By Claudine Tiercelin
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Extra resources for C.S. Peirce et le pragmatisme
Such a doctrine is sharply excluded by the principles of his philosophy and his profoundly pessimistic view of human affairs. Immediately after the passage which I have quoted he goes on to enlarge on the progress of vice. "Are you surprised to be told that human knowledge has not yet completed its whole task? " Yet, at least, it may be said, Seneca believed in a progress of knowledge and recognised its value. Yes, but the value which he attributed to it did not lie in any advantages which it would bring to the general community of mankind.
III 1. The civilised countries of Europe spent about three hundred years in passing from the mental atmosphere of the Middle Ages into the mental atmosphere of the modern world. These centuries were one of the conspicuously progressive periods in history, but the conditions were not favourable to the appearance of an idea of Progress, though the intellectual milieu was being prepared in which that idea could be born. This progressive period, which is conveniently called the Renaissance, lasted from the fourteenth into the seventeenth century.
P. 268 and vii. p. 234. Another was the prevalent corruption, especially of the clergy, which impressed him deeply; see Compendium studii philosophiae, ed. Brewer, p. 402. : Opus Majus, i. pp. 19, 20. He claimed for experimental science that it would produce inventions which could be usefully employed against Antichrist: ib. vii. p. ] It is from this point of view that we must appreciate the observations which he made on the advancement of knowledge. "It is our duty," he says, "to supply what the ancients have left incomplete, because we have entered into their labours, which, unless we are asses, can stimulate us to achieve better results"; Aristotle corrected the errors of earlier thinkers; Avicenna and Averroes have corrected Aristotle in some matters and have added much that is new; and so it will go on till the end of the world.
C.S. Peirce et le pragmatisme by Claudine Tiercelin