•  16
    I provide an account of the moral status of pre-birth humans that integrates ideas from Charles Peirce, including: synechism, the idea that "all that exists is continuous"; the reality of "Seconds," independently existing individual entities; and Peirce's pragmatic conceptions of truth and reality. This account implies that destroying a pre-birth human is determinately moral very soon after conception and determinately immoral very late in pregnancy. But it also implies that during much of gesta…Read more
  •  23
    “A Sharply Drawn Horizon”: Peirce and Other Correspondence Theorists
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 54 (3): 395. 2018.
    ... I was many years ago led to define "real" as meaning being such as it is, no matter how you, or, I, or any man or definite collection of men may think it to be; where I use the long and awkward phrase in order to avoid all appearance of meaning independently of human thought. For obviously, nothing that I or anybody ever can mean can be independent of human thought. That is real which men would eventually and finally come to think to be absolutely necessary to be thought in order to understa…Read more
  • Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud, by Robert Park (review)
    Knowledge, Technology & Policy 13 (2): 117-120. 2000.
  •  2
    Triadic Logic
    The Commens Encyclopedia: The Digital Encyclopedia of Peirce Studies. 2001.
    Peirce was the first logician to define three-valued logical connectives. In 1909, he defined four one-place three-valued connectives and six two-place three-valued connectives, all of which were rediscovered by later logicians. Peirce’s motivation was to accommodate within formal logic a specific, narrow range of propositions he took to be neither true nor false, viz. propositions that predicate of a breach in mathematical or temporal continuity one of the properties that is a boundary-property…Read more
  • Charles Sanders Peirce and the Principle of Bivalence
    Dissertation, University of Miami. 1998.
    In 1909, Charles Sanders Peirce defined the first-operators for three-valued logic, thus rejecting the Principle of Bivalence. Commentators have consistently misunderstood Peirce's reasons for doing so. I argue that Peirce did not intend for the third value of his logic to be taken by: object-indeterminate propositions; indeterminate predications; modal propositions; or lawful generalizations or future-directed subjunctive conditionals. Further, I argue that Peirce intended for his third value t…Read more
  •  19
    This chapter presents a detailed explanation of Peirce’s early and late views on semiotic indeterminacy and then considers how those views might be applied within biosemiotics. Peirce distinguished two different forms of semiotic indeterminacy: generality and vagueness. He defined each in terms of the “right” that indeterminate signs extend, either to their interpreters in the case of generality or to their utterers in the case of vagueness, to further determine their meaning. On Peirce’s view, …Read more
  •  61
    Pragmatism Old & New: Selected Writings (edited book)
    Prometheus Books. 2006.
    “The most likely use for Haack’s volume will be in introductory pragmatism courses and it is eminently appropriate for this task. However, others who would wish to speak out about pragmatism authoritatively would do well to go through the book from cover to cover. Outside of philosophy, the volume provides an introduction to a vital aspect of what philosophy has to offer to other disciplines, psychology among them....it is hard to think what could have been done to improve upon the collection.”
  •  31
    Peirce on Realism and Idealism
    Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    This book offers a new interpretation of the metaphysics of Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism and one of America's greatest philosophers. Robert Lane begins by examining Peirce's basic realism, his belief in a world that is independent of how anyone believes it to be. Lane argues that this realism is the basis for Peirce's account of truth, according to which a true belief is one that would be settled by investigation and that also represents the real world. He then explores Peirce's app…Read more
  •  25
    Peirce’s Theory of Signs (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4). 2008.
    Charles Peirce’s simple definition of a sign as something that stands for something to something belies the depth and complexity of his foundational work in semiotics, or as he sometimes wrote, “semeiotic.” T. L. Short’s Peirce’s Theory of Signs is a dense book, and at points difficult. But only the shallowest work on this difficult subject could fail to challenge the reader, and Short’s book is anything but shallow. It is, in fact, a major achievement, a singularly important work on Peirce’s th…Read more
  •  47
    Peirce’s ‘Entanglement’ with the Principles of Excluded Middle and Contradiction
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 33 (3). 1997.
    Charles Peirce claimed that "anything is general in so far as the principle of excluded middle does not apply to it and is vague in so far as the principle of contradiction does not apply to it." This seems to imply that general propositions are neither true nor false and that vague propositions are both true and false. But this is not the case. I argue that Peirce's claim was intended to underscore relatively simple facts about quantification and negation, and that it implies neither that gener…Read more
  •  106
    This is the first of two papers that examine Charles Peirce’s denial that human beings have a faculty of intuition. The semiotic and epistemo-logical aspects of that denial are well-known. My focus is on its neglected metaphysical aspect, which I argue amounts to the doctrine that there is no determinate boundary between the internal world of the cognizing subject and the external world that the subject cognizes. In the second paper, I will argue that the “objective idealism” of Peirce’s 1890s co…Read more
  •  105
    Some opponents of reproductive human cloning have argued that, because of its experimental nature, any attempt to create a child by way of cloning would risk serious birth defects or genetic abnormalities and would therefore be immoral. Some versions of this argument appeal to the consent of the person to be conceived in this way. In particular, they assume that if an experimental reproductive technology has not yet been shown to be safe, then, before we use it, we are morally obligated to get e…Read more
  •  73
    Peirce’s Triadic Logic Revisited
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (2). 1999.
    This is a discussion of a three-valued logic in Peirce's writings.
  •  70
    Peirce's modal shift: From set theory to pragmaticism
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (4): 551-576. 2007.
    For many years, Charles Peirce maintained that all senses of the modal terms "possible" and "necessary" can be defined in terms of "states of information." But in 1896, he was motivated by his work in set theory to criticize that account of modality, and in 1905 he characterized that criticism as a return "to the Aristotelian doctrine of a real possibility ... the great step that was needed to render pragmaticism an intelligible doctrine." But since Peirce was a realist about modality before 189…Read more
  •  94
    This is the second of two papers that examine Charles Peirce’s denial that human beings have a faculty of intuition. In the first paper, I argued that in its metaphysical aspect, Peirce’s denial of intuition amounts to the doctrine that there is no determinate boundary between the internal world of the cognizing subject and the external world that the subject cognizes.In the present paper, I argue that, properly understood, the “objective idealism” of Peirce’s 1890s cosmological series is a more…Read more
  •  13
    Synechistic Bioethics: How a Peircean Views the Abortion Debate
    Contemporary Pragmatism 3 (2): 151-170. 2006.
    I provide an account of the moral status of pre-birth humans that integrates ideas from Charles Peirce, including: synechism, the idea that "all that exists is continuous"; the reality of "Seconds," independently existing individual entities; and Peirce's pragmatic conceptions of truth and reality. This account implies that destroying a pre-birth human is determinately moral very soon after conception and determinately immoral very late in pregnancy. But it also implies that during much of gesta…Read more
  •  180
    Persons, signs, animals: A Peircean account of personhood
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1). 2009.
    In this essay I describe two of the accounts that Peirce provides of personhood: the semiotic account, on which a person is a sequence of thought-signs, and the naturalistic account, on which a person is an animal. I then argue that these disparate accounts can be reconciled into a plausible view on which persons are numerically distinct entities that are nevertheless continuous with each other in an important way. This view would be agreeable to Peirce in some respects, as it is modeled on his …Read more
  •  50
    On Peirce’s Early Realism
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 40 (4). 2004.
    It is well known that C. S. Peirce eventually accepted an "extreme scholastic realism" about "generals" and "vagues." But it has been a subject of debate among Peirce scholars whether he was a nominalist early on. In particular, it remains unsettled whether Peirce's earliest position regarding generals was one of antirealism or whether he was a realist about generals from the very beginning. In this essay I argue that despite first appearances, the textual evidence does not support the claim tha…Read more
  •  117
    Why I Was Never a Zygote
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (1): 63-83. 2003.
    Don Marquis has argued that abortion is immoral because it deprives the fetus of a "future like ours." But Marquis's argument fails by incorrectly assuming that a zygote and the late-term fetus with which it is physically continuous are numerically identical. In fact, the identity of a prebirth human (PBH) across gestation is indeterminate, such that it is determinately morally permissible to destroy an early-term PBH and determinately immoral to destroy a late-term PBH. Beginning at some indete…Read more
  •  55
    Why Bacon’s Method is not Certain
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (2). 1999.
    Francis Bacon wrote of his method of eliminative induction that it was "a new and certain road for the mind to take" and that it would "establish degrees of certainty". I argue that Bacon's method is not certain in either of two different senses of "certain": (a) resulting in maximally justified conclusions or (b) being as secure as a deductively valid argument.