, Volume 24, Issue 3-4, pp 179-211

Curriculum, Critical Common-Sensism, Scholasticism, and the Growth of Democratic Character

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Abstract

My paper concentrates on Peirce’s late essay, “Issues of Pragmaticism,” which identifies “critical common-sensism” and Scotistic realism as the two primary products of pragmaticism. I argue that the doctrines of Peirce’s critical common-sensism provide a host of commendable curricular objectives for democratic Bildung. The second half of my paper explores Peirce’s Scotistic realism. I argue that Peirce eventually returned to Aristotelian intuitions that led him to a more robust realism. I focus on the development of signs from the vague and indeterminate to the determinate and universal. The primary example will be the evolution of the very idea of number. I believe we will never arrive at the end of number history because we can never fully contain creativity. I draw similar conclusions for the idea of curriculum. Whether or not there is an end to the evolution of signs in Peirce is a matter of debate. I incline toward the opinion there is not, though I am unsure. I conclude by arguing that rationality itself is but the form and structure of poetic creation and that we should embrace paradox and even contradiction rather that become caught in totalizing and totalitarian end of history stories.