Zitate von Charles Sanders Peirce

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Charles Sanders Peirce

Geburtstag: 10. September 1839
Todesdatum: 19. April 1914

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Charles Santiago Sanders Peirce war ein US-amerikanischer Mathematiker, Philosoph, Logiker und Semiotiker.

Peirce gehört neben William James und John Dewey zu den maßgeblichen Denkern des Pragmatismus, wobei er sich später deutlich von den Entwicklungen der pragmatischen Philosophie distanzierte und sein philosophisches Konzept fortan Pragmatizismus nannte, um sich von James, Dewey, Schiller und Royce abzugrenzen; außerdem gilt er als Begründer der modernen Semiotik. Bertrand Russell und Karl-Otto Apel bezeichneten ihn als den „größten amerikanischen Denker“, Karl Popper betrachtete ihn sogar als „einen der größten Philosophen aller Zeiten“.Peirce leistete wichtige Beiträge zur modernen Logik, unter anderem:

Er führte einen Signifikanztest ein, der prüft, ob eine oder mehrere Messungen zu derselben Normalverteilung gehören wie die übrigen.

Er wies nach, dass aus der logischen Nicht-Und- beziehungsweise der logischen Nicht-Oder-Operation alle anderen aussagenlogischen Junktoren abgeleitet werden können.

Er führte die Standardnotation für Prädikatenlogik erster Ordnung ein.

Wichtigste Theorien in der Semiotik: Theory of signs und Theory of meaning.

Oft wird ihm zugeschrieben, 1885 die Wahrheitstabellen als Mittel eingeführt zu haben, um zu überprüfen, ob eine zusammengesetzte Aussage eine Tautologie ist. Man findet aber dieses semantische Entscheidungsverfahren etwas abstrakt schon bei Boole. Peirce stellte jedoch den Zweck der Tautologiegewinnung deutlich heraus.Peirce beschäftigte sich auch mit logischen Schlussfolgerungsweisen und führte neben der bekannten Induktion und Deduktion die Abduktion als dritte Schlussfolgerungsweise in die Logik ein. Aus der Abfolge von Abduktion, Deduktion und Induktion entwickelte er einen erkenntnis- und wissenschaftstheoretischen Ansatz.

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Zitate Charles Sanders Peirce

„In the case of colors, there is a tridimensional spread of feelings.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Law of Mind (1892), Context: In the case of colors, there is a tridimensional spread of feelings. Originally all feelings may have been connected in the same way, and the presumption is that the number of dimensions was endless. For development essentially involves a limitation of possibilities. But given a number of dimensions of feeling, all possible varieties are obtainable by varying the intensities of the different elements.

„Were the ends of a person already explicit, there would be no room for development, for growth, for life; and consequently there would be no personality.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Law of Mind (1892), Context: Were the ends of a person already explicit, there would be no room for development, for growth, for life; and consequently there would be no personality. The mere carrying out of predetermined purposes is mechanical. This remark has an application to the philosophy of religion. It is that genuine evolutionary philosophy, that is, one that makes the principle of growth a primordial element of the universe, is so far from being antagonistic to the idea of a personal creator, that it is really inseparable from that idea; while a necessitarian religion is in an altogether false position and is destined to become disintegrated. But a pseudo-evolutionism which enthrones mechanical law above the principle of growth is at once scientifically unsatisfactory, as giving no possible hint of how the universe has come about, and hostile to all hopes of personal relations to God.

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„The law of mind only makes a given feeling more likely to arise.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Architecture of Theories (1891), Context: The law of habit exhibits a striking contrast to all physical laws in the character of its commands. A physical law is absolute. What it requires is an exact relation. Thus, a physical force introduces into a motion a component motion to be combined with the rest by the parallelogram of forces; but the component motion must actually take place exactly as required by the law of force. On the other hand, no exact conformity is required by the mental law. Nay, exact conformity would be in downright conflict with the law; since it would instantly crystallise thought and prevent all further formation of habit. The law of mind only makes a given feeling more likely to arise. It thus resembles the "non-conservative" forces of physics, such as viscosity and the like, which are due to statistical uniformities in the chance encounters of trillions of molecules.

„Let there be, not merely an indefinite succession, but a continuous flow of inference through a finite time; and the result will be a mediate objective consciousness of the whole time in the last moment. In this last moment, the whole series will be recognized, or known as known before.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Law of Mind (1892), Context: Now, let there be an indefinite succession of these inferential acts of comparative perception; and it is plain that the last moment will contain objectively the whole series. Let there be, not merely an indefinite succession, but a continuous flow of inference through a finite time; and the result will be a mediate objective consciousness of the whole time in the last moment. In this last moment, the whole series will be recognized, or known as known before.

„First is the conception of being or existing independent of anything else. Second is the conception of being relative to, the conception of reaction with, something else. Third is the conception of mediation, whereby a first and second are brought into relation.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Architecture of Theories (1891), Context: Three conceptions are perpetually turning up at every point in every theory of logic, and in the most rounded systems they occur in connection with one another. They are conceptions so very broad and consequently indefinite that they are hard to seize and may be easily overlooked. I call them the conceptions of First, Second, Third. First is the conception of being or existing independent of anything else. Second is the conception of being relative to, the conception of reaction with, something else. Third is the conception of mediation, whereby a first and second are brought into relation.

„They probably share those current notions of logic which recognise no other Arguments than Argumentations.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God (1908), Context: An "Argument" is any process of thought reasonably tending to produce a definite belief. An "Argumentation" is an Argument proceeding upon definitely formulated premisses. If God Really be, and be benign, then, in view of the generally conceded truth that religion, were it but proved, would be a good outweighing all others, we should naturally expect that there would be some Argument for His Reality that should be obvious to all minds, high and low alike, that should earnestly strive to find the truth of the matter; and further, that this Argument should present its conclusion, not as a proposition of metaphysical theology, but in a form directly applicable to the conduct of life, and full of nutrition for man's highest growth. What I shall refer to as the N. A. — the Neglected Argument — seems to me best to fulfil this condition, and I should not wonder if the majority of those whose own reflections have harvested belief in God must bless the radiance of the N. A. for that wealth. Its persuasiveness is no less than extraordinary; while it is not unknown to anybody. Nevertheless, of all those theologians (within my little range of reading) who, with commendable assiduity, scrape together all the sound reasons they can find or concoct to prove the first proposition of theology, few mention this one, and they most briefly. They probably share those current notions of logic which recognise no other Arguments than Argumentations.

„When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground!“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Architecture of Theories (1891), Context: Of the fifty or hundred systems of philosophy that have been advanced at different times of the world's history, perhaps the larger number have been, not so much results of historical evolution, as happy thoughts which have accidently occurred to their authors. An idea which has been found interesting and fruitful has been adopted, developed, and forced to yield explanations of all sorts of phenomena. … The remaining systems of philosophy have been of the nature of reforms, sometimes amounting to radical revolutions, suggested by certain difficulties which have been found to beset systems previouslv in vogue; and such ought certainly to be in large part the motive of any new theory. … When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground! With what pains he has to excogitate the precise wants that are to be supplied. What a study to ascertain the most available and suitable materials, to determine the mode of construction to which those materials are best adapted, and to answer a hundred such questions! Now without riding the metaphor too far, I think we may safely say that the studies preliminary to the construction of a great theory should be at least as deliberate and thorough as those that are preliminary to the building of a dwelling-house.

„An "Argument" is any process of thought reasonably tending to produce a definite belief. An "Argumentation" is an Argument proceeding upon definitely formulated premisses.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God (1908), Context: An "Argument" is any process of thought reasonably tending to produce a definite belief. An "Argumentation" is an Argument proceeding upon definitely formulated premisses. If God Really be, and be benign, then, in view of the generally conceded truth that religion, were it but proved, would be a good outweighing all others, we should naturally expect that there would be some Argument for His Reality that should be obvious to all minds, high and low alike, that should earnestly strive to find the truth of the matter; and further, that this Argument should present its conclusion, not as a proposition of metaphysical theology, but in a form directly applicable to the conduct of life, and full of nutrition for man's highest growth. What I shall refer to as the N. A. — the Neglected Argument — seems to me best to fulfil this condition, and I should not wonder if the majority of those whose own reflections have harvested belief in God must bless the radiance of the N. A. for that wealth. Its persuasiveness is no less than extraordinary; while it is not unknown to anybody. Nevertheless, of all those theologians (within my little range of reading) who, with commendable assiduity, scrape together all the sound reasons they can find or concoct to prove the first proposition of theology, few mention this one, and they most briefly. They probably share those current notions of logic which recognise no other Arguments than Argumentations.

„It is the man of science, eager to have his every opinion regenerated, his every idea rationalized, by drinking at the fountain of fact, and devoting all the energies of his life to the cult of truth, not as he understands it, but as he does not yet understand it, that ought properly to be called a philosopher.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
Context: It is the man of science, eager to have his every opinion regenerated, his every idea rationalized, by drinking at the fountain of fact, and devoting all the energies of his life to the cult of truth, not as he understands it, but as he does not yet understand it, that ought properly to be called a philosopher. To an earlier age knowledge was power — merely that and nothing more; to us it is life and the summum bonum. Emancipation from the bonds of self, of one's own prepossessions, importunately sought at the hands of that rational power before which all must ultimately bow, — this is the characteristic that distinguishes all the great figures of nineteenth-century science from those of former periods. "The Century's Great Men in Science" in The 19th Century : A Review of Progress During the Past One Hundred Years in the Chief Departments of Human Activity (1901), published by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

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„I call a sign which stands for something merely because it resembles it, an icon. Icons are so completely substituted for their objects as hardly to be distinguished from them.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
On The Algebra of Logic (1885), Context: I call a sign which stands for something merely because it resembles it, an icon. Icons are so completely substituted for their objects as hardly to be distinguished from them. Such are the diagrams of geometry. A diagram, indeed, so far as it has a general signification, is not a pure icon; but in the middle part of our reasonings we forget that abstractness in great measure, and the diagram is for us the very thing. So in contemplating a painting, there is a moment when we lose the consciousness that it is not the thing, the distinction of the real and the copy disappears, and it is for the moment a pure dream, — not any particular existence, and yet not general. At that moment we are contemplating an icon.

„The third Universe comprises everything whose being consists in active power to establish connections between different objects, especially between objects in different Universes. Such is everything which is essentially a Sign“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God (1908), Context: Of the three Universes of Experience familiar to us all, the first comprises all mere Ideas, those airy nothings to which the mind of poet, pure mathematician, or another might give local habitation and a name within that mind. Their very airy-nothingness, the fact that their Being consists in mere capability of getting thought, not in anybody's Actually thinking them, saves their Reality. The second Universe is that of the Brute Actuality of things and facts. I am confident that their Being consists in reactions against Brute forces, notwithstanding objections redoubtable until they are closely and fairly examined. The third Universe comprises everything whose being consists in active power to establish connections between different objects, especially between objects in different Universes. Such is everything which is essentially a Sign — not the mere body of the Sign, which is not essentially such, but, so to speak, the Sign's Soul, which has its Being in its power of serving as intermediary between its Object and a Mind.

„Consciousness must essentially cover an interval of time; for if it did not, we could gain no knowledge of time, and not merely no veracious cognition of it, but no conception whatever.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Law of Mind (1892), Context: Consciousness must essentially cover an interval of time; for if it did not, we could gain no knowledge of time, and not merely no veracious cognition of it, but no conception whatever. We are therefore, forced to say that we are immediately conscious through an infinitesimal interval of time.

„Of this nature are all natural signs and physical symptoms. I call such a sign an index, a pointing finger being the type of the class.
The index asserts nothing; it only says "There!" It takes hold of our eyes, as it were, and forcibly directs them to a particular object, and there it stops.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
On The Algebra of Logic (1885), Context: If the sign were not related to its object except by the mind thinking of them separately, it would not fulfil the function of a sign at all. Supposing, then, the relation of the sign to its object does not lie in a mental association, there must be a direct dual relation of the sign to its object independent of the mind using the sign. In the second of the three cases just spoken of, this dual relation is not degenerate, and the sign signifies its object solely by virtue of being really connected with it. Of this nature are all natural signs and physical symptoms. I call such a sign an index, a pointing finger being the type of the class. The index asserts nothing; it only says "There!" It takes hold of our eyes, as it were, and forcibly directs them to a particular object, and there it stops. Demonstrative and relative pronouns are nearly pure indices, because they denote things without describing them; so are the letters on a geometrical diagram, and the subscript numbers which in algebra distinguish one value from another without saying what those values are.

„Of the fifty or hundred systems of philosophy that have been advanced at different times of the world's history, perhaps the larger number have been, not so much results of historical evolution, as happy thoughts which have accidently occurred to their authors.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
The Architecture of Theories (1891), Context: Of the fifty or hundred systems of philosophy that have been advanced at different times of the world's history, perhaps the larger number have been, not so much results of historical evolution, as happy thoughts which have accidently occurred to their authors. An idea which has been found interesting and fruitful has been adopted, developed, and forced to yield explanations of all sorts of phenomena. … The remaining systems of philosophy have been of the nature of reforms, sometimes amounting to radical revolutions, suggested by certain difficulties which have been found to beset systems previouslv in vogue; and such ought certainly to be in large part the motive of any new theory. … When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground! With what pains he has to excogitate the precise wants that are to be supplied. What a study to ascertain the most available and suitable materials, to determine the mode of construction to which those materials are best adapted, and to answer a hundred such questions! Now without riding the metaphor too far, I think we may safely say that the studies preliminary to the construction of a great theory should be at least as deliberate and thorough as those that are preliminary to the building of a dwelling-house.

„Philosophy, as I understand the word, is a positive theoretical science, and a science in an early stage of development.“

—  Charles Sanders Peirce
Pragmatism and Pragmaticism (1903), Context: Philosophy, as I understand the word, is a positive theoretical science, and a science in an early stage of development. As such it has no more to do with belief than any other science. Indeed, I am bound to confess that it is at present in so unsettled a condition, that if the ordinary theorems of molecular physics and of archaeology are but the ghosts of beliefs, then to my mind, the doctrines of the philosophers are little better than the ghosts of ghosts. I know this is an extremely heretical opinion. Lecture II : The Universal Categories, §3. Laws: Nominalism, CP 5.61

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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