The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Carnegie Institution Correspondence’


No. 27 of Methodeutic. The first business of this memoir is to show the precise nature of methodeutic; how it differs from critic; how, although it considers not what is admissable but what is advantageous, it is nevertheless a purely theoretical study, and not an art; how it is from the most strictly theoretical point of view, an absolutely essential and distinct department of logical inquiry; and how upon the other hand, it is readily made useful to a researcher into any science, even mathematics. It strongly resembles the purely mathematical part of political economy, which is also a theoretical study of advantages. Of the different classes of arguments, abductions are the only ones in which after they have been admitted to be just, it still remains to inquire whether they are advantageous. But since the whole business of heuretic, so far as its theory goes, falls under methodeutic, there is no kind of argumentation that methodeutic can pass over without notice. Nor is methodeutic confined to the consideration of arguments. On the contrary, its special subjects have always been understood to be the definition and division of terms. The formation of systems of propositions, although it has been neglected, should also evidently be included in methodeutic. In its method, methodeutic is less strict than critic.

HP 2:1035; NEM 4:26
‘Methodeutic’ (pub. 27.01.13-12:38). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 27, 2013, 12:38 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jul 24, 2015, 14:35 by Mats Bergman