The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Reason's Rules’


We cannot say that reasoning is argument addressed to oneself. For an argument is a communication by which the arguer endeavours to produce a predetermined belief in the mind he addresses. In reasoning, on the contrary[,] we seek the truth, whatever it may be, not knowing beforehand that it is the truth. Two people in conversation may coöperate in this task. It is an operation in which arguments that might be put forward, on one side and the other, are sought for by “running over” facts that look as if they might be pertinent, and putting them together in various ways. The possible arguments once suggested, are submitted to criticism.

1902 [c.]
MS [R] 597:2
‘Reasoning’ (pub. 14.08.17-15:47). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 14, 2017, 15:47 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Aug 14, 2017, 15:48 by Mats Bergman