The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God’


… Since, then, it is certain that man is able to understand the laws and the causes of some phenomena, it is reasonable to assume, in regard to any given problem, that it would get rightly solved by man, if a sufficiency of time and attention were devoted to it. Moreover, those problems that at first blush appear utterly insoluble receive, in that very circumstance, as Edgar Poe remarked in his “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” their smoothly-fitting keys. This particularly adapts them to the Play of Musement.

[—] There is no kind of reasoning that I should wish to discourage in Musement; and I should lament to find anybody confining it to a method of such moderate fertility as logical analysis. Only, the Player should bear in mind that the higher weapons in the arsenal of thought are not playthings but edge-tools. In any mere Play they can be used by way of exercise alone; while logical analysis can be put to its full efficiency in Musement. So, continuing the counsels that had been asked of me, I should say, “Enter your skiff of Musement, push off into the lake of thought, and leave the breath of heaven to swell your sail. With your eyes open, awake to what is about or within you, and open conversation with yourself; for such is all meditation.” It is, however, not a conversation in words alone, but is illustrated, like a lecture, with diagrams and with experiments.

CP 6.460-461
‘Musement’ (pub. 06.02.13-19:31). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 06, 2013, 19:31 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:58 by Commens Admin