The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On Multitude’


Mathematics is a study of exact hypotheses, in so far as consequences can be deduced from them. To limit mathematics to the deduction of those consequences would be to separate from it some of the greatest of the achievements of modern mathematicians, – achievements which nobody but mathematicians could have performed, – such as the formation of the idea of the system of imaginaries, and of the idea of Riemann surfaces. It must be allowed, therefore, that the formation of the hypotheses is a part of the business of mathematics.

1897 [c.]
MS [R] 26:1
‘Mathematics’ (pub. 11.09.14-13:26). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 09, 2014, 16:44 by Mats Bergman
Sep 11, 2014, 13:26