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Prolegomena to a Science of Reasoning

Phaneroscopy, Semeiotic, Logic

Charles S. Peirce

Edited By 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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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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Scientific Method

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25

Ger. wisseschaftliche Methode; Fr. méthode scientifique. Ital. Metodo scientifico. The general method of successful scientific research. The following are some of the characteristics.

(1) The student’s first step is to form a perfectly definite and consistent idea of what the problem really is; then he ought to develop the mathematics of the subject in hand as fast as possible; and to establish a mathematical method appropriate to the particular problem, if it be one which allows exact treatment. As examples and models of what is meant, may be mentioned Maxwell’s researches on colour sensation in the Philos. Trans. for 1860, Flinders Petrie’s book Inductive Metrology, the last chapters of Pearson’s Grammar of Science. Of course, as the student’s understanding of the matter advance, he will return to this first task, and continually improve upon his first essays.

The second step will be to consider the logic and methodeutic of the research in hand, unless it is itself a question of pure mathematics, where the logic is inseparable from the mathematics. He will do well to study the manner in which questions somewhat analogous to his own have been successfully resolved in widely different fields; for the greatest advantage has accrued from the extension of methods from one subject to a widely different one, especially from simple to intricate matters.

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