U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Paper Call & Comment: 2007 Charles S. Peirce Essay Contest

Dear USIH Readers,

Below is a call for an essay contest geared for junior scholars – defined by the Charles S. Peirce Society as graduate students and those holding their PhD for 7 years or less.

If you’re unfamiliar with the life, context, and work of Peirce (pron. Purse), it might be difficult to get up to speed in time for the submission deadline (Sept. 30). But if you’re determined nevertheless, start by reading Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club. Peirce is generally unappreciated in U.S. intellectual history (hence the contest), but Menand makes a superb case for his importance with regard to those who contributed to “Pragmatism.” In fact, if I’m remembering the book correctly, William James attributed his notion of pragmatism as a system of thought to Peirce himself.

All the best,



CALL FOR PAPERS: 2007 Charles S. Peirce Society Essay Contest

Sponsored by The Charles S. Peirce Society

Topic: Any topic on or related to the work of Charles Sanders Peirce.

Awards: $500 cash prize; presentation at the Society’s annual meeting (held in conjunction with the Eastern APA); possible publication in the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.

Submission Deadline: 30 September 2007

Length: Papers should not exceed the length of an average journal article. The presentation of the winning submission at the annual meeting cannot exceed 30 minutes reading time.

Open to: Graduate students and persons who have held a Ph.D. or its equivalent for no more than seven years.

Submissions should be prepared for blind evaluation.

Electronic submissions are preferred. Submissions should be sent as email attachments (Microsoft Word documents, RTF files, or PDF files only) to Robert Lane, secretary-treasurer of the Society: [email protected] .

Submissions by traditional mail are also acceptable. Please mail submissions to:

Robert Lane
Philosophy Program
University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA 30118
Attn: Peirce Essay Contest


Advice to Essay Contest Entrants:

The winning entry will make a genuine contribution to the literature on Peirce. Therefore, entrants should become familiar with the major currents of work on Peirce to date and take care to locate their views in relation to published material that bears directly on their topic.

Entrants should note that scholarly work on Peirce frequently benefits from the explicit consideration of the historical development of his views. Even a submission that focuses on a single stage in that development can benefit from noting the stage on which it focuses in reference to other phases of Peirce’s treatment of the topic under consideration. (This advice is not intended to reflect a bias toward chronological studies, but merely to express a strong preference for a chronologically informed understanding of Peirce’s philosophy.)

Entrants are encouraged to relate, even if only summarily or briefly, Peirce’s treatment of a topic with contemporary discussions of the matter being considered. Establishing the relevance of Peirce’s thought to the ongoing debates in contemporary philosophy and other disciplines is a desideratum.

We do not require but strongly encourage, where appropriate, citation of The Writings of Charles S. Peirce: A Chronological Edition. Ideally, citation of texts found in both the Collected Papers and The Writings should be to both CP and W.


For a list of recent winners of the Peirce Society Essay Contest, or for more information about the Society, please visit our web site.