Meet Dr. Ketner...

Since 1981, Kenneth Laine Ketner has been Charles Sanders Peirce Professor and Director of the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism at Texas Tech University. He is the founding Director of the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism at Texas Tech, the first organized research center on Peirce’s life and works. 


His education includes MA (Philosophy) Oklahoma State University, MA (Folklore and Mythology) University of California Los Angeles, and Ph.D. (Philosophy of Science) University of California Santa Barbara.


Joining the faculty of Texas Tech in 1971, he has produced a number of reference works and essays on Peirce, including Reasoning and the Logic of Things (Harvard University Press 1992), an edition of Peirce's 1898 Cambridge Conferences Lectures. A collection of his correspondence with American philosophical novelist and essayist, Walker Percy, was published by the University Press of Mississippi (1995) as A Thief of Peirce: The Letters of Kenneth Laine Ketner and Walker Percy, which also documents how Percy inspired and motivated Ketner to write his next major publication, His Glassy Essence.


With the aid of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, he wrote the first volume of his life of Peirce, published in 1998 by Vanderbilt University Press as His Glassy Essence: An Autobiography of Charles Sanders Peirce.  He is a Fellow (past President) of the Peirce Society. He was instrumental in organizing the 1976 (Amsterdam) and 1989 (Harvard University) international Peirce congresses.  


In 1999, Texas Tech University honored him with an appointment to its highest professorial rank: Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Peirce Studies, in recognition of his international standing in that field of study. United States Patent 6,819,474—Quantum Switches and Circuits—was granted to Ralph G. Beil and Kenneth L. Ketner on 16 November 2004.

Research Interests


  • the life and works of Charles Sanders Peirce

  • the logic of science

  • interdisciplinary methodology

  • philosophical issues and conceptual problems in the human sciences

  • philosophical issues in technology

  • the life and works of the American writer Walker Percy




See Publications page for information on  Dr. Ketner's books, articles, and publications.  Links to featured books and special projects can be accessed HERE.  See a chronological list of all Dr. Ketner's books with links to more information, or all articles/chapters with links to full-text .PDFs of the works.  

The Charles Sanders  Peirce Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism

Dr. Ketner is co-founder and director of the Charles Sanders Peirce Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism at Texas Tech University.  

Go HERE to learn more about his work with the Institute.


WYTNNYS provides resources for the study of the life and works Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 -1914) through the works of Kenneth Laine Ketner.  The website is named for LeRoi Wyttnys, whose being is that of a fictional French/Welsh centenarian, student and friend of Charles Perice, with the world of His Glassy Essence:  An Autobiography of Charles Sanders Peirce by Kenneth Laine Ketner.