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  Final Version - MS L75.398-408  



      To my apprehension, any man over sixty years of age, who is endowed with reason, is a better judge of his own powers and of the utility of his performances than other people can be expected to be. Particularly is this true when the man has accumulated a large fund of unpublished results. Yet as soon as such a man assumes the attitude of seeking recognition for the utility of his work, suspicions as to the candor of his appreciations may be suggested by those who, for any reason, are unfavorable to the action he desires.

      For that reason, I shall confine myself to asserting in a general way my profound conviction of the utility of publishing my results, as likely to influence some sciences, but still more as themselves stimulating a most important branch of science, that of logic, which is at present in a bad way. The latter kind of utility is not much diminished if I have fallen into some errors. Beyond averring that conviction, I do not offer myself as a witness to the utility of the work. I should, indeed, not have gone so far as I have done, were I not persuaded that the Executive Committee ought to require, as one of the first conditions of extending aid to any work, that the person who was to do it should be saturated with faith in its utility and value.

      I will indicate certain lines of thought which, if pursued by the Executive Committee, may determine an opinion in regard to the utility of the work I propose. These lines of thought are two. The one bears upon the value of my researches considered as contributions to pure science; the other relates to their probable influence, direct or indirect, upon the progress of other sciences. I will first venture upon a few suggestions along the latter line.

      What would be the degree of utility of a really good and sound methodeutic, supposing that it existed, for the other sciences? I am not of opinion that a science of logic is altogether indispensable to any other science, because every man has his instinctive logica utens, which he gradually corrects under the influence of experience. Indeed, instinct, within its proper domain, is generally less liable to err and is capable of greater subtlety than is any human theory. Perhaps it may sound like a contradiction to talk of "instinctive logic." It may possibly be thought that instinct is precisely that which is not logic or reason. But think of a man whose business it is to lend out money. The accuracy of his cool reason is what he relies upon; and yet he is not guided by a theory of reasoning, but much rather upon an intense love of money which stimulates his faculties of reasoning. That is what I call his logica utens. There are many fields in which few will maintain that any theoretical way of reaching conclusions can ever be so sure as the natural instinctive reasoning of an experienced man. Yet let instinct tread beyond its proper borders but by ever so little, and it becomes the most helpless thing in the world, a veritable fish out of water. Sciences do often go wrong: that cannot be denied. Their history contains many a record of wasted time and energy that a good methodeutic might have spared. Think of the Hegelian generation in Germany! Is reasoning the sole business whose method ought not to be scientifically and minutely analyzed? To me, it is strange to see a man like Poincare (whom I mention only as a most marked case among many) who, in his own science, would hold it downright madness to trust to anything but the minutest and most thorough study, nevertheless discussing questions of the logic of science in a style of thought that seems to imply a deliberate disapproval of minute analysis in that field, and a trust to a sort of "On to Richmond" cry, I mean a cry that those who have not closely studied are better judges than those who have.

      Many will say that all that may be true, but that, as a matter of fact, we are already in possession of a scientific system of logic, that of Mill. Now it is displeasing to me to be forced to decry Mill's Logic; because, looking at it in certain very broad outlines, I approve of it. The book has unquestionably done much good, especially in Germany, which needed it most. But I must declare that quite no deep student of logic entertains a very high respect for it. If, however, that book, though written by a literary and not a scientific man, by a mere advocate of a shallow metaphysics, has had so beneficial an influence as unquestionably it has, would it not seem to be desirable that the same subject should be pursued, I do not say by me, but by scientific students of it? Surely, enough has been done to make it manifest that there is such a thing as strictly scientific logic. For instance, the doctrine of chances is nothing else. The doctrine of chances has been called the logic of the exact sciences; and as far as it goes, so precisely it is. Its immense service to science will not be disputed by any astronomer, by any geodesist, nor probably by any physicist. Pearson and Galton have shown how useful it many be in biological and psychognostic researches. The utility of truly scientific logic, then, is indisputable. But that general logic is today in a bad way would seem to be sufficiently shown by the fact that it is pursued by thirteen different methods, and mostly by a confused jumble of those methods, of which I, a very fallible person of course but still a scientific man who has carefully weighed them, pronounce but one, and that one in bad odor, to be alone of general validity. Is it, then, not desirable that an interest in pursuing logical inquiries in a true scientific spirit and by acknowledged scientific methods should be aroused? If it be so, is not the publication of my researches, even if they contain some errors, as likely to stimulate such studies as anything that could be suggested? Slight and fragmentary as my publications have been, dealing with the less important of my results, have they not in some appreciable degree stimulated the production of such work? I point to the third volume of Schroeder's Logik. Look at it, or ask him, and I think you will say that I have exercised some stimulating agency. Everybody admires (nobody more than I) the beautiful presentation by Dedekind of the logic of number; and Dedekind, by the way, pronounces all pure mathematics to be a branch of logic. Read his Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen, and then read my paper on the Logic of Number, published six years earlier, and sent to Dedekind, and ask yourselves whether there is anything in the former of which there is not a plain indication in the latter. Let me not be misunderstood. I am simply arguing that my papers have stimulated the science of logic. I wish with all my heart the Executive Committee could have in view some other student of logic of vastly greater powers than mine. But even if they had, considering how much energy has been spent in obtaining my results, would it not be a pity not to have them presented to the world?

      It is my belief that science is approaching a critical point in which the influence of a truly scientific logic will be exceptionally desirable. Science, as the outlook seems to me, is coming to something not unlike the age of puberty. Its old and purely materialistic conceptions will no longer suffice; while yet the great danger involved in the admission of any others, ineluctable as such admission is, is manifest enough. The influence of the conceptions of methodeutic will at that moment be decisive.

      Vast, however, as the utility of logic will be in that direction, provided that logic shall at the critical moment have developed into that true science which it is surely destined some day to become, yet the pure theoretical value of it is greater yet. No doubt, it is possible, while acknowledging, as one must, that logic produces useful truths, to take the ground that it is a composite of odds and ends, a crazy-quilt of shreds and patches, of no scientific value in itself. But seeing that pure mathematics is so close to logic, that eminent mathematicians class it as a branch of logic, it is hard to see how one can deny pure scientific worth to logic and yet accord such worth to pure mathematics. Probably there are naturalists of culture so narrow that they would deny absolute scientific value to pure mathematics. I do not believe the Committee will embrace such views. And then, there in metaphysics to be considered. Everybody must have his Weltanschauung. It certainly influences science in no small measure. But metaphysics depends on logic, not merely as any science my occasionally need to appeal to a logical doctrine, but, according to the greatest metaphysicians, the very conceptions of metaphysics are borrowed from the analyses of logic. Now if there is any such thing as pure scientific value, as distinguished from the admiration one might have for a newly discovered dye, in what can it consist if not in intellectual relations between truths? If so it be, then, in view of the relation of logic to metaphysics, and that of metaphysics to all science, how can it be said that logic is devoid of scientific value, if there by any such thing as scientific value? If logic is the science which my memoirs go to show that it is, it is the very keystone in the arch of scientific truth.

      Little known as my papers have been, I believe that there are some men, whose judgments must command respect in the world of science, who will testify to the utility of the work that I have done, and to the probable utility of that which I am about to do.



  Final Version - MS L75.408-410  



      My results in each of the three dozen topics have to be carefully revised, though for the most part that has often been done already, have to be set into logical order, and have to be presented in the fully convincing forms which they merit. It is also most desirable that the presentation of each should be as brief and as closely confined to what is pertinent as is consistent with completeness and with perspicuity. A certain amount of labor must be bestowed upon their literary polish; for my purpose requires that they should be read by persons who are not professional logicians. Indeed, for persons who are disposed to think, I believe that as far as in me lies I should make them even attractive; although I am painfully conscious of my small literary ability.

      Taking all these things into consideration, my experience of what I can do suffices to enable me to say that six memoirs a year is all I ought to promise, although I should confidently hope to finish the three dozen in five years.

      I should be loath to inflict as many as a million words upon a student: it would so narrow my field of influence. I am sure that my results could not be presented as they merit, in all their convincingness in half a million. The majority of the memoirs could be compressed into about 20,000 words each; but only by laborious and clever condensation. A very few which might be much shorter are overbalanced by quite as many or more that must inevitably mount to 50,000 words each, dividing themselves advantageously into two parts. To bring the total within the million, seeing that they so increase in matter as the series advances that every one of the last quarter of the series is excessively dense in matter, is going to be a task calling for all my vigor but most needful.

      Persons whose business it is to write, and who are not troubled with having too much to say, may argue that 200,000 words a year is only 700 words a day for six days in every week, and that such a limit can only be set by indolence. To this I can only reply that it would be much easier to make the memoirs three times as long as I propose. At that rate, they would be better, taken singly. But the whole would be too much. If anybody suspects me of indolence, I shall only have to turn in all the papers; and it will be seen that I have in each case written from three to five times as much as I include in the final copy.

* * *

  From Draft E - MS L75.193-194  

      When one calculates that this means only 400 to 700 words a day for six days in the week, I fear the Executive Committee may receive suggestions that it is indolence which I am scheming for. But I am willing to agree to send on with each memoir papers written in the preparation of it showing that it is the result of condensation to from 1/3 to 1/5 of what I was prepared to say; and that I have actually written 2000 words a day (which is my steady habit at all times). When one takes into consideration the amount of careful reading almost every memoir involves, to say nothing of the intellectual labor of revising my results and putting them into shape and logical order, I do not think that anybody will think it wise to endeavor to persuade the Executive Committee that indolence is my characteristic.



  Final Version - MS L75.410-411  



      These other expenses are mainly books, although the person who examines and reports upon the memoirs should be remunerated for his labor. Historical statements and critical examinations form an essential part of the plan. Books must be hand. My entire library contains only about 2000 books. I shall require 500 more, costing say $2000.

* * *

  From Draft E - MS L75.195-196  

      It is desirable that during this work I should occasionally see something of scientific men and students of philosophy. That is, however, not indispensable.

      But what is indispensable is that what is said should be said convincingly, and therefore that due notice should be paid to opposing opinions. For this purpose, books must be criticized. Now no matter how familiar one may be with a book, one must have it at hand in order to venture upon any remark about it, except the most general. There are other books which are absolutely indispensable for this work. I should have to add 500 volumes to my present library of some- 2000. They would cost me $2000. I might perhaps obtain the use of them for five years by agreeing to surrender my whole library at the end of that period. It is true that I could then no longer give students the advantage of my instruction, as I like to do, and my earnings are dependent on my books that such a step would be a dernier resort. Everyday duties must come first; but after them my supreme effort will be to give the world the results of logical studies. However, I do not know that I could make such an arrangement.



  Final Version - MS L75.411  



      I am bound to confess that should the Carnegie Institution refuse all cooperation, I should continue to be animated by a robust faith that somehow my results would be given to the world; and I am fully satisfied that that faith is logically justified. It might prove mistaken; and if it did, my concern would be limited to knowing that I had performed my part. But while I fully believe that I shall succeed in any case, I have no definite idea of how I could do so in default of the aid which I ask from the Carnegie Institution; and in that sense I can truly say that such aid seems to be indispensable. I believe the Executive Committee will help me.



  Final Version - MS L75.412-413  



      I should suggest that each memoir, as finished, should be sent by me, in MS. or type written, to the office of the Carnegie Institution and should be at once placed in the hands of a man of my own rank as a thinker, or higher, whose duty it should be, not to go into any criticism of it but to look it over, say in an hour or two, and report upon whether or not it seems to be such a solid piece of work as is worthy of acceptance. Upon his favorable report, say within a week, the Carnegie Institution should cause a sum of money to be remitted to me and should become the owner of the copyright in the memoir sent in.

      I should suggest that if the length of the memoir was from 15,000 to 30,000 it should count as a unit; if more as two units, and that the remittance should be so much per unit. This is a mere suggestion as, indeed, is the whole plan.

      The Committee might see fit to put a limit upon the number of units that would be receivable in one year. I do not think that under any circumstances it could exceed nine, and that number could only be reached some year owing to special circumstances.

      The memoirs should be handed in in their regular serial order.

      Since the books needed would be needed at the outset, if the Carnegie Institution would supply me with 500 books of my choice to be kept for a term of years, I would agree that my whole library should go at my death to the free school of logic I desire to found or to any other party whom the Carnegie Institute might designate. If this plan is not agreeable, I should ask in some form to receive extra help the first year. By making selections of subjects, I could write nine memoirs in the first year; but it would be a bad plan. The memoirs ought to be written in the order of consecution.

* * *

  From Draft E - MS L75.197-198  

      I would suggest that each memoir when completed should be sent by me in MS. or type written to the office of the Carnegie Institution and should be submitted to the judgment of a qualified person, on order that he should report whether it represented the expected amount of work and thought; and that upon his favorable report the treasurer of the Carnegie Institution should remit to me a certain sum, say so much for a memoir of 20,000 words, and double that amount if the length exceeds 40,000. Or the amount might be invariable; or it might be strictly proportionate to the number of words. I have usually been paid $25 a thousand words for such philosophical writing as I have been paid for. Of course, none of it was nearly as laborious as this will be. The amount would have to be sufficient for the support of myself and wife, and for the purchase of some books. There might be a limit as to the amount of work receivable in any one year. The memoirs could be published separately, and could be sold for the benefit of the Carnegie Institution.

       Since the books needed are needed at the very outset, although it would be far better that the memoirs should be prepared in their intended order of consecution, as numbered above, yet in order to enable me to obtain the needed money for the books, I might the first year produce such memoirs as could be most quickly produced, and might thus make nine or ten. This would be a bad plan; but since I am informed that the Executive Committee will, under no circumstances aid in furnishing books required for the work done under their auspices, it seems to remain the only feasible plan. In case my information should be incorrect, if the Carnegie Institution will provide me with $2000 worth of books for a term of years, my whole library shall go to a school of logic, or some arrangement shall be made agreeable to the committee.



  Final Version - MS L75.415-420  



      Each memoir is complete in itself. The science of logic will be completed not earlier than the sciences of biology and of history are complete. But it is eminently desirable that the series of three dozen memoirs should be completed. Having all my life long sacrificed every interest to logic, it might seem that I was insulting the Executive Committee if I were to suppose their knowledge of human nature was such that they could doubt my finishing this series if death, total incapacity, or the necessities of daily life did not intervene. It has been represented to me, however, by persons of the highest credit, that the Committee would insist on some assurance that the whole would be finished. Without permitting myself either to believe or disbelieve this, I think I am justified in offering such assurance as lies in my power, in case the Committee should something of the sort.

      I am in excellent health and capital trim for this work. I do not think there will be much danger of my breaking down in five years. However, if the Committee thinks there is, I would suggest that in the first six months, instead of writing the first three memoirs, I write, in six equal monthly parts, each of not less than 15,000 words, abstracts of the memoirs, six memoirs in regular order being treated in each part. Then in case the work of writing the memoirs (which under this arrangement would only begin at the end of six months) were broken off, otherwise than by the action of the Carnegie Institution, the copyright of this abstract should pass to the institution; but the Carnegie Institution during those first six months should contribute liberally to aid the production of these abstracts. I say "liberally," because books would have to be procured. If, on the other hand, the series of memoirs were completed then, but not before, I should be at liberty to do what I pleased with the abstracts. What I should be pleased to attempt would be to make out of them a logic for the people, a charming classic for the twentieth century, thus, as a secondary object, sparing my old age the mortifications of extreme poverty, although I am not capable of making such an object a leading one. If the memoirs were, say, half of them published, then this abstract (which I should have been continually polishing) could be used to complete the publication. In this I am not peculiar. For my observation is that the men are rare who are able to pursue steadily a purely egoistic purpose; a fact of psychology which those who are capable of it, are apt to overlook. [EDITORIAL NOTE: the preceding two sentences were originally appended by Peirce as a footnote to the remark before them.]

      But a better plan, I think, would be to devote the first three months to writing abstracts of the last nine memoirs, omitting altogether the historical and critical parts. This would be a very great loss; because, though the plan might result in a tolerably complete presentation of the main argument, its convincingness would be unfelt by the mass of readers. Still, it would leave the matter in such shape that a writer of ability coming after me would be able to rewrite this part of the series, the most practically useful part, so as to bring out the whole force of the argument. But I should always object to the publication of any such abstracts as long as there was any hope of my producing the full memoirs.

      As an additional or alternative security, I should suggest, supposing that other security were desired by the Executive Committee, that a contract be executed between the Carnegie Institution and me by which I should be bound to send in the memoirs with no interval between any successive two exceeding three months, unless some visitation of providence (say, a five month's illness, a conflagration, or a domestic calamity) should intervene, and even then not exceeding five months. Otherwise, I, failing in this, should be bound to repay to the Carnegie Institution all money up to that time paid to me, while losing the copyrights of the printed memoirs. I would yearly furnish bonds that such money should be refunded, if failure should occur within one year. I should secure my bondsman by putting into his hands first draughts of the memoirs for the ensuing year, which though they would not be satisfactory to me, would, nevertheless, a la rigueur conform to the agreement. Of course, this would be but partial security.

      I beg to say, lest the Executive Committee should deem this proposition ridiculous, that I express no opinion about it. I stand ready to carry it out, if desired. I am most anxious to meet what highly credible people believe to be the wish of members of the Committee; and no better plan occurs to me.

      Of course, in case any contract were made, the Carnegie Institution would by its terms become bound to persist in the arrangement to the end, and to publish each memoir within, say, one year of the date of its approval.

      I have a reputation of not finishing things. I suppose there is some basis of truth beneath it. But it has been, like every evil reputation, exaggerated out of all semblance of truth by calumny. It should be remembered that I was connected for along time with the Coast Survey; and it will be easy for members of the Committee to ascertain that that office has been, at time, a veritable hotbed of intrigue, and that I, in particular, have sometimes suffered great injustice there. Voluminous memoirs were prepared by me for publication which I never could get printed; and then I was accused, vaguely and in intangible forms, of not getting my work ready for publication. For the truth of this (except that the accusations were made) I stand responsible. I have often made this statement. If it is not true, why am I not called upon to go ahead with the printing?

      Excepting in the case of one early paper on the logic of mathematics, which I concluded I did not know enough about to continue, I have never had a disinclination to go on with any series of publications which I had begun. On the contrary, the disinclination has always been on the side of those who were to pay for the printing. When such disinclination was manifested, of course I ceased to press the matter.

* * *

  From Draft E - MS L75.199-201  

      I understand that it is thought that I have a disposition not to persist in my undertakings. I admit I have sometimes projected schemes which I did not carry out for one reason or another, especially because I have had comparatively small interest in anything but logic and the methods of science; but my reputation in that respect is largely manufactured of Coast Survey intriguers. I prepared for publication three voluminous memoirs for the Survey. The persons who were in power in the Coast Survey refused to print them, and then told people that I never got my material into form to be printed. I have since then repeatedly offered to see these memoirs through the press; but these offers have always been declined, for the reason, as I think, that it was supposed they were made with a view of getting some influence upon the Survey. Meantime, the effect of finding that I could not get my work printed was that I busied myself with logic which alone I cared for independently of publication.

      I have never had a disinclination to continue any series of publications which I had begun. The difficulty has always been that I could not get any more printed. I am informed that the Carnegie Institution will desire some assurance that the series of memoirs I propose will be completed. I am ready, then, to sign a contract by which, should more than three months elapse without my handing in a new memoir until the series is complete, unless I should die or have been, according to a physician's certificate, ill, by no fault of mine, and thus incapacitated, for at least five months, then I shall be obliged to refund all that has been paid to me; and each year, after the first, I will find security for such payment; while the Carnegie Institution, on its side, shall be bound to continue the arrangement to the end, and to procure the publication of each memoir within a reasonable time of its being reported upon favorably. It seems to me that this is a sufficient reply to the objection (which seems to me factitious) that because I have always sacrificed every interest to logic, I am now likely to sacrifice logic to indolence.



  Final Version - MS L75.420-421  



      Mill's Logic went through nine editions before the copyright expired. I should not expect anything like that. But still, the utility of these memoirs will require me to make them as agreeable reading and as little tedious as their scientific character will allow. Great pains will be bestowed upon this; and it will be perfectly proper that they be handed over to a publisher and sold like any books. In time there will be some sale for them. It would certainly make up in considerable part for the remittances made to me. For five or six years' support of me and my wife, the Carnegie Institution would receive the fruit of over forty years' meditation and labor. For the price of 500 books, it would, after a term of years, have 2500 books to dispose of. I think its objects would profit by the transaction.

* * *

  From Draft E - MS L75.202-203  

      If the Carnegie Institution should adopt some such plan as that I have ventured to suggest, they will advance me something like a professor's salary for five years, and in return will have the product of my pen for that time. Now Mill's Logic went through nine or ten editions. To be sure, it was not so voluminous as my memoirs will be, was written by a literary man, and was just deep enough to please people who were not very accurate in their thinking. In these respects, my memoirs will be at a great disadvantage, no doubt. Still, there will be some sale for them; and the Executive Committee can judge how far the net cost of the assistance given me might turn out less than the amount first put in. I may mention, as a possibility, that if my wife and I continue to live in this very lovely place, which has 60 acres improved with 112 acres woodland, and a large house, I should, if I get the aid asked from the Carnegie Institution, try to have a free summer school of logic here; and should that flourish, that is, should learners and teachers come here, and should the place pass into my possession, then, if the Carnegie Institution should have any use for it, it would with little doubt pass to the Institution as a gift. Of course, there are several contingencies here.



  Final Version - MS L75.422-425  



      A man has put nearly fifty years of singleminded endeavor into a work of benefit to science. He has a sort of claim, vague only in being addressed to no particular party, that he should be rewarded for what he has done. But the only reward which would be a reward would be that of being enabled to complete his life-work.

      At this juncture one of the most extraordinary figures of all humanity puts down an enormous sum of money and expresses the wish that it be used, as the second of six emphasized aims, "to discover the exceptional man in every department of study whenever and wherever found, inside or outside of schools, and enable him to make the work for which he seems specially designed his life work."

      Composed as your body is, reason alone will determine your decision. Logic is a "department of study." Whether or not, in this narrow field, I am an "exceptional man"--and to be such is anything but a good fortune, in such a direction nothing but a burden--you will determine, looking probably into the third volume of Schroeder's Logik where my work is mentioned in some two hundred places. On page 1, I am called the "Hauptfoerderer" of "eine grossartige Disziplin," the "Logik der Beziehungen." Although my explanations attached to the above list of proposed memoirs are of such a nature as to preclude their showing how greatly the logic of relatives really determines all my conclusions upon every topic of logic, nevertheless the impression which a reading of those explanations would create, that the subject of relations does not constitute any overwhelming part of the subjects of my researches, is quite correct. Should it seem to you to be true that the duties of an "exceptional man" in the department of logic have to be borne by me, then it will become one of your duties to aid me in the performance of mine to make the work for which this man "seems specially designed his life work." I am frank to say that the idea that phrase embodies has long impressed me; namely, that men seem to be specially designed for various kinds of work, and that, if it be so, the work for which I seem to have been designed is that of working out the truths of logic.

      If you should be led to this opinion, then my claim to the reward for the life I have so far put into this work, the reward of being enabled to complete it, in the sense in which it is susceptible of completion, is no longer so vague; but I shall then find in you a definite party upon whom I have that claim; since in satisfying it, you will only be carrying out one of the responsibilities which you have accepted.

      Whatever action you may take, it is my duty to believe, and I do believe, that the work will get done. At any rate, all that I feel much concern about is that I should do my very utmost to carry out my part effectively. I have no disposition to even ask myself what specifically your duty is, of which you are the sole judges, except so far as we shall all have to render account hereafter. Submitting, then, my application to your kindly wisdom, I remain, Gentlemen,

With profound respect, etc., etc.
(signed) C. S. Peirce


End of PART 10 of 10 of MS L75

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