Phaneroscopy, Semeiotic, Logic
Edited By Elize Bisanz
Phaneroscopy: Or, the Natural History of Concepts
Every undertaking begins,—its purpose being determined beforehand,—with a review of the materials and other means at one’s command. Now science, in the sense in which I have defined that word,—namely, as the cooperative business, or life-occupation, of finding out and making sure of the truth by the speediest methods known,—is an undertaking. Whence, etc.
We have to consider that the great body of truth can only be discovered and ascertained by specially devised observations made by specially trained senses with specially informed intelligences behind them. I follow Jeremy Bentham in calling all that business by the name of Idioscopy. But in its entirety and in every part, Idioscopy presupposes a considerable body of other truth, which may be roughly described as instinctive, that is, traditionally hereditary, but familiarized by the everyday experience of everybody. As it first comes to us, this fundamental and unscientific knowledge is immeasurably more trustworthy than any scientific results ever can be; for the scientist rests his whole procedure upon propositions that form parts of it, and that hardly anything can drive him even to correct a little, and that nothing at all can induce him to deny. But that fundamental knowledge as we first find ourselves possessed of it is exceedingly vague. It answers well as a guide in everyday life; but when we come to scientific theory, it is insufficient and must be subjected to criticism. That criticism has, however, unfortunately hitherto yielded only doubtful...
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