MS 618-627 (1909) - Meaning and Pragmatism

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1909 March 28 3PM MEANING Introd. 1

INTRODUCTION

I wish in this Introduction to explain to the reader what I mean by Meaning and why I hold it to be not merely worth while making a volume about, but a great and import all-important subject about in which Lady Welby, perhaps, first broke ground in her book "What is Meaning?" (New York: The Macmillan Co. 1903. pp. 321), which is here a little further cultivated, an upon in which future writers will find a large field for (the??) profitable a beneficent exercise of unlimited any amount of industry and genius. She calls the sic subject "signifies", and I must, with a little regret, admit that that name, though not beautiful, will answer as a designation; but it is a brand of the great science of Logic, the theory of thought and thinking. I will now proceed to indicate what place I would assign to it among the sciences.

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1909 Mar 29 10 1/4 MEANING Introd. 2

For this purpose, I must first explain what meaning signification I attach to the word "science, and why; and then what I understand by "a science" and by "a branch of science", and why.

The word science, with the corresponding Latin and Greek words, scientia and (?? 'επιδτημη), has been used at different times in three principal senses. As long as Aristotle reigned, science was defined as "knowledge through principles," which was as much as to say, syllogistically demonstrated knowledge. But this manifestly conflicts with modern notions since, in the first place, it excludes all the physical, natural, psychological, philosophical, historical, an other sciences, which for us constitute science par excellence, an in the second place makes the conclusions of a syllogism science, while its a least as well-known premisses may not be science. Therefore, this use of the word is to be utterly rejected. Coleridge in his

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1909 March 29 11 1/4 AM MEANING Introd 3

introduction to the Encyclopedia Metropolitana defined science as systematized knowledge. But this place the emphasis upon a character of secondary importance and he ignores the heart and vitalizing spirit of science. it makes science consist in the text-book, which every man of science more nearly regards as more as the mortuary urn that preserves the ashes of what formerly lived as science. What are the leading characters which animates the true scientific man in whose head and heart genuine science lives? The first is the effective passion to find out the very truth of some subject. The second is that this truth does not animate the scientists because of its is not of mere personal interest in itself as truth. This In saying this I do not in the least exclude practical science, such as a science of the steam-engine, and the

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1909 March 25, 11 PM Meaning 1 Title of this Volume Studies In Meaning By Charles Santiago Sanders Peirce [The Import of Thought: An Essay in Two Chapters.] [The two chapters composing this Essay were first published, without any title for the whole, in The Popular Science Monthly for November 1877 and Junary 1878. A French version by the author (the second having in fact, been first written in French on board a steamer in September 1877) appeared in the Revue Philosophique, Vols VI and VII. They received as little attention as they laid claim to; but some years later the potent pen of Professor James brought their matter {carat: "chief thesis"} to the attention of the philosophic world (pressing it, indeed, further than their the tether of their author {carat: "would reach,"} who continues to acknowledge, not, indeed, the Existence, but yet the Reality, of their Absolute, nearly as it has been set forth, for example, by Royce in his "The World and the Individual", work not free from faults of logic, yet valid in the main.) The doctrine of this pair of chapters has {carat: "already"} for some years been called known.

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