Philosophical Writings of Peirce
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Charles S. Peirce was a thinker of great originality and power. Although unpublished in his lifetime, he was recognized as an equal by such men as William James and John Dewey and, since his death in 1914, has come to the forefront of American philosophy. This volume, prepared by the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, formerly chairman of Columbia's philosophy department, is a carefully balanced exposition of Peirce's complete philosophical system as set forth in his own writings.
The 28 chapters, in which appropriate sections of Peirce's work are interwoven into a brilliant selection that reveals his essential ideas, cover epistemology, phenomenology, cosmology, and scientific method, with especially interesting material on logic as the theory of signs, pure chance vs, pure law in the universe, symbolic logic, common sense, pragmatism (of which he was the founder), and ethics.
Justus Buchler is author of Charles Peirce's Empiricism (1939), Philosophy: An Introduction (with J. H. Randall, Jr., 1942), and more recently, a series of books which form an ongoing philosophic structure: Toward a General Theory of Human Judgement (1951), Nature and Judgment (1855), and The Concept of Method (1961). It has been said of these volumes, "A fresh and vital system of ideas has been introduced into the world of contemporary philosophy." (Journal of Philosophy).
"It is a very signal advantage to have this collection of Peirce's most important work within the covers of a single substantial volume. We should all be very grateful to Mr. Buchler." — John Laird, Philosophy
can be questioned. Hence this initial scepticism will be a mere self-deception, and not real doubt; and no one who follows the Cartesian method will ever be satisfied until he has formally recovered all those beliefs which in form he has given up. It is, therefore, as useless a preliminary as going to the North Pole would be in order to get to Constantinople by coming down regularly upon a meridian. A person may, it is true, in the course of his studies, find reason to doubt what he began by
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substituted problem differs also from that which was first set before the mathematician in another respect: namely, that it is highly abstract. All features that have no bearing upon the relations of the premisses to the conclusion are effaced and obliterated. The skeletonization or diagrammatization of the problem serves more purposes than one; but its principal purpose is to strip the significant relations of all disguise. Only one kind of concrete clothing is permitted—namely, such as, whether
self-contradictory. It rather is thought so as to appear self-contradictory because the ideal induction has shown it to be impossible. But the result is that in the absence of any interfering contradiction every particular proposition is possible in the substantive logical sense, and its contradictory universal proposition is impossible. But where contradiction interferes this is reversed. IV [Kant] says we necessarily think the explicatory proposition although confusedly, whenever we think its
premisses, A, a given class of conclusions, B, follows, it is simply necessary to ascertain what proportion of the times in which premisses of that class are true, the appropriate conclusions are also true. In other words, it is the number of cases of the occurrence of both the events A and B, divided by the total number of cases of the occurrence of the event A. II On reperusing this article after the lapse of a full generation, it strikes me as making two points that were worth making. The