Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 24/1, (1998) 31-49

C. S. Peirce and the Hispanic
Philosophy of the Twentieth Century

Jaime Nubiola
University of Navarra

A surprising fact in the historiography of the Hispanic philosophy of this century is its almost total opacity towards the American tradition. This deep rift between the two traditions is still more striking when one realizes the almost total neglect in the Hispanic world of such an outstanding Hispanic-American thinker as George Santayana, or the real affinity between the central questions of American pragmatism and the topics and problems addressed by the most relevant Hispanic thinkers of the present century: Miguel de Unamuno, José Ortega y Gasset, Eugenio d'Ors, Carlos Vaz Ferreira, José Ferrater Mora, Joaquín Xirau, etc.

In this wide framework, the aim of my paper1 is to describe this situation, paying special attention to the figure and thought of the founder of pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914). In order to do this, first of all I will justify briefly the usage of the expression "Hispanic Philosophy", highlighting its heuristic and practical value. Secondly, I will report Peirce's connections with the Hispanic world. Thirdly, I will mention the milestones of the textual reception of Peirce in Spanish and, fourth, some of the connections that lie almost hidden under the mutual ignorance which divides the two traditions. Finally, by way of conclusion, a quick evaluation will sketch out some effects that the recent resurgence of American pragmatism has had on this situation.

1. The notion of Hispanic philosophy

The term "Hispanic philosophy" used for the philosophy of Spain and Latin America was coined by the Catalan philosopher in exile, Eduardo Nicol2. It was the Cuban philosopher, Jorge J. E. Gracia, however, who recently presented a full case in favor of this term as a way of gaining a better understanding of all the philosophical thinking that has been developed over the last few hundred years in Spain and Portugal, the Spanish colonies of the New World, and the countries which grew from them3. The concept of Hispanic philosophy is particularly accurate, because it brings out the close relationship between philosophers in these geographical areas, and because the other geographical descriptions that have been used (Spanish philosophy, Portuguese philosophy, Catalan philosophy, Latin American philosophy, Hispano-American philosophy and Ibero-American philosophy) do not do justice to, or neglect, the historical reality of the relations between them. None the less, the use of a category such as this does not imply —as Nicol believed, and with him scores of Hispanic authors in our century4— that there is some special idiosyncratic trait which characterizes all the figures who have devoted their energies to philosophy within the Hispanic world. Instead, this name should serve to highlight the phenomenon of the real historical relationship between the philosophy of the Iberian Peninsula and that of Latin America, which other descriptions tend to neglect. The authors who form part of this tradition share neither language, nor race, nor nationality, but they have a common history: it is the historical reality that they share which provides the uniting factor and gives them a certain family resemblance5.

One of the features of modern Hispanic philosophy is its isolation from the main current of European thought. The process by which late Hispanic Scholasticism —Domingo de Soto, Francisco Suárez, Francisco Araújo, and John Poinsot— broke away from Europe was influenced by many different factors. One of its most regrettable consequences was the resulting ignorance in Europe of the rich creative ferment and speculative depth of this tradition with regard to the central problem of the nature of signs and their activity. John Deely has emphasized that it is in these Hispanic philosophers, rather than the modern Cartesian tradition, that we find "the first genuine awakening of semiotic awareness, that is, the first thematic understanding of the difference between using signs and comprehending their basis, and the ubiquitousness and naturalness of a phenomenon such as semiosis"6. Of particular interest in this context are the efforts made in recent years by Deely, Beuchot and others to identify the links between this late Scholastic philosophy and the vigorously anti-Cartesian thought of the founder of pragmatism Charles S. Peirce and his followers.

2. Peirce's connections with the Hispanic world

A good indication of the almost complete absence of the Hispanic world from Peirce's cultural horizons is that the only direct mention of Spain in his Collected Papers is his usage of the English expression, of French origin, "to build castles in Spain", which occurs in his article "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God", when Peirce explains the notion of "Musement". This is free, unrestrained speculation, in which the mind entertains itself to no particular end, purely playing with ideas: "The particular occupation I mean (...) may take either the form of aesthetic contemplation, or that of distant castle-building (whether in Spain or within one's own moral training) ..." (CP 6.458, 1908)7. Nevertheless, it is known that Peirce visited briefly Spain in 18708, and a remembrance of that visit might help to reach a better understanding of Peirce's work and life, and perhaps to make closing of the gap between the American and Hispanic traditions easier.

The circumstances of that journey bear witness to the wide scope of Peirce's interests. In 1861, when finishing his studies in the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard, Peirce started to work as an assistant to his father, Benjamin, in the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. In 1869 Charles S. Peirce was a member of one of the teams in Kentucky studying the total eclipse of the sun on August 7th. The observation of the solar corona and its protuberances through telescopes, and the detection of helium by use of the spectroscope, led the American astronomers to formulate new theories on the composition of the sun that were received with a certain skepticism by European astronomers. As no other such favorable occasion was going to arise in the nineteenth century, Benjamin Peirce, the third Superintendent of the Coast Survey, obtained an appropriation from the Congress to organize an expedition to observe the next solar eclipse, which was to take place at midday on 22 December 1870 on the Mediterranean Sea. To ensure the success of the project, he sent his son Charles to organize the preparations in Europe six months beforehand. Charles passed through London, Rotterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Pest, arriving finally in Constantinople. From Constantinople Peirce went back along the entire path of the eclipse from East to West in search of suitable locations for observatories. In Italy Peirce selected some sites in Sicily, and on 28 October he left Florence to begin what he called his "Spanish hurry-skurry"9.

The highlights of his Spanish trip were probably Malaga, Granada and Madrid. He probably made the whole journey through Spain by train, since Málaga, Granada, Seville, Jerez, and Madrid were all already on the railway network. From Málaga Charles Peirce wrote to his father Benjamin giving him news of his visit10. In Granada, he was greatly impressed by the Alhambra, which he visited on 7 November; in his Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898, almost thirty years later, he was to compare mathematical hypotheses with the Alhambra decorations: mathematical hypotheses are inferior, but similar: they are "as pretty but soulless"11. On 12 November 1870 Peirce was in Madrid, as can be seen from the passport he was issued at the United States' legation12. In any case, Peirce did not know Spanish, and he was little more expert after his visit, as he explains in a letter to his mother: "The Spanish speak as if they had pebbles in their mouth, which makes it very difficult to catch the distinction of their sounds" (L 341).

In fact, Charles S. Peirce joined the group of American scientists, his wife Zina and his father Benjamin among them, who followed the eclipse in the vicinity of Catania (Sicily), even though his spectroscope was sent by mistake to Jerez, Spain, where the second group from the U. S. Coast Survey was finally stationed13. Even though the day turned out to be cloudy, with some rain, the observations made by both expeditions on 22 December were successful, and confirmed the conclusions drawn by the Americans on the basis of the previous eclipse. As Joseph Brent wrote, "this expedition was Charles's first experience of large-scale international scientific cooperation, and it illustrated for him the importance of the community of science in reevaluating and validating its hypotheses"14.

Germany, Scotland, England, France and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Italy are the European countries which are mentioned most frequently in Peirce's writings. References to Spain or other countries of the Hispanic world are scarce, in keeping with the insignificant role which these countries played in the scientific and cultural community of Europe during the last quarter of the nineteenth century15. As Wells noted, Peirce was sympathetic and responsive both to British and to German ideas and ideals, but gave little thought to the influence of French culture. The cause of this is probably the little attention Peirce paid to social and political philosophy, but in fact there appears to be a wide presence of French culture in Peirce's mind16. My guess is that the real influence of Juliette, his French second wife whom he married in 1883, should not be underestimated17. It is not unlikely that through Juliette the anti-Hispanic bias of French nineteenth century culture had some effect on Peirce. For instance, in his notebook of French grammar he wrote down as an example of subordination: "Les espagnols desesperant de retenir les nations vaincues dans la fidelité prirent le parti de les exterminer" (MS 1237). Among Peirce's manuscripts there is a small notebook of Spanish grammar handwritten by Peirce in French (MS 1236): as the only example of the adjectives which take an "-a" to form the feminine he writes: "hombre haragán: homme peresseux/muger [sic] haragana: femme peresseuse".

The only Spaniard with whom Peirce corresponded was Ventura Reyes Prósper (1863-1922). Reyes was a Spanish mathematician, a mathematics teacher in Toledo who corresponded widely with the most well-known mathematicians of his time, whose works he wished to publicize in Spain18. Peirce's offprints and two copies of his book of 1883 Studies in Logic by Members of the Johns Hopkins University, sent to Reyes by Peirce, are kept with Reyes' library in the Biblioteca de Matemáticas del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid. However, Reyes Prósper's correspondence has not yet been found. Another Spaniard with whom Peirce had a closer relationship was General Carlos Ibáñez de Ibero (1825-91), who lived in Paris and was the cofounder in 1866 and later president (until his death) of the International Geodesic Association19.

In accordance with Peirce's profession as a logician, the Spaniard most frequently quoted, some twenty times in the Collected Papers and the first five volumes of the Chronological Edition, is Peter of Spain (c.1226-1277), "the highest authority for logical terminology, according to the present writer's ethical views" (CP 2.323n). For Peirce, Petrus Hispanus was "a noble Portuguese", because it was believed that he had been born in Lisbon20. His famous Summulae logicales, which survived as a manual of logic until the beginning of the seventeenth century, are quoted by Peirce at length: "This man, who had he survived would surely have been reckoned among the world's great men" (CP 4.26).

Secondly, Peirce mentions Ramon Lull (1233-1316), "one of the most acute logicians" (CP 4.465), even though he labels his Ars magna "nonsensical" and calls him "crazy" (N 1: 130), and also Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), in whom he recognizes a noteworthy precedent for Euler's logical diagrams (CP 4.353, 2.390). Peirce also refers a couple of times to Seneca, and mentions Isidore of Seville's definition of abstract number (CP 2.428), and the theologian Suárez's position on the union of body and soul (CP 6.362).

Peirce's contributions to The Nation also contain a few references to the Hispanic world. In spite of the fact that Spain had a relatively important presence on North America's political and commercial horizons at this time, Peirce saw Spain as an ignorant country (N 1: 47). Peirce himself wrote two letters in The Nation, December 1884, discussing the "Reciprocity Treaty" signed by the United States and Spain in February of that year to regulate the importation of Cuban and Puerto Rican sugar (N 1: 65-67, W 5: 144-148). As we know, the situation was to lead to war between the United States and Spain: "our difficulty with Spain by the destruction of the Maine", he called it in 1902 (N 3: 68). When the war finally came about, Peirce wrote to his first cousin, the influential Senator of Massachusetts, Henry Cabot Lodge, offering his contribution to the war effort, in the form of a machine he had invented to code and decode messages, and voicing his prediction that the Spanish would put up little resistance in the war. This letter deserves to be quoted at length (L 254):

My dear Cabot

I take the liberty of reminding you of my strong desire to serve the country in some way at this time, and also to say more explicitly than I did that other things being equal I believe I should be particularly useful were unflurried nerves were desirable in a situation of extreme danger. At the same time, I would not decline any position in which I should be of use.

I have from boyhood been taught by all our Massachusetts statesmen the U. S. ought to possess Cuba. I am sorry to say I don't believe the Spaniards will make a good fight; for as I have studied them in Spain, the whole people has been corrupted with the centuries of cruelty, injustice and rapine they have indulged in, and they have little manhood left. But as for the Cubans, they have passed through the refining furnace of adversity, and those of them that inhabited Key West, refugees mostly, the winter I were there, were far better than the Negroes, the Bahama people, or the Americans there, and much superior to what I should fancy the Lymn (?) shoemakers to be. Every morning a man, highered by the cigar makers, mounted a pulpit in the factory & read to them all day. The only crime of violence that winter was by an American. (...)

Without any doubt, Charles Peirce was a son of the New England culture of his time. In a very similar way, a deep anti-Americanism has been a dominant and leading factor, still active today, in Hispanic culture throughout the twentieth century both in Spain and in the Hispanic countries of America.

And yet a piece of information which comes as a real surprise to the Hispanic reader is that in his last years, Peirce added to his own the Spanish name "Santiago", in honor of his great friend and benefactor William James21. His signature "Charles Santiago Sanders Peirce" appears in print in his paper "Mr. Peterson's Proposed Discussion" in The Monist, January 1906, but Peirce used it in letters at least since 189123. Much the same could be said of Latin America. However, there is evidence that this is beginning to change: translations are now appearing which make a relevant amount of Peirce’s vast production accessible; in Segovia in 1991 an International Literature and Semiotics Seminar was held under the general title "C. S. Peirce and Literature"; in 1994 a "Grupo de Estudios Peirceanos" was founded in Navarre to coordinate and encourage the efforts of researchers from Spain and several Latin American countries; and other similar initiatives are appearing elsewhere.

The first reference to Peirce's work in Spanish appears very early. On 25 October 1883, the journal Crónica Científica of Barcelona published a short article entitled "Irregularidades en las oscilaciones del péndulo", which is a translation of the observations published by Peirce the previous year in The American Journal of Science. The second reference to Peirce in Spanish scientific literature is the article on Peirce and Mitchell by Ventura Reyes Prósper published in 1892 in El Progreso Matemático, of Zaragoza. In this paper Reyes reviews the logical-mathematical works of Peirce, and offers him, "with apologies for the errors which I may have made, a testimony of the genuine admiration which a foreigner bears you from beyond the seas"24. It seems specially meaningful that the first Hispanic references to Peirce correspond to his work as a scientist.

In the world of philosophy, however, the first references appear in texts of 1907-08 by Eugenio d'Ors, who became acquainted with American pragmatism through Émile Boutroux during his studies in Paris. In 1920 a short entry about Peirce appears in the huge Enciclopedia Universal llustrada Europeo-Americana, but we have to wait until 1933 for a brief exposition of Peirce's logic under the heading "Simbólica (Lógica)" in the Appendix to this Enciclopedia, in which Juan David García Bacca summarized the information given by C. I. Lewis in A Survey of Symbolic Logic, 191825.

For the first Spanish-language edition of Peirce it is necessary to wait for Juan Martín Ruiz-Werner's two short translations, Deducción, inducción e hipótesis (Buenos Aires: Aguilar Argentina, 1970, 90 pp.), and Mi alegato en favor del pragmatismo (Buenos Aires: Aguilar Argentina, 1971, 91 pp.), followed by that of Beatriz Bugni La ciencia de la semiótica (Buenos Aires: Nueva Visión, 1974, 116 pp.). Dalmacio Negro's translation of Peirce's Lectures on Pragmatism of 1903 was more ambitious. It was published under the title Lecciones sobre el pragmatismo (Buenos Aires: Aguilar Argentina, 1978, 275 pp.), and was envisaged as part of a project to translate all eight volumes of Peirce's Collected Papers, which later did not work out.

In the last ten years, three Spanish translations have appeared which make a significant part of Peirce's vast production available. First, Armando Sercovich's edition Obra lógico-semiótica (Madrid: Taurus, 1987, 431 pp.), consists of a compilation (translated by R. Alcalde and M. Prelooker) of some of Peirce's papers on semiotics, ten of the more important letters to Lady Welby in which he explains the theory of signs, and ten sections of the Collected Papers concerning these subjects. Then comes Pilar Castrillo Criado's translation entitled Escritos lógicos (Madrid: Alianza, 1988, 264 pp.), which contains eleven papers representative of Peirce's contributions to logic. And thirdly, José Vericat's edition, under the title El hombre, un signo (El pragmatismo de Peirce) (Barcelona: Crítica, 1988, 428 pp.), with a sound introduction and many useful notes. In recent months a careful translation has appeared of "The Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" by Sara F. Barrena (Pamplona: Cuadernos de Anuario Filosófico, 1996, 102 pp.) and, under the title Leer a Peirce hoy (Barcelona: Gedisa, 1996, 239 pp.), a selection of Gerard Deledalle's texts on Peirce.

However, the growing interest in Peirce's work evident in the Hispanic world in recent years26 is probably due more to the influence of Umberto Eco, Jürgen Habermas and Karl-Otto Apel and to the gradual approximation of the Hispanic philosophers to American academic philosophy than to the effect of the translations listed above. The recent resurgence of pragmatism27, allied with these two other factors, might be decisive in showing the Hispanic world that Charles Sanders Peirce was, or rather is, important for a sound understanding of our contemporary culture. Moreover, from a historical point of view the study of the roots of Peirce's semiotic in the Scholastic tradition -as John Deely has stressed28- breaks the depressing isolation of the Hispanic tradition.

4. Some connections beneath mutual incomprehension

Hispanic philosophy's ignorance of Peirce and of pragmatism in general, and the American pragmatist tradition’s lack of knowledge of Hispanic philosophy are probably the result of mutual cultural incomprehension in which the sociological factors which have separated these two spheres throughout the twentieth century have prevented both parties from recognizing their special affinity. On the other hand, the overwhelming dominance of the analytic tradition in the Anglo-American world in the last forty years has resulted in neglect of the study of history of thought. In the last ten years, growing interest in the history of the analytic movement itself has shown that Peirce could be regarded as an analytic philosopher avant la lettre, or could even be counted with Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein, as one of its founding fathers29.

It has often been said that the central problem of Hispanic philosophy in this century has been that of the connection between thought and life. In very general terms this is the central theme of American pragmatism. Or rather, pragmatism is a response from scientific and life experience to the typical problem of modern Cartesianism concerning the rift between rational thought and creative vitality. The Hispanic philosophers Unamuno, Ortega and d'Ors, in a way analogous to that of the Italians Papini, Vailati and Calderoni30, were answering this common problem in a way that was strikingly similar to their North American counterparts. Recognition of this 'community' has been very slow, perhaps because of the decline of pragmatism in previous decades, because of the eternal claim to originality which characterizes the Hispanic tradition, and the typical parochialism of the North American tradition. This peculiar affinity between North American thought and the Hispanic world perhaps accounts for the great spread of the Spanish translations of Ralph W. Emerson and William James in the first decades of this century.

As far as Spain is concerned, in 1961 Pelayo H. Fernández studied in detail how Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) read William James, his frequent quotations of James and his marginal notes in the works by James in his library. Fernández's conclusion was that Unamuno's pragmatism was "original with respect to that of the American, from whom he absorbed only complementary features". However, the abundance of facts that he lists bears witness to a great influence, and a great similarity between the two thinkers on many issues and problems31. Very recently, Pedro Cerezo has stressed more accurately the real scope of James' influence in Unamuno's intellectual development32.

In the case of José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), John Graham published a careful study in which, after noting Ortega’s hostility to American pragmatism, he reveals "many basic connections, similarities and points of identity, so that concrete influence and dependence seem more plausible than 'coincidence' between Ortega and James"33. Graham gives evidence that Ortega read James early in his career, and that Ortega was aware that James had anticipated the notion central to his of "razón vital"34. His evidence of James' influences on Ortega by German sources themselves influenced by James is specially convincing35. Along these lines, Gregory F. Pappas studied the remarkable similarities between Peirce and Ortega on the distinction between indubitable and doubtable beliefs, which is a central topic in a pragmatist view36.

In contrast with Ortega, Eugenio d'Ors (1881-1954) is perhaps the Hispanic philosopher most conscious of his personal connection with American pragmatism. By 1907 he had defined himself as a pragmatist, driven by the same desires as moved his American counterparts, whom he hoped to outstrip by recognizing an esthetic dimension of human action that could not be reduced to the merely utilitarian37. Forty years later, in 1947, in his El secreto de la filosofía which crowned his philosophical career, he generously acknowledges what he owes to the American tradition38. His personal interest in experimental science, in logic and in methodology in the early years of his career, united to his consideration of his whole life as a failure, make him in some sense a good candidate to be considered the "Hispanic Peirce".

In Latin America the connection with American pragmatism can be traced back to the hostile reactions of the philosophers Coriolano Alberini (1886-1960), from Argentina, and Carlos Vaz Ferreira (1871-1958), from Uruguay, against the pragmatism of William James and F. C. S. Schiller: the latter because of the spiritualism of these pragmatists, the former on the grounds of its being a threat to the traditional religious background39. On the one hand, it is not unlikely that Ortega's hostility towards American pragmatism was inherited by the mainstream of the Hispanic philosophy of our century40. Ortega is the foremost figure in recent Hispanic philosophy, and the fact that some of his students emigrated to Latin America at the time of the Spanish Civil War perhaps helped to disseminate his attitude41. Agustín Basave Fernández del Valle, in his "Significación y sentido del pragmatismo norteamericano", makes one exception to this general negative trend: the Mexican philosopher José Vasconcelos (1882-1959)42. On the other hand, Hispanic Marxism -with a very few exceptions (perhaps, Mariátegui43)- tended to see American pragmatism as the most typical product of U. S. imperialism.

Among the small group of friends of American pragmatism, it is possible to include the names of José Ferrater Mora (1912-91), as is exhibited by his outstanding Diccionario de Filosofía and his excellent paper on Peirce44, and Joaquín Xirau (1895-1946) in whose thought it is also possible to discover some affinity with pragmatism45.

5. Conclusion

In recent years we have been witnessing a resurgence of pragmatist philosophy in Anglo-American culture, which is generating a profound renewal and transformation of analytic philosophy. One of the landmarks in this process has been the rediscovery and deeper understanding of C. S. Peirce. The growing awareness of the connections between the Hispanic and the North American philosophical traditions —formerly regarded as worlds apart— would seem to offer a better perspective for appraising the philosophical output of our own century.

Along these lines a new phenomenon has appeared in the last few years, Hispanic scholars from different countries and backgrounds have started to listen one to another and to talk to each other about Peirce and about the classical philosophers of pragmatism. Peirce's figure and thought may be one of the ways to overcome the typical individualistic isolation of the Hispanic philosopher, and also to close the gap between the American and Hispanic philosophical traditions.


1. I thank Christian J. W. Kloesel for his initial orientation, Nathan Houser for the transcriptions from the Max H. Fisch Library, Melanie Wisner for the copies of Peirce's letters, which I quote with the permission of the Houghton Library. Thanks also to Gaby Amores and Joaquín Lorda for their help in the research, and to Ruth Breeze and Holly Salls for their help with the English version. This research has been partially funded by the Government of Navarra and the Programa de Investigación de la Universidad de Navarra (1995-97).

2. See Eduardo Nicol, El problema de la filosofía hispánica (Madrid: Tecnos, 1961).

3. Jorge J. E. Gracia, "Hispanic Philosophy: Its Beginning and Golden Age", Review of Metaphysics 46 (1993), pp. 475-502.

4. Jorge J. E. Gracia and Iván Jaksic, eds., Filosofía e identidad cultural en América Latina (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1983); Marcelo Dascal, ed., Cultural Relativism and Philosophy. North and Latin American Perspectives (Leiden: Brill, 1991), pp. 3-6.

5. Jorge J. E. Gracia, "Hispanic Philosophy: Its Beginning and Golden Age", p. 482.

6. John Deely, "Vindicación de la filosofía hispana: La semiótica como restauración de la cultura intelectual ibérica", Revista de Filosofía 27 (1994), pp. 316-319; Mauricio Beuchot, "La filosofía escolástica en los orígenes de la semiótica de Peirce", Analogía 2 (1991), pp. 155-166.

7. References to Peirce's works are as follows: CP refers to Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, vols. 1-8, C. Hartshorne, P. Weiss and A. W. Burks, eds. (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1931-58); MS refers to The Charles S. Peirce Papers, 32 reels of the manuscripts housed in the Houghton Library (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Library, Photographic Service); N refers to Contributions to 'The Nation', vols. 1-4, K. L. Ketner y J. E. Cook (eds.), (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1975-79); and W refers to Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition, vols. 1-5, M. H. Fisch et al, eds. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1982-95).

8. In spite of this discouraging finding, when I started to study Peirce I began to collect like a detective all the pieces of information I could about his journey to Spain in 1870. Until then the information already published amounted to three brief mentions by Max H. Fisch, "Peirce as Scientist, Mathematician, Historian, Logician and Philosopher" in Proceedings of the C. S. Peirce Bicentennial International Congress, K. L. Ketner et al (eds.) (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1981), pp. 13-14; "The Range of Peirce's Relevance (Part II)", The Monist 63 (1982), p. 124; "The Decisive Year and Its Early Consequences" (W 2: xxxiv), and a longer one by Christian J. W. Kloesel in "Scattered Remarks on Peirce and Italy", Versus 55-56 (1990), pp. 4-7. For more recent information see Jaime Nubiola, "Peirce y España: Hacia una mejor comprensión", in J. M. Paz Gago, ed., Semiótica y Modernidad (A Coruña: Servicio de Publicacións Universidade da Coruña, 1994), vol. I, pp. 183-191.

9. Letter from Charles S. Peirce to Sarah Mills Peirce, 16 November 1870; L 341 according to the Annotated Catalogue of the Papers of Charles S. Peirce, by Richard S. Robin (Amherts, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press, 1967). The information available at present about Peirce's stay in Spain is far from complete. The official report to the Coast Survey of his reconnaissance in Spain has not yet been found. What is clear is that it was a flying visit, since we know from this letter that the 15th of November he had already reached Grenoble.

10. That letter is lost, but in 1992 in the Harvard Archives I discovered a telegram and the following letter of 16 November, 1870 from Benjamin Peirce, who was then in Munich, to Joseph Winlock, Director of Harvard Observatory, informing him about Charles's visit:

My dear Professor
I have just received a letter from Charlie at Malaga in which he writes "I see quite clearly all about this place. This way is better than the Atlantic -fewer rainy days & the clear days clearer. Marbella is the place 32 miles from Malaga -a horseback journey of 10 hours. A tug can be hired to carry the instruments if mules won't do it. There is hardly accomodation enough in the town. Some of the party might, if there happened to be any means of getting there, be sent to Oran in Africa. There would be the luck chance of good weather. I will arrange so (go?) that by sending before hand to./Mr. Geary our consul here, about (?) the accommodation in Marbella will be taken for the party. There will be no difficulty therefore. Let them remember they cannot go by the way of Barcelona. The other information I have to get here is of less consequence, but I shall go rapidly to Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, so that all that is to be had may be had."

Letter from Benjamin Peirce to Winlock, 16 November 1870. Harvard University Archives: UA V 630.12 Observatory Letters Received 1870-75, nº 48.

11. Charles S. Peirce, Reasoning and the Logic of Things. The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898, K. L. Ketner, ed. (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1992), p. 284, n. 6; and MS 442. Peirce's signature has been found recently in the book of visitors at the Alhambra. He was the only visitor to put his signature in the book the 7th of November. In Granada, Peirce stayed at the Hotel Siete Suelos, on the premises of the Alhambra, where the outstanding painter Mariano Fortuny was also living with his family. When back in Florence he wrote to Professor Winlock on 29 November, and recommended him to stay at the Hotel Washington Irving, just opposite the Siete Suelos, because there "they passed false money on me knowingly & otherwise swindled me". Letter from Charles Peirce to Winlock, 29 November 1870. Harvard University Archives: UA V 630.12 Observatory Letters Received 1870-75, nº 47.

12. In Peirce's letter of November 16 (L 341), he writes to his mother how much he admired a statue of a half-reclining woman he saw in Madrid by an artist then living (probably The Nymph Eurydice by Sabino de Medina): "... is one of the most beautiful things I have seen". In that letter Peirce also describes the three purchases he made in Spain: a blanket with gypsy embroidery to keep him warm on his railway journey, an old mother-of-pearl fan, and a dozen photographs of the best paintings he had seen. It is highly probable that Peirce went to France through the Basque Country, since Barcelona was at this time under quarantine owing to yellow fever. In fact when he enumerates to his mother the eighteen different languages he had heard spoken in the course of his entire European journey, seventeen of which were in places where they were habitually spoken, it was precisely the Basque language which was mentioned last.

13. This latter group, directed by Professor Winlock, head of Harvard Observatory, was made up of eleven Americans, two Englishmen, and a Spanish observer who joined them. They worked in collaboration with Captain Cecilio Pujazón, director of the Observatorio de San Fernando (Cádiz). The main site chosen was in an olive grove, a mile to the North East of Jerez, near Seville.

14. Joseph Brent, Charles S. Peirce. A Life (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), p. 80.

15. "Englishmen are generally so naively ignorant of what takes place in the great world of science (which does not centre in London, as they seem to imagine) that it is possible for a respectable man to publish a book there the existence of which depends on such ignorance as would disgrace him in Sicily or Spain" (N 1: 47).

16. Rulon Wells, "Peirce as an American", in Richard J. Bernstein (ed.), Perspectives on Peirce (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), pp. 19-21.

17. Joseph Brent, Charles S. Peirce. A Life , p. 99.

18. Jesús Cobo, Ventura Reyes Prósper (Badajoz: Departamento de Publicaciones Diputación Provincial de Badajoz, 1991).

19. Charles S. Peirce, Historical Perspectives on Peirce's Logic of Science: A History of Science, C. Eisele, ed. (Berlin: Mouton, 1985), pp. 27 and 597; Charles S. Peirce, The New Elements of Mathematics, C. Eisele, ed. (The Hague: Mouton, 1976), vol. 3, pp. 207 and 1135. See J. M. López de Azcona, "Ibáñez e Ibáñez de Ibero, Carlos", in C. G. Gillispie, ed., Dictionary of Scientific Biography (Scribner's: New York, 1981), vol. 7, pp. 1-2.

20. About the biography of Petrus Hispanus see Angel d'Ors, "Petrus Hispanus O. P., Auctor Summularum", Vivarium 35 (1997), pp. 21-71.

21. Paul Weiss, "Charles Sanders Peirce", in D. Malone (ed.), Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Sons, 1934), vol. 13, p. 400.

22. "Although it seems strange —Reyes Prósper writes in his review— his first name is in English and the second one in Spanish; I do not know why". Ventura Reyes Prósper, "Charles Santiago Peirce y Oscar Howard Mitchell", El Progreso Matemático 2 (1892), p. 173.

23. José Vericat, "Introducción", in C. S. Peirce, El hombre, un signo: (El pragmatismo de Peirce) (Barcelona: Crítica, 1988), p. 15.

24. Ventura Reyes Prósper, "Charles Santiago Peirce y Oscar Howard Mitchell", El Progreso Matemático 2 (1892), pp. 170-173. Randall Dipert, with the help of H.-N. Castañeda, prepared a translation into English of that paper, but it has not been yet published: personal communication 13 October 1994.

25. Enciclopedia Universal llustrada Europeo-Americana (Barcelona: Espasa, 1920), vol. 42, p. 1418; Apéndice (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1933), vol. 9, pp. 1326-1339; Vicente Muñoz Delgado, "Notas para la historia de la lógica durante la Segunda República Española (1931-1939)", Religión y Cultura 26 (1980), pp. 909-911.

26. In order to complete this bibliographical list on Peirce in the Hispanic world it is necessary to mention the translation by José Miguel Gambra of the book of Pierre Thibaud La logique de Charles Sanders Peirce (Madrid: Paraninfo, 1982), and besides a few papers and a few translations into Spanish of foreign papers, the original monographs: Hacia una semiótica pragmática. El signo en Ch. S. Peirce of Antonio Tordera (Valencia: Fernando Torres Editor, 1978); Pragmatismo y semiótica en Charles S. Peirce of E. Battistella (Caracas: Biblioteca de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1983); El signo: problemas semióticos y filosóficos of Wenceslao Castañares (Madrid: Universidad Complutense, 1985); Los placeres del parecido of Francisca Pérez Carreño (Madrid: Visor, 1988); El pragmatismo americano of Jorge Pérez de Tudela (Madrid: Cincel, 1988); the special issue of the journal Signa 1 (1992); Entre signos de asombro of Fernando Andacht (Montevideo: Trilce, 1993); Elementos de Semiótica of Mauricio Beuchot (Xalapa, México: Universidad Veracruzana, 1993); Ser-signo-interpretante. Filosofía de la representación de Charles S. Peirce of Mariluz Restrepo (Bogotá: Significantes de Papel, 1993); De la interpretación a la lectura of Wenceslao Castañares (Madrid: Iberediciones, 1994) and the recent issue of the journal Anuario Filosófico 29/3 (1996) with the general title Claves del pensamiento de Peirce para el siglo XXI.

27. Richard Bernstein, "The Resurgence of Pragmatism, Social Research 59 (1992), pp. 813-840.

28. John Deely, "Common Sources for the Semiotic of Charles Peirce and John Poinsot", Review of Metaphysics 48 (1995), pp. 539-566.

29. Christopher Hookway, Peirce (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), p. 141; George H. von Wright, The Tree of Knowledge and Other Essays (Leiden: Brill, 1993), p. 41.

30. William James, "G. Papini and the Pragmatist Movement in Italy", Journal of Philosophy 3 (1906), pp. 337-341. For a recent general review, see Antonio Santucci, "Peirce, il pragmatismo e la filosofia italiana", in Peirce in Italia, M. A. Bonfantini y A. Martone, eds., (Naples: Liguori, 1993), pp. 277-315.

31. Pelayo H. Fernández, Miguel de Unamuno y William James. Un paralelo pragmático (Salamanca: CIADA, 1961), p. 118.

32. Pedro Cerezo, Las máscaras de lo trágico. Filosofía y tragedia en Miguel de Unamuno (Madrid: Trotta, 1996), pp. 278-289.

33. John T. Graham, A Pragmatist Philosophy of Life in Ortega y Gasset (Columbia, Miss: University of Missouri Press, 1994), p. 145.

34. John T. Graham, A Pragmatist Philosophy of Life in Ortega y Gasset, pp. 147-152; on the affinity between James and Ortega, see J. Barzun, A Stroll with William James (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), p. 299.

35. Antón Donoso, "Review of Graham's A Pragmatist Philosophy of Life in Ortega y Gasset", Hispania 78 (1995), p. 499.

36. Gregory F. Pappas, "Peirce y Ortega", Anuario Filosófico 29 (1996), pp. 1225-1237.

37. Eugenio d'Ors, Glosari de Xenius (Barcelona: Tallers Gráfics Montserrat, 1915), vol. II, pp. 373-375.

38. Eugenio d'Ors, El secreto de la filosofía (Barcelona: Iberia, 1947), p. 12.

39. Coriolano Alberini, El pragmatismo (Buenos Aires: Otero Impresores, 1910); Carlos Vaz Ferreira, Conocimiento y acción (Montevideo: Imprenta El Siglo Ilustrado, 1920). I am indebted to Fernando Andacht for his careful study of this last connection.

40. José Ortega y Gasset, Obras Completas (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1946-47), vol. I, p. 119; vol. IV, pp. 97 and 357-358.

41. See Tzvi Medin, Ortega y Gasset en la cultura hispanoamericana (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994).

42. Agustín Basave, "Significación y sentido del pragmatismo norteamericano", Dianoia 18 (1972), pp. 251-272.

43. Ofelia Schutte, Cultural Identity and Social Liberation in Latin American Thought (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), p. 32.

44. José Ferrater Mora, "Peirce's Conception of Architectonic and Related Views", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 15 (1955), pp. 351-359.

45. Joaquín Xirau, "Lo fugaz y lo eterno", in Obras de Joaquín Xirau (México: UNAM, 1963), pp. 205-214.

Última actualización: 27 de agosto 2009

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