Editorial Notes
Joseph Ransdell

      "Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man" is the first of a set of three papers published in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the first English language philosophical journal. It appeared in Vol. 2, pp. 103-114 (1868). The second and third papers of the set, "Some consequences of Four Incapacities" and "Grounds of Validity of the Laws of Logic: Further Consequences of Four Incapacities," appeared in the same volume, though the second bears the publication date of 1868 and the third the date of 1869.
     The three are sometimes referred to as the "theory of cognition" papers, and are commonly recognized to be among the most important in the overall corpus of Peirce's work, both as regards the problem of understanding Peirce's views and as contributions to the standing problems of philosophy.
     Taken as a set they are so rich in content that it is difficult to justly characterize what they aim at achieving as a whole, but one brief characterization of them would be that the set of three aims at showing that the foundations of logic are to be found in the import of the proposition that all thought is in signs, meaning first of all that thought is publicly available in our communicational discourse, rather than being something hidden and private which we can access only as something "subjective".

      This is a digitized version of the paper as it originally appeared, which is in the public domain. However, we insert in the text both the page numbers of the version of the paper which appears in the recent chronological edition of Peirce's work, Writings of Charles S. Peirce (Indiana University Press), and the paragraph numbers of the version of it in the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (Harvard University Press). These numbers are shown within parentheses in the text and on the corresponding "buttons" in the jump-tables, e.g. "W2.49" means page 49 of Volume 2 in the Writings of Charles S. Peirce and "CP1.545" means paragraph 545 in Volume 1 of the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce.

     The rationale is to keep referential practices in on-line publication and discussion consistent with the practices that have developed prior to this in referring to passages in Peirce's work, and the papers in this set are almost always referenced by scholars as they appear in one of those two versions. (Since the pagination of the journal in which it originally appeared is never used in scholarly reference, it is not included here.) This eliminates the need for including special pagination for the on-line digital version of this set of papers.

     Conventions and practices of scholarly reference in on-line publication of Peirce's work in particular will have to be developed ad hoc because of the unusually various kinds of circumstances to be accounted for and the continuing development of the new medium. There should be a continuing attempt, though, toward the development of a small number of special paradigms that will eventuate in a reasonably simple and stable universal practice as regards Peirce in particular.




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Page modified by B.U. June 29, 2012 — B.U.
Last modified December 16, 1997 — J.R.

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