Charles Sanders Peirce

Pragmatism and Education

  • David Plowright

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs on Key Thinkers in Education book sub series (BRIEFSKEY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. David Plowright
    Pages 1-12
  3. David Plowright
    Pages 13-23
  4. David Plowright
    Pages 25-36
  5. David Plowright
    Pages 37-50
  6. David Plowright
    Pages 51-62
  7. David Plowright
    Pages 63-73
  8. David Plowright
    Pages 75-88
  9. David Plowright
    Pages 89-91
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 93-99

About this book


This book introduces a number of selected ideas from the work of Charles Sanders Peirce, the founder of pragmatism. Peirce, pronounced ‘purse’, was born in America in 1839 and died in 1914. He published little in his own lifetime and he continually struggled to become recognised as a respected author with ideas that were highly creative, original and unique. The book begins with an examination of Peirce’s life history. This is followed by an explanation of pragmatism, which states that an understanding of a concept can only be fully grasped by knowing what its practical effects are. The author then explains a number of Peirce’s ideas that are based on his pragmatic maxim:

· scientific inquiry as a method of investigation and its relevance to everyday thinking

· inferential thinking based on abduction, deduction and induction and its use in educational research

· semiotics, the study of signs and its relevance to the development of conceptual understanding

· his profound and insightful ontological categories of Firstness, Secondness and   Thirdness and their application to developing an understanding of the world around us

This introductory text is written in a clear and accessible style. Numerous examples are used throughout the book to illustrate Peirce’s complex and sophisticated ideas and to show how his thinking can be applied to education.


Charles Peirce Peirce How to Make Our Ideas Clear Peirce signs firstness pragmatic epistemology pragmaticism pragmatism secondness semiosis semiotics social investigation thirdness inferential logic ontological categories methods of inquiry

Authors and affiliations

  • David Plowright
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Higher and Adult EducationStellenbosch University Centre for Higher and Adult EducationSpilsbyUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-94-017-7355-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-7356-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2211-1921
  • Series Online ISSN 2211-193X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site