Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2007
The Legitimacy of Metaphysics
Kant’s Legacy to Peirce, and Peirce’s to Philosophy Today
Part of Kant’s legacy to Peirce was a lasting conviction that metaphysics is not irredeemable, but can and should be set “on the secure path of a science”. However, Peirce’s “scientific metaphysics”, unlike Kant’s, uses the method of science, i.e., of experience and reasoning; but requires close attention to experience of the most familiar kind rather than the recherché experience needed by the special sciences. This distinctively plausible reconception of what a genuinely scientific metaphysics would be is part of Peirce’s legacy to philosophy today, enabling us to steer clear of both apriorism and of scientism - the Scylla and Charybdis of recent metaphysics.