Peirce on the Teleology Of Inquiry:
A Variation on Aristotle's Idea of Teleology
Jerold Jason Patrick Abrams
Advisor: Richard J. Blackwell
Source: DAI, 61, no. 05A (1999): p. 1871
Standard No: ISBN: 0-599-78619-1
Of the three traditional theories of truth, correspondence, coherence, and pragmatic, Peirce contributed the third. Truth, on this account, is what we will all agree to in the "long run." The long run is a form of teleology, but it is located outside of the present structure of inquiry, and draws inquiry toward a futuristic stasis. This account of teleology has been criticized by W. V. O. Quine, Rollin Workman, Michael Williams, Richard Rorty, Nicholas Rescher, and Paul Weiss. We are no less critical of this account of teleology, but we do not believe that the entire idea of a teleology of inquiry in which truth is evolved is without merit.
Our approach is to acknowledge that Peirce based his theory of the long run on a substance ontology, which he later discarded in favor of a process ontology. This process ontology is internally teleological, rather than externally teleological. By applying that internally teleological process ontology back into the early structural process of inquiry, we will emerge with an entirely new and internally teleological theory of inquiry. On this new account, there is a teleological dynamic evolving even through the various modes of logic, i.e., deduction (including statistical deduction),induction, and abduction. Each of these modes is evolving teleologically as an extension of Peirce's evolutionary cosmology. The new teleology of inquiry is the internally dynamic thrust toward truth in logical thinking.
After developing this new teleology of inquiry, we will return to the secondary literature and give our own unique response on the evolution of mind and truth.
HISTORY OF SCIENCE
Accession No: AAI9973318