When Peirce's philosophy is approached in terms of his theory of meaning, it is usual to think of the connections between the pragmatic maxim and the more reductive accounts of classical empiricism or modern operationalism. The point of this paper is to suggest that this angle of approach is narrow and makes several aspects of Peirce's philosophy difficult to understand; on the positive side, I want to show how both the glories and miseries of Peirce's philosophical endeavor are thrown into high relief by noting his affinities and breaks with Hegel's dialectical theory of meaning. Peirce himself often pointed to his similarities with Hegel, citing in various contexts Hegel's genius for triadic structures, his denial of the unknowable, and his insistence on the principle of continuity. All of these themes appear in the treatment of meaning in both Peirce and Hegel, not merely as isolated doctrines, but as essential aspects of their systematic thinking.
Copyright © 1981 Texas Tech Press. This article first appeared in Proceedings of the C.S. Peirce Bicentennial International Congress, 1981, 259-63.
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Shapiro, Gary. "Peirce and Hegel on Absolute Meaning." Proceedings of the C.S. Peirce Bicentennial International Congress, 1981, 259-63.