Arisbe, Milford, Pa.
1905 June 15
My dear William :
I am greatly concerned to learn from Lady Welby that you have returned, or are returning, less well when you went away. I have received some traces of your sojourn in Italy in a number of papers on Pragmatism that have been sent to me. I am sorry that the space at my disposal in the Monist is not sufficient to enable me to go into any branch of the subject thoroughly1. However, pragmatism is for me but a comparatively unimportant feature of my logic. I wish could have a class, —even an indifferently bright class, in logic for a year. I would turn out a very potent factor of science. For instance, had my logic been understood, people never could have imagined that there was any proof of the natural selection hypothesis; and if this had been seen, the disproofs of it would have received attention and an immense deal of futile thought about all sorts of subjects, —sociology, for example,— would have been guarded against. I have confidently said for 13 years that species must have arisen suddenly. The mutation theory, as well as I can make out, says no more at present; and if so it is certainly right. Probably these mutations are favored by insufficient nutrition & particularly affect parts of the organism that are overworked.
My logical lectures if I had a class would illustrated by more detailed actual examples from the history of science than any other system has ever approached giving. I[t] has taken over fifteen years to work them out. I do not drawn upon psychology for a single proposition; but of course I do not deny that some of my premisses may properly be considered as psychical.
I have lately been writing out the application of my philosophy to religion. On the theistic question my attitude has some resemblance to that of Wm Johnson Fox.
I hope to hear go[o]d news of you.
Your ever devoted
C. S. Peirce
My brother Herbert at one time promised me a consulate2. But he seems to have been talked out of it.
1. Peirce published three articles on pragmatism in the Monist: "What Pragmatism Is" 15 (april 1905): 161-81; "Issues of Pragmaticism" 15 (October 1905): 481-99; " Prolegomena to an Apology for Pragmaticism", 16 (October 1906): 492-546 [Nota de The Correspondence of William James, XI, p. 62].
2. For the consulship in Ceylon see Joseph Brent, Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life, rev. ed. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1998), 296 [Nota de The Correspondence of William James, XI, p. 62].
Fin de: "L 224: Letter to William James" (15.06.045). Fuente textual en I. Skrupskelis y E. Berkeley (eds.), The Correspondence of William James, Charlottesvile, University of Virginia Press, 2003, XI, pp. 61-62.
Fecha del documento: 21 de agosto 2006
Última actualización: 26 de enero 2011