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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 53, 2008

Theory of Knowledge

Jeong Il Kim
Pages 133-143
DOI: 10.5840/wcp2220085322

Peirce's Unique System of Pragmatism

In understanding Peirce's unique system of pragmatism following three theories are helpful: first, Herakleitos' saying that 'one can never step into a same river twice', second, Protagoras' saying that 'men are the measure of the world', and third, Darwin's theory of evolution. It is always the case that epistemology takes place on top the metaphysical and cosmological bases. Peirce's metaphysics and cosmology is considered to line up with above three theories. It is interesting fact that Peirce who started up his work in science ended up with such somehow unscientific cosmology. Peirce believes that the world is constantly changing. In knowing the world Peirce says that the subject of knowing takes a part doing a certain role. Peirce says that 'to believe A', 'to think of A' and 'to think of A as true' are all same sort of mental act. Therefore, to Peirce, truth is only a kind of 'opinion'. This means that the subject of knowing has something to do with truthfulness. In this kind of knowing process 'knowing truth' can only be acquired when possibility of 'inaccuracy' and 'onesideness' are opened. Thus, Peirce's definition of knowing or truth is quite indefinite definition. According to Peirce, we only know the world partially, and moreover, even we get the total sum data about the world, the world will move on forward changing. On this ground, it might be helpful that we look in to current matters in philosophy of mind in different angle.