An Essay toward Improving Our Reasoning in Security and in Uberty

Thirty-first Selection, pp. 463474.

MS 682.

Origin of the Text

During the last two years of his life Peirce was very ill and could work only for a few hours on those rare days when he felt somewhat better. Among his last manuscripts we find a series of unfinished documents in which he attempted to continue his study of the assurance provided by the different types of reasoning. Noteworthy are MSS 680, "Analysis of the Trustworthiness of the Different Kinds of Reasonings," and 681, "A Study of How to Reason Safely and Efficiently." The last adverb, "efficiently," announces the appearance of a new theme, one that will receive a new name in the title of MS 684: "A Study of Reasoning in its Security and in its Uberty." "Uberty" is defined in the untitled MS 683 (which may be an earlier--or later--variant of MS 682) as the character "of being actually gravid with living and prolific truth." The present selection was most likely composed in September-October 1913.