Phenomenology: The Categories of Experience
Here is exposed the first science of philosophy, Phenomenology, according to Peirce’s general classification of sciences. Phenomenology is the main ground of all his philosophy, where three categories of experience are conceived. Preceded by mathematics, which provides procedures for seeing, perceiving remarkable aspects of phenomena, and generalizing, Peirce’s phenomenology presents itself as a science that finds three types of experience provided by phenomena, whether internal or external to the mind. These he calls categories, namely, firstness, secondness, and thirdness. Phenomenology appears as an essential science to Peirce, already in his mature work, and constitutes what might be considered the main basis for his pragmatism, as pragmatic meaning is genetically linked with the way any mind interacts with phenomena and defines its own conduct. It is in Phenomenology, or Phaneroscopy, as Peirce also called it, that the three main aspects of phenomena are recognized in the form of categories. The first one is spontaneity irregularity and freshness, under firstness. The second, alterity or reaction against mind expectations. The third appears as regularity and order, allowing the possibility of thought and predictions. These three categories will be the same in Peirce’s Metaphysics, considering the world as appearance and as reality under the same modes of being.