Morris, Charles William

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Morris, Charles William


Born May 23, 1901, in Denver, Colo. American idealist philosopher.

From 1931 to 1947, Morris was a professor at the University of Chicago; later, he taught at the University of Florida. His philosophical views are a combination of pragmatism (in the spirit of G. Mead) and logical positivism. He developed the sociopsychological aspects of the thinking of C. Peirce and, using behaviorism as a foundation, he concluded that human behavior is determined by reactions to signs and the meaning of signs, which function as organizers of human behavior. Within this theoretical framework he tried to classify the various spheres of human activity according to the type of reasoning characteristic of each. He formulated the basic ideas and principles of semiotics. Morris’ social views made him a supporter of bourgeois democracy and the “American way of life.”


Six Theories of Mind. Chicago, 1932.
Logical Positivism, Pragmatism, and Scientific Empiricism. Paris, 1937.
Foundations of the Theory of Signs. Chicago, 1938.
Paths of Life: Preface to a World Religion, 2nd ed. New York, 1956.
The Open Self. New York [1948].
Signs, Language, and Behavior, 2nd ed. New York, 1955.
Varieties of Human Value. Chicago [1956].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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