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Distributed for University of Scranton Press

Realism for the 21st Century

A John Deely Reader

Realism for the 21st Century is a collection of thirty essays from John Deely—a major figure in contemporary semiotics and an authority on scholastic realism and the works of Charles Sanders Peirce. The volume tracks Deely’s development as a pragmatic realist, featuring his early essays on our relation to the world after Darwinism; crucial articles on logic, semiotics, and objectivity; overviews of philosophy after modernity; and a new essay on “purely objective reality.”

465 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2009

Philosophy: General Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Deely Reader:

“From Realism to Semiotics”

by  Paul Cobley, Editor

Section I: Change and Process in the Physical Universe


First Reading, from April 1966

“The Emergence of Man:

an inquiry into the operation of natural selection in the making of man”

Section II: Ethics


Second Reading, from 1969

“Evolution and Ethics”

Third Reading, from 2006

“Evolution, Semiosis, and Ethics:

Rethinking the Context of Natural Law”,

with an Appendix on Immortality

Section III: Human and Animal: Zoösemiotics


Fourth Reading, from 1971

“Animal Intelligence and Concept-Formation”

Section IV: Logic


Fifth Reading, from 1981

“The Relation of Logic to Semiotics”

Section V: Objectivity


Sixth Reading, from 1971

“The Myth as Integral Objectivity”

Seventh Reading, from 2001

“Semiosis and Jakob von Uexküll’s Concept of Umwelt”

with an Editor’s Appendix

overview of Deely’s four-stage treatment of umwelt

Section VI: Mental Events


Eighth Reading, from 1978

“Semiotic and the Controversy over Mental Events. The Idealist Root of Husserl’s Phenomenology in Brentano”

Section VII: Historical Perspective

Scholastic Realism in the Transition to Postmodernity


Ninth Reading, from 1994

“What Happened to Philosophy between Aquinas and Descartes?”

Tenth Reading, from 1992

“Philosophy and Experience” with two Appendices:

1. Kant’s handling of the scandal of mind-independent being, 2. Poinsot’s statement of the singularity of relation

Eleventh Reading, from 1995

“A Prospect of Postmodernity”



Twelfth Reading, written for the volume, 2009

“On Purely Objective Reality”

Compilation of Sources Cited,

alphabetically arranged and historically layered


Chronological Bibliography of Deely Publications



3. of Contents in Detail

4. of Names, Terms, and Concepts

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