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 Using copies of his unpublished manuscripts, this book provides a comprehensive collection of Peirce’s writings on Phaneroscopy and the outlines of his project to develop a Science of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



There are some points concerning which you and I are thoroughly agreed, at the very outset. For instance, that you know the English language—at least, tolerably. I am positively sure that you cannot deny that,—at any rate, not in English. There is much more that it will not be unreasonable to assure that you will assent to; such as that, you know the rudiments of grammar,—meaning, of course, Aryan grammar, which is often called “universal grammar”;—that you have most of the leading attributes of the genus homo, as set down in the looks of physiology and of psychology. Nay, far more than that, you have had, I will wager, an experience of life quite similar in a general way, as regards the smaller and more elementary items of experience to mine. Among these I can instance this, that you, like me, have acquired considerable control not only of the movements of your limbs but also over your thoughts. If we were to meet in the flesh, we should both take it for granted. I should know that it was so, and know that you knew it, and know that I knew that you knew it; and so on ad infinitum and vice versa. Surely, all these commonly acknowledged information ought to afford us an amply sufficient ποῦσεῶ, in acting each upon all ordinary topics, or, at least, upon questions concerning our meaning in using familiar words such as knowledge, truth, and reality. Yet, strange...

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