Date of Award

4-1995

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Those elements of Charles Sanders Peirce's philosophy that provide proofs of his belief in chance as a fundamental feature of the universe are the focus of this study. Peirce's arguments for chance are systematically examined from the perspective of current physical theory in order to determine whether these arguments are individually or collectively valid in establishing chance as a feature of our universe.

This study will categorize Peirce's arguments for chance. It will then evaluate each of his methods for proving that chance is a fundamental aspect of our universe.

The findings of this study are that Peirce's belief that chance is a fundamental feature of our physical universe is confirmed by current physical theory. While this study will hold that Peirce is correct in holding the position that chance is a feature of the universe, this study will also demonstrate that Peirce could not establish this fact through any of the philosophical arguments that he advances for this position.

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