Minutes of the Business Meeting

Charles Sanders Peirce Society

5 April 2012


Following the annual scholarly meeting, with papers by President Risto Hilpinen (“Types, Tokens and Words”) and Essay Contest winner Jean-Marie Chevalier (“Peirce’s Critique of the First Critique: A Leibnizian False Start”), President Hilpinen called the meeting to order at 8:35pm at the Westin Seattle.



1.       Risto Hilpinen asked for approval of the minutes of the 2010-11 business meeting. The minutes were approved.


2.       Risto Hilpinen delivered the following report from the President and the Executive Committee:


The committee met from 8:00am until about 10:15am on the morning of Thursday April 5. Those in attendance were: Risto Hilpinen, Bob Lane, and Giovanni Maddalena. André DeTienne was an invited guest. Chief among the issues discussed by the Executive Committee were the following.

1.       We agreed that the Society’s next annual meeting should be held during the Central APA in New Orleans, in February 2013. One advantage of moving the meeting from the Pacific to the Central is that it will be easier for European members to travel to New Orleans than to San Francisco.


2.       The move from the Pacific to the Central will require an adjustment to the timeline for the next essay contest. The CFP will go out in early summer 2012; the submission deadline will be early October; and the winner will be announced by the beginning of November 2012.


3.       We discussed the Society’s presence at other upcoming conferences. We agreed to sponsor sessions at the 2012 Eastern APA meeting in Atlanta and, if invited to do so, at the 2013 meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. Bob will be responsible for putting those sessions together. We also agreed to sponsor a session at the First European Pragmatism Conference, in Rome, in August 2012; Giovanni will be responsible for that session. Bob reported that Jaime Nubiola is still planning to put together a Society-sponsored session on “Peirce in the Mediterranean” at the 2013 World Congress of Philosophy, in Athens, Greece.


4.       Bob updated everyone on the matter of the hundreds of copies of back issues of the Transactions still stored at SUNY Buffalo. Last year we decided to have a full-run (or as close to a full-run as possible) pulled from that inventory and shipped to the Peirce Edition Project, and that SUNY Buffalo be allowed to keep the remaining copies. In August 2011, Randy Dipert agreed to have a graduate student pull together that run of issues and ship it to PEP. That project is still ongoing.


5.       We discussed whether the Society should pay for the memberships of its presidents once they leave office. Because membership dues are modest (the least expensive membership is $39.50 per year), and because those dues are essential for supporting the activities of the Society, we agreed that Fellows should be encouraged to continue as dues-paying members of the Society.


6.       Bob informed the group of a report recently submitted to the Society by Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen, following his visit to the Houghton Library at Harvard University in February and March. The report contains information about the state of the Peirce-related holdings at Houghton and a research guide to the Peirce-related material across the Harvard library system. Bob has a few printed copies of the report which he can share tonight. The report is also online:


http://www.helsinki.fi/~pietarin/Memorandum-Peirce Society-Pietarinen-2012.pdf

André DeTienne moved that we formally acknowledge and commend Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen for his work compiling this report, a proposal immediately accepted by acclamation.


7.       We discussed preparations for the 2014 Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress. Enormous progress has been made on this project since the last meeting of the Society. Thanks to John Kaag’s generous offer to host the Congress at his institution, it now has a home: the University of Massachusetts—Lowell. A contract has been signed with the UMass—Lowell Inn and Conference Center, and the Congress will be held there July 16-19, 2014.


In June, Jaime Nubiola was appointed by the executive committee as the chairperson of the International Organizing Committee, and since then he has appointed several new members to that committee. In addition to Jaime, the following are now IOC members:


Nathan Houser
Ivo Ibri
Robert Innis
John Kaag
Bob Lane
Cathy Legg
James Liszka
Giovanni Maddalena
Rosa Mayorga
Cheryl Misak
Matthew Moore
Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen
T. L. Short
Claudine Tiercelin
Fernando Zalamea

Jaime has also appointed a subcommittee of the IOC to serve as a steering committee: John Kaag, Bob Lane, Matthew Moore, Tom Short, and Jaime himself. The steering committee met in Lowell in November, and again last month in New York. Matthew Moore and Rosa Mayorga are co-chairing the Program Committee, and they expect to issue a first call for papers and panel proposals this summer. A budget committee, consisting of John Kaag, Bob Lane, and Scott Pratt, will submit a budget to the executive committee later this month. Kees de Waal is chairing the publications committee, James Liszka is chairing the fund-raising committee, and a publicity committee will be appointed this spring. There is now a Congress website with information about the conference and at which people may make donations to help fund the event:




8.       Concerns have been expressed that the executive committee has not done enough to encourage participation in the decisions and activities of the Society among its general membership. We agreed that over the next year, we will explore ways in which greater member participation may be promoted.



3.       On behalf of Kees de Waal, Bob Lane presented the following report from the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society:


For the Transactions last year was one of transition. In September, Cornelis de Waal took over as Editor-in-Chief, while Robert Lane took on the position of Peirce Editor. The transition went smoothly with only minor hiccups and the editors want to express their thanks to the outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Doug Anderson, for the excellent work he has done for the journal. In 2011–2012 the journal published roughly 15% of its submissions. The great majority of papers were received in the non-Peirce category, handled by Scott Pratt. There is still a relative shortage of Peirce submissions, and we are expecting that in the short term the 2014 Peirce Congress will have a further negative impact on this. To remedy this we have begun being more proactive in soliciting papers, and we would like to encourage anyone to send their work to the Transactions and encourage others to do so as well. The book review section for the journal, handled by Sami Pihlström and Henrik Rydenfelt, is doing very well.


On June 30, which marks the end of the fiscal year, the Transactions had 2,759 subscribers, of which 308 received a paper copy of the journal. The number of individual subscribers was 214, while the remaining 2545 subscribers were institutional subscribers (through JSTOR etc.). On the latest tally of the press (done in March 2012) the number of individual subscribers went down to 153, which suggests that the society is again losing membership, probably in part due to the free availability of the Transactions at many institutions. Because of the institutional subscriptions the Transactions is doing well financially, but as the grounds keep shifting and the push for open access is strong, the future of this cannot be taken for granted.


As a preview of things to come: Later this year we will be publishing the papers presented at the program session in honor of Dick Robin at the 2012 SAAP meeting in New York City, and Cathy Legg and Gary Richmond are co-editing a symposium of papers on Joseph Ransdell, for which a call of papers has been sent out.



4.       Bob Lane delivered the following financial report:


This report is for the period beginning April 1, 2011 and ending March 31, 2012.


The Society’s income during this period was $8,583.41:

$2,070.00 in membership dues;

$6,484.07 in Transactions royalties; and

$29.34 in interest.


The Society’s expenditures during this period were $5,951.85:

$500 for the 2011-12 essay contest prize;

$224.07 for FISP (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie) dues for 2011;

$150 for IUHPS/DLMPS (International Union of History and Philosophy of Science / Division of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science) dues for 2011 and 2012;

$75 wire transfer fees paid to Indiana Members Credit Union for transfer of FISP ($35) and IUHPS/DLMPS ($40) dues;

$83.40 for web-site fees;

$4,919.38 for travel expenses for the five-member steering committee to travel to two meetings (Lowell, MA, November 11-12, 2011; New York, NY, March 14-17, 2012).


As of March 31, 2012, the Society’s assets were $17,217.80, an increase of $2,631.56 from March 31, 2011.


The breakdown of the assets is:

$1,249.25 in checking,

$15,893.91 in a money-market account,

$74.64 in savings.


5.       André De Tienne delivered the following report on 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 April 2011 and 31 March 2012. Much of it is an update about several matters presented in last year’s comprehensive report.

First, regarding the production of W9, we had expected that volume to be completed by the end of 2011. That turned out to be too optimistic because the Project experienced personnel difficulties throughout the spring and summer, which ultimately led to the separation of one employee. Excellent collaboration with the Administration led to a smooth resolution of the matter, but it came at the cost of the loss of a salaried position. The School will not be able to replace that line for some time, and all the responsibilities of that position have been distributed among other staff members. Several steps were taken to reduce the impact of those changes on our workflow, in part thanks to the generous help of scholars who have stepped in and volunteered a sizable portion of their time. Still, production of W9 slowed down unavoidably. Two able graduate students, Dereck Coatney and Michael Walden, were hired and assigned the major task of helping us review, revise, and complete the entire set of annotations to the volume under our guidance. Last year’s report represented those annotations as having been finished, but that turned out to be a faulty assessment. The annotations have long constituted an essential and appreciated part of our volume’s contributions to scholarship. They require a massive amount of careful work, and their improvement is now doing good progress. Most other components of the volume have been fully laid out and are in final pass. A CSE inspection of W9 will soon be underway, and our work on it should be over by the end of our current NEH grant later this summer.

Work on W11 (“How to Reason: A Critick of Arguments”) also slowed down as a result. The text has been fully transcribed and its editing has begun. The principal responsibility for that volume’s annotations has been assigned to Dr. Irving Anellis, who has long built a strong reputation as a historian of logic and mathematics.

PEP-UQAM has done much progress on W7 in Montreal. The electronic platform has evolved into a most astonishing and elegant production solution, and thanks to it and the hard work of the PEP-UQAM team led by Professor François Latraverse, Peirce’s contributions to the Century Dictionary will indeed appear in a very handsome volume. Latraverse will soon retire from UQAM, but he will continue to guide the production of W7 until its completion, which should occur in 2013.

The Project is currently approaching the end of a two-year NEH grant. That grant came with a $30,000 matching component. I am happy to announce that we are very close to fulfilling that match, and that a pledge has been received that will indeed complete it. This would not have been possible without the many manifestations of generosity that have steadily kept coming at the Peirce Project over the last year and a half. I thank all donors for their contributions from the bottom of my heart: ours is an enterprise where every donated dollar fully helps the cause.

We applied last November for a new three-year NEH grant (fall 2012 to summer 2015) and expect to hear back from NEH in July or August. The central budget request in the new application is to fund the position of an Assistant Research Editor, the responsibility of which will focus on manuscript organization and annotations research. This is clearly the Project’s most pressing need. Should NEH award us a grant, that position will be immediately advertised; the principal qualification for it will be a Ph.D. in philosophy with an AOS in Peirce.

Meanwhile, NEH awarded last fall a $50,000 Digital Humanities start-up grant to the Institute for American Thought. That grant is being used to help the Project develop an open-source “Scholarly Text-Editing Platform” (STEP). IAT Associate Technical Editor Ali Zimmerman had been working on STEP since early 2010. She was joined last October by a new hire: web developer and programmer Shawn Hanes, an able graduate student who is working toward an MS in Human-Computer Interaction. We have also contracted a local Drupal expert, Doug Vann, to help develop the special CMS interfaces that STEP will run on, and we have also benefited in that regard from PEP-UQAM’s Jérôme Vogel’s expertise with the Drupal framework (the engine behind PEP-UQAM’s W7 platform). That team has been doing great work. Zimmerman, however, left the IAT in March of this year for another job. As a result Shawn Hanes is now being moved into her position and we are in the process of hiring a cadre of informatics students who will be working on the platform and on the Project’s website under his direction. Their mission is to get a beta version of STEP ready for use by September 2012; it will come with an online multi-modular XML TEI-P5-compliant editorial framework that PEP staff can use to transcribe Peirce’s texts and produce any particular volume, whether print or electronic.

Last year’s report mentioned that we had also begun planning a dissemination platform. What this entails is the re-conception of what an electronic critical edition should become in order to be relevant to future generations of researchers. An online critical edition should not be merely an electronic version of the paper volume, that is, some sort of glorified searchable-text server. Much more than that, it needs to make use of the many technologies that are being developed by national and international institutions in order to provide the scholarship with an array of flexible tools. The dissemination platform we are envisioning is meant to satisfy such a condition; we have named it CORPUS (COllaborative Research Platform for Users of Scholarly editions).

CORPUS will fulfill several missions: (1) provide the public at large with electronic access to the content of our critical edition and extra materials (including high-definition images of manuscripts) along with sophisticated search and navigational tools; (2) provide an interactive interface allowing scholarly users to conduct research both publicly (in collaboration with others) and privately; (3) provide users with different levels of privileges allowing them to enhance the electronic product with their own scholarly contributions, such as supplemental textual annotations, cross-references, hyperlinks to the secondary literature, commentaries, targeted links to relevant webpages, etc.; (4) institute a quality-assessment system that keeps track of authorized contributors, gauges the quality of their contributions, measures their impact factor, protects the system’s integrity to guarantee a safe and productive scholarly environment, and offers peer-reviewed certifications that scholars can use as evidence of their professional worth for instance in P&T dossiers. The main goal of that dissemination platform is to stimulate transformative scholarship—a core funding requirement of key foundations. The main idea is to turn an online edition into a flexible and expandable, centralizing but non-monopolizing, resource that allows scholars to produce and share their work with the audience that is precisely in need of it, while getting some kind of professional accreditation for it, and all of that on the basis of the critical texts at the core of the platform.

To launch such a long-term endeavor, the Project applied in February 2011 for an internal IUPUI Arts and Humanities grant that, if awarded, will enable a collaboration between PEP and the School of Informatics program in Human-Computer Interaction to conduct preliminary research, the completion of which will ready us to apply for a much larger grant request from a major foundation.

In the same order of ideas, NEH and Germany’s DFG are poised to resume their bilateral digital humanities program over the summer 2012. They will issue a new set of application guidelines, and as soon as these are out the Project will be again working with Professor Horst Bredekamp and his team (Tullio Viola, Moritz Queisner, and Franz Engel) from the “Kolleg-Forschergruppe Bildakt und Verkörperung” at Humboldt University in Berlin. PEP and the KBV collaborated in the fall of 2010 on a joint DFG/NEH application that in the end was not funded. But lessons have been learned and NEH has been encouraging, so that we have better hope this time to be more successful. The goal remains to digitize all of the Peirce papers at Harvard, with this time the technological help of a team of experts from the Max Planck Institute Digital Library. A recent visit paid to the Humboldt University team in Berlin by the PEP Director and Advisory Board Chair Vincent Colapietro helped establish a strong basis of friendly cooperation between the two parties, which augurs well for the future, NEH and DFG helping.

As mentioned above, the PEP staff has undergone a few changes over the last year. Associate Editor Kees de Waal has left the Project and assumed the responsibility of Editor-in-Chief of the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. As a Visiting Research Associate, Dr. Irving Anellis is devoting the larger part of his time to annotating W11. IAT Director David Pfeifer is also contributing some of his time to the needs of the edition. Web Programmer Shawn Hanes will soon become the IAT’s Associate Technical Editor. And the other staff members, who include Textual Editor Jon Eller, Assistant Editor April Witt, Senior Editorial Associates Diana Reynolds and Joseph Kaposta, and Research Associate Luise Morton, continue to form a vibrant editorial team that works efficiently in pleasant harmony.

Finally, the Peirce Project continued our cherished tradition of hosting national and international researchers throughout 2011 and early 2012. We had the pleasure to welcome the following visitors (including members of the Fisch family), some of whom stayed with us for weeks or months: Johns Hopkins University students Zachary Gartenberg and Tom Dechand; Professor David Marshall (Kettering University); Bill Fisch and Kitty Robinson-Dickerson; Emily and Andy Maverick; Iris Smith Fischer and Hans Fischer (University of Kansas); Professor Du Shi-Hong (Southwestern University, Chongqing, China); Dr. Charls Pearson; Professor Matthew Moore (Brooklyn College, NY); students Mike Brady and Steven Miller (Southern Illinois University); Dr. Yunhee Lee (lecturer at Korea University, South Korea); Lucy Ransdell (Austin, TX); Professor Bernardo Cantens (Moravian College, PA); Professor Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen (University of Helsinki and Tallinn University of Technology); Professor João Queiroz (Institute of Arts and Design, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil); Professor Giovanni Maddalena (University of Molise, Italy); and Professor Cathy Legg (University of Waikato, New Zealand).

André De Tienne

Director and General Editor, Peirce Edition Project



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


The Nominating Committee, chaired by Rosa Mayorga, with Cheryl Misak and Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen as members, propose the following slate of candidates:


All nominations were approved and those nominated were elected unanimously.


7.       William McCurdy noted the relatively low attendance for this meeting and the possibility that more Society members would be here were it not for the fact that the Royce Society meeting had been scheduled at the same time. Bob Lane mentioned that groups can request specific time-slots during which to meet at APA conferences, and that this year the Peirce Society has continued its years-long tradition of meeting in the evening of the second day of the conference. Bob said that when requesting a time for our next annual meeting, at the Central APA in New Orleans, he will both coordinate with the Royce Society and with SAAP so that we do not request the same times as either of those groups, and also ask the program organizers to be mindful of not scheduling American / pragmatism sessions against each other. Hopefully these measures, as well as the move from the Pacific to the Central, will increase attendance at our next event.


8.       André DeTienne moved to thank Risto for his service as president during the past year. This proposal was accepted by acclamation.


9.       Risto welcomed Claudine Tiercelin, who could not be in attendance at this meeting, into her new role as president and then adjourned the meeting at approximately 9:10pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Robert Lane, Secretary-Treasurer