Political life-american philosophy

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  • Publicado : 12 de noviembre de 2009
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Should we read Peirce’s epistemology (theory of inquiry/knowledge) as supporting or undermining Thoreau’s conclusions regarding political life?

As I read Pierce and Thoreau’s writings I decidedthat Pierce’s epistemology well supported Thoreau’s conclusion regarding political life. Thoreau’s view in political life is ahead of the culture he lived in because while people endure the decisionsand actions their current government is taking, he does not. Pierce in his epistemology explains the action of believing and doubting. His reading contains different approaches about believing thathave been adopted by different cultures in time.
Thoreau writes “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” in 1849, while his society is undertaking the current Mexican War and the actions of slavery. Thecitizens of Massachusetts and the majority of the United States support these governmental actions that have been taken. However, Thoreau is against the notion of exploiting another human being and notacting upon it. So he decides to show his belief, in action, by not paying his taxes which led to the consequences of him being a jail.
When Pierce writes “The Fixation in Belief,” he clearlyexplains the type of belief that Thoreau’s society was living in. The method of authority was being used by them, the government controlled what was done and the citizens had to follow that authority,unless they wanted to undergo the consequences. The government was who resolved all their doubts and constructed their beliefs. If anyone doubted the government there was a penalty brought upon them, inthe case of Thoreau, it was going to jail.
Pierce starts his essay by defining belief and how it influences every part of our lives. He says that belief is simply a habit of action. “Our beliefsguide our desires and shape our actions.” (Pierce) This concept that Pierce writes clearly explains why Thoreau was upset with the political life he lived in. “Those who, while they disapprove of...
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