Realism and the Categorial Conception of the World
This chapter shows the Peircean concept of reality connecting it to its roots in the scholastic philosophy of Duns Scott. The ancient dispute, realism versus nominalism, is addressed, and it is highlighted that Peirce will embrace a realist ontological position, by which he claims that generality is an important feature of Reality. Reality, then, in this chapter, will be constituted by the same three Peircean categories, such as they were proposed in Chap. 1. Primarily founded of phenomenological nature, the categories in this chapter will be taken under an ontological face, considering them as a general response to a basic question: how would be a real world whose appearance is experienced phenomenologically in such three ways? Secondness is consequently founded by means of the concept of Existence, taking it as it appears in the scholastic period, namely, as the locus where beings define themselves as individuals and interact among themselves as mutually reactive. Real thirdness, in its turn, is the category of Law, taken in an ample sense, as generality that commands all ordered phenomena. Finally, spontaneity and irregularity are the main features of firstness. Such category acts through a principle of Chance. Chance, Existence, and Law, according to Peirce, will constitute the categorial principles that give shape to reality.