Given that Peirce’s naturalism is more anthropocentric than Hegel’s, he sought to revise the Kantian powers of feeling, knowing, and willing whereas Hegel just circumvented them. These translate for Peirce into the spheres of value and experience that are aesthetic, scientific, and moral. These are the cultural instantiations of consciousness as Peirce writes:
The true categories of consciousness are: first, feeling, the
consciousness which can be included with an instant of time, passive
consciousness . . .; second, consciousness of an interruption in the
field of consciousness, sense of resistance . . .; third, synthetic
consciousness, binding time together, sense of learning, thought (CS
Therefore, Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness may be analyzed in terms of quality, relation, and synthesis. The qualitative associated with the aesthetic provides a normative status and this is when Peirce is most pluralistic and finds affinities with Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism and philosophy of nature (contra Hegel). Relation involves any purposive activity, or action and reaction; what Peirce refers to as the “polar sense” as a re-working of St. Augustine’s notion of volition that Peirce viewed as narrow. Instead of the something like Descartes’ cogito or “cognitive faculty,” Peirce supplemented the enterprise of knowledge with “learning” or “acquisition” in a very similar vein as the Platonic Eros. Logic, unlike in Hegel, involves the norms of thinking or the task of realizing the ends for thinking.
Where Hegel and Peirce find common ground, and this distinguishes him from other pragmatists, is that he does not find pluralism congenial. To this degree he agrees with the architectonic outlook of experience when he says, “life can have but one end.”