Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee,
3200 North Сramer St, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA.
Anti-intellectualism is deeply rooted in American culture. Charles Peirce (1839-1914) was a
pioneering American scholar and one of the greatest thinkers of the Fin de Siècle period. Being a
prominent logician and philosopher and living far away from European centers, he developed the
original American concept of "Pragmatism," which later became a part of Analytic Philosophy.
As the dominant school of philosophy in the US, Analytic Philosophy is characterized by
scientism, nominalism, linguistic analysis of fundamental problems, and pragmatic attitudes
towards science. Peirce‘s influential epistemological idea was the concept of abduction or
selection of scientific hypotheses based on their practical, including monetary, value. Abduction
was thought to be a third mode of inference, in addition to deduction and induction. In this way,
money was introduced into epistemology and scientific methodology. One can hypothesize that
the current obsession with measuring scientific discovery by research expenditures in American
universities is a direct continuation of the Pragmatist tradition. I explore the metaphor of the
"Abduction of Europa" (the Rape of Europe) and bring examples of measuring science by money
from my faculty experience at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and relate them to Peirce‘s ideas.
Завершаю практически призывом к топору! :)
When Charles Peirce added "abduction" as the third type of inference, in addition to
deduction and induction, his intention was to account for potential pragmatic usefulness in the
process of selection of scientific hypotheses. Only the most promising and the most effective
hypotheses should be selected, to maximize the economic impact. This implied that money
would become an integral part of the epistemological process combining money and knowledge,
so that money is viewed as a universal measure not only of material goods and of labor, but also
of scientific knowledge.
Modern American followers of Peirce (who often are not aware of his existence) apply
monetary criteria, such as research expenditures, to judge scientific success. Many universities
provide examples of such criteria. This approach undermines the importance of the scientific
discovery. It is not by chance that the word "abduction" has a connotation of "the unlawful
carrying away of a woman for sexual intercourse." These people are trying to abduct science by
using the power of money.
Peirce was an outstanding philosopher and logician. Perhaps he was the greatest scholar
and thinker of the 19th century in America, the creator of Pragmatism, and an icon of American
intellectual culture, whose huge and often controversial legacy is being studied by various
professional and amateur institutions of philosophers. Pragmatism contributed to Analytic
Philosophy, the dominant school of philosophy in the English-speaking world, which is
sometimes criticized for breaking ties with continental European metaphysics. Peirce was also a
part of the wealthy white Protestant New England establishment. In our time of cancel culture
and institutionally cultivated resistance to "whiteness" (understood as the arrogance of
predominantly white US-born administrators) his legacy perhaps could be reevaluated.