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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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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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Logic Viewed as Semeiotic


Introduction Nr. 2. Phaneroscopy31

Chapter I

The word φανερόν, in Greek, means manifest. Now the manifest I take to be that which we find ourselves forced to admit rather than persuaded in deliberate reasoning to admit, yet under the belief in which we are so far from chafing that it seems to us more satisfactory than any ulterior reason could render it. It is that the compulsion does not seem to come from within ourselves, in which case it might be due to a too narrow association of ideas, that is, a defective experience, but seems to be the positive action upon us of the object we wish to know, which is just what makes it surely knowledge, whatever misapprehension we may perhaps have mingled with it. We reach against the compulsion, no doubt; for otherwise we should not feel ourselves to be forced. But we only react just enough to assure ourselves that it is veritably to the force of reality that we yield. Once convinced recognizing the source of the force, we are only too glad to yield to it, because experience has shown us that it is our own impulse toward believing this or that are our only enemies, while the majesty of reality our true friend. As an example of the most manifest sort of thing there is, we may take a case in which we look at an object and judge that it seems red. If anybody should ask how we can...

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