PHIL500 – Seminar in Major Philosophical Texts

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Jeff Kasser

 C.S. Peirce is often invoked and rarely read. This seminar will be devoted to a careful examination of representative Peircean texts. We will aim to understand Peirce on his own terms, rather than as the founder of pragmatism, the originator of semiotics, or as an anticipator of developments in 20th-century philosophy of science. Special attention will be paid to apparent tensions within Peirce’s thought (e.g. between his proto-verificationism and his seemingly speculative cosmology) and to the consistency of his views across time. Peirce offers distinctive approaches to issues in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics and aesthetics, so the seminar will touch on a wide range of philosophical topics.