Dear Charles Sanders Peirce,

thank you a lot for your great and inspiring piece of work: The fixation of belief. Let’s briefly go through it.

On reasoning you write: “The object of reasoning is to find out, from the consideration of what we already know, something else which we do not know.” I completely agree with this. And you say: “We are, doubtless, in the main logical animals, but we are not perfectly so. Most of us, for example, are naturally more sanguine and hopeful than logic would justify.” Ok, so far.

Next, you distinguish between different methods for fixation of belief. Namely:

  • Method of tenacity
  • Method of authority
  • Method of “a priori”
  • Scientific method

Wait: “Following the method of authority is the path of peace“?
Are you sure? I would love to discuss this one with you!

And then, come on, you compare the logical method with a bride to choose? Honor the others deeply? I think, your last paragraph is very humorous:

“The genius of a man’s logical method should be loved and reverenced as his bride, whom he has chosen from all the world. He need not contemn the others; on the contrary, he may honor them deeply, and in doing so he only honors her the more. But she is the one that he has chosen, and he knows that he was right in making that choice. And having made it, he will work and fight for her, and will not complain that there are blows to take, hoping that there may be as many and as hard to give, and will strive to be the worthy knight and champion of her from the blaze of whose splendors he draws his inspiration and his courage.”

Wow! I am blown away. Unfortunately you are dead, already. “The Fixation of Belief” was published in November 1877. However, thank you very much for this article.

All others: Enjoy reading!

[The Fixation of Belief. Popular Science Monthly 12 (November 1877), pp. 1-15; Charles Sanders Peirce]

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