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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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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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Exact Logic. Introduction. What is Logic?


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Exact Logic28 Introduction. What is Logic?

Logic is the Theory of Reasoning. Its main business is to ascertain the conditions upon which the just strength of reasoning depends. Such has always been understood to be its nature, at any rate, approximately; so that this statement, though it may be superseded as a scientific definition, yet like the meaning popularly attached to any common word, must forever be respected as alone authoritative in a vague sense. ← 35 | 36 →

If a more exact definition is asked for, logicians of different schools will give different replies.

Throughout the nineteenth century, the professors of logic in the universities have for the most part followed the lead of Kant although with innumerable divergences in every direction. If a logical doctrine of one of these sects (which we may collect under the designation of critical logic, giving them the appellative of Kant’s metaphysics) be attacked, it will be defended either by an ipse dixit, as self-evident, or by a remark about some language (most often German), or directly by some physiological phenomenon, or by a metaphysics or theory of cognition founded on psychology.

During a considerable part of the century, and outside of the universities, the most influential conception of logic has been that of John Stuart Mill. Although his book was written entirely in the interest of a metaphysics quite similar to that of Kant and founded mainly upon the psychological doctrine of association,...

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