just a funny sidenote:

Thomas Telford founder and lifelong president of the Institution of Civil Engineers denied, according to Karl Polanyi, all phycicists membership in the institution, because physics was at that time only theoretical and of no practical use ;)

Something many people forget: The industrial revolution was a revolution led by engineers and social scientists (just think of Owen, Bentham etc.). Peirce classification of the sciences in some way reflects the rewriting of history in favour of the natural sciences.


Am 01.10.16 um 22:48 schrieb Jon Alan Schmidt:
Mike, List:

Alas, as I anticipated, there was no further discussion of principles of classification in R 1343. There were some fragments of alternative drafts of the portion that I already excerpted, but they did not seem different enough to warrant typing up and posting.

I was also quite disappointed when I finally got to the point in Peirce's elaborate classification of the practical sciences where my discipline of structural engineering should have appeared, on pages 82-83. The relevant text consisted entirely of the following.

    CSP:  The Moloperous Sciences, or Engineering ... The
    Classification of the Sciences of Nontransportational Construction
    Engineering will not at present be attempted. It must include the
    Science of Contracting.

Seriously? Pages and pages about twelve different kinds of instinct (whose names all start with G), a lengthy discourse about balloons and airships, but no attempt whatsoever to classify the one category that corresponds to what I do for a living--except to say that it includes /contractors/? Peirce did include bridge-building among the Sciences of Road Construction, and there is a paragraph about Invention under Mechanical Engineering that is loosely related to my Logic of Ingenuity; but he really let me down this time.

Fortunately, my earlier transcription of R 1357--drafts and fragments from Peirce's mid-1890s report to civil engineer George S. Morison on the effect of live loads on the latter's proposed suspension bridge across the Hudson River, near the eventual site of the George Washington Bridge--was more fruitful. There he extolled the virtues of engineers who design aesthetically pleasing structures, rightly called the 19th century "the classical age of engineering ... before it shrinks to small ambitions," reiterated the essential role of diagrammatic reasoning in engineering analysis, and recognized the superiority of energy methods over the "method of moments" that was being used by most engineers at the time.


Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman <> - <>

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