RISING SEAS

Self-criticism is the beginning of logic

Below you can learn exactly what Peirce says to his general reader. The philosophy I am seeking to create believes precisely the same thing — that what logic points to can be scientifically proved.

My only leap is not an effort to implicate Peirce in my conclusions. It is merely what I am perfectly willing to propose as an abduction, even an inference, based on the premise below.

Peirce: CP 2.123 Cross-Ref:††

§2. TEN PRE-LOGICAL OPINIONS

123. Meantime, O Reader, not yet seeing the truth of this, why is it that you have undertaken the study of logic? You may have some excellent reasons which are peculiar to your personal relations to science and to life. But in addition to these, there are certain reasons which you must have, since they attach to the very essence of the study. Presuming that, aside from personal reasons, you desire in singleness of heart to examine the theory of reasoning under the guidance of an older student, I remark that this very fact is evidence that you are already a much better logician than are the mass of mankind, who are thoroughly persuaded that they reason well enough already. I do not mean to say that they maintain that none of them ever reasons wrong. Far from that; though they trust to common sense as affording all the security that could be desired for reasoning, yet their adhesion is majestically unanimous to the proposition that of all the race there is but one single individual who never falls into fallacy; and their only point of difference is that each is quite sure that he himself is that man. Unfortunately, to be cocksure that one is an infallible reasoner is to furnish conclusive evidence either that one does not reason at all, or that one reasons very badly, since that deluded state of mind prevents the constant self-criticism which is, as we shall see, the very life of reasoning. Congratulations, then, from my heart go out to you, my dear Reader, whom I assume to have a sincere desire to learn, not merely the dicta of common sense, but what good reasoning, scientifically examined, shall prove to be. You are already an unusually good logician.