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The Pragmatic MaximEssays on Peirce and pragmatism$
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Christopher Hookway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588381

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588381.001.0001

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The Principle of Pragmatism: Peirce’s Formulations and Examples

The Principle of Pragmatism: Peirce’s Formulations and Examples

(p.165) 9 The Principle of Pragmatism: Peirce’s Formulations and Examples
The Pragmatic Maxim

Christopher Hookway

Oxford University Press

Charles Peirce's pragmatic maxim is a rule for obtaining reflective clarity about the contents of concepts and hypotheses. The chapter identifies and compares a number of different formulations of the maxim and discusses the relations between them. It also examines his examples of pragmatic clarifications in order to better understand these formulations. It is concluded that the formulations are illuminating but often unclear. This is because Peirce sought a ‘strict proof’ of the maxim and thought that it could only be formulated rigorously with the aid of this proof.

Keywords:   Peirce, pragmatic maxim, formulations of the maxim, proof, clarification

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