Dissertation Abstract




Communal Inquiry And Social Justice:

A Study Of Peircean Affectivity


Lara M. Trout



Degree:           Ph.D.

Year:             2005

Pages:            275

Institution:     The Pennsylvania State University; 0176

Advisor:          Douglas R. Anderson


Source:           DAI, 66, no. 08A (2005): p. 2959

Standard No:      ISBN:             0-542-29828-7


This dissertation explores the compatibility of Charles S. Peirce's thought with social critique, including feminist and critical race philosophy. This compatibility is demonstrated through an examination of the affective dimensions of Peirce's thought. By Peircean affectivity I mean the on-going body-minded communication between the human organism and her environment for the promotion of survival and growth. I use affectivity to encompass the following dimensions of Peirce's thought: feeling, emotion, sentiment, interest, instinct, sympathy, agape, habit, doubt, and belief. I use the neuro-scientific work of Antonio Damasio to help articulate the post-Darwinian embodiment themes that inform these dimensions of affectivity in Peirce's work.

          The project traces affective/socio-political themes chronologically through three of Peirce's major published essay series and his writings on association: The Journal of Speculative Philosophy "cognition series," published in the late 1860s; the Popular Science Monthly "Illustrations of the Logic of Science" series, published in the late 1870s; and the Monist "cosmology series" and association writings, written in the 1890s. It culminates in a study of Peirce's mature doctrine of Critical Common-Sensism, which he articulated in the 1900s. It begins with the uniquely embodied human organism whose cognition is inescapably shaped by both personal and social factors. It acknowledges, as Peirce does, that humans begin life as children whose habits are shaped by the social, and by implication socio-political, habits of their caretakers and society in general. This means that children, dependent and vulnerable as they are, can internalize oppression-perpetuating beliefs/habits before they are old enough to examine them critically. I will be focusing on the internalization of exclusionary habits by members of privileged groups like Euro/American whites and/or men.



Descriptor:       PHILOSOPHY


Accession No:     AAI3187572

Provider:        OCLC

Database:         Dissertations