Peirce’s Contributions to the 21st Century

  • John Sowa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4068)


Peirce was a precocious child, a 19th-century scientist who had an international reputation in both logic and physics, and a largely neglected philosopher in the 20th century. Peirce’s research in logic, physics, mathe-matics, and lexicography made him uniquely qualified to appreciate the rigors of science, the nuances of language, and the semiotic processes that support both. Instead of using logic to understand language, the philosophers who began the analytic tradition — Frege, Russell, and Carnap — tried to replace language with a purified version of logic. As a result, they created an unbridgeable gap between themselves and the so-called Continental philosophers, they exacer-bated the behaviorist tendency to reject any study of meaning, and they left semantics as an unexplored wilderness with only a few elegantly drawn, but incomplete maps based on Tarski’s model theory and Kripke’s possible worlds. This article reviews the ongoing efforts to construct a new foundation for 21st-century philosophy on the basis of Peirce’s research and its potential for revolutionizing the study of meaning in cognitive science, especially in the fields of linguistics and artificial intelligence.


Formal Semantic Relational Graph Natural Language Semantic Informal Pattern Lexical Semantic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sowa
    • 1
  1. 1.VivoMind Intelligence, Inc. 

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