(1839-1914) A pioneer of pragmatism and of semiotics.
US philosopher and logician, founder of pragmatism (which he later called pragmaticism), who argued that genuine conceptual distinctions must be correlated with some differences of practical effect. He wrote extensively on the logic of scientific inquiry, suggesting that truth could be conceived of as the object of an ultimate consensus.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his father Benjamin Peirce was professor of astronomy and mathematics at Harvard University from where Charles graduated in 1863. He went on to spend much of his life in government service, and was an astronomer and physicist before becoming a lecturer 1879–84 at Johns Hopkins University. His works include How to Make Our Ideas Clear 1878; his Collected Papers were published posthumously 1931–58.