Jeffrey - I have a few problems with your analysis. I'll comment below:
----- Original Message ----- From: "Jeffrey Brian Downard" <jeffrey.down...@nau.edu>
To: "Peirce-L" <PEIRCE-L@list.iupui.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 5:06 PM
Subject: RE: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking


Hello Jon, List,

The argument you are trying to reconstruct could be fleshed out more fully in a number of ways. Here are a few suggestions for filling in some of the details a bit more:

1) JEFFREY: Major premiss: Every inference is, in one way or another, valid as a pattern of inference, including those that are instinctive. Those that appear to be invalid are patterns of inference that are, themselves, valid, but the appearance of invalidity is really due to the fact that we have misunderstood what kind of inference it is (e.g., we think it is inductive, when it is really abductive). Or, the apparent invalidity is really just a lack of soundness in that something in the premisses involves an error on our part and it is really false. As a form of inference, every retroductive conjecture that meets certain conditions (e.g., it responds to a question occasioned by real doubt, it is really explanatory, it is possible to deduce consequences that can be put to the test, it is possible to make inductive inferences that will tend to show the hypotheses is confirmed or disconfirmed by observations, the observations that will be used to test the hypothesis are not the same observations that will be used to make the inductive inference, etc.) is a valid abductive inference--and hence has a logical character. Such arguments can, in time, be the subject of further development in arguments that are more fully under our conscious control. As such, they can be made into logical inferences that may rise up to higher levels of assurance, including those of experience as well as form.

EDWINA: Can you really mix up validity of format and false/truth of the content? [where you write that 'something in the premisses involves an error on our part and it is really false'.
---------------------------------

2) JEFFREY: Minor premiss: The humble argument for the Reality of God is a retroductive conjecture endorsed by instinctive reason. What is more, it has in fact be met with the support of large communities of inquirers at different times and places in human history and culture. In fact, it appears that the core inferential patterns in the argument are prevalent in the thought of virtually all reasonable human beings. Over time, different communities have developed the instinctive hypothesis in a number of different ways, but the core ideas seem to cut across all such communities--including those communities that are quite spiritual in orientation as well as those that claim to be less spiritual in orientation. Setting aside the particularities of how the conceptions have been developed in different human communities, and focusing on the core ideas that appear to be held in common, we can see that those core ideas can be developed into hypotheses that can be affirmed in a responsible and self-controlled manner by those who are deeply infused by the desire to learn and who have a relatively refined sense of how to conduct their inquires according to experimental methods.

EDWINA: I think that you are ADDING premises to this that are not in the basic syllogism.

You are declaring that 'it has been met with the support of large communities of inquirers'..BUT - this does not have anything to do with the logical format, and frankly cannot be used to substantiate the truth/falseness of the argument. [Argument ad populum]

You declare that 'the core inferential patterns in the argument are prevalent in the thought of virtually all reasonable human beings'. Again, an appeal-to-authority and majority - but, this does not prove truth/falseness of the argument. It also doesn't deal with the faft that 'reasonable human beings' can be atheists.

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3) JEFFConclusion: The humble argument for the Reality of God is logical in all three senses--according to the assurance of instinct, experience and according to the exact requirements of good logical form. We should remember, however, that this is not a claim that the conclusion of the argument is true. Rather, the claim is that the conclusion is plausible. While it may lack something by way of security, it possesses much by way of uberty. In fact, our experience shows that this grand hypothesis--which serves a remarkable totalizing and synthesizing role in the great economy of our ideas--both within the realm of our long growing commitments of common sense and in our most cutting edge inquiries in the special sciences--has shown and continues to show great uberty in the way that it informs the healthy growth of our aesthetic feelings, our ethical practices and in the ongoing logical growth of our thought.

EDWINA: I agree - as you say, it's not a claim that the conclusion is true. But, I'm not sure that you can say that because an argumental format is logical, that the conclusion is plausible.
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So, let us ask: does this hypothesis involving the conception of God involve some kind of confusion on our part about the real character of the inference, or does it rest on false premisses? Peirce's essay on "The Neglected Argument" is a sustained effort to show that neither of these is the case. As such, it is a reasonable hypothesis. Is the same true of the alternate hypotheses?

--Jeff

Jeffrey Downard
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Northern Arizona University
(o) 928 523-8354
________________________________________
From: Jon Alan Schmidt [jonalanschm...@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:24 PM
To: Peirce-L
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Theory of Thinking

List:

Based on what Peirce wrote in R 842 ...

CSP: Taking the general description of it as a minor premiss, and a certain theory of logic as a major premiss, it will follow by a simple syllogism that the humble argument is logical and that consequently whoever acknowledges its premisses need have no scruple in accepting its conclusion.

... I am now inclined to think that the syllogism that he had in mind was something like this.

Major premiss: Every retroductive conjecture endorsed by instinctive reason is logical. Minor premiss: The humble argument for the Reality of God is a retroductive conjecture endorsed by instinctive reason.
Conclusion:  The humble argument for the Reality of God is logical.

Again, this is a relatively modest claim, especially since Peirce clearly recognized that retroduction is the least secure form of inference.

Regards,

Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt<http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/JonAlanSchmidt> - twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt<http://twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt>



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