I agree with Jon, of course. He is right about the confusion, and the issue I 
tried to address in my previous post was to find some common unifying factor, 
not necessarily the best statement of the pragmatic maxim. Nonetheless, I 
believe there are better and worse versions, and that these are far outweighed 
by partial versions (not to mention outright misunderstandings).

The non-existence of a single or best pragmatic maxim in Peirce makes Jerry’s 
request of me impossible to satisfy., as I tried in a rather around about way 
to explain.

John Collier
Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal

From: Jon Alan Schmidt [mailto:jonalanschm...@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, 15 October 2016 8:24 PM
To: Peirce-L <peirce-l@list.iupui.edu>
Subject: [PEIRCE-L] Pragmatic Maxims (was Peirce's Cosmology)


Per Gary R.'s request, I am shifting this discussion to a new thread topic.  I 
would appreciate it if others would do likewise when extending any of the other 
ongoing conversations about pragmatic maxims or other subjects besides Peirce's 

There seems to be a confusion here between "the pragmatic maxim," which is a 
very specific principle of methodeutic with multiple formulations in Peirce's 
writings, and "the best pragmatic maxim," which is not something that Peirce 
ever discussed as far as I can tell.  In particular, CP 5.189 is not the 
pragmatic maxim, nor even a pragmatic maxim in the same sense, so it is 
certainly not the best pragmatic maxim.  For one thing, as we established 
recently in another thread, it is the form of inference for abduction only, and 
thus falls under logical critic.  The pragmatic maxim subsequently serves as a 
tool for admitting hypotheses that are amenable to deductive explication and 
inductive evaluation, and rejecting those that are not.

In any case, there is no need to guess or speculate which pragmatic maxim 
Peirce had in mind when he wrote the following ...

That is, pragmatism proposes a certain maxim which, if sound, must render 
needless any further rule as to the admissibility of hypotheses to rank as 
hypotheses, that is to say, as explanations of phenomena held as hopeful 
suggestions; and, furthermore, this is all that the maxim of pragmatism really 
pretends to do, at least so far as it is confined to logic, and is not 
understood as a proposition in psychology. (CP 5.196; 1903)

... because he told us in the very next sentence.

For the maxim of pragmatism is that a conception can have no logical effect or 
import differing from that of a second conception except so far as, taken in 
connection with other conceptions and intentions, it might conceivably modify 
our practical conduct differently from that second conception.


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

On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 12:14 PM, Jerry Rhee 
<jerryr...@gmail.com<mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com>> wrote:
John Collier, John Sowa, Kirsti Maatanen, Edwina Taborsky, list:

John Collier:
But that is my point.  Isn't a pragmatic maxim to be taken strictly since it is 
carefully crafted, with logographic necessity, then it shouldn't be handled 
loosely.  To say that such things are in the pragmatic maxim (the pragmatic 
maxim and not a pragmatic maxim) also implies that it is in ONE pragmatic 
maxim, the best one.  So, which one?  I think this is the matter that does not 
get criticized enough.

John Sowa, Edwina:

"logos means something rather like calculation than religion..." ~Strauss

“The little matter of distinguishing one, two, and three --in a word, number 
and calculation: --do not all arts and sciences necessarily partake of them?

Sophist, statesman, philosopher! O my dear Theodorus, do my ears truly witness 
that this is the estimate formed of them by the great calculator and 

“By understanding both sophistry (in its highest as well as in its lower 
meanings) and statesmanship, one will understand what philosophy is.”~Strauss

“When a reputable witness makes, or witnesses make, an assertion which 
experience renders highly improbable, or when there are other independent 
arguments in its favor, each independent argument pro or con produces a certain 
impression upon the mind of the wise man, dependent for its quantity upon the 
frequency with which arguments of those kinds lead to the truth, and the 
algebraical sum of these impressions is the resultant impression that measures 
the wise man’s state of opinion on the whole.” ~Peirce

The way begets one;
One begets two;
Two begets three;
Three begets the myriad creatures.
~Lau 42


You said:
I just wished to point out that it indeed is very important to study in detail 
the exact wording CSP worked with for decades. Especially those wordings he 
stick up with in his latest years.

Peirce is greatly enhanced through a direct examination of nature.
“That is why I prefer the study of nature,” said Goethe, “which does not allow 
such sickness to arise. For there we have to do with infinite and eternal truth 
that immediately rejects anyone who does not proceed neatly and honestly in 
observing and handling his subject. I am also certain that many a person who is 
dialectically sick could find a beneficial cure in the study of nature."
And Plato because “It (pragmaticism) appears to have been virtually the 
philosophy of Socrates.”

And Aristotle because, “The principles therefore are, in a way, not more in 
number than the contraries, but as it were two, nor yet precisely two, since 
there is a difference of essential nature, but three…”

So, if Aristotle, Plato and Nature to understand Peirce, then how many years 
for each and how would you resolve any differences, should any conflicts arise? 
 Which should take precedence?

I would recommend starting with Nature, then all three; more or less…
If true, then there should be no conflict and the problem would lie with me.

"Now the partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the 
rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own 
assertions. And the difference between him and me at the present moment is 
merely this — that whereas he seeks to convince his hearers that what he says 
is true, I am rather seeking to convince myself; to convince my hearers is a 
secondary matter with me." ~Plato on the attitude in dialectic

Jerry Rhee

On Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 12:01 PM, John Collier 
<colli...@ukzn.ac.za<mailto:colli...@ukzn.ac.za>> wrote:
Jerry, there are various differently stated versions of the pragmatic maxim, 
and it is also implicit in other work by Peirce.

One way of putting the maxim is that any difference in meaning implies a 
difference in the possibilities of (external) experience on which they are 
grounded. You can experience this as a feeling (what might be true) as an 
inferred difference, or as an explanation of the difference. Of course, 
separating the three except in the abstract, is impossible. That is what I 
meant when I said I thought Edwina was right about inseperability. She may have 
meant more or less that I didn’t notice.

This sort of thinking is found throughout Peirce’s writing. I don’t think there 
are any grounds for controversy about that. The interesting thing to me, in 
this case, is that it can be applied reflectively.

John Collier
Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate
Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal

From: Jerry Rhee [mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com<mailto:jerryr...@gmail.com>]
Sent: Saturday, 15 October 2016 6:31 PM
To: John F Sowa <s...@bestweb.net<mailto:s...@bestweb.net>>
Cc: Peirce-L <peirce-l@list.iupui.edu<mailto:peirce-l@list.iupui.edu>>
Subject: Re: [PEIRCE-L] Peirce's Cosmology

John Collier, list:

You said:  I agree with Edwina that all three elements are involved in the 
pragmatic maxim.

Do you mind stating where, in the pragmatic maxim, it says this?

I'm not questioning whether it is or not.  I'm just not sure to what you are 

Thank you,
Jerry R
PEIRCE-L subscribers: Click on "Reply List" or "Reply All" to REPLY ON PEIRCE-L 
to this message. PEIRCE-L posts should go to peirce-L@list.iupui.edu . To 
UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message not to PEIRCE-L but to l...@list.iupui.edu with the 
line "UNSubscribe PEIRCE-L" in the BODY of the message. More at 
http://www.cspeirce.com/peirce-l/peirce-l.htm .

Reply via email to