The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Carnegie Institution Correspondence’


My first real discovery about mathematical procedure was that there are two kinds of necessary reasoning, which I call the Corollarial and the Theorematic, because the corollaries affixed to the propositions of Euclid are usually arguments of one kind, while the more important theorems are of the other. The peculiarity of theorematic reasoning is that it considers something not implied at all in the conceptions so far gained, which neither the definition of the object of research nor anything yet known about could of themselves suggest, although they give room for it. Euclid, for example, will add lines to his diagram which are not at all required of suggested by any previous proposition, and which the conclusion that he reaches by this means says nothing about. I show that no considerable advance can be made in thought of any kind without theorematic reasoning. When we come to consider the heuretic part of mathematical procedure, the question how such suggestions are obtained will be the central point of the discussion.

[—] it is proper to divide all Theorematic reasoning into the Non-abstractional and the abstractional.

NEM 4:49
‘Theorematic Reasoning’ (pub. 06.01.13-12:17). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 06, 2013, 12:17 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:01 by Commens Admin