The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1998

Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts

Glenn Kuehn
Pages 92-98

Rhythmic Foundations, and the Necessary Aesthetic in Peirce’s Categories

There has been a tendency in scholarship to steer quite clear of discussions of Peirce and Aesthetics, and I believe that the main reason that Peirce’s works lacks, perhaps even intentionally, a clear aesthetic theory is because his entire architectonic of experience is aesthetically founded. This thesis is based, in part, on the necessary aesthetic descriptions one is forced to use when describing something such as the categories. For example, Secondness necessarily elicits aesthetic descriptions of relations and tensions, Thirdness is described most accurately with words such as harmony and arrangement, and the process by which we come to attain a belief is an "aesthetic" endeavor aimed at satisfaction. Focusing particularly on the categories, and secondarily on the method for attaining belief, I hope to show that Peirce’s foundation is, itself, an aesthetic awareness of life.