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The Historicity of Peirce's Classification of the Sciences

Ambrosio, C; (2016) The Historicity of Peirce's Classification of the Sciences. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy , 8 (2) pp. 9-43. Green open access

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Abstract

The classification of the sciences is one of the most discussed and analysed aspects of Peirce’s corpus of work. I propose that Peirce’s attempt at systematising the sciences is characterised by a distinctive historicity, which I construe in two complementary senses. First, I investigate Peirce’s classification as part of a broader nineteenth-century move toward classifying the sciences, a move that was at the same time motivated by social and epistemological goals. I claim that this re-contextualisation adds an entirely new layer to the otherwise distinctively internalist readings of Peirce’s classification. I then look at how Peirce’s scheme, especially in the form it displayed in the early 1890s, relates to his own historical writings, particularly his history of science. Looking at Peirce as a historical actor in his own right through the lens of his classification, I claim, is indispensable to understand the contemporary relevance of his contributions to the history and historiography of the sciences.

Type: Article
Title: The Historicity of Peirce's Classification of the Sciences
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://lnx.journalofpragmatism.eu/?page_id=1289
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521053
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