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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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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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I. The Gist of the Argument

My parting word to you, Reader, in the number for October, 1906,56 was a promise that in the present article the relevancy of the system of Existential Graphs to the question of the truth of Pragmaticism should be disclosed. Today, I straightway proceed to redeem that promise. I have already explained to you what Pragmaticism is; so that you are already aware that it is a theory in regard to the common nature of the meanings of all concepts. But you have seen (or should you not be satisfied with it, the next following sections of this article shall make it clear to you), that Existential Graphs furnish a moving picture of the action of the mind in thought,—that is, to so much of that as is common to thoughts on all subjects. The study of that system, then, must reveal whatever common nature is necessarily shared by the significations of all thoughts. You ‘catch on’, I hope. I mean, you apprehend in what way the system of Existential Graphs is to furnish a test of the truth or falsity of Pragmaticism. Namely, a sufficient study of the Graphs should show what nature is truly common to all significations of concepts; whereupon a comparison will show whether this nature be or be not the very ilk that Pragmaticism (by the definition of it) avers that it is. It is true that the two terms of this comparison,...

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