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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.275
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Volume 2010, Issue 179 (Jan 2010)


Charles Peirce's understanding of the four ages and of his own place in the history of human thought

William Pencak
Published Online: 2010-04-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.016


John Deely's Four ages of understanding rightly views Charles Sanders Peirce as one of the key figures in human thought, along with Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, and Locke (not to mention Kant and Hegel). Studying Peirce's own extensive writings on the history of philosophy, in which all of those men figured prominently, reveals that Peirce himself developed roughly the same periodization as Deely, without working it out in such detail. Peirce recognized the distinctiveness of what Deely terms the ancient age (Aristotle), the Latin (Aquinas), and modern (Descartes and Locke), while at the same time recognizing that he himself was a pioneer on an unknown frontier of human thought. This article summarizes Peirce's understanding of philosophical history, his own place in it, and compares Peirce's schema with Deely's.

Keywords:: Peirce; Deely; Greece; Medieval; Post-modern; Philosophy.

About the article

Published Online: 2010-04-21

Published in Print: 2010-04-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2010.016. Export Citation

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