Photometric Researches (1878), a book on astronomy. Peirce did leave behind some 1650 unpublished manuscripts, not catalogued until the 1960s.

Peirce and mathematics

Most of Peirce's important work came in the field of mathematics, including his 1886 idea that electrical switching circuits could conduct logical operations. This idea would employed decades after his death in the creation of digital computers. The American philosophical school that came to be known as pragmatism developed in the 1870s at Harvard, when Peirce and William James founded the Metaphysical Club. James and others cited Peirce's writings as the intellectual basis for what would become pragmatism.

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