World Report: The Peirce Edition Project

Marco Annoni


Foreword: visiting the Peirce Edition Project

Looking backward, any scholar can probably identify the precise moment in which her researches took a sudden and decisive turn, thus shaping the rest of her academic life. This shift may be prompted by different reasons, such as the reading of an inspiring book or the talk of a charismatic professor. In my case, this turn coincided with the first lecture I attended at the University of Milan on the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce. That lecture catalyzed my interest toward Peirce’s thought and semiotics, eventually leading me toward my first PhD and then to the opportunity of spending two research periods at the Peirce Edition Project (PEP) in Indianapolis.

The first time I visited the PEP was in 2006 during my first year of doctoral studies at the University of Pisa. Two fortunate events made my coming at the PEP possible. The first was my participation at the 9th International Meeting on Pragmatism in São Paulo where I first met the future editor in chief of the PEP, Prof. André De Tienne; the second was the award of a fellowship for young researchers abroad granted by the Regione Toscana.
Visiting the Peirce Edition Project changed both my researches and the way in which I used to understand scholarship. the relationships between the genealogy of Peirce’s pragmatism, his life-long interest in dictionaries, and his original theory of the ethics of scientific terminology…..
In 2008, I started to be involved in the project of collecting, editing, and translating the correspondence between C. S. ….PEP’s staff proved absolutely critical for the completion of both projects, and thus for the prosecution of my academic career.
Despite other experiences abroad, none has been for me as productive and meaningful as the two periods I have spent at the PEP. As I will describe in this report, the reason lies in the particular mix of methodological commitments, available resources, qualified professionals, and inspiring atmosphere that makes the Peirce Edition Project something unique within the panorama of editorial enterprises.

A Legacy of Signs

The Peirce Edition Project was founded by Professor Max H. Fisch in 1976 and since 1983 it has become an integral part of the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Today the PEP is one ……activities of the PEP.

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If one paid attention only to the official accounts of PEP’s goals and methodologies, one would miss crucial aspects of its activities. In particular, one would miss what makes personal experiencing of the Project something unique, that is, the various ways in which Peirce’s semiotic legacy informs the work and the lives of those who are collaborating on this landmark editorial enterprise.

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