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Prolegomena to a Science of Reasoning

Phaneroscopy, Semeiotic, Logic

Charles S. Peirce and Elize Bisanz

Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), American Scientist, Mathematician, and Logician, developed much of the logic widely used today. Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of Reasoning. The collection is focused on three main fields: Phaneroscopy, the science of observation, Semeiotic, the science of sign relations, and Logic, the science of inferences. Peirce understands all thought to be mediated in and through signs and its essence to be diagrammatic. The book serves as a timely contribution for the introduction of Peirce’s Phaneroscopy to the emerging research field of Image Sciences.
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Reasoning is the process in which the reasoner is conscious that a judgment or judgments, the premises, according to a general habit of thought, which he may not be able precisely to formulate, but which he approves as conducive to true knowledge. By true knowledge he means, though he is not usually able to analyze his meaning, the ultimate knowledge in which he hopes that belief may ultimately rest, undisturbed by doubt, in regard to the particular subject to which his conclusion relates. Without this logical approval, the process, although it may be closely analogous to reasoning in other respects, lacks the essence of reasoning. Every reasoner, therefore, since he approves certain habits, and consequently methods, of reasoning, accepts a logical doctrine, called his logica utens. Reasoning does not begin until a judgment has been formed; for the antecedent cognitive operations are not subject to logical approval or disapproval, being subconscious, or not sufficiently near the surface of consciousness, and therefore uncontrollable. Reasoning, therefore, begins with premises which are adopted as representing percepts, or generalizations of such percepts. All the reasoner’s conclusions ought to refer solely to the percepts, or rather to propositions expressing facts of perception. But this is not to say that the general conceptions to which he attains have no value in themselves.

Reasoning is of three elementary kinds; but mixed reasonings are more common. These three kinds are induction, deduction, and presumption (for which the present writer proposes the name abduction)...

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