"Evolutionary Love"

Evolutionary Love - cover letter.pdf

Letter by Charles S. Peirce to Open Court editor, October 7, 1892

Peirce letter to McCormack - 17 Oct 1892.pdf

Letter by Charles S. Peirce to Thomas McCormack, October 17, 1892

Carus letter to Peirce - 19 Oct 1892.pdf

Letterpress of original letter by Paul Carus to Charles S. Peirce, October 19, 1892

Evolutionary Love - ms001.pdf

First page of Peirce's manuscript "Evolutionary Love"

Monist 3.2

First edition of The Monist containing "Evolutionary Love"

On 7 October Peirce mailed his fifth article, “Evolutionary Love,” to the Open Court. Although it is recognized as the last article in the 1890 Monist metaphysical series, Peirce, the following year, would publish the complimentary article, “Reply to the Necessitarians,” and he would submit another article, “Immortality in the Light of Synechism,” which was never published­, due to a misunderstanding with Carus.

In his letter of 17 October, Peirce tells the editorial assistant Thomas J. McCormack that his new submission “is very near my best.” He received $250 for it, as Carus reports in his response to Peirce on 19 October, while itemizing Peirce’s sensitive finances with the Open Court.

“Evolutionary Love” is one of Peirce’s most fascinating philosophical writings. It describes the existence of a cosmic principle of love throughout the universe creatively supporting the formation of new evolutionary forms. This love is a cherishing form of love, because it recognizes that which is lovely in another being and sympathetically supports its existence. Peirce calls his new theory “agapism,” and he contrasts it with evolutionary theories that are based on a selfish form of love; these preach “the Gospel of Greed.” Peirce points out the occurrence of such selfish, greed-based thinking in the modern politico-economical structures, and in Darwin’s biological principle of natural selection based on the competition of private interests. On the other hand, agapism promotes a devotion to helping one’s neighbors, and is a true doctrine of Christian ethics.