Peirce Project Newsletter
Volume 1, No. 2
June 1994

Issue Contents

W6 (1887 - 1890) Abbreviated Contents

Coming Attractions

Arthur Burks Joins Project Staff

Hartshorne and Weiss Appointed to Board

Project Funding

Probing the Communal Mind

Institutes for Studies in Pragmatism

Vincent Potter

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In the Works

For readers who are curious to learn what is in the works at the Project, a brief preview might be in order. The next volume to be published will be W6, but, because of our present shortage of technical staff and our transition to in-house preparation of camera-ready copy, W6 will not reach print until early- to mid-1996. The editorial work is well under way, however, and the chronology and reorganization of manuscripts for the W6 period (1887-1890) is nearing completion. A number of the W6 manuscripts have never been published before. Below is an abbreviated table of contents; the manuscript numbers are Robin's numbers for the Harvard arrangement. Unfortunately, the correspondence course manuscripts that have survived represent only a fragmentary segment of the full logic course Peirce hoped would bring him a decent income.

W7 will be a special volume devoted to Peirce's definitions for the Century Dictionary. Peirce wrote thousands of definitions for the Century, mainly between the years 1886 and 1891, although his employment with the Century Company probably began as early as 1882 (see the Introduction to W5) and continued, after a fashion, well after the first edition was published between 1889 and 1891. For more than a decade after the Century Dictionary appeared, Peirce continued making revisions and additions for a supplement that was published in 1909. The best of these definitions will be included in W7, which will be prepared with the special advice and editorial assistance of Kenneth L. Ketner and Don D. Roberts. Because W7 will be prepared in an irregular way, it will be published out of sequence and may not appear in print for three or four more years. No publication target date has been set.

W8 will be published next after W6. It will range over the years 1891-1893 and is scheduled to appear sometime in the first half of 1997. W8 will include Peirce's 1891-93 Monist Metaphysical Series and his Critic of Arguments series of 1892. It will also include, among a great variety of items, Peirce's presentation paper, "Topographical Sketches in Thessaly," which recounts in a somewhat fictionalized way Peirce's experiences in Turkey and Greece in 1870.

Publication dates for W9 and W10 have not been scheduled, but preliminary work on those volumes is underway. It is likely that W9 will reach publication sometime in 1998, and that W10 (1893-94) will come out in 1999. The overlapping years covered by these volumes reflect our decision to keep series together. W9 will include Peirce's Lowell Lectures on the History of Science as well as some of his exciting Open Court articles on religion. W10, another special volume, will be the first self-contained book of the Chronological Edition: it consists of Peirce's "How to Reason: A Critick of Arguments," more commonly called, "Grand Logic." This book will be edited with help from Don D. Roberts, who will contribute the introduction.

Manuscript organization and some preliminary editing work goes on for later writings, but that work will be profiled in a later issue of the Newsletter. The Editors welcome questions, information, and suggestions pertaining to the above plan.


The Art of Reasoning (Circular)
Advertisements and Letters to Students
Part 1: Traditional Logic
Part 2: Mathematical Reasoning
Logic Exercises

Pendulum Observations (report on Greely Expedition, MS 1076 & P 369)
On Science and Immortality (MSS 537 & 884, P 347/348)
Logical Machines (P 344)
Criticism on Phantasms of the Living (MS 884, P 352)
Mr. Peirce's Rejoinder (to Gurney, P 354)

Contents (MS 909)
Ch. I. Trichotomy (MS 909)
Ch. III. The Triad in Metaphysics (MS 909)
Ch. IV. The Triad in Psychology (MS 909)
Ch. V. The Triad in Physiology (MS 909)
Ch. VI. The Triad in Biology (MS 909)
Ch. VII. The Triad in Physics (MSS 104, 909, 1600)

Trichotomic (MS 1600)
On a Geometrical Notation (MS 275)
Notes on Kempe's Paper on Mathematical Forms (MS 714)
Reflections on the Logic of Science (MSS 246-248)
Color Experiments (MSS 1016, 1017, 1019, 1024)
Stock's Deductive Logic (P 378)
Report on Gravity at the Smithsonian, Ann Arbor, Madison, and Cornell
(MSS 1095, 1096, 1385)
The Theory of Force (MSS 1314, 1568)
Logic of Number (MS 39)
The Conception of Infinity (MS 819)
Reasoning and Belief (MS 830)
Analysis of the Almagest (MS 1304)
Noel's The Science of Metrology (P 389)
Herbert Spencer's Philosophy (P 402)
Collin's Epitome of the Synthetic Philosophy (P 390)
Outsider Wants More Light (P 416)
Familiar Letters about the Art of Reasoning (MS 186)
Ribot's Psychology of Attention (P 391)
Jevon's Pure Logic and Other Minor Works (P 392)
Carus's Fundamental Problems (P 393)
Muir's The Theory of Determinants (P 394)
Jones's Elements of Logic as a Science of Propositions (P 395)
Fraser's Locke (P 396)
Note on the first number of the Monist (P 397)
William's Our Dictionaries, and Other English-Language Topics (P 398)
Logic and Spiritualism (MS 879)
Sketch of a New Philosophy (MS 928)
Notes on the Question of the Existence of an Eternal World (MS 971)
The Categories studied with reference to the English Language (MS 1335)
The Non-Euclidean Geometry made Easy (MS 117)
On the Number of Forms of Sets (MS 37)
On the Quadratic Equation (MS 86)
Thothiana (MS 1296)

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Coming Attractions ^

Some readers of the critical edition may suppose that the editors strictly proceed volume by volume, never venturing far ahead toward Peirce's later writings. It is true that producing a chronological edition requires focused attention on the period at hand, yet it is impossible to produce a good critical text without looking ahead. In each issue of the Newsletter, "Coming Attractions" will highlight a matter of textual or biographical interest that pertains to writings slated for future volumes.

The first issue of the Newsletter described the recent discovery of Peirce's Open Court manuscripts. Over 700 new holograph manuscript pages had been identified at the Open Court Archives at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and it was expected that more would turn up. Some additional galley and proof pages have been found following the March report, and we continue to hope that at least 500 more manuscript pages will emerge from the mass of papers the archivists at SIU have to carefully sort through.

Many of the new manuscripts are of considerable importance for Peirce scholars. One new manuscript is a 73-page printer's copy holograph of "The Logic of Relatives" (P 637), Peirce's 1897 review of Ernst Schroeder's third volume of his famous Vorlesungen (Bd. 3: Algebra und Logik der Relative, 1895). When this paper appeared in the Monist (7: 161-217) and later in the Collected Papers (3.456-552), the first paragraph contained a rather innocuous and indirect "dig" at American logicians: "There are in America a few inquirers into logic, sincere and diligent, who are not of the genus that buries its head in the sand--men who devote their thoughts to the study with a view to learning something that they do not yet know, and not for the sake of upholding orthodoxy, or any other foregone conclusion." But scholars who have read the Peirce-Carus correspondence at Harvard know that what was printed had been somehow "diffused" by Paul Carus, editor of the Monist.

On 16 November 1896, Carus wrote to Peirce about typesetting his paper:

"Allow me to call your attention to the very first paragraph of your article in which you attack the present university system. While that paragraph contains a great and important truth, I do not deem it advisable to tell the truth in this connection, introducing a new treatment of a science that has to fight its way to recognition. You antagonise unnecessarily all university professors and they will be prejudiced against you, while otherwise they would read your article with care. I suggest, therefore, in the interest of your cause, if not of yourself, that you alter the first paragraph and remove the objectionable passages."

Peirce wrote back on Thanksgiving day:

"I shall be happy to strike out the paragraph both to please you and because if it makes an unfavorable impression on you it will on others. But I am surprised that you should think for an instant that the average American professor of logic would ever pay the smallest attention to anything I write. He is, as I say in that , usually appointed as being theologically sound."

Finally, on 30 November, Carus responded that he would "either omit or modify the first paragraph." For the textual editor this is a red flag, for it strongly suggests that in an important respect the text of the first paragraph of the published paper is not exactly Peirce's. For Peirce scholars the matter is even more intriguing: what in the world did Carus find so objectionable?

Working carefully through preliminary drafts of "The Logic of Relatives" that can be found in Harvard MS 544 one gets a pretty good sense of the tone of the objectionable paragraph. For example, in one draft we find:

"Professor Schroeder's third volume of his Exact Logic, which volume bears the title of this paper, is exciting some genuine interest even in this country. I say "even," because the men who hold chairs of logic in our colleges are not, as a rule, at all of the caliber to welcome anything like scientific advance in the subject they profess; so that what interest or life there can be here in logical studies must be in despite of the men who have been put in those chairs to the end that they might uphold obsolete ways of reasoning. I protested, in my last paper, upon excessive deference to German university professors. No such warning is needed in this connection; for while a German university is a body animated by the most elevated of all human motives[,] that of learning the truth which concerns the development of civilization, most of our colleges are created to [teach] young men what is necessary to enable them to live comfortably."

Another draft begins:

"Professor Schroeder's magnificent work with this title, forming the third volume of his Exact Logic, seems to be exciting some interest even in the United States, where a Professor of Philosophy cannot confess that it merits attention without acknowledging by implication that several Americans have succeeded in contributing something to philosophy, humble though those contributions be, and that although their authors hold no chairs of Logic in any of our colleges. I have a right to speak bitterly, because I have pursued this study of the logic of relatives with such diligence as my leisure would permit for thirty years, without ever having during all that time had one word of cheer in this direction from any of our professors of logic with a single exception, but having very often been treated by them with such unqualified insolence and insult as I should not suppose a self-respecting man would pour out upon the vilest criminal; to receive the most insignificant civility from any of them has been the exception of my life. Other men have, meantime, encouraged me to turn aside to their lines of study; so that nothing but a strong passion" [The text stops here.]

Other drafts convey a similar tone. It is easy enough to imagine what worried Carus, assuming that the manuscript Peirce submitted exhibited similar bitterness, but only with the discovery of the printer's copy holograph did we learn precisely what Carus objected to and how he changed Peirce's text. The first paragraph of Peirce's recovered fair copy text reads as follows:

"Professor Schroeder's third volume of his Exact Logic, which volume bears the title I have chosen for this paper, is exciting some interest even in this country, where those who sit in the chairs of logic have been put there to uphold the methods of reasoning of the prescientific centuries,--ways of thinking that are exemplified by the sage conclusion that such teaching is calculated to make the Church respected. Nevertheless, there are in America inquirers into logic, sincere and diligent. They are not of the genus that buries its head in the sand 'with its other extremity sunward,' nor will they pretend not to see what they do see plainly. In other words, they are not safe men; they cannot be trusted faithfully, without possible defection, to uphold any disputable proposition all their lives long. In short, they are potential infidels. A man who knows that a sceptical turn of mind is a factor of success likes to send his son to an educational establishment where the professor will be seen through, and where both scepticism and the importance of holding one's tongue will be taught, together. Who would wish his boy to be under the influence of one of those simpletons who are so ardent to learn the truth that they cannot contain what they learn? Yet it is only among such deplorable enthusiasts that are likely to be found students of the new logic."

This is vintage Peirce and for that reason alone it is a great pleasure to have access to this lost manuscript (73 pages!). But it is especially important for careful scholars to learn that the single paragraph that opens the Monist text is a conflation of two paragraphs from Peirce's final manuscript, a revision that involved substantial deletion and one made by Carus, not Peirce.

This is just one example of something new and interesting from the Open Court "find" that will have an impact on the texts of future volumes of the Writings. Another important discovery was a holograph printer's copy manuscript for "Evolutionary Love" (P 521) which contains an interesting run of text that was deleted from the printed article. The text, deleted from the end of the paragraph numbered 313 in CP 6 (p. 368 of The Essential Peirce 1 after "it does not hold good."), is the following:

"No less accomplished a thinker than the editor of this magazine has pronounced 'thinking machines' to be possible (Monist. Vol. III, p. 93). He says 'there is no theoretical reason' why we should not be able to construct logical machines which shall perform all the operations of deductive thought.* If that be so, if the machine would not have to be infinitely complicated to deal with any premises you chose to furnish, it ought to be a comparatively simple thing to construct such a machine to deal with a single set of half a dozen premises, which were never to be changed at all, especially, if these premises were of a tolerably simple and perfectly definite kind. Sure, it could not be a very complicated machine which should draw all the conclusions possible to be drawn from the following four premises: 1. No number is greater than itself. 2. Any number greater than a second which is greater than a third is itself greater than that third. 3. Given any number, A, there is a number greater than A, but not greater than a number greater than A. In other words, there is a number next greater than A. 4. There is a certain number, 1, such that whatever character belongs to it, and also belongs to a number next greater than any number to which it belongs, belongs to every number.

These four propositions completely cover the essential properties of integral positive numbers. Consequently, the conclusions that can be drawn from them are all the propositions of the theory of numbers, one of the most unmanageable branches of mathematics; so, if it required a large building to hold the machine and a steam-engine to work it and several hands to run it, yet if all those theorems, of which but a few are known could be brought out mechanically, no doubt the money for the purpose would be forthcoming. I think Dr. Carus will acknowledge it is not quite clear there would be no theoretical difficulty in constructing such a machine. If such a machine were constructed, it would have to supply not only the logic, but also would have to determine arbitrarily what one out of an infinity of logical conclusions should be drawn first. In the logic of relatives, choice has to be made between different lines of reasoning equally logical and equally direct. Therefore, until you can make time branch, or think two different things together, it is absurd to talk of a development being determined by logic alone.

*He extends the remark to inductive thought, thus showing an additional misconception, which, however, does not concern me, just now."

Unless we find convincing evidence that Peirce wanted this passage deleted, it will be restored in the critical edition.

(The Open Court collection is in the Special Collections of the Morris Library at Southern Illinois University. We are grateful to David Koch for permission to quote from the Peirce manuscripts.)

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Arthur Burks, well-known Peirce scholar and the editor of volumes 7 and 8 of the Collected Papers, has accepted an appointment as Executive Consultant to the Peirce Project. Burks, who is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, is also well known for his work in computer science: he was one of the principal designers of the first general-purpose computer, the ENIAC. He has been a member of the Peirce Project Advisory Board since 1977, was President of the Peirce Society, and has also served as president of the Philosophy of Science Association and has been an executive member of numerous other academic and scientific associations.

As our Executive Consultant, Professor Burks will stay in frequent contact with the Project and will meet two or three times a year with Nathan Houser (either in Indianapolis or Ann Arbor), to discuss PEP operations. Burks will be apprised weekly of staff meetings and Project affairs and will advise Houser in matters relating to management. He will also advise the Project in its endeavor to make full use of computing potential and to develop an on-line edition of the Writings.


Charles Hartshorne, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, and Paul Weiss, Sterling Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Yale University, have accepted appointments to the Project's Advisory Board. It is a great honor to have the support of these outstanding American philosophers and it is a boon to have the benefit of their erudition. With Arthur Burks, who is also a member of our Advisory Board, Hartshorne and Weiss now complete the link between the new chronological edition and the classic Harvard edition.


The Peirce Project has entered a new fiscal year without any substantial external funding. Our University funding has also been substantially reduced, but we are fortunate that it is sufficient to support some manuscript reorganization and editing work while we endeavor to revamp the Project's organizational structure and production methods and widen our financial support base. Although we hope to receive significant support from Federal granting agencies, it is essential that a respectable percentage of our annual needs be met from our constituency: those of you who agree that it is important to continue the work that Josiah Royce began 80 years ago when he had the Peirce manuscripts brought to Harvard to be sorted and edited for publication. Hartshorne, Weiss, and Burks achieved the first great success with their Harvard Edition (which could not have been brought to completion without the substantial support of private patrons). But all Peirce scholars know that a large and unwieldy mass of manuscripts remains virtually inaccessible for general philosophical research. You are invited to help continue this work!

We heard from some of you after the first issue of the Newsletter. Some of you gave us excellent advice about how to be effective fund raisers (and your ideas have begun to guide us). Others gave money, for which we are very grateful. In addition to the primary editing work, there is much to be done to get the Max Fisch Library into shape and to organize an effective research center. External funding is critical.

Your gift is extremely important. If you agree that the Peirce Project is a valuable scholarly effort and would like to see it continue, please become a Project supporter. Send your gift, in an amount you can afford, to Indiana University Foundation, P.O. Box 1596, Indianapolis IN 46206-1596, and be sure to make your check payable to the Peirce Edition Project (Acct# 32-16620). Contact Nathan Houser or Beth Eccles at the Peirce Project for more information.

We would like to hear from more of you about how you can support the Project. Please consider including the Project in your will or making it the beneficiary of an insurance policy. Are there other ways you can support our work? Let us hear from you.


The Peirce Project depends on specialists from many fields for help in preparing our critical text and editorial annotations. Generally the heaviest burden falls on our contributing editors and advisors--and no doubt that will not change. However, with the Newsletter we hope to extend the scope of communal involvement. We are not sure what kinds of questions can effectively be raised in this format but in the next few issues we'll do some experimenting. If you can provide some answers, or some guidanc e, please reply in writing or by electronic mail to CPEIRCE@INDYCMS.IUPUI.EDU. Unless otherwise noted, replies should be directed to Nathan Houser (General Editor) or Beth Eccles (Newsletter Editor).

Question 1. Where can we find original Peirce writings (manuscripts, notebooks, letters, annotated books and offprints, and so forth) that are not now accounted for in the "public" Peirce nachlass? Rumor has it that some original Peirce manuscripts are buried in uncataloged archival deposits or have ended up in private hands--but, unfortunately, such rumors have not been specific. Recent discoveries of important manuscripts and letters at the Open Court, the National Archives, and at Columbia Universit y give some reason to hope that more "Peirce" will turn up. Where is his finished spectrum meter report? It seems to have been circulating in Washington in the mid-1880's. What happened to Peirce's Nation submissions? His Century Dictionary submission s and correspondence? His work for Baldwin? Why have so few (relatively speaking) of his original letters turned up? Are there still unaccounted-for manuscripts and annotated books from those Harvard gave to interested scholars or that Peirce, himself, gave away? If you can help us track down any original Peirce documents it will further our work and may be of considerable value for Peirce scholarship. (Please note that questions of ownership are not our concern. We would like to see original docume nts to make copies or transcriptions and to add to the record of where originals are located.)

Question 2. Who is Mr. Soehmer? In the Peirce letters folders at Harvard there is a fragment of a letter (draft) to Mr. Soehmer which begins: "The equation of the elastic curve in its simplest expression is ry = a[squared] where r is the radius of curvat ure." [Read a Greek rho for r.] There is no date on the fragment but in his notes Max H. Fisch indicates that the letter was written in Key West (where Peirce was on assignment for the Coast Survey) on April 12, 1885. This was during a period when Peir ce was working on his definitions for the Century Dictionary, for which he defined "elastic curve" (see W5: 391-2), so possibly Soehmer worked for the Century Company. Or perhaps he was a mathematician, or possibly a student. Has anyone heard of him?

Question 3. Who wrote the following verse (quoted by Peirce in MS 1345, c. 1892)?

Peace! And no longer from its brazen portals
The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies,
But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise!

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Readers are invited to submit short descriptions (up to 250 words) of research facilities or resources that support research that relates to Peirce or his philosophy.


The Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism was founded in 1971 by Kenneth Ketner and Charles Hardwick. It is the oldest among centers for Peirce research, being a collection of materials and facilities for research into the philosophy of Charles Peirce and related topics. Its holdings now include annotated copies of Peirce's Harvard manuscripts and professional correspondence, plus related photographs, microfilm, books, offprints, and preprints of secondary literature. The Institute welcomes guest scholars to use its collections, and is visited by workers from the United States and other nations.

In 1984, after being housed in various temporary quarters at Texas Tech, with the assistance of a private donation, the Institute was moved into its present comfortable home of 1500 square feet within the University Library Special Collections area.

Ketner, the Institute's Director, is also Peirce Professor of Philosophy. The Institute is physically housed in the Library but reports to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A modest endowment, The Claude Ventry Bridges Memorial Fund, provides income for basic expenses.

For more information contact Professor Kenneth L. Ketner, 304 A Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409.


The Center for Semiotic Research in Law, Government, and Economics, established in the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, completes its first decade. As proposed by Executive Director Roberta Kevelson, the characteristically Peircean triadic objective has been: 1) to provide a missing focus on essential relations between Peirce's semiotics, his pragmatic method, and the practical sciences of law, politics, and economics, which are viewed as discourse-types and sign-systems; 2) to serve as a forum, through annual, international, transdisciplinary Round Tables of law and semiotics; 3) to produce a substantive collection of referential literature and research tools. A consortial type of organization among other Peirce and semiotic projects and the Center is ideally in the future, but this Center, together with counterparts in Venezuela, the U. K., Italy, and France, have successfully co-sponsored the International Association for Semiotics and Law and its official organ, the International Journal for Law and Semiotics. Three series of books have been published under the auspices of the Center and the Series Editorship of Roberta Kevelson, with a fourth series to begin in 1995: Law and Semiotics (Plenum); Semiotics and the Human Sciences (P. Lang); Critic of Institutions (P. Lang); WorldMaking/SignMaking (Rodopi). Support for the Center is provided by several divisions and offices of Penn State and from the Xerox Foundation's generous grant, now in its sixth year.

For more information contact: Roberta Kevelson, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University, The Berks Campus, Reading, PA, 19609, FAX: (215) 320-4912.


The post-graduate program in Communication and Semiotics at the Sao Paulo Catholic University was founded in 1978. It is directed by Lucia Santaella-Braga; the assistant director is Arlindo Machado. In the present year, 1994, there are nearly 300 students enrolled, 200 for masters and 100 for doctoral studies. 200 students have scholarships provided by three of the most important research foundations in Brazil (CNPq, CAPES and FAPESP). All students get both their Masters and their Ph.D. degrees in Semiotics. Since 1978, 149 Masters theses and 37 Ph.D. dissertations have been defended in the program. The teaching staff is composed of 16 permanent professors and five participant professors. The technical and creative staff includes two music composers and one supervisor for research on electronic images. One of the main lines of research in the program is theoretical or philosophical semiotics. From 1978 to 1987, courses on the semiotics of C. S. Peirce were offered every semester (from March to June and from August to November). As research on Peirce began to increase, since 1987, courses were organized in two levels: an introductory one about topics such as "The Role of Semiotics in Peirce's Philosophy," or "Strategies for Applying Peirce's Semiotics," "Peirce's Doctrine of Signs" etc., and on a more advanced level, specific or specialized topics are studied in courses about "Peirce's Theory of Perception," "Peirce's Aesthetics" or "Peirce's Metaphysics." The policy is to have no more than 15 students enrolled in each class, but the number of students enrolled in courses on Peirce is never less than 30, sometimes reaching 50. Several Peirce-oriented theses or dissertations have been defended in the last 15 years, and more are in progress.

In 1994, a Center for Studies on Peirce was founded in connection with the post-graduate program. The aim of the Center is to gather the researchers who are interested in developing in-depth studies on Peirce. The activities of the Center now being defined will include interest groups in special topics and mini-courses on Peirce open to people outside the University. In sum, the aim is to spread Peirce's thought.


IRSCE is an "Equipe d'Accueil" (SEMeLANG: Semiotique et Langages no. 763) headed by Professor Joelle Rethore. The Institute was created in 1974-5 by Professor Gerard Deledalle from philosophy and four colleagues from general and applied linguistics, English, mathematics, and filmology, and was later expanded to psychoanalysis, painting, French literature and, most recently, didactics of French as a foreign language and translatology. The Institute is composed of seven permanent researchers, six Ph. D. students, and ten post-graduates who are completing D.E.A.'s (diplome d'etudes approfondies) in "Semiotique, Langage et Litteratures." Its activities range from (i) conducting a weekly seminar (to which one or two foreign colleagues have been invited one month per year since 1990), this seminar being sometimes open to the public, to (ii) co-editing special issues of journals (among others Cruzeiro Semiotico nos. 8, 13, 14, 15; Degres nos. 54-5; S. Revue Europeenne de Semiotique, no. 4, 1989, and no. 5, 1993, in homage to G. Deledalle) and books (in particular the 3 volumes of the Proceedings of the IVth IASS Congress, Mouton-De Gruyter, 1993, and the translation of some of Peirce's writings, A la recherche d'une methode, Presses Universitaires de Perpignan, 1993), (iii) organizing international conferences (nine since 1976, including the IVth congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies in 1989) and art exhibitions, (iv) publishing books, papers, and reviews, and (v) tutoring young researchers.

For more information contact Professor Joelle Rethore, Director of IRSCE, University of Perpignan, Avenue de Villeneuve, PERPIGNAN Cedex 66860, FRANCE, FAX: 68 50 12 89.

PEIRCE-L Worldwide

A forum on the Internet for discussion of things related to Peirce's philosophy.

"The meaning of a thought is altogether something virtual."

"Thought is what it is only by virtue of its addressing a future thought which is in its value as thought identical with it, though more developed. In this way, the existence of thought now depends on what is to be hereafter; so that it has only a potential existence, dependent on the future thought of the community."

PEIRCE-L is a lightly moderated, list-based discussion forum managed by Joseph Ransdell of the Department of Philosophy at Texas Tech University. Established in August 1993 in an experimental spirit, it has proven to be an attractor for an unusually sophisticated interdisciplinary clientele, corresponding to Peirce's own polymathic interests and achievements, as well as for the professional philosophers interested in his work. There are presently some 250 members (i.e. subscribers to the distribution list), from more than 20 different countries and a remarkably broad range of academic disciplines. All messages and discussions are recorded in retrievable files, and the forum is now based in a machine with a file server system which will enable users to develop a continually accumulating library of secondary and primary materials, pre-prints, and scholarly aids; to provide bulletin board facilities of various sorts; and to function as a communicational center coordinating resources and research centers world-wide. If you are not yet on-line, you now have reason to broaden your professional life in this way. If you wish to contribute to the development of a vigorous world-wide communicational community of persons with a common interest in Peirce's work, you can now do so. To join send an e-mail message to the following internet address:

This should contain the following single-line message:

SUBSCRIBE PEIRCE-L firstname lastname

There is no need to include your e-mail address, which will be assumed to be the address from which your message originates. Instead of subscribing in this way, which is handled by an automatic mechanism, you can send an e-mail message to Joe Ransdell, and he will subscribe you. Ransdell's internet address is

It should be understood that, in joining, there is no obligation to contribute overtly to the group. If you are already acquainted with network communication, you probably know that presence as a listener only is commonly recognized as a positive contribution to the reality of these new and loosely knit communicational communities. But of course active participation, as time permits, is always welcomed, too. When you subscribe you receive explanatory information both about the group as a communicational community and about the "listserv" mechanisms that enable it. There is no subscription fee or charge for any service.

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VINCENT G. POTTER, S. J. In Memoriam

The Reverend Vincent G. Potter, charter member of the board of advisors for the Peirce Edition Project and appointed last year to the Project staff as Executive Consultant, passed away on 3 May 1994. Professor Potter was well known for his contributions to Peirce studies and American Philosophy--he recently launched a new series of books on American Philosophy for Fordham University Press. Since 1985 he served as editor-in-chief of the International Philosophical Quarterly. In 1993 he was appointed to the Ignatius Loyola Chair in the Humanities at Fordham University, where he was the first to hold that honor. Professor Potter was an enthusiastic supporter of the Peirce Project and its reorganization. We are very saddened to lose this good friend and his wise counsel.

Copyright of the Peirce Edition Project 1998