Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 2, No 1 (2006)

On Historical Pragmatics and Peircean Pragmatism

Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen
Issued Date: 7 May 2007


Historical pragmatics constitutes both the subject matter and methodology. In this paper, the scientific methodology of historical pragmatics is discussed and related to the opinions shared by some 19th-century linguists and philosophers. In particular, Charles S. Peirce’s (1839–1914) semiotics and pragmatism is related to studies on meaning and its change, and his opinions on hypothesis selection in historical research to historical pragmatics. The conclusion is that historical pragmatics is hermeneutic, but that economic and evolutionary considerations square it from the hermeneutic circle.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v2i1.111


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