Prospects for Peircian Epistemic Infinitism

16 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2008

See all articles by Scott F. Aikin

Scott F. Aikin

Vanderbilt University - Philosophy Department

Date Written: August 1, 2008


Epistemic infinitism is the view that infinite series of inferential relations are productive of epistemic justification. Peirce is explicitly infinitist in his early work, namely his 1868 series of articles. Further, Peirce's semiotic categories of firsts, seconds, and thirds favors a mixed theory of justification. The conclusion is that Peirce was an infinitist, and particularly, what I will term an impure infinitist. However, the prospects for Peirce's infinitism depend entirely on the prospects for Peirce's early semantics, which are not good. Peirce himself revised the semantic theory later, and in so doing, it seems also his epistemic infinitism.

Keywords: Epistemology, Infinitism, Peirce, Klein, Regress

Suggested Citation

Aikin, Scott F., Prospects for Peircian Epistemic Infinitism (August 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Scott F. Aikin (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Philosophy Department ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

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