Theory and Practice at the Crossroads — A Peircean Perpsective on Political Signs
Peirce uttered these words on February 10th, 1898, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, by way of introducing his lecture on “Philosophy and the Conduct of Life”.2 Over eighty-two years later, I begin my address in a tone dramatically opposed to Peirce’s. For I must reveal that I stand before you a Peircean and a feminist, searching in Peirce’s pragmatic philosophy for guidance in understanding and solving some of the many problems identified and delineated by feminist thinkers. I seek, in other words, to resurrect the Hellenic tendency spurned by Peirce, and to use Peirce’s own writing to this end. I shall look first at Peirce’s writing on practical affairs, and argue that although it throws light on certain feminist issues, it is not very helpful in terms of practical guidance. Then I shall turn to Peirce analysis of theoretical science, showing that this area of Peirce’s writing is extremely fertile in implications for feminist theory and practice.
KeywordsFeminist Theory Important Matter Feminist Issue Feminist Ideal Theoretical Science
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