The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Adirondack Summer School Lectures’


what I mean by a “science,” both for the purpose of this classification & in general, is the life devoted to the pursuit of truth according to the best known methods on the part of a group of men who understand one another’s ideas and works as no outsider can. It is not what they have already found out which makes their business a science; it is that they are pursuing a branch of truth according, I will not say, to the best methods, but according to the best methods that are known at the time. I do not call the solitary studies of a single man a science. It is only when a group of men, more or less in intercommunication, are aiding and stimulating one another by their understanding of a particular group of studies as outsiders cannot understand them, that I call their life a science.

MS [R] 1334:11-13
‘Science’ (pub. 09.08.17-10:14). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 09, 2017, 10:14 by Mats Bergman