Collections of Peirce's Writings

Peirce wrote a vast amount of papers, most of which never reached publication. Many edited collections of varying scope and quality have appeared over the years. This page offers a concise "beginner's guide" with brief introductions to the most important collections of Peirce's works.

  • The Essential Peirce. Selected Philosophical Writings. Vol. 1 (1867-1893), edited by Nathan Houser & Christian Kloesel, 1992, vol. 2 (1893-1913), edited by the Peirce Edition Project, 1998. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

    A chronological collection edited by the Peirce Edition Project. Recommended for those who want a compact but representative selection of Peirce's writings, covering his whole career. The second volume of the Essential Peirce is also of particular interest for Peirce scholars, as it includes a number of key texts unavailable elsewhere. The emphasis in the Essential Peirce is on Peirce's philosophy; mathematical, logical, and scientific texts are not included in this collection.

    The web pages of the Peirce Edition Project offer information concerning The Essential Peirce Volumes. The pages include tables of contents and introductions to both volumes.

    Typical abbreviation: EP, followed by volume and page number.

  • Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, 8 volumes, vols. 1-6, eds. Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss, vols. 7-8, ed. Arthur W. Burks. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931-1958.

    The eight volumes of Collected Papers were for a long time the basic source for Peirce studies, and are still widely used by scholars. The Collected Papers include important writings, but many texts have been confusingly cut up and rearranged by the editors, following a thematic rather than a chronological method.

    There is a reasonably priced CD-ROM version of the Collected Papers, which can be purchased from Intelex. The Electronic Edition is also available at Philosophica, the library of the Department of Philosophy of the University of Helsinki.

    Typical abbreviation: CP, followed by volume and paragraph number.

  • The Writings of Charles S. Peirce. 6 vols. to date. Vol. 1, edited by Max Fisch et at., vol. 2, edited by Edward C. Moore et al., vols. 3-5, edited by Christian Kloesel et al., vol. 6, edited by the Peirce Edition Project. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980-2000.

    A new, critical, and thorough collection of Peirce's writings edited by the Peirce Edition Project. This chronologically organized edition is planned to consist of 30 volumes in total. Upon completion, it will be the definitive source for Peirce studies.

    The web pages of the Peirce Edition Project provide useful information concerning The Writings. The pages include tables of contents, introductions, and several chapters from the Writings (mostly from Volume 2). An affordable CD-ROM version of the Writings is set to be published by Intelex.

    Typical abbreviation: W, followed by volume and page number.

  • Semiotic and Significs: The Correspondence Between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady Welby. Ed. by Charles S. Hardwick & J. Cook (1977) Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

    An important collection of Peirce's correspondence with the English linguist Victoria Lady Welby between 1903 and 1911. Semiotic and Significs, which supersedes an earlier collection edited by Irwin C. Lieb, is rich in sign-theoretical content, and constitutes an important document in the history of semiotics. The collection is of particular interest for Peirce studies as it displays many important phases in the development of Peirce's later semeiotic, and includes material unavailable elsewhere.

    Typical abbreviations: SS or PW, followed by page number.

  • The New Elements of Mathematics, by Charles S. Peirce. Four volumes in five books. Edited by Carolyn Eisele (1976). The Hague: Mouton Publishers.

    A useful collection that focuses on Peirce's mathematical works. Volume I: Arithmetic, Volume II: Algebra and Geometry, Vol III/1 and III/2: Mathematical Miscellanea, Vol IV: Mathematical Philosophy. Of the four volumes, Volume IV is particularly important from a philosophical point of view. It also includes several texts of semiotic interest. Insufficient documentation.

    Typical abbreviations: NEM or NE, followed by volume and page number.

  • Historical Perspectives on Peirce's Logic of Science. A History of Science. 2 vols. Edited by Carolyn Eisele (1985). Berlin: Mouton Publishers.

    A collection that includes a variety of writings on science, the history of science and the logic of science. Insufficient documentation.

    Typical abbreviations: HP or HPPLS, followed by volume and page number.

  • Charles Sanders Peirce: Contributions to The Nation. Four volumes. Edited by Kenneth Ketner & James Cook (1975-87). Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.

    A complete collection of Peirce's contributions to the Nation, covering a period of more than forty years. The Contributions consist mostly of reviews and short notices. Display the breadth of Peirce's learning, and show how he approached the writings of others from the vantage point of his own philosophical and scientific outlook.

    There is an affordable CD-ROM version of the Contributions to the Nation that also includes a thorough biography of Peirce's published writings. The electronic edition can be ordered from Intelex.

    Typical abbreviations: CN or N, followed by volume and page number.

  • Reasoning and the Logic of Things. Edited by Kenneth Laine Ketner (1992). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Peirce's 1898 Cambridge Conference Lectures with an introduction by Kenneth Laine Ketner and Hilary Putnam. The lectures cover a variety of topics, and are of interest especially from the point of view of Peirce's pragmatism, metaphysics, and theory of reasoning.

    Typical abbreviation: RLT, followed by page number.

  • Pragmatism as a Principle and Method of Right Thinking. The 1903 Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism. Edited by Patricia Ann Turrisi (1997). Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Peirce's 1903 lectures on pragmatism with an introduction and commentary by Patricia Ann Turrisi. The lectures give a good overview of the various sides of Peirce's philosophical edifice, and can be recommeded as a compact introduction to Peirce's thought. Most of the lectures have also been published in the Collected Papers and the Essential Peirce.

    Typical abbreviations: PPM or HL, followed by page number.

  • Johdatus tieteen logiikkaan ja muita kirjoituksia. Valinnut ja suomentanut Markus Lång (2001). Vastapaino, Tampere.

    A collection of Peirce's writings in Finnish translated by Markus Lång. This selection consists of two short excerpts where Peirce characterises his philosophy (from the year 1897), "On a New List of Categories" (1867), the so-called "Cognition Series" (1868-1869), the "Illustrations of the Logic of Science" series (1877-1878), the "Monist Metaphysical Series" (1891-1893), and excerpts from two letters (1904, 1908) to Victoria Lady Welby. The book also contains a translation of an introductory essay written by Margareta Bertilsson and Peder Voetmann Christiansen. A characteristic feature of this collection is an endeavour to find Finnish neologisms for Peircean terms, which also leads to many questionable solutions.
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