Peirce on Signs

Writings on Semiotic by Charles Sanders Peirce

Edited by James Hoopes

294 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 illus

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4342-0
    Published: December 1991
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-1681-0
    Published: February 2014

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Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) is rapidly becoming recognized as the greatest American philosopher. At the center of his philosophy was a revolutionary model of the way human beings think. Peirce, a logician, challenged traditional models by describing thoughts not as "ideas" but as "signs," external to the self and without meaning unless interpreted by a subsequent thought. His general theory of signs -- or semiotic -- is especially pertinent to methodologies currently being debated in many disciplines.

This anthology, the first one-volume work devoted to Peirce's writings on semiotic, provides a much-needed, basic introduction to a complex aspect of his work. James Hoopes has selected the most authoritative texts and supplemented them with informative headnotes. His introduction explains the place of Peirce's semiotic in the history of philosophy and compares Peirce's theory of signs to theories developed in literature and linguistics.

About the Author

James Hoopes, professor of history at Babson College, is author of Consciousness in New England: From Puritanism and Ideas to Psychoanalysis and Semiotic.
For more information about James Hoopes, visit the Author Page.


"The best anthology we have on the work of Charles S. Peirce. Hoopes's introduction to the collection of writings and his introduction to each selection are admirable, learned in Peirce, and clear in exposition. This edition will be an exemplary way for students and scholars to make a deep acquaintance with Peirce."--Bruce Kuklick, University of Pennsylvania