The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Phaneroscopy’


The highest kind of symbol is one which signifies a growth, or self-development, of thought, and it is of that alone that a moving representation is possible; and accordingly, the central problem of logic is to say whether one given thought is truly, i.e., is adapted to be, a development of a given other or not. In other words, it is the critic of arguments. Accordingly, in my early papers I limited logic to the study of this problem. But since then, I have formed the opinion that the proper sphere of any science in a given stage of development of science is the study of such questions as one social group of men can properly devote their lives to answering; and it seems to me that in the present state of our knowledge of signs, the whole doctrine of the classification of signs and of what is essential to a given kind of sign, must be studied by one group of investigators. Therefore, I extend logic to embrace all the necessary principles of semeiotic, and I recognize a logic of icons, and a logic of indices, as well as a logic of symbols; and in this last I recognize three divisions: Stecheotic (or stoicheiology), which I formerly called Speculative Grammar; Critic, which I formerly called Logic; and Methodeutic, which I formerly called Speculative Rhetoric.

CP 4.9
‘Methodeutic’ (pub. 27.01.13-11:51). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 27, 2013, 11:51 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Oct 23, 2015, 18:29 by Mats Bergman