Charles Sanders Peirce

(1839_1914 / Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Charles Sanders Peirce Quotes

  • ''It is certain that the only hope of retroductive reasoning ever reaching the truth is that there may be some natural tendency toward an agreement between the ideas which suggest themselves to the human mind and those which are concerned in the laws of nature.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. From notes for a projected history of science c. 1896. Collected Papers, vol. 1, para. 81, Harvard University Press (1934). Retroductive reasoning is hypothesis.
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  • ''And what, then, is belief? It is the demi-cadence which closes a musical phrase in the symphony of our intellectual life.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly (1878). "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," Collected Papers, vol. 5, para. 397, Harvard University Press (1934).
  • ''The final upshot of thinking is the exercise of volition, and of this thought no longer forms a part; but belief is only a stadium of mental action, an effect upon our nature due to thought, which will influence future thinking.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly (1878). "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," Collected Papers, vol. 5, para. 397, Harvard University Press (1934).
  • ''Thus we may define the real as that whose characters are independent of what anybody may think them to be.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly (1878). "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," Collected papers, vol. 5, para. 405, Harvard University Press (1934).
  • ''The essence of belief is the establishment of a habit; and different beliefs are distinguished by the different modes of action to which they give rise.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly (1878). "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," Collected Papers, vol. 5, para. 398, Harvard University Press (1934).
  • ''Consider what effects which might conceivably have practical bearings we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician, founder of pragmatism. Originally published in Popular Science Monthly. "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," pp. 79-100, Pragmatism: The Classical Writings, ed. H.S. Thayer (1878). Classic statement of Peirce's "pragmatic maxim."
  • ''If an opinion can eventually go to the determination of a practical belief, it, in so far, becomes itself a practical belief; and every proposition that is not pure metaphysical jargon and chatter must have some possible bearing upon practice.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Written c. 1902. "Reason's Rules," Collected Papers, vol. 5, para. 539, Harvard University Press (1934).
  • ''When an image is said to be singular, it is meant that it is absolutely determinate in all respects. Every possible character, or the negative thereof, must be true of such an image.''
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), U.S. philosopher, logician. Originally published in Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1868). "Some Consequences of Four Incapacities," Collected Papers, vol. 5, para. 299, Harvard University Press (1934).

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