Nevertheless, his contributions were significant and his published works consist of about 12,000 pages and his known unpublished manuscripts of about 80,000 handwritten pages.
Due to his father's profession, Peirce grew up in a very intellectual atmosphere and was exposed to the top scientific and philosophical thinkers of the time, many of whom visited the Peirce household regularly.
By the time he was eight years old, he was studying chemistry,
and at thirteen, he started to read Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure
Reason. Later on, as one who was devoted to logic and
scientific practices, Peirce applied his scientific principles to
The guiding principle of Peirce's 'pragmaticist' philosophy is summed up in a statement from his article How to Make Out Ideas Clear, which was published in Popular Science Monthly in 1878:
In other words, we can get clarity about the content of a thought or concept by working through all its experimental consequences.
This process also gives us the ability to distinguish between nonsensical metaphysical propositions, which have no sense because they don't represent any idea that has observable, reasonable effects, from the genuinely meaningful prepositions of 'scientific metaphysics'.
For Peirce, scientific metaphysics is an observational discipline derived from the first and most basic elements of experience and one that begins with phenomenology (the way things are represented to us).Peirce also had an interesting take on truth and the nature of reality through the notion of scientific method. He saw scientific enquiry as proceeding according to three principles of inference.
First, was abduction, which refers to the generation of hypotheses for the purposes of explaining particular phenomena.
Secondly, deduction, which is the means by which testable
propositions are derived from hypotheses; and thirdly, inference,
which is the whole process of experimentation which takes place in
order to test hypotheses.
Peirce also came to argue that one should never be attached to the truth of current scientific opinion, but rather accept it as a stage on the way towards truth.
Ultimately Peirce's, pragmatism is a doctrine about how to establish empirical meanings or to arrive at truth.
He saw pragmatism and account of inquiry as methods for both resolving metaphysics and supporting scientific inquiry.