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Dr Catherine W Legg

BA(Hons) Melbourne, MA Monash, PhD A.N.U.

Senior Lecturer


School of Social Sciences


I am a philosopher trained in the analytic tradition who also identifies as a classical American pragmatist, with a particular passion for the thought of Charles Peirce. Peirce's elegant observation, "Symbols grow", sums up for me a lot of what is original and exciting in his work.

I also have strong research interests in IT. In 2012 I was awarded a grant from the New Zealand Marsden Fund with Professor Ian Witten, Department of Computer Science, University of Waikato. The project is running for 3 years and is titled, “A Self-correcting Knowledge base for Large-scale Knowledge Engineering.” With the help of Samuel Sarjant, our postdoc, we are building a giant ontology, with question-and answer functionality, entirely automatically from concepts mined from Wikipedia and other sources freely available on the Web.


Logic; artificial intelligence; American philosophy (pragmatism); metaphysics; philosophy of knowledge; philosophy of science; semiotics; meaning.

Research Interests

Pragmatism (especially Charles Peirce), metaphysics (including formal ontology), philosophy of language, semiotics, philosophical logic, artificial intelligence, philosophy of science, history of analytic philosophy, early modern philosophy,Wittgenstein.

Recent Publications

  • Legg, C. (2015). The purpose of the essential indexical: The Commens Working Papers: Preprints, Research Reports & Scientific Communications (6). Commens.

  • Legg, C. (2015). Scientific integrity: A Peircean pragmatist approach to the ethics of inquiry. In Idealism and Pragmatism: Convergence or Contestation? Ethics, Social Thought and Religion. Conference held at Collège de France, Paris.

  • Legg, C. (2015). An Aristotelian realist philosophy of mathematics: Mathematics as the science of quantity and structure, by Franklin, James. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 1. doi:10.1080/00048402.2015.1036897

  • Legg, C. W. (2015). Scientific Integrity: A Peircean pragmatist approach to the ethics of inquiry. In PESA Conference 2015: Re-engaging with politics: Re-imagining the university. Conference held at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia.

View all research publications by Catherine Legg

Teaching Commitments

Contributes to:

Associations and Memberships

Australasian Association of Philosophy Council (from 2012)

Program Committee, The Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress 2014

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Legg, Dr Catherine 9353 clegg K.3.14 Philosophy Programme

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Tel: +64 7 838 4080
or 0800 800 145 (within NZ)
Fax: +64 7 838 4636

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