Do Not Block the Way of Inquiry
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 50, no. 3 (2014): 319-39
21 Pages Posted: 31 May 2015
Date Written: May 29, 2015
The first goal is to understand why Peirce describes his motto, "Do Not Block the Way of Inquiry," as a corollary of the "first rule of reason," why he believes it deserves to be inscribed on every wall of the city of philosophy, and what he has in mind when he characterizes the various barricades philosophers set up, the many obstacles they put in the path of inquiry. This soon leads us to important, substantive themes in Peirce's meta-philosophical, cosmological, metaphysical, logical, and epistemological work (§1). However, it also leads us to what might seem to be a tension in his account of the motives for inquiry. So the second goal is to track the source of this apparent tension, and to show how Peirce resolved it (§2). But the ultimate goal is to explain why Peirce's warning against blocking the way of inquiry is no less important, given the condition of philosophy today, than it was when he offered it more than a century ago-perhaps even more so (§3).
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