The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Lessons of the History of Science’


The most abstract of all the sciences is mathematics. That this is so, has been made manifest in our day; because all mathematicians now see clearly that mathematics is only busied about purely hypothetical questions. As for what the truth of existence may be the mathematician does not (qua mathematician) care a straw. It is true that early mathematicians could not clearly see that this was so. But for all their not seeing it, it was just as true of the mathematics of early days as of our own.

1896 [c.]
CP 1.53
‘Mathematics’ (pub. 11.09.14-10:32). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 01, 2014, 13:43 by Mats Bergman
Sep 11, 2014, 10:32