The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Truth and Falsity and Error’


Projective geometry is not pure mathematics, unless it be recognized that whatever is said of rays holds good of every family of curves of which there is one and one only through any two points, and any two of which have a point in common. But even then it is not pure mathematics until for points we put any complete determinations of any two-dimensional continuum. Nor will that be enough. A proposition is not a statement of perfectly pure mathematics until it is devoid of all definite meaning, and comes to this – that a property of a certain icon is pointed out and is declared to belong to anything like it, of which instances are given. The perfect truth cannot be stated, except in the sense that it confesses its imperfection. The pure mathematician deals exclusively with hypotheses.

CP 5.567
‘Pure Mathematics’ (pub. 12.09.14-07:22). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 29, 2014, 15:16 by Mats Bergman
Sep 12, 2014, 07:22