Ideally — and in due time— Arisbe will be a single point of access on the internet to all textual resources and facilities relevant to Peirce Studies or of special interest to Peirce enthusiasts, and to all communicational facilities as well, including conferencing and teaching facilities. This does not mean that it will be the only point of access to these materials. Everybody who wishes to establish a special website [can do so. —B.U.]
Since there is a vast amount of material both by and about Peirce, this is reasonable enough as a long range ideal, if the interest in his work continues to develop, as there is good reason to think it will. What we have here is only a beginning, of course, though hopefully enough to suggest what is possible here, if there is the will to it.
|The World Wide Web did not come into existence because of the marketplace and its needs but because some people at the particle physics lab CERN, in Switzerland, recognized that the cooperative and collaborative activity typical of the developed sciences required the formation of a unitary communicational world-space, and they perceived that the jungle of computer-based network systems (including the special system called "the internet") had spread sufficiently far and developed to a sufficiently sophisticated level to make it feasible to create the framework for this single world-space. They could have conceived and implemented it as a proprietary system for particle physics only, or for the hard sciences only, but they instead moved in precisely the opposite direction: toward universal openess rather than exclusivity and secrecy.
It is not an accident that Charles Peirce's philosophical work seems so extraordinarily suited to an on-line presence and development. Peirce was himself a physicist and the first to understand that the conception of knowledge implicit in scientific activity is essentiallly a social conception and that the appropriate conception of truth is in terms of a communicational act that function to coordinate collaborative activity. His famous paper on "The Fixation of Belief", in which his distinctive conception of truth is first articulated, was written while crossing the Atlantic en route to a world-wide gathering of astronomers who were convening to coordinate their ohservations from the various astronomical laboratories all around the globe. [to be continued]
|This page contributed by: Joseph Ransdell