2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Charles Sanders Peirce & A Dialectic Defense of Speculative Philosophy


Caleb H. Rew
Dr. Stephen Pollard, Faculty Mentor

Speculative philosophy may be regarded as a formal inquiry upon the nature of things beyond readily available empirical limits. Since the time of C. S. Peirce, we have gained more precise means of acquiring empirical evidence. Yet, does this mean philosophy should simply hand over all responsibility of forming positive theories to the special sciences? Using the dialectic method in order to critically evaluate the efficacy of Peirce’s philosophy—particularly focusing upon his metaphysical realism and evolutionism—it is my hope that I may provide a defense for the value of speculative philosophy in general. In all rational inquiry, one must start with certain assumptions based more or less upon the work of one’s predecessors, but where do we turn when abstract evidence seems to contradict observable evidence? Perhaps, as I hope to show, there is much to be learned through the synthesis of limits when faced with potential contradictions.

Keywords: Metaphysics, Evolutionism, Pragmatism, Speculative Philosophy, Dialectics, Fallibilism, C.S. Peirce, Logic of Relatives

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 409-1
Location: VH 1224
Time: 2:30

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