[FOM] “only in a Pickwickian sense”

Jon Awbrey jawbrey at att.net
Thu Mar 15 23:36:05 EDT 2012

Re: Margaret MacDougall
At: http://www.cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2012-March/016271.html


There is this rather famous paragraph from Charles S. Peirce --

| Two things here are all-important to assure oneself of and to remember.
| The first is that a person is not absolutely an individual.  His thoughts
| are what he is "saying to himself", that is, is saying to that other self
| that is just coming into life in the flow of time.  When one reasons, it is
| that critical self that one is trying to persuade;  and all thought whatsoever
| is a sign, and is mostly of the nature of language.  The second thing to remember
| is that the man's circle of society (however widely or narrowly this phrase may be
| understood), is a sort of loosely compacted person, in some respects of higher rank
| than the person of an individual organism.  It is these two things alone that render
| it possible for you -- but only in the abstract, and in a Pickwickian sense -- to
| distinguish between absolute truth and what you do not doubt.
| C.S. Peirce, 'Collected Papers', CP 5.421.
| Charles Sanders Peirce, "What Pragmatism Is",
|'The Monist', Volume 15, 1905, pages 161-181,
| Also in the 'Collected Papers', CP 5.411-437.
| http://stderr.org/pipermail/inquiry/2003-October/000905.html



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