Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

The Contemporary Relevance of Peirce’s Views on the Logic and Metaphysics of Relations

Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy
Keywords: Dispositional realism, Logic of relations, Metaphysics of relations


Independently of Frege or Russell, C.S. Peirce made major contributions to the history of the logic and metaphysics of relations. After presenting his metaphysical interpretation of relations and his emphasis on the reality and irreducibility of relations, the paper shows how Peirce’s views are tied to the dispositional realism he defends within a scientific realistic metaphysics, and why they are still relevant for assessing the logical and ontological status of relations, and insightful for the meta-physical agenda to pursue today.

For the great American metaphysician Charles Sanders Peirce, logic and metaphysics were going hand in hand. “Metaphysics consists in the result of the absolute acceptance of logical principles not merely as regulatively valid, but as truths of being” (1.487). However, before becoming scientific and realistic, metaphysics had a first therapeutic duty: to make our ideas clear about what counts as a real or a pseudo metaphysical issue, and, in particular, about one’s position on the problem of universals: should one side with the nominalists or with the realists?


  Click here to download full article