In this article, I focus on Charles Sanders Peirce's viability for contemporary art history and criticism. I argue that in order to make sense of Peirce's published remarks on photographs they should be read in light of specific nineteenth-century uses of photography in experimental science. I argue that Peirce's comments on photography are consistent with a realist theory of science. It is only when these remarks are contextualized within a broader scientific project that we may begin to mine Peirce for his art historical value.

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