Charles S. Peirce

Charles of Sanders Peirce

Charles of Sanders Peirce (* 10. September 1839 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, † 19. April 1914 in Milford, Pennsylvania) was an US-American mathematician, philosopher and a logician.

Peirce belongs beside William James and John Dewey to the relevant philosophers of the Pragmatismus; in addition it is considered as a founder of the modern semiotic. Bertrand Russell called it „the largest American philosopher “, Karl Popper regarded it even as „one of the largest philosophersall times “.

Peirce made important contributions to the modern logic, among other things:

  • At the latest he suggested truth tables to 1885 as means, in order to examine whether a compound statement is a tautology. Often, the truth table is also attributed to him altogether into the modernLogic to have introduced; but it seems to give however no vouchers, particularly since Wahrheitstafeln are already used 1879 in Freges ideography systematically. Besides Philo of Megara and the Stoa enumerating all possible logical value allocations to it already used, the logical value process Konditionalsto define< ref> see. Kneale/Kneale:The development OF logic, Clarendon press 1962, ISBN 0-19-824773-7, page 420 and 531f. </ref>.
  • It introduced a significance test , which examines whether one or more measurements belong to the same normal distribution as the remaining.
  • He knows after,that from logical Nicht-Und - (NAND) and/or logical Nicht-Oder - operation (NOR) all other logical operations to be derived can.
  • It introduced the standard notation for predicate calculus of first order.
  • Most important theories in the semiotic: TheoryOF signs and Theory OF meaning.

Peirce busy also with logical conclusion ways and introduced apart from the well-known induction and deduction the Abduktion (hypothesis) as the third conclusion way into the logic. From the succession of Abduktion, deductionand it developed induction realization and science-theoretical beginning.

Table of contents


Peirce Massachusetts became , as the second of five children of Sarah and Benjamin Peirce in Cambridge,(1809-1880) born. Its father was a professor for astronomy and mathematics at Harvard University and as can be prove the first seriously researching mathematician in America. Its living environment was that of a well situierten education middle class. Already as a boy Peirce received those from an uncleMechanism of a chemistry laboratory. Its father recognized his gift and strove to arrange for it a comprehensive education. Already with 13 years it began to read the criticism of the pure reason. It needed for the study of the work, with which itdaily several hours apart set itself, three years, after which it knew the book according to own statement nearly by heart. Peirce studied in Harvard and to the Lawrence Scientific School. It existed 1862 the master OF kind and was one thatfirst (1863), which put the Bachelor down OF Science in the subject chemistry - and this with Summa cum laude. Still during its chemistry study he married Harriett Melusina Fay, which originated from a prominent minister family. Its wife was quite independent ofit, published own books to general political topics and was active in the woman right movement.

From 1859 to 1891 it was active with interruptions with the United States Coast Survey. Starting from 1861 it had a regular permanent post, so that it not toAmerican war of secession to participate had. It received this setting to switching of its father, who functioned there as one the founder of this authority as supervisory board. Peirce' task range lay in the range geodesy and gravimetry in the advancement of the use from oscillating to the regulationof local deviations in the earth gravitation. In Harvard Peirce held between 1864 and 1870 sideline for lectures on science history and science theory. From 1869 to 1872 he worked in the astronomical observatory of Harvard as an assistant over questions of the Photometrie.For Peirce and also for James a circle of young scientists of verschiederner disciplines at the beginning of the 1870er was important years, which “metaphysical club” was called: Here Peirce spoke its basic ideas to the Pragmatismus and placed it to the debate, from which later itsimportant essay row of 1877/78 developed. Between 1871 and 1888 Peirce could undertake five mehrmonatige in each case Forschungsreisen in the context of its geodetic setting of tasks altogether to Europe, where he met a number of prominent scientists.

William James applies together with Peirce and Dewey asGeneral agent of the Pragmatismus

Peirce had never a firm academic place. As a cause its difficult personality is seen of his bio graphs. There are assumptions that he was manisch depressive (Brent). Its first wife left it 1876 during a European stay, from thatit alone returned. Over the reason both never expressed themselves. Already soon thereafter it died a relationship with Juliette Froissy (maiden name not secured), with which it lived together up to its divorce of Fay 1883 unmarried. Already two daysafter the divorce he married Juliette. Probably due to the associated scandal it lost 1884 its only academic posts as a partial time lecturer in logic at the John Hopkins university in Baltimore (1879-1883), where also John Dewey and Josiah Royce among its listeners beenwere. to buy 1887 used Peirce inheritance of its parents, in order itself farm with Milford, Pennsylvania, where it - with exception of some journeys, particularly to lectures - whom remainder of its life spent, incessantly writing. End of the 1880erYears Peirce carried a substantial contribution to The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, 450,000 terms and names for a comprehensive encyclopedia out, within the ranges mechanics, mathematics, astronomy, Astrologie and philosophy. After it an extensive scientific report on its pendulum attempts to thoseUS Coast Survey had supplied with, to these however from that only since short acting Superintendenten Thomas C. Mendenhall rejected was, gave up to Peirce its position at this authority after over 30 years at the end of of 1891. Thus it had its secured economicalBase of life lost and had to make now its money exclusively by instruction, translations, lectures and publications. In the subsequent years it began a set of book projects, which could not be realized however, although the manuscripts had partially already far prospered. InRun the time turned out it ever more into financial difficulties, which accompanied it to to its end of life. Often enough the money was missing, in order to procure also only food or fuel material for the heating. it could do 1903 on switching ofWilliam James, with which it was friendly since the study time, lectures in Harvard hold. Starting from 1906 it was supported by a donation, which had brought James into being. Peirce remained without children and died 1914 at cancer.

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Its thought on mathematics, logic and philosophy never published writings Peirce in a closed work. During its activity at the John Hopkins university it published the Studies in logic (1883), the some chapters of it as well as furtherfrom its graduate students contained. Its call is almost exclusively justified by essays, by which most are again printed in the eight-restrained expenditure of the Collected PAPER OF Charles of Sanders Peirce (1931 to 1958). It wrote further frequently reviews andContributions for the magazine The nation writes. The latters are in the four-restrained expenditure C.S. Peirce: Contributions ton the nation of Ketner/Cook seizes.

After its death Harvard University acquired the papers from its deduction, this however only 1964 micro-filmed.In archives additions were found again and again, last 1969. Listing was final only 1971. Only then it became clear that Peirce beside the 12,000 print pages of its work of approximately 1650 unpublished manuscripts with approx. 80.000 handwritten sides had left, ofthose the largest part is also today not yet published. Some of documents, which had not gone to Harvard, was lost, because he was burned after death by Peirce' Mrs. Juliette. There the Collected PAPER is incomplete andalso not all for scientific requirements are sufficient (fragments were torn apart in such a way or joined from different periods), into the 1970er years with a critical, chronologically organized edition begun, in to 2004 six (time until 1890) of planned approx. 30Appeared to volumes.

Peirce became its time as a professional philosopher does not admit, because he did not publish fundamental writings to his article. After William James are to be called two writings from the 1870er years, which constitute the source of the Pragmatismus.Differently as James and later Pragmatisten, in particular John Dewey, understood Peirce Pragmatismus above all than method for clarifying the meaning of thoughts by application of scientific methodology to philosophy. To the demarcation against simplifying forms of the Pragmatismus (also against James andDewey) called Peirce its form of the semiotic Pragmatismus off approx. 1905 Pragmatizismus.

Peirce' writings cover a far field at disciplines: of the astronomy over meteorology, geodesy, mathematics, logic, philosophy, history and philosophy of the sciences, linguistics, economics up to Psychology. Its work to these topics met now in recent time renewed attention and agreement. This revival is not only lively by the anticipation of current scientific developments by Peirce, but above all by the fact that its triadische philosophy and semioticboth in the modern logic and within many science ranges of linguistics over on the right of and religion sciences up to computer science a methodical key to the structuring of the material for the practical work offers.

Peirce' achievements were only gradually noticed.At the university it worked only five years within the range logic. Its only book is a short writing over astronomy (photometric investigations of 1878), which received little attention. Its contemporaries William James and Josiah Royce appreciated him, butonly to a certain degree. When it died, Cassius Keyser of the Columbia university and Morris Raphael Cohen from New York were perhaps its only trailer. Also the publication of its Collected PAPERs (1931-1935) did not lead to a direct upswing in that Secondary literature. The publishers, Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss were not Peirce specialists. A provable Rezeption began only with the work of James Feibleman (1946) and Thomas Goudge (1950), the second edition of the Collected PAPERs - given change from Philip Viennese andFrederick Young - as well as the extensive work of max fish, the founder of the Peirce edition project to the Indiana University in Indianapolis. „The Charles of Sanders Peirce Society “was created 1946. Since 1965 there is the magazine Transactions OF the Peirce Society,is specialized in Peirceiana.


category teachings

as basis of all further views developed Peirce category teachings, not as with Kant with the kinds of the realization, but with feature ways of the Seinsconcerned and the basis of his indication teachings forms. The categories of Peirce cannot with logic described, but to be only phenomenologically examined. They are contained and therefore universal in each phenomenon. Conceptually Peirce purely formally differentiated between Erstheit, secondness and thirdnessas forms, in which everything that is, reflects itself:

  • Erstheit is its from something without reference to something else. It actually is its, which exists as pure possibility (e.g. Redness as possibility);
  • Secondness is the regulation of the here and now of something Seiendem (the contrast two of still unreflected feelings);
  • Thirdness is the principle, which stands behind the things, the regularity connected with the feature (e.g. that a door is to be opened that a table has a tray surface,the algorithm of the computer program).

A connection to the categories of Kant results again, if Peirce sets possibility = Erstheit, topicality = secondness and necessity = thirdness. Similarly it behaves with the relations quality (1), fact (2) and behavior and/or.Law (3) as well as with the terms article (1), relation (2) and representation (3). The triad was for Peirce a fundamental perspective on all phenomena, and it saw it confirmed even in the Christian Dreifaltigkeit. The categories are mental distinguishable,but they are not separatable. They are to be seized in each case all contained in each thought and only during a long process of the appropriation with clarity. Accordingly there are texts of different approximation to the categories again and again from Peirce.

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Peirce' view of consciousness ties closely to the category teachings. He tried thereby, the past distinction of the spirit in philosophy (also with Kant) into the three parts feeling (desire and pain), will (will power and demand) as well as knowledge(Realization) on a more scientific to provide also for the psychology suitable basis. The feature of Erstheit in consciousness is the pure feeling or the feeling quality, the feeling of direct consciousness without reference to something else. One can do it as thoseunanalysierte feature of all qualities in one moment describe:

The non-analyzed general impression, that by any diversity caused and not as aktuales fact, but as quality, when simple positive possibility of the feature is thought, an idea of the Erstheit is simple. (S&S 25)

The feature of the secondness in consciousness, which Peirce called „age scythe “, is the confrontation with the other one, now is the consciousness of the here and. Among the secondness in consciousness sensory perceptions rank as alive experiences. Likewise to it the will or desire belongs asFeeling without reflection on the wishing. The secondness is the experience of the duality. Just as the Erstheit is abstracted here still by thinking. Neither the pure feeling on the level of the Erstheit still the feeling of the opposite, the other oneon the level of the secondness can be seized concretely into terms. As soon as this happens, one moves in the level of the thirdness, which are the level of the thoughts. Secondness can be predominantly active, then the feeling of the will dominates. Is they however predominantly passively, then dominate sensory perceptions.

The feature of the thirdness in consciousness called Peirce „Medisense “, in which the relationship with an object is represented. For this count a thinking, a learning, the aware of its from something third. This modethe aware of unity leads when sufficient repetition to behavior habits.

There are no other forms of consciousness than the three, which were mentioned, to feeling, age scythe and Medisense. They form a kind system. Feeling is momentarily present contents of consciousness inits original simplicity, independently of something different one. It is consciousness in its first stage and could „Primisense “be called. „Age scythe “is the consciousness of a directly present other or second, which resists us. „Medisense “is the consciousness of a thirdness ora medium between Primisense and age scythe and leads from the first to the latter. It is the consciousness of a process, with which something is brought before the spirit. Feeling or Primisense is the consciousness of Erstheit; Age scythe is consciousness thatOtherness one or secondness; Medisense is the consciousness of means or thirdness. From „the Primisense “there is only a kind. „Age scythe “has two kinds, sensory perception and will. „Medisense “has three kinds, „abstraction “, „Suggestion “and „association “(CP 7,551).

In such a way described psychological structureconsciousness connected Peirce with a physiological view, in which the psychological processes have physical in each case correspondences in the brain. It represented a monistische position:

In this way three kinds of consciousness become - simple consciousness, dual consciousness and synthesizing consciousness -by the three main functions of the nervous system, by its simple attraction barness, the transmission of energy and the synthesizing handling of the nerves, in particular the behavior habit explains. (Ms 909, 55).

Self-confident its is to be assigned for Peirce predominantly to the range age scythe, there this sosomething like a noticing of the even is. Into self-confident its step themselves the feeling of the Ego, which we can control, and the uncontrollable Non Ego opposite.

From the general mass of the consciousness, which is still free from each clear regulation, separatessuddenly a somewhat more determined idea - „the object “or „Nicht-Ich “- as a crystal from a solution grows and „“like „a crystal “, during the remainder of consciousness - the nut/mother solution as it were -, „I “, itself apparently, like it beenis, his new birth as „his “own praises, blindly in relation to the still underdeveloped suggestion, which must have been present as nucleus. (Ms 681, 12/13).


no fortune has perception, without thinking indications.(CP 5,265). This basic assumptionentire philosophy from Peirce is so also starting point for its theory of the perception.

Perception takes place by a transformation of sensory impressions and is therefore never direct. Classical example for it that perceptions can be wrongly interpreted, are the hallucinations. Peirce uses the example of the blind mark on the retina. Despite this characteristic articles appear as complete pictures. Peirce differentiates between the perception (Perzept) and the perception judgement.

With a perception judgement I mean a judgement, that in the statement formstated, which condition of a Perzepts the spirit is directly present. (CP 5,54)

with it a perception judgement must take place not in the form of language, but can e.g. also diagrammatically its (e.g. the conception of a triangle).

The perception is the indication, betweenstands for the object and the perception judgement. The entrance to the objects always takes place via the illustration of the Perzeptes as indication. The indication has the form of a sinnlichen impression, thus a picture, a sound etc.

An indication or a Repräsentamen is everything,which stands in such a relationship to second, which is called its object that it is able third, which its Interpretant is called, to intend going by in the same triadischen relation for that relation on the object to stand,in that it stands. (Ms 478).

The Perzept is interpreted as something. A clay/tone can be a voice, ringing a telephone or the sound of a radio.

The Perzept as indications is a indexikalisches indication in such a way specified (see. down),that is called it is intended for its relation to the object, like e.g. the smoke to the fire. The perception judgement, thus the smoke as term, is the Interpretant of the perception (the Perzepts). The form of the conclusion with a perception judgement called PeirceAbduktion: Abduktion is the procedure, in which an explaining hypothesis is formed. (CP 5,171). By having a perception, we assume that it concerns a certain article. The form of the consequence is then the following: The surprisingFact C is observed; but if A were true, C would be a matter of course; therefore reason exists for assumption that A is true.(CP 5,189). If one sees a grey veil in air, it can concern nebulas,in addition, around smoke. By seeing and closing this grey veil that it concerns smoke (e.g. due to the form or because around the sun shines round), one falls a perception judgement. Perception judgements are an extreme form of the Abduktion,because it in all rule to run off unconsciously and to a large extent uncontrolled and because one cannot answer it in the negative due to the always active senses.

The more frequently repeating perception judgements are confirmed, all to more become them than truely inside light and then tooThinking and behavior habits.


Ferdinand de Saussure applies for its together with Peirce as a founder

of the semiotic beside Ferdinand de Saussure is Peirce of one the founder of the semiotic, whereby its preferential term read for this „semeiotic “, during Saussureown beginning „sémiologie “(Semiologie) called. Contrary to Saussures indication term, which refers excluding and formally to language, so that from this substantial impulses in linguistics developed, is Peirce' indication term holistic. It contains apart from the representation function likewisea realization function of the indications. Also one may not do the semiotic of Peirce with the partitioning of Charles W. Morris (syntax, semantics and pragmatics) mix.

Peirce defined semiosis as

… action, or influence, which is, or involves, Acooperation OF three subjects, look for as A sign, its object, and its interpretant, this trirelative influence emergency being into any way resolvable into act ion between pairs.“(“Pragmatism”, Essential Peirce 2: 411; written 1907)

(… a procedure or an influence,that cooperating three articles, i.e. the indication, its object and its Interpretanten, is and/or. contained; a three-way influence, which can be dissolved in no case into procedures in pairs).

Peirce divided semiotic into speculative grammar, logical criticism and speculativeRhetorik. The word „speculatively “was equivalently to „theoretical thereby for it “.

  • In the speculative grammar the investigation of the possible kinds from indications and their combination options takes place.
  • Logical criticism has the question of correct reason to the article.
  • Speculative Rhetorik is the investigationover the effective use of indication (the question of the economy of the research).

In the speculative grammar Peirce prepared a system of possible indication relations, in which the world for humans arrange themselves. On the basis of the triad object - indication - Interpretantit differentiated thereby three Trichotomien:

The three Trichotomien of Peirce
indication characteristic object relationship Interpretanten relationship
Quali indication
(sinnlich)< /br>
(similarity)< /br>
(term)< /br>
Sin indication
(existence)< /br>
(reference)< /br>
(pro position)< /br>
Legi indication
(type)< /br>
(convention)< /br>
< /table>

The indication characteristic

an Quali indication is a quality, asIndication works, e.g. the silence of an area. Quali indications are always expression of Erstheit. Sin indications are articles or circumstances, which exist, without they are occupied with a term or a meaning already. Legi indications are rules, which work as indications. Someans the number of six the idea of a number of six articles, e.g. Gläsern or chairs. The development of the Legi indication is Sin indication. Whether one uses now the German word „six “, the number ‚6 `or the English word „six “, herall embody the idea of the number of six.

The object relationship

icon are indications, which manufacture a relation directly by a structural similarity to an object. For this count pictures, pictograms or graphics. A Ikon is in principle erstheitlich. The index is to that extent inzweitheitliches indication, when it refers without description to an object, thus a dyadische relationship between indications and object exists - ringing refers to the fact that someone stands before the door. Symbols have however a meaning. They are only indications, becausea Interpretant understands, for which the indication is used. The fact that a table with the word is designated „table “is based on a convention. The word is understood „table “, because its meaning became the habit.

The Interpretanten relationship

Rhema is a term, alsoan article is designated. It can be also a diagram or a clay/tone. In a statement (Dicent) at least a two digit relation is manufactured, the characteristic of an article is thus described or circumstances. The argument presses an according-to-law relationship betweenStatements out, e.g. in the form of laws of nature.

The Interpretant as the actual meaning-basic effect of an indication must be differentiated now again Mach its emotional, energetic and logical content or after its direct, dynamic and final effect. It is direct,if it is only one feeling quality, e.g. feeling the silence (Erstheit). It is dynamic, if it releases an effective effect (a feeling or an action). A Interpretant is finally, if he is connected with an intended effect, e.g. oneChange of a habit.

The actual semiotic determination of an indication develops from the logically possible combinations of the indication characteristic with the object and for the Interpretanten relationship (Quali indication are conceivable neither as index nor as symbol; Arguments can be accordingly no index or Ikon).With the regulation of indication relations the fundamental problem exists that on the one hand objects can be represented by several, also their kind after most different indications. On the other hand the respective indications can be interpreted situation-dependently different. Indication relations is always perspective therefore. We knowalways that the object, as we seize it in communication or in the perception (the direct object), by indications are mediated. As consequence we also always know that we can be mistaken over the switching and accordingly our interpretationif necessary over the actual object (the dynamic object) to adapt must.

In the course of the time Peirce developed its view further and finally came due to the complexity of the possible switching ways of indications between subject and object to a system from 59.049 (3highly 10) possible elements and relations. A reason for this high number lies in the fact that it permitted the possibility with each Interpretanten of being even indications, whereby a new characteristic relation develops in each case.

As is the case for other topics Peirce never wrotean exact determination of its semiotic. Rather it was concerned again and again with the topic during its life, whereby it often changed its view over the definition of key terms. With Liszka (1996) is a deserving attempt of a coherent statement.

theory of knowledge

in its theory of knowledge fallow Peirce with the conception that the subject is the yardstick for realization, how it had applied since Descartes and up to Kant.

Meanwhile we know that humans are not entireness andthat it is substantially a possible member of the society. In particular the experience of humans, as long as it stands alone, is not anything. If he sees something, what others not to see not to be able, we call it hallucination. It is not „my “experience, but „ours “Experience, of which is to be thought; and this „we “has unlimited possibilities. (CP 5,402)

the second fundamental aspect in Peirce' theory of knowledge is the evolution-theoretical conception, how it developed it in its Metaphysik (see. down). Humans and its thinking are A component of a development process. Purpose of thinking is an orientation in the world, as doubts are examined and won by researching firm convictions, which are suitable, to serve as basis of acting. Herein the switching of theory and practice lies.

Thatthird element of the Peirce' theory of knowledge is thinking schen in indications.

If we visit the light of outside facts, then the only cases of thinking, which we can find, are those from thinking in indications. Obviously no other thinking outside can Facts to be testified. Only thinking, which is possibly recognized, is thinking in indications. But thinking, which cannot be recognized, does not exist. All thinking must be therefore thinking in indications. (CP 5,251)

thinking does not find however in particulars, isolatableIndication instead of, but as a river of thoughts in consciousness, as a continuous process.

There is a realization or a representation in my consciousness condition at no time, but there are her in the relation of my consciousness conditions at different times. In short,the direct (and therefore it actually not to mediating - the Nichtanalysierbare, the inexplicable, the non--intellectual) flows in continuous river by our life; it is the whole of our consciousness, its switching, which is its continuity, by a material effectiveKraft brought, which stands behind consciousness. (EP 1, 42 after Pape, introduction, 70).

This level of the feelings in the consciousness stream is the Erstheitlichkeit of thinking.

The process of the perception (see above) leads the level of the secondness into the process of knowing. The meaning of indications (level of the thirdness) does not result however alone from the sense data.

Doesn't electricity mean today any longer than in the days Franklins? Humans make the word, and the word does not mean anything that humans itnot to mean leaves, and only for any humans. But that humans can think only by words or other symbols, it could say these in reverse: „You do not mean anything that we did not teach you, thus only to that extent andsomething, as you turn to any word as Interpretanten of your thought. “Indeed humans and words educate themselves alternately, each increasing the information of humans implied and implied by appropriate increasing of the information of a word. (CP 5,313)

Peirce formulated its considerations as pragmatic maxim:

Consider, which effects, which conceivable-proves practical relevance have can, attribute we to the the subject of our term in our conception. Then our term of these effects is the whole of our term of the article. (CP 5,402)

the meaning of a thought lies thus which behavior it produces. Behavior is thereby not as actual behavior to understand but as arrangement to a possible action.

With this concept Peirce yielded of the classical question of the theory of knowledgeoff, for which the goal of the realization search is the truth. But the classical term of the truth as correspondence of thoughts and facts (reality) was not understandable for Peirce, because it is based on the still more indistinct mountain reef of the reality. Peirce definedinstead truth pragmatistisch:

The opinion, which is certain from the fate to it that you agree in the long run each researching, is what we understand by truth, and which is article, which is represented by this opinion, the material. (CP 5,407)

in thisDefinition puts the conception that at the end of all days it will be possible to recognize the reality completely. This condition is however only one limit value, to which mankind approximates as a whole during a process of the realization progress. Truth is objectively, if it is inter+subjective, i.e. not with individual, individual conceptions, but in communication everything (researchers) is determined. Up to this time, which cannot be achieved in the life practice of humans, however always and too existseach time the possibility that the convictions won so far can be wrong and to be revised to have. Peirce called this basic assumption Fallibilismus, which was later then taken up by Popper again. Peirce did not also exclude that already present convictions incorrespond to full range of the reality. The better such hypotheses are examined and worked satisfactorily, are the larger are probability for this. To be only safe one cannot itself concerning this.


realization extension takes place after Peirce exclusive via Abduktion.It steps on in the perception as well as in closing interpreting of existing knowledge. Humans win determined convictions, which convert themselves in habits in the perception, which determine his actions and omissions. Do not result from the perception inexplicable circumstances, to a habitcorrespond, turns out humans in doubts and looks for a new orientation. It sets up hypotheses over the doubtful phenomena and examines these until it wins concerning this a new firm conviction (doubt amounted - pattern).

The rational conversion of this patternthe production from convictions took place for Peirce in logical thinking. Depending upon stage doubt amounted - patterns is different the conclusion way. Couches first or few facts forwards, takes place setting up the hypothesis, which called Peirce „Retroduktion “or „Abduktion “. Couches sufficientInformation to the hypothesis forwards, this can be formulated as regularity. The appropriate conclusion way is the deduction, which is alone analytic, thus strict truth is subject. The induction is finally the application of the regularity. Abduktion is based in principle on a instinktivenBasic ability of humans to creativity. Induction is by experience determined and only deduction is strictly logical. For elucidation Peirce represented the different conclusion ways, which he regarded as an into one another seizing interpretation process, in the pattern of the syllogism:

Conclusion ways after Peirce
' Abduktion deduction induction
owner all balls in the urn are red all balls in the urn are red all balls on the table are red
support all balls on the table are red all balls originate from the urn everythingBalls originate from the urn
conclusion all balls originate from the urn all balls on the table are red all balls in the urn are red
' hypothesis of the particular on general conclusion from the general one on individual conclusionof the particular on the general
< /table>

While in the deduction by the rule over the case on the result one closes, the results of the conclusions of the Abduktion and the induction are not necessary. They have their authorization only as hypothetical-pragmaticProcedures in the context of the process for the security of a conviction and are subject to the laws of the probability, whereby the Abduktion comes due to the spontaneous character mostly a substantially smaller probability.


Peirce examined natural reasoning in its logicfrom hypotheses and developed for this its own logic of the relations, which it called „logic the relative one “. Fundamental discoveries in the formal logic arrive to it:

  • It showed that boolean algebra can be expressed by a simple binary operation as NANDor binarily as NOR. (See also DeMorgan's law). Further it supplemented boolean algebra around multiplication and Exponentiation (Allquantor) and tried it into general algebra to integrate.
  • A little later, but independently of Freges ideography, developedit together with its student O.H. Mitchell the complete syntax for a predicate logic, which differed only in few indications from the later Russell - Whitehead - syntax (1910). Ernst Schröder, Leopold lion home of the Polish school and thatyoung Gödel used Peirce' notation briefly.
  • The distinction between quantification first and second level was the first draft of a simple axiomatic sentence theory.
  • The theory of reflexiver and transitiver relations conceived by Peirce became of Ernst Schröder in its algebra thatLogic develops further.
  • For the application of the algebraic indications in the logic Peirce introduced the logical terms absolute relative ones (monadisch = singular object), simple relative ones (dyadisch = other its one) and konjugative relative ones (triadisch = thirdness). All relations of several characters are on triadische relationsreducible. This reduction thesis of Peirce, which was important to it for the proof of its categories, could be meanwhile proven. In particular it could be shown that the triadische reduction of Peirce does not contradict the binaryistic reduction of Quine.
  • It invented those vital graph (English. existential graph), a graphic way of writing for the propositional calculus (alpha graph), predicate calculus of first stage (beta graph) and for the predicate calculus of higher stage as well as for Modallogik (gamma graph). Together with the deduction rules, which he formulated in addition, the existenziellen formsGraphs a stating and/or. Predicate calculus. The graphs are the basis for the term graphs of John F. Sowa and for the diagrammatical reason with Sun Joo Shin.
  • In a letter to a former student of 1886, who discovers only after 1950became, it showed already the application possibility of the boolean logic to electrical circuits, more than 50 years before Claude Shannon.
  • Remarkable also its elaboration to the different number systems and its reference are on the fact that the binary system particularly suitably for thosemachine processing is.

Peirce's logic. Entry (English) in the Stanford Encyclopedia OF Philosophy (inclusive Literature data)

view of science

even if Peirce no explicit system developed, then it can as a systematic philosopher in the traditional sense is nevertheless regarded. Its workis concerned with the scientific and logical questions about truth and knowledge, which it with its experience as logician and an experimental scientist connected. Peirce was the conviction that truth is something provisional and with each statement a factor at uncertaintyis with contained. For Peirce the Fallibilismus was a Gegenpol against the Skeptizismus, which did not have a smaller meaning for its philosophy than the Pragmatismus, which he saw again as Gegenpol against the positivism.

Peirce made substantial contributions todeductive logic, was however above all interested in the logic of the science and particularly to the Abduktion, which are not only within the range of the scientific research, but in all practical areas of life. Its Pragmatismus can be also understoodas a method for clarifying conceptual confusion by the linkage of the meaning of terms with their practical consequences.

Peirce' Pragmatismus has however nothing to do with the generally usual term of pragmatic acting, which often misleading Rücksichtslosigkeit, overreaching andat least indirectly implies. Instead Peirce looked for an objective, verifiable method, in order to examine the truth from knowledge to, in competition to the classical beginnings of

The concept developed of it as scientific method describes the science process as a gradual procedure, which begins with Abduktion due to unsettled phenomena, with sufficient security deductive laws formulated, which are practically examined on the basis induction. To the rational science process belongedfor it expressly the economy of the research, since Verschwendung is irrational in view of the infinite questions which can be solved.

Its beginning was regarded often also as a new form of the fundamentalism, but by

  • consistent determination of the active process of the Postulation /Theoriebildung,
  • logicalApplication of the theory,
  • verification of the theory by predictableness and agreement with the environment

he contains rather a rational basis as an inductive Verallgemeinerung, which appoints itself purely to phenomena. Peirce' Pragmatismus became in such a way as the first scientific procedure for application upQuestions of the theory of knowledge outstandingly.

A modern physicist will be surprised with the examination of the works Galileis, as few experiments with the list of the bases of the mechanics had to do. It appoints itself mainly to the healthy human understanding and to “ILlume naturale ". It always assumes that the true theory will prove as simple and naturally. (CP 6,10).

One knows a theory, which is as can be prove more successful in the forecast and the comprehensibleness opposite the environment than their competitors, asin more detail at the truth specify. This is an operational marking of truth, used in the science. Differently than other Pragmatisten Peirce never formulated explicitly a theory of the truth. But its scattered notes to the truth have a number of epistemological truth theoreticiansaffected and was a helpful basis for deflation acres and correspondence-theoretical theories of the truth.


Tychismus (coincidence)

something similar as Kant criticized Peirce the speculative character of the traditional Metaphysik often violently. On the other hand it has alwaysstriven to develop an idea for an explanation of the basic principles of the environment, compatible with the natural sciences. Starting point was for it as in many other things the logic and here in particular the theory developed from Mill to the induction that thesetheir validity from the regularity of nature deduces. Peirce criticized hieran that the acceptance of the regularity could not at the same time supply the regularity as a condition then over the induction as result.

As a broadly bewanderter and experienced scientist Peirce led a rowof arguments against the December RMI sneezing mash on, for which there is no scientific reason from its view. In particular it stressed that the practical measured values of the applied sciences never confirm theoretical concepts, because them in all rule due to from experimental assemblies to inaccuratelyto be must. Results of measurement have always a distribution, which must be approximated by involution or similar procedures. All natural features contain irregularities.

Against the December RMI sneezing mash Peirce set the hypothesis that the world is a coincidence world (chance world, CP 6,399). One goes of itout that there is an original state of the complete (not recordable) coincidence for the universe, then the first development step is already a choice from an unlimited number of possibilities. Each further step leads again to a selection up to today. ThatExplanation principle is the evolution as characteristic of our world, which developed from an infinite number of possible worlds and during this development process progresses.

This concept of the world explanation called Peirce „Tychismus “. A comprehensive idea of the evolution is connected with this, forthose the theory Darwins only one part of the explanations supplies, as well as the conception of the self organization of the subject. Against the December RMI sneezing mash Peirce saw itself confirmed by the fact that the principle of growth and the life unreversible procedures are, which contradict a December RMI sneezing mash.Spontaneität (the Popper with Emergenz connected) was for it objective facts of nature and a substantial basis of its Fallibilismus.

The endless diversity in the world is not created by law. It does not correspond to the nature of the uniformity, variationsto bring out, still that of the law to produce the individual case. If we stare at the diversity of nature, we look directly into the face of an alive Spontaneität. One day of wandering in the country should bring actually the close to us. (CP 6,553).

Its view saw Peirce also supported by the evolutionary way of thinking, how they represented Hegel for it regarding history , Charles Lyell regarding geology and Charles Darwin in biology. Evolution was for Peirce one thatthe world at the basis lying principles.

Peirce continued however still another step. Its question did not read, how realization is possible, but as at all physical laws are possible? It referred thereby among other things on the 2. Main clause of thermodynamics andthe phenomenon of the entropy, like also on the Inexaktheit of the molecular movements (ms 875). The tendency to the heterogeneity and the unreversibleness of the processes were of it indications that the evolution process applies also in the physical world and an inherent tendencyhas to accept stable conditions („habits “= behavior habits).

But which for us first is, that is not first in nature. The premises of the logical process in nature are all those independent and causeless fact elements, which the diversitythe nature it constitute from which the Nezessitarier assumes that she exists on from the reason of the world, which however the Tychist understands as product of a continuous growth process. (CP 5,119).

Peirce would have itself by the results of quantum physics with the transitionto probabilistic explanation models and the Heisenberg uncertainty relation confirms found.

Synechismus (continuum)

on the basis of the idea of the coincidence and the evolution continued to develop Peirce its world view to a comprehensive concept. Basis is the topic of the continuum, thatit over the entire time of its working busy. Peirce made the first step again in the mathematical logic, where he was concerned with the question of the infinitesimal divisibility. Infinitesimal is size, which is smaller than each finite size,but is larger than zero. The classical example of a continuum is a line. The continuum is not metric, so that points on the line are only potential points, which are arbitrarily divisible infinitesimal interval. A continuum can throughno quantity of Einzelbestimmungen to be exhausted (CP 6,170). In this connection Peirce developed mathematical conceptions, which are discussed today in the non--standard analysis and are assumed the area is non-Euclidean.

Phenomena such as energy, to also the gravitationbelongs, or the time are continuums, which are inherent in the process to the evolution. Humans cannot observe it, but only their effects. So the time is first only a pure vague feeling of the possibility (Erstheit). The change or reciprocal effectis the experience of the contrast (secondness). Continuing the conceptions in the time is mental continuity (thirdness).

How can a past idea be present? Not by representation. Then thus only by direct perception. In other words: In order to be present,it must be present ipso facto. That means: It cannot have completely passed; it can be only about to become infinitesimal past less past than any past date. Thus we come to the conclusion that the presence with thatPast by a number of really infinitesimal steps is linked. (CP 6,109).

For Peirce the Urgrund of all reality was the spirit, which is not anything as feeling and quality, pure possibility without connection and regularity. This spirit created by a first event(a first dyadischen step) time, space, the existence of the subject and the laws of nature, which set the continuous development of the evolution as relatively constant regularities on. In the evolution progressing a growth is to itself an always far developingHeterogeneity contain, at whose very far end the complete regularity stands.Coincidence is first, regularity second and the inclination to train habits third.(CP 6,27). (Theoretical) border situations form the beginning and the end of the evolution. For Peirce was thus the reality reality of the spirit, which determines also the reality of its objects. Logically it represented an unrestricted Universalienrealismus. With this position of an objective (logical) idealism he saw himself in a line with Schelling.

Agapismus(Love as life principle)

humans are part of the evolutionary process, which reflects itself in its river of consciousness just like during the process of thinking in indications. Thinking in indications functions however only in with one another humans; because withouthuman existence is not possible for the other one and communication with it. From this horizon Peirce derived the basic thesis that only the principle of the love (Agape), the overcoming of the self craze and the egoism to harmony and progressleads. Like teleologische striving for heterogeneity in nature the progress of humans comes only from the thought that the particular lets its individuality in the sympathy come up to its fellow men.

Peirce expressed only few to the practical ethics. Ita small writing nevertheless gives, in which it demanded a view in principle changed on the criminal law. Humans have the right to protect itself against the criminality. But from the natural purpose of the solidarity it is not right upRevenge. From this the demand followed to create criminals on resozialisieren and for it conditions for Peirce which make a return to the community for them possible.

parallels to Leibniz

Gottfried William Leibniz

if one the extent of Peirce' topicsregarded, one must call him universal scholars, with whom one can compare only few from history. Special similarity is one to Gottfried William Leibniz, as he with mathematics, logic, natural sciences, history, philosophy of the spirit andthe language and Metaphysik concerned. Both were at least partly course-bent metaphysical materialists and scholastischen philosophy. Thus Peirce Duns Scotus admired. The thoughts of both were strongly simplified represented in the follow-up first only little estimated and by first interpreters.Leibniz differed from Peirce particularly in its financial situation, its faith and a correspondence from approx. 15,000 letters. Both published few books, but many essays and left an extensive deduction. The publication of both works is still farof a completeness.




  • CHANGE, Love and logic: Philosophical Writings by the late C.S. Peirce, the Founder OF Pragmatism, first Anthologie hrsg. of M.R. Cohen, New York 1923
  • Collected PAPER OFCharles of Sanders Peirce. I-VI would bind hrsg. by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss, 1931 - 1935; Volumes VII VIII hrsg. by Arthur W. Burke 1958. University press, Harvard, Cambridge/measure. 1931-1958.
  • On the algebra OF logic. In: American journal OF Mathematics of volume.7 p. 202, 1885.
  • Microfilm edition after the Annotated Catalogue OF the PAPERs OF Charles S. Peirce of smelling pool of broadcasting corporations S. Robin, Amherst/measure. 1967
  • The of new element OF Mathematics by Charles S. Peirce.4 volumes. Hrsg. of Carolyn Eisele, the Hagueamong other things 1976.
  • Semiotics and Significs. The Correspondence between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria lady Welby, hrsg. of Charles S. Hardwick, Bloomington/London 1977
  • Historical Perspectives on Peirce's logic onScience. At History OF Science of 2 volumes. Hrsg. of Caroly Eisele, Berlin/new one York/Amsterdam 1985
  • The Essential Peirce. Selcted Philosophical Writings, Bd. 1 (1867-1893) hrsg. of N. Houser/C. Kloesel, Bloomington/Indianapolis 1992; Bd. 2 (1893-1913) hrsg. of the Peirce edition Project, Bloomington/Indianapolis 1998 (expenditure for study)
  • The essential writings.Hrsg. by Edward C. Moorlands, Prometheus Books,Amherst, N.Y. 1998, ISBN 1-573-92256-0
  • Writings OF Charles S. Peirce. A chronological edition. Hrsg. of the Peirce edition Project. Indiana University press, Indianapolis, Bloomington 1982ff. (So far 6 volumes, planned 30 volumes)
  • Pragmatism as A Principle OF right Thinking.Hrsg. of PatriciaAnn Turrisi. State OF New York press, Albany, N.Y. 1997.
German expenditures
  • Karl Otto Apel (Hrsg.): Writings to the Pragmatismus us Pragmatizismus. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1976, ISBN 3-518-06029-5 (contains “for emergence the Pragmatismus” and “from the Pragmatismus to the Pragmatizismus”)
  • Klaus Oehler (Hrsg.): Charles S.Peirce. Over the clarity of the thoughts. 3. Aufl. Monastery man, Frankfurt/Main 1985, ISBN 3-465-01650-5
  • Elizabeth roll ago (Hrsg.): Strengthening the conviction and other writings. Ullstein, Frankfurt/Main 1985, ISBN 3-548-35230-8
  • Elizabeth roll ago (Hrsg.): Lectures on Pragmatismus. Mine, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3-7873-0984-5
  • ChristianKloesel, Helmut Pape (Hrsg.):Charles S. Peirce. Semiotic writings. 3 volumes. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 2000 (Bd. 1. , 1865-1903, ISBN 3-518-29080-0; Bd. 2. , 1903-1906, ISBN 3-518-29081-9; Bd. 3. , 1906-1913, ISBN 3-518-29082-7)
  • Helmut Pape (Hrsg.): Charles S. Peirce. Phenomenon andLogic of the indications. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1993, ISBN 3-518-28025-2
  • Hermann Deuser (Hrsg.): Charles S. Peirce. Religion-philosophical writings. Mine, Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-7873-1202-1
  • Helmut Pape (Hrsg.): Nature order and indication process. Writings over semiotic and nature philosophy. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1998, ISBN 3-518-28512-2
  • Kenneth Laine Ketner(Hrsg.):Thinking and the logic of the universe. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 2002, ISBN 3-518-58325-5
quoting way
  • Collected PAPER: Decimally after volume and page number (CP 5,11 = volume five, page 11)
  • Microfilm edition: Ms plus page number
  • The of new element OF Mathematics: NEM volumeplus page number (NEM III/2, 11 = NEM volume 3, 2. Half volume, page 11)
  • Semiotics and Significs: S&S plus page number

the quotations contained in the text originate from the German expenditures or the literature mentioned.


  • the definition thatFiniteness out „on the algebra OF logic “: “Now, ton say that A plumb bob OF objects is finite, is the same as tons say that if incoming goods passport through the class from one tons of another incoming goods sound necessarily come roundton one OF those individuals already passed; that is, if every one OF the plumb bob is into any one ton one relation ton one OF the plumb bob, tons then every one OF the plumb bob some one is in this same relation. “


Philosophy bibliography: Charles of Sanders Peirce - additional reference works
  • Elizabeth walter: Charles of Sanders Peirce. Life and work., Agis, Baden-Baden 1989, ISBN 3-87007-035-8
  • Klaus Oehler: Charles of Sanders Peirce, Beck, Munich 1993, ISBN 3406346359
  • Helmut Pape: Charles S.Peirce for introduction. Junius, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-88506-391-3
  • James Jakób Liszka: A general Introduction ton the Semeiotic OF Charles of Sanders Peirce. Indiana University press, Bloomington/Indianapolis 1996.
  • Ulrich Balzer: Realization as relation network. Categories with Charles S. Peirce. Schöningh, Paderborn 1994, ISBN 3-506-70559-8
  • Joseph Brent: Charles S. Peirce. A would run. Indiana University press, Bloomington 1998, ISBN 0-253-333-50-4
  • Hausman, Carl R.: Charles S. Peirce's Evolutionary Philosophy. Cambridge University press, New York 1993.
  • Michael H. G. Hoffmann: Realization development. A semiotic-pragmatic beginning., Monastery man,Frankfurt/Main 2005, ISBN 3-465-03439-2
  • Stefan Kappner: Intentionalität from semiotic view. Peirceani perspectives. De Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2004, ISBN 3-11-018288-2
  • Ralf Mueller: The dynamic logic of recognizing with Charles S. Peirce. King living and Neumann, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-631-48338-4
  • Ansgar judges: ThatTerm of the Abduktion with Charles S. Peirce. Long, Frankfurt/Main 1995, ISBN 3-631-48338-4
  • Don D. Robert: The Existential of graph OF Charles S. Peirce. Mouton, The Hague 1973. (Approaches ton of Semiotics 27)
  • Gerhard beautiful-smell: Indication-act. Investigations for the term of a semiotic reason inExit of CH. S. Peirce., Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1990, ISBN 3-518-58024-8
  • Uwe Wirth (Hrsg.): The world as indications and hypothesis. Perspectives of the semiotic Pragmatismus of Charles S. Peirce. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 2000, ISBN 3-518-29079-7
  • Julia zinc: Continuum and constitution of the reality.Analysis and Rekronstruktion of the Peirce' schen continuum thought., Diss. Munich 2004. (Pdf)

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