Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Anderson, Douglas

Abstract

This dissertation inaugurates a study on the connections between the philosophies of Aristotle and Charles S. Peirce. It discusses, first, Peirce's reading of Aristotle's works and philosophy, with an emphasis on three studies by Peirce of a translation of Aristotle's Categories, a study on Aristotle's notion of priority, and a study on the current situation of the Corpus Aristotelicum. Secondly, this dissertation deals with logic, particularly induction, abduction, and analogy. In the case of induction, Peirce claimed that Aristotle stated perfectly the form of induction in Prior Analytics II 23. However, Aristotle's concept of induction is not univocal, but, I argue, it stands for six different notions. Peirce seemed to neglect such diversity in Aristotle's concept of induction, even though his own concept of induction is also diverse. Aristotle's six concepts of induction and Peirce's kinds of induction do not match each other, and therefore, the chapter on induction closes with a comparison between these notions in order to determine to what extent they resemble or differ from each other. With regard to abduction, Peirce claimed that it originated in Prior Analytics II, 25. I argue that Peirce was mistaken in focusing on this passage. This does not mean that Aristotle did not have an idea of abduction. As I will show, there are other passages in Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, neglected by Peirce, in which it is possible to find such an analysis of this kind of reasoning. In the case of analogy, both philosophers have a similar and clear account of it as a compound or composite. However, whereas Aristotle claimed it to be composed of induction and deduction, Peirce included abduction too. Thirdly, I explore and compare their theories of cognition. Peirce did not feel indebted to Aristotle and, on the contrary, criticized the positions of the Greek philosopher. However, I will argue that their theories of cognition agree in their general features, namely, empiricism, realism, and synechism. Peirce's critiques of Aristotle are in part due to a misinterpretation of Aristotle's philosophy that took Aristotle to be, in modern terms, a dualist and a rationalist. In sum, I aim to show through these three features, the ways in which Peirce's philosophy is ‒and is not‒ aligned with that of Aristotle.

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