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Charles Sanders Peirce

Date of Birth:
September 10, 1839

Date of Death:
April 19, 1914


Quote count:

Times favorited:

Charles Sanders Peirce , was an American logician, mathematician, philosopher, and scientist, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Peirce was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for 30 years; however, it is largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, and semiotics that he is appreciated today. The philosopher Paul Weiss in 1934 called Peirce "the most original and versatile of American philosophers and America's greatest logician".

Peirce was largely ignored during his lifetime, and the secondary literature was scant until after World War II. Much of his huge output is still unpublished. Although he wrote mostly in English, he published some popular articles in French as well. An innovator in fields such as mathematics, research methodology, the philosophy of science, epistemology, and metaphysics, he considered himself a logician first and foremost. While he made major contributions to formal logic, "logic" for him encompassed much of what is now called the philosophy of science and epistemology. He, in turn, saw logic as a branch of semiotics, of which he is a founder. In 1886, he saw that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits, an idea used decades later to produce digital computers.

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