An Open Debate on Indeterminism/Determinism
Peirce’s tychism would become a major point of contention between him and Carus, a committed necessitarian. They debated the issue back and forth in letters and Monist articles. Peirce’s “The Doctrine of Necessity Examined” opened up the debate, and three months after its publication, Carus would counter by publishing “Mr. Charles S. Peirce’s Onslaught on the Doctrine of Necessity” (July 1892), and then three months after this article, “The Idea of Necessity: Its Basis and Its Scope” (October 1892). The following year, Peirce would respond with his own lengthy article “Reply to the Necessitarians: Rejoinder to Dr. Carus,” and Carus immediately again with his “The Founder of Tychism, His Methods, Philosophy, and Criticisms: In Reply to Mr. Charles S. Peirce,” both published in the same issue of The Monist (July 1893).
Despite their philosophical differences, Carus and Peirce mostly maintained a healthy dialogue throughout the years. In his letter of January 1891, Peirce had, for example, spoken of Carus as an “ally.” Likewise, Carus, in a short note in the Monist issue containing Peirce’s “The Doctrine of Necessity Examined,” respectfully disagreed with Peirce’s theory by simultaneously admiring his “boldness” and “trenchant critique” that “goes right down to the bottom of the problem.”