Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CFP: Transactions Issue on Ransdell


*Special Issue*

*“The Meaning of a Thought is Altogether Something Virtual”: Joseph
Ransdell and His Legacy*

*Editors:** *
*Catherine Legg, University of Waikato, New Zealand*
*Gary Richmond, LaGuardia College – City University of New York*

*Joseph Ransdell (1931**-**2010),** based for most of his career at Texas
Tech University, offered a highly original and focused challenge within
academic philosophy at the end of the Second Millennium. His guiding
philosophical passion was truth-directed communication. This led him to
think deeply about the Platonic Socrates and the Socratic Plato, and the
problematics of early modern philosophy. Most of all, however, he claimed
that the thought of Charles Sanders Peirce held the key not just to
endorsing truth as a regulative ideal, but to showing how the ideal might
be worked out in practice by means of a community of inquiry exercising
critical self-control.*

*From early in his career Joe was concerned that professional gatekeeping
was hindering progress in philosophy, and was unafraid to speak about it.
From the initial evolution of the Internet he grasped its potential as
a**place “where people can and do critically question and challenge
one another without the usual protections of office, rank, agenda, and official
moderation”, something that he argued had “all but disappeared from public
life — including intellectual life — in the U.S. and many other countries
as well during the 20th Century”.*

*Thereafter he threw enormous effort and enterprise into realizing this
vision, swimming against a rising tide of other kinds of institutional
reward. This resulted in the email list and online community peirce-l,
which he founded in 1993 and moderated in unique style until his death, and
the accompanying website that he beta-launched in 1997 and called
Arisbe,after the house where Peirce lived during the later years of
his life and
dreamed of establishing a research centre. *

*Joe’s exceptionally conscious and critical approach to nurturing online
communication may be seen in the “How the Forum Works” guidelines that he
wrote for peirce-l: http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm. Much
there now seems prescient in the light of subsequent developments on the
Internet, whereby ordinary persons build public knowledge resources with no
thought of monetary reward. A key example is of course the astounding
Wikipedia, whose success was also arguably due to its open, self-correcting
development of its own processes (and who would have guessed that so many
would gather there and freely give so much energy to help others learn
**-**except perhaps Charles Peirce?)

*Many felt that the mores Joe charted for peirce-l made it a unique and
valuable place to do philosophy. Another noteworthy feaure of the list was
the way in which its composition mirrored the polymathic and international
outlook of Peirce himself. One might find, for instance, a semiotician, a
theologian, a computer scientist, and a book translator discussing Peirce’s
relation to Leibniz. *

*We are interested in papers which record, honour, explicate, and
critically appraise Joe’s published writings, his online efforts and their
ongoing legacy, and the relation between the two. In keeping with the
spirit of peirce-l, we welcome submissions from a wealth of disciplines,
although we expect philosophy to make a prominent showing. *

*All papers will be blind-refereed, and should be prepared as such.
Submissions should follow the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce
Societymanuscript guidelines, online at:
http://www.peircesociety.org/contributors.html. They may be submitted by
email to Catherine Legg at clegg@waikato.ac.nz. The deadline for
submissions is September 1st, 2012.*

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