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Peirce's Biography & Bibliography



Charles Sanders Peirce

Charles Sanders Peirce was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1839. His father was an eminent mathematician and a professor at Harvard University. Charles received a solid education in experimental sciences, mathematics, logic and philosophy. When he graduated from Harvard in 1859, he went to work for the Geodetic Survey, where he was employed for 30 years. He wrote numerous scientific articles for the Survey, a number of which were republished in 1878 in his only book to be published during his lifetime, Photometric Researches, which earned him international recognition among astrophysicists. He also published some important articles on relational logic, the philosophy of science and pragmatism.

For five years (1878-1884) he was a lecturer in logic at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and served intermittently as a special lecturer in the philosophy of science at Harvard (1864-1865, 1866-1867, 1903-1905). However, he never did obtain a tenured position as a university professor, despite his many applications submitted from 1868 to 1895.

In 1887, at the age of 48, he withdrew to Milford, Pennsylvania, where he lived in poverty, writing reviews of scientific and philosophical works, and collaborating on Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (1901-1902).

From 1903 to 1911, he kept a regular correspondence with Lady Welby that was significant in the development of his semiotic theory.

He died in 1914, in obscurity, still working on his theory of logic, with no publisher and only a few occasional disciples, unknown to the public at large.

After his death, his numerous manuscripts were sold to Harvard University by his wife. Some of them have been published in the Collected Papers and Elements of Mathematics. The definitive critical edition of Peirce's writings is in progress. It will include about 30 volumes, of which the first six have been published (1982-1999).

Selected Bibliography

In English

KETNER, K.L., Peirce, A Comprehensive Bibliography, Bowling Green, 1986 (electronic edition: InteLex).
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Collected Papers, Vol. 1-6, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1931-1935.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Collected Papers, Vol. 7-8, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Collected Papers, electronic version, InteLex (
PEIRCE, Ch. S., Writings of Ch.S. Peirce: A chronological Edition, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982-1999 (6 volumes to date).
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Reasoning and the Logic of Things. The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., The essential Peirce: selected philosophical Writings, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., The essential Peirce: selected philosophical Writings. Vol. 2, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998.

In French

PEIRCE, Ch.S., Ecrits sur le signe (assembled and translated with commentary by G. Deledalle), Paris: Seuil, 1978.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Textes anti-cartésiens (introduction and translation by J. Chenu), Paris: Aubier, 1984.
PEIRCE, Ch.S., Le raisonnement et la logique des choses. Les conférences de Cambridge (translated by Ch. Chauviré, P. Thibaud and Cl. Tiercelin), Paris: Cerf, 1995.

In Spanish

University of Navarre Web Site (URL :

Peirce's Theories

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