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Charles Sanders Peirce

Peirce (1839-1914) was an American scientist, logician, and the father of Pragmatism. Before Peirce, for nearly 500 years, philosophers were chiefly concerned with building a solid, justifiable foundation for scientific and mathematical inquiry. But Pragmatism re-framed this notion. Peirce proposed that it was silly to begin by doubting everything we know, as Descartes had done. Instead, we take as knowledge those things we would never even consider doubting and work from there. We no longer expect beliefs to be justified absolutely, but only in relation to other beliefs. At its core, then, knowledge and science are fallible. But that's okay. Over time scientific inquiry corrects itself, approaching truth.