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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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


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Logic79 Book I. Analysis of Thought

Chapter I. Common Ground.

§1. Those enormous numbers which some popular writers on science are wont to parade never particularly struck me, partly because a million is a multitude which, though I understood, I cannot imagine; and I disbelieve those writers doing so. The stars visible in the sky make, I guess, about as large a multitude as anybody can directly imagine. Now the number of stars that can be seen with the naked eye at once, without such close scrutiny as one can bestow only upon a very small part of heavens at a time, is the average number of stars above the fifth magnitude that are over 15° from the true horizon; and that number is a trifle less than 500.

At different sidereal hours the numbers will be more or less. Imagine as many small objects, then, as one can see of stars in the sky, and the number of single objects in this second collection will be (500)² = 250 000. Next, imagine as many of these collections as there are stars in the sky, and the number of single objects in this third collection will be (500)³ = 125 million. Continue this proceeding, and when you reach the fifteenth collection, the number of suits in it will be about one tenth of the number of times that the radius of an election will go into the distance of an average twentieth magnitude...

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