NB. I am posting these incipient thoughts as a promissory note, in hopes of nudging myself to develop the theme as time goes by.
The Unrealized Potential of Peirce’s Thought
One of my main philosophical and practical concerns for many years now has rested, in its restless way, with the potential contribution of Charles Sanders Peirce to our understanding of inquiry. If I were starting a new project today, instead of trying to dig my way out from under a mountain of unfinished business, it would get a title like “The Unmet Challenge of Peirce’s Work” or “The Unrealized Potential of Peirce’s Thought”. My feeling is that only a small fraction of Peirce’s potential contribution to our understanding has yet been realized and that something critical has been lost in the years since he lived. Consequently, my concern is less with the thinkers who came after him than with the clues their work provides to what was found and what was lost.
It has long been my experience that we cannot grasp the full import of Peirce’s work from the shadows that are cast on the analytic, atomistic, logistic, reductive, syntactic plane. I prefer looking at the work of the intervening years from Peirce’s conceptual perspective, instead of the other way around. I think that affords a much clearer view of things.