Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 24, Issue 3–4, pp 179–211 | Cite as

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



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.

Key words

Bildung contradiction creation democracy curriculum metaphysics of substance number Scotism Scottish common-sensism 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Colapietro, V. 2002

    Experimental logic; normative theory or natural history?

    Thomas Burke, F.Micah Hester, D.Talisse, Robert B. eds. Dewey’s logical theoryVanderbilt University PressNashville4371
    Google Scholar
  2. Dantzig, T. 1954Number: the language of scienceThe Free PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Dykstra, R. H. (1971). Newton’s Dot-age versus Leibniz’ D-Ism. In Historical topics for the mathematics classroom. Washington, D.C.: National Council Of Teachers Of MathematicsGoogle Scholar
  4. Hamilton, D. 1990Curriculum historyDeakin University PressGeelong, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
  5. Reid, T. 1813/1970An inquiry into the human mind on the principles of common senseThe University of Chicago PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  6. Reid, T. 1819Essays on the powers of the human mindBell & BradfuteEdinburghGoogle Scholar
  7. Robinson, A. (1969). The metaphysics of the calculus. In Jaakko Hintikka (Ed), Reprinted in The philosophy of mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningVirginia Tech UniversityBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations