The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14.1 (2000) 62-66
[Access article in PDF]
News from Abroad
Sandra B. Rosenthal
The current vitality of pragmatism in Germany is evinced from several directions. In the collection From a Transcendental-Semiotic Point of View (Manchester UP, 1998), the first three papers, all by Karl Otto Apel, strongly attest to a debt to Peirce: "Transcendental Semiotics and the Paradigms of First Philosophy," "Transcendental Semiotics and Truth: The Relevance of a Peircean Consensus Theory of Truth in the Present Debate about Truth Theories," and "The Impact of Analytic Philosophy on My Intellectual Biography" (introduction to the volume). This holds even more for his German paper "Husserl, Tarski, oder Peirce? Für eine Transzendentalsemiotische Konsenstheorie Wahrheit," which appears in an edited festschrift (pp. 3-14) published by NINU Philosophical Institute in Trondheim, Norway.
In these papers, Apel has not yet worked out his answer to recent objections to a Peircean-style truth theory (e.g., by C. Lafont and A. Hellner) from the side of realism and contextualism; he does note that these objections have induced Hilary Putnam and Jürgen Habermas to abandon their former truth theories, especially the Peircean inspirations of them.
Apel himself plans to concentrate on a further elaboration of the transcendental semiotic consensus theory of truth. But he has a doctoral student, Boris Rähme, who has written a master's thesis titled "Die Konsenstheorie du Wahrheit bei Peirce, Habermas, und Apel" and now is preparing a doctoral thesis on the topic, "Truth and Foundations: A Pragmatic Discussion and Investigation of Epistemological Truth Theory." Rähme tries to defend the Peircean approach against the German and American objections, which he studied during a year in Harvard. Apel considers Rähme's work a brilliant exposé and expects very much from his studies.
Richard Bernstein has been invited to present a paper at a small conference titled "Hilary Putnam and the Pragmatist Tradition" in [End Page 62] Münster, Germany, 14-18 June 2000. The conference will focus on Putnam's philosophical work and its relation to classical and recent pragmatism. General topics include the recent philosophy of Putnam, his interpretation of the classical pragmatists' writings, pragmatist perspectives on Putnam's philosophy, and the relevance and prospects of philosophical pragmatism. A volume containing revised and possibly extended versions of the conference papers will appear on the occasion of Putnam's seventy-fifth birthday.
Helmut Pape visited the University of Indiana in the fall of 1999. It was decided that he will be editing (in Hanover, Germany) volume 23 of the writings of Peirce, which will contain the 1903 Lowell Lectures. The volume will be published out of order. Pape and Nathan Houser, University of Indiana, are working on a grant proposal that will pay a small team of people to edit the material. While Pape was visiting the University of Indiana, he inaugurated a new lecture series, the Peirce-Seminar, with a paper titled "C. S. Peirce on the Ontology of Time." He has recently presented two other papers, "C. S. Peirce on the Evolution of Time and Laws of Nature" at a conference about evolution at the Walberberg Institute, in the Abbey St. Albert close to Cologne, and "How Rational is Pragmatism's Concept of Reality?" at the meeting of the German Philosophical Society in Konstanz, "The Future of Knowledge."
As always, Gérard Deledalle is quite active in France. He published "Peirce as Theologian" in C. S. Peirce, Categories to Constantinople, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Peirce, edited by Jaap van Brakel and Michael van Heerden (Leuven: Leuven UP, 1998, pp. 139-50). Additionally, he delivered a paper, "No Order without Chaos," at a conference the proceedings of which are published in Caos e Ordem na filosofia e nas ciéncias, edited by Lucia Santaella (São Paulo, 1999). Janice Deledalle also contributed a paper, "'An Excursion into Chaos': The Pragmatism of Henry James, Jr., in The Turn of the Screw: A Peircean Approach."
Both recently returned from the VIIth International Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, where Gérard Deledalle was reelected as...