Minutes of the Business Meeting

Charles Sanders Peirce Society

21 April 2011



Following the annual scholarly meeting, with papers by President Cheryl Misak (“Pragmatism and Indispensability Arguments”) and Essay Contest winner Richard Atkins (“This Proposition is not True: C.S. Peirce and the Liar Paradox”), President Misak called the meeting to order at 7:20pm at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego.



1.       Cheryl Misak asked for approval of minutes of the 2009 meeting. Bob Lane indicated that there was an error in the financial report included in those minutes: the report excluded $2.03 interest earned on our savings and money market accounts. He submitted the following, corrected version of the financial report for 2009:


The Society’s income in 2009 was $5,360.29: $2,499.30 in membership dues; $2,822.10 in Transactions royalties; and $38.89 in interest. Our 2009 expenditures were $1,154.51: $500 for the 2009 essay contest prize; $75.11 for postage (payment to John Shook, for shipping Peter Hare’s files to André deTienne  and to me); $221 for FISP (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie) dues for 2009; $275 for IUHPS/DLMPS (International Union of History and Philosophy of Science / Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science) dues for 2008, 2009 and 2010; and $83.40 for web-site fees. As of December 31, 2009, the Society’s assets were $11,689.02, an increase of $4,205.78 from last year. The breakdown of the assets is: $3,628.42 in checking, $7,986.23 in a money-market account, $74.37 in savings.



2.       Cheryl Misak delivered the following report from the President and the Executive Committee:


The committee met from 9:15am until about 10:30am on the morning of Thursday April 21. Those in attendance were: Cheryl Misak, Risto Hilpinen, Bob Lane, Mats Bergmann, and Shannon Dea. Chief among the issues discussed by the Executive Committee were the following.


1.       Bob Lane reported on the size of the Society’s membership. As of April 1, 2011, there are 226 individual members and 211 subscribing institutions. This reflects a very small decrease over the last three years; in June 2008, there were 237 individual members and 216 institutional subscribers. Given the availability of the Transactions via institutional subscriptions to JSTOR and EBSCOhost to those who are not members of the Society, it is not surprising that there are fewer Society members now than there were a few years ago. But the decline (11 individual members and 5 institutional subscribers) is not large enough to be worrisome.


2.       We reviewed Matt Moore’s report on his 2010 visit to SUNY Buffalo to catalog the back issues of the Transactions that are stored there. According to that report, there are copies of all back issues through volume 41 issue 3 (summer 2005), with the exceptions of v.21:1 (winter 1985), v.31:4 (fall 1995), and v.40:3 (summer 2004). Last year we agreed to try to pull at least one complete run (or as complete a run as possible) from this stockpile, which would then be sent to the Peirce Edition Project for permanent archiving. To that end, we agreed to the following plan: 1) find out from PEP which issues they do not currently possess; 2) arrange with SUNY Buffalo, or perhaps with the University of Toronto, to have a graduate student pull copies of those copies, box them up, and ship them to PEP (the shipping will be paid by the Society); and 3) allow SUNY Buffalo to keep the remaining copies.


[After Cheryl read this portion of the Report, Kees de Waal indicated that PEP needs as complete a run of the Transactions as can be gathered from SUNY Buffalo. Cheryl will contact SUNY Buffalo to request that such a run be collected and sent to PEP.]


3.       We discussed the location of the Society’s next annual meeting and agreed that it should once again be held during the Pacific APA (Seattle, April 4-8, 2012).


4.       Because we will continue to hold our annual meeting during the Pacific APA, we will follow the same timeline for the next essay contest as we did for the most recent one: the CFP will go out in August 2011; the submission deadline will be mid-January 2012; and the winner will be announced by the beginning of March 2012.


5.       We agreed that the Society will sponsor a program session in honor of Dick Robin at the 2012 SAAP meeting in New York City. The session should combine scholarly papers and more personal remembrances. Bob will begin contacting Society members who may wish to participate.


6.       We agreed to sponsor a session at the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy, to be held in Athens, Greece, in 2013. Jaime Nubiola has already expressed a desire to organize a session on “Charles S. Peirce in the Mediterranean,” with speakers from Greece, Italy, France and Spain. We agreed that this is a great idea. Bob will contact Jaime to let him know that he can move forward with arranging this session.


7.       We discussed the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress, which the Society has been planning since 2004. Indianapolis was chosen as the site of the Congress in 2006, but due to staff and budget changes at IUPUI that were unforeseen at that time, our colleagues at the Peirce Edition project are no longer able to organize the conference. The executive committee has been discussing this matter over the last several months, and we have consulted scholars in various locations around the world for advice. As of now, no city has emerged as the ideal location. Originally, the conference was conceived as a large-scale event along the lines of the 1989 Sesquicentennial Conference. But because of the need to locate a new host-city, we are now thinking of the Congress as a somewhat more modest event. We agreed that, if possible, it is best for the Congress to be held in the United States, ideally in a city where Peirce himself spent time and in which there are a number of scholars of Peirce and of pragmatism who would be willing to do much of the organizational work. During our discussion New York City emerged as the leading contender. Bob agreed to reach out to colleagues there, in the hopes that one or more of them would be willing to serve as local host and organizer.


[After Cheryl read this portion of the report, John Kaag offered to investigate the possibility that the Congress be held at his institution: the University of Massachusetts—Lowell. Jeff Downard offered his assistance in planning for the Congress. Everyone in attendance was very happy with these offers. John and Bob agreed to speak after the meeting about how best to move forward with the possibility of Lowell as host city.]

3.       Doug Anderson presented the following report from the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society:


In 2010-2011 the journal published roughly 12% of its submissions—this number varies depending on how one counts “revise and resubmit” papers. More papers were received in the non-Peirce category than in the Peirce category by about two to one. There was for a short time what I would call a shortage of Peirce submissions, but this was somewhat remedied by a good crop of papers being entered in the Peirce Essay Contest. It will still be important in coming years for the editors to widen the search for good Peirce submissions.

This year the editors revised the Board of Consulting Editors. We added many new editors from outside the U.S. and brought on board some editors with specializations in areas of American philosophy not previously represented on the Board. We have made these appointments to the Board as five year terms, and the editors will review the Board at the end of that time to judge how to move forward.

Everything has now moved to electronic format in the production of the issues. There is very little use of paper until the actual journal appears. We have finished all the projects that remained from the work of Peter Hare, so everything from here on will be under the auspices of the present editors.  Finally, in September of 2011 Cornelis DeWaal will take over as Editor-in-Chief. He will be assisted by Robert Lane as Peirce Editor and Scott Pratt as Non-Peirce Editor. Sami Pihlström and Henrik Rydenfelt will continue to handle book reviews. The journal is in reasonable good shape and is in capable hands at it moves into the coming year.


Doug Anderson




Cheryl thanked Doug for doing a great job as editor of the Transactions, and she thanked Kees de Waal and Bob Lane for agreeing to take on new responsibilities with the journal.



4.       Bob Lane delivered the following financial report:


This report is for the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending March 31, 2011.


The Society’s income during this period was $4,211.99:

$2,110.00 in membership dues;

$2,061.86 in Transactions royalties;

$40.13 in interest.


The Society’s expenditures during this period were $1,314.77:

$500 for the 2010-11 essay contest prize;

$63.37 for the dinner of the 2009 essay contest prize;

$200 in donations to the Peirce Foundation, to help with preparations for the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress;

$200 to Indiana University Press for a page overrun on Transactions vv.44-45 (the four issues published in IUP’s fiscal year 2010)

$223 for FISP (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie) dues for 2010;

$128.40 for web-site fees, including renewal of our domain name.


As of March 31, 2010, the Society’s assets were $14,586.24, an increase of $2,897.22 from December 31, 2009.  The breakdown of the assets is:

$3,019.46 in checking;

$11,492.26 in a money-market account

$74.52 in savings.



5.       On behalf of André De Tienne, Kees de Waal presented the following report from the Peirce Edition Project:


I have the pleasure to present the following report about the Peirce Project’s main activities and accomplishments that took place between 1 January 2010 and 31 March 2011.


The year 2010 began auspiciously with the arrival of our new Associate Technical Editor, Ms. Ali Zimmerman, in charge of building the Project’s new electronic production platform, which we have recently begun calling STEP (Scholarly Text-Editing Platform). Zimmerman spent a week at PEP-UQAM in Montreal to learn everything about the PEP-UQAM’s own Drupal-based database/editing/layout platform, known as ePEP3, which they developed to produce W7. We are most grateful to Professor François Latraverse for agreeing to give us that entire platform at no cost—a powerful token of the genuine collaborative spirit that has always prevailed between our two operations. The stakes behind the development of STEP are very high, since PEP’s future depends on it. To help speed up the development of this very complicated platform, we have taken several initiatives, including availing ourselves of a local Drupal consultant when necessary, and applying for grants to bring additional hires (see below).


Throughout the year much progress was made on both W9 and W11, with principal focus given to the completion of W9. As of this writing, that volume has now been entirely edited and annotated, and we have entered the phase of building the complete final apparatus. The bibliography of Peirce’s references has been fully compiled, while the chronological catalogue of his writings for the W9 period is nearly finalized. A few more tasks remain to be done, but we are confident the volume will be finished and sent to the printer this year.


In the summer of 2010 we were happy to learn that NEH had awarded us the grant we had applied for the previous fall. The offer included $140,000 in outright funding and a $30,000 match. NEH agreed to reduce the proposed three-year grant period to two years. We immediately launched a search for an assistant textual editor to help with critical editing, and ended up hiring Ms. April Witt, who began working for us on October 1st. Her addition to our team has proven an excellent move: under Textual Editor Jon Eller’s tutelage, April has been learning with remarkable efficiency the rules of critical editing and how to apply them in the many complicated textual situations found in Peirce’s writings, and the pile of documents requiring editing began to melt like snow under the sun.


The $30,000 match required launching a fundraising campaign. We teamed up with our new development associate, Nadia Alvarado (who succeeded Bryan Roesler in September 2010), and the School of Liberal Arts’s development office, to develop a strategy. We sent out a newsletter, “News from the Peirce Edition Project,” to 2,100 addresses (paper or electronic), including the mailing lists generously provided by Jaime Nubiola’s research center in Pamplona, Spain and by Ivo Ibri’s research center in São Paulo, Brazil. Our newsletter’s main objective is to report on our plans and accomplishments, and encourage donations. As of this writing we have already raised more than two-thirds of the match, which have been certified by NEH. We are very grateful to the Peirce community for making the Project the beneficiary of such abundant generosity. Nothing energizes us more than receiving those tangible tokens of trust and support. The IUPUI School of Liberal Arts through Associate Dean for Research Phil Goff and Dean Blomquist have also granted further support to the Project, notably by sharing the assistant textual editor’s salary, which has helped free up NEH money to pay for other operating costs, much to NEH’s contentment.


The Project applied for two grants in the fall of 2010. The first one was directed to the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for a collaborative research fellowship that would have allowed De Tienne and Helmut Pape to work together on finalizing the reorganization of W22 documents (1903 Lowell Lectures and Syllabus) and writing the introduction to that volume. The odds of getting that grant were slim, and indeed ACLS notified us recently about their inability to fund it.


The second grant is a special initiative the outcome of which we will not know before mid-summer 2011. The Project was contacted in early fall 2010 by a team of researchers from Humboldt-Universität in Berlin regarding the possibility of becoming their U.S. partner for a grant application to the DFG/NEH Bilateral Digital Humanities Program: Bilateral Symposia and Workshops. The team consisted of three doctoral students: Tullio Viola, Moritz Queisner, Franz Engel, who had initially been working under the lead of the late Professor John Michael Krois on another DFG/NEH application (“Enriching Digital Collections”) with the Harvard Houghton Library as their U.S. partner, the aim of which was to digitize the entire Houghton collection of the Peirce Papers—obviously a project of utmost importance for the future of Peirce scholarship. It was unfortunately cut short by the sudden death of John M. Krois on October 30. The DFG then suggested that the Humboldt team apply for the “Bilateral Symposia and Workshops” component instead. The new idea was to organize a workshop at Harvard, where Houghton Library curators, Humboldt University scholars, Peirce Project editors, and other national and international scholars would gather and discuss thoroughly all the technical, scientific, economic, and organizational details of the future digitization project. The DFG intimated that such a workshop would be very useful toward a future application for the digitization project. As this would buttress PEP’s own electronic plans, we agreed to step in as U.S. partner for the workshop grant, with NEH’s authorization and the backing of our research administration. The German team found a new project director, Prof. Horst Bredekamp, Professor of Art History, Humboldt University, Berlin. We wrote an elaborate proposal in ten days. The workshop on “Designing a Digital Peirce Archive” will have about thirty participants from the U.S., Germany, and a few other European countries. If funded (NEH and the DFG will make their decision independently of each other), it will take place in the fall of 2011 at Harvard. Leslie Morris, Curator of Manuscripts at the Houghton Library, will host the event.


During the winter of 2011, the Project collaborated with the IAT to apply for a third grant, this time an NEH Level II Digital Humanities Start-up grant intended to help speed up the development of our open-source “Scholarly-Text-Editing Platform.” The grant aims at getting $50,000 to hire a Drupal specialist who will team up with Zimmerman to get STEP off the ground much faster than would be otherwise possible. We shall hear about the outcome of that grant in mid-summer as well. Given that Congress has recently cut NEH’s budget by a significant percentage, whether NEH will be able to afford funding the programs we have applied to remains to be seen. But our hopes are high, for we managed to get strong support from the experts of the Mark Twain Project Online and also from one of Germany’s most respected specialists in digital humanities, Dr. Urs Schöpflin, the director of the research library of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin.


As a production platform, STEP represents only the first half of a two-pronged plan. The second half of that plan is just as important, and even more ambitious, and concerns what we are calling the dissemination platform. We are at the moment actively studying funding opportunities and potential partnerships in order to develop that second platform, whose main objective is to provide scholars world-wide with access to the electronic products of our editorial work. What we have in mind is a highly elaborate infrastructure that will enable scholars to conduct research actively and share their own contributions, individually or collaboratively, with the edition and the rest of the scholarship, thanks to a number of flexible research and communication tools that will help redefine what a critical edition can offer in the dynamic environment of the World Wide Web. We have been discussing with specialists in human-computer interaction and IT specialists about our aims, and a strategy is being designed that keeps evolving every week.


Apart from our hiring Ali Zimmerman and April Witt, the PEP staff has remained stable. Diana Reynolds successfully finished her M.A. thesis on Harriet Jacobs, and we are all proud of her. Two new research assistants came on board in August 2010: Monica Morrison and Dereck Coatney.


The Peirce Project’s Advisory Board was reconfigured in 2010 under the lead of its chair, Vincent Colapietro, and School of Liberal Arts Dean William A. Blomquist. Five scholars joined the Board—Professors Larry Hickman, Ivo A. Ibri, Robert Innis, James Liszka, and Michael Raposa—while other members retired after years of good service: Joseph Brent, Don Cook, Klaus Oehler , Israel Scheffler, Michael Shapiro, William A. Stanley, and James Van Evra. Two most valuable members passed away: Richard S. Robin, who died on October 4, 2010, and Joseph Ransdell, who died on December 27, 2010. Regarding the latter, we are glad to announce that an agreement has recently been struck between the Institute of American Thought at IUPUI and an association called The Peirce Group, which Joe Ransdell set up several years ago to help secure his legacy. That agreement will allow both the Arisbe website and Peirce-L to continue operation on servers based at IUPUI under the joint management of the Institute and the Peirce Group.


Finally, the Peirce Project continued the most pleasant tradition of hosting national and international researchers throughout 2010 and early 2011. We had the pleasure to welcome the following visitors, many of whom stayed with us for many months: University of Milan student Francesco Poggiani; Fulbright Fellow Giovanni Maddalena (professor at the University of Molise, Italy); Professor Marta Morgade (University of Madrid); Professor Ivan Mladenov, also a Fulbright Fellow (Bulgaria); Richard K. Atkins (Fordham University); Dorothea Sophia (Sidney, Australia); Daniel Kersting (Ph.D. student, Institut für Philosophie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany); Dr. Tatsuya Muranaka (guest researcher and part-time lecturer at Kanazawa University, Japan); and Luca Russo (Italian Ph.D. student working at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany).

André De Tienne

Director and General Editor, Peirce Edition Project




6.       On behalf of Chris Hookway, Rosa Mayorga read the following report from the Nominating Committee:


The Nominating Committee, chaired by Christopher Hookway, with Rosa Mayorga and Sami Pihlström as members, propose Claudine Tiercelin for Vice President (2011-12, succeeding to the
presidency in 2012-13), and Giovanni Maddalena for the Executive Committee (2011-12 through 2013-14).

Both nominations were approved and those nominated were elected unanimously.


7.       There was no new business.



8.       Cheryl Misak expressed how wonderful it was to reconnect to the Peirce Society during the years of her vice-presidency and presidency. She then turned the meeting over to our incoming president, Risto Hilpinen, who thanked Cheryl for her service and adjourned the meeting at approximately 8pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Robert Lane, Secretary-Treasurer