Teaching American philosophy this semester has given me an opportunity to revisit the texts of Peirce. I’ve long drawn great intellectual sustenance from Peirce’s thought, using some of his concepts for example as part of a general critique of Badiou in an essay I published a few years back in the Southern Journal of Philosophy. But I’ve not read Peirce recently and in the interim I’ve been delving into speculative realism, Latour, Hume, and a number of other areas not directly connected to Peirce. It therefore came as a pleasant surprise to come across this passage from “Synechism, Fallibilism, and Evolution”:
If all things are continuous, the universe must be undergoing a continuous growth from non-existence to existence. There is no difficulty in conceiving existence as a matter of degree. The reality of things consists in their persistent forcing themselves upon our recognition. If a thing has no such persistence, it is a mere dream. Reality, then, is persistence, is regularity.