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Creativity and the Philosophy of C.S. Peirce by D.R. Anderson

By D.R. Anderson

Charles Sanders Peirce is instantly turning into the dominant determine within the historical past of yank philosophy. The breadth and intensity of his paintings has began to vague even the brightest of his contemporaries. about the interpretation of his paintings, despite the fact that, there are designated faculties. the 1st holds that Peirce's paintings is an combination of significant yet disconnected insights. the second one university argues that his paintings is a scientific philosophy with many items of the general photo nonetheless imprecise or lacking. it really is this moment view which turns out to me the main moderate, partly since it has been convincingly defended by way of different students, yet most significantly simply because Peirce himself defined his philosophy as systematic: What i'd suggest is that each one who needs to shape an opinion touching on primary difficulties may still to start with make a whole survey of human wisdom, may still take into consideration all of the beneficial rules in each one department of technological know-how, should still detect in precisely what admire each one has been winning and the place it has failed, so that, within the mild of the thorough acquaintance so attained of the on hand fabrics for a philosophical idea and of the character and power of every, he could continue to the examine of what the matter of philosophy is composed in, and of the correct approach of fixing it (6. nine) [1].

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Peirce thus anticipated Popper's problem. He attempted to overcome it by broadening his conception of logic to include ampliative reasoning. In this much, he was clearly original as a philosopher of science. However, Peirce's mediating turn drew fire from several quarters and still does today. In general these attacks reduce to the charge that Peirce entertained a fundamental paradox by making abduction a matter of both insight and inference. As Harry Frankfurt puts it: "We are, then, faced with the seeming paradox that Peirce holds both that hypotheses are the products of a wonderful imaginative faculty in man and that they are products of a certain sort of logical inference" [31].

The most obvious approach to this charge is to point out that nowhere in his writings did Peirce say that abduction is intuitive. Indeed, throughout his work he was strongly antagonistic toward any intuitionism which argued that new ideas could be obtained outside of some context. 213). For Peirce, any insight must be mediated by its context. However, there are more specific reasons why such a charge does not address Peirce's theory of abduction. 181}. Joseph Esposito states it accurately when he says that though Peirce admitted the importance of firstness in abduction, he "would still deny that cqgnition could ever supply its own warrant, or that the feeling of immediacy could be apodictic" [42].

As conjectures, not evidencing processes, some abductions may be of this kind: the helicopter example for instance. However, not all are like this. Peirce clearly expressed his belief in the possibility of novelty in abduction: in the real growth of science and in the fact that an abduction can at the same 26 SCIENTIFIC CREATIVITY time call a new concept into being and employ it in a logical inference. Reilly's initial misreading leads to his second problem, for in reducing abduction to classification he makes it parallel induction which can only be original in synthetic clarification--that is, which is not original except in being ampliative, as extending what is already known.

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