[FOM] C.S. Peirce on "General" and "Vague"
Jon Awbrey
jawbrey at att.net
Wed Mar 4 14:10:23 EST 2009
Peirce's next paragraph makes the distinction between
generality and vagueness in terms of their exemptions
from classical laws of logic:
 Perhaps a more scientific pair of definitions would be
 that anything is 'general' in so far as the principle of
 the excluded middle does not apply to it and is 'vague'
 in so far as the principle of contradiction does not
 apply to it.

 Thus, although it is true that "Any proposition
 you please, 'once you have determined its identity',
 is either true or false"; yet 'so long as it remains
 indeterminate and so without identity', it need neither
 be true that any proposition you please is true, nor that
 any proposition you please is false.

 So likewise, while it is false that "A proposition 'whose
 identity I have determined' is both true and false", yet
 until it is determinate, it may be true that a proposition
 is true and that a proposition is false.

 C.S. Peirce, 'Collected Papers', CP 5.448
 http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2004December/002202.html
These two excerpts are from C.S. Peirce (1905),
"Issues of Pragmaticism", 'The Monist', Vol. 15,
pp. 481499. Reprinted in the 'Collected Papers',
CP 5.438463.
A little more context can be found at this location:
http://mywikibiz.com/Directory:Jon_Awbrey/Projects/Peircean_Pragmata#Determination_2
Jon Awbrey

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