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33. Excerpts from Letters to William James (1909)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub


L 224 and William James Papers, Houghton Library. [The four excerpts below were written in 1909. The first comes from pp. 6-14 of a long letter Peirce began on 26 February but did not send (L 224:90–98, CP 8.177–85 with some omissions, and NEM 3:839–44). This unwieldy letter was replaced with two shorter ones sent on March 9 and 14. The second excerpt consists of pages 6-10 of the 14 March letter, partly published in CP 8.314. The third excerpt includes pages 19–22 of a letter sent on 1 April, and published in CP 8.315. The last extract consists of the first eight pages of a letter begun on Christmas day; NEM 3:867–71.] Peirce’s effort to establish a “commens” with James resulted in interesting and sometimes unusual presentations of his semiotic ideas. Nearly all of the technical terms of Peirce’s semiotics, including “sign,” are well worked over in these excerpts. Not surprisingly, Peirce makes sure to let James know that “the Final Interpretant does not consist in the way in which any mind does act but in the way in which every mind would act.” In the final segment, Peirce outlines his “System of Logic,” a book on semiotics he was working on, and provides one of the last summary accounts of his theory. Among other things, we learn that “every conceivable thing is either a May-be, an Actual, or a Would-be.” Peirce admits that there may be more than ten trichotomies of signs, but his ten “exhibit all the distinctions that are generally required by logic.” In his discussion of “Critic,” Peirce describes the kind of warrant that applies to each of the three types of reasoning.

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6. On the Algebraic Principles of Formal Logic

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF


Algebraic Principles of Logic, 1879

On the Algebraic Principles of

Formal Logic

MS 348: Fall 1879

There are two purposes of a logical algebra, viz.:—1st The mathematical purpose of solving problems, of finding the conclusion to be drawn from given premises, and 2nc* The logical purpose of analyzing inferences and showing precisely upon what their validity depends.

The latter is to my mind the first object to be fulfilled. After an algebra has been constructed to do that, it will probably need various modifications to fit it for mathematical uses. These modifications though improvements from a mathematical point of view will appear defects when viewed from a logical or analytical standpoint. At present I seek only logical perfection in the algebra of logic.

The effort to trace analogies between ordinary or other algebra and formal logic has been of the greatest service; but there has been on the part of Boole and also of myself a straining after analogies of this kind with a neglect of the differences between the two algebras, which must be corrected, not by denying any of the resemblances which have been found, but by recognizing relations of contrast between the two subjects.

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22. [The Logic Notebook]

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF



In short we need but one logical function to express everything

We may write this function (x,y) and let it mean

(x,y) = iy -\-j\\f + kx + /o>

U = < p + i | / + x + <*> x =

y =



lu - fey) + (i - l)x + (k- l)y lu - fey) + (i - l)x + (k- l)y


The same object may be accomplished without any logical function (x,y). Namely let us take arbitrarily any two numbers v f and let x = f

signify that whatever object can be chosen is not x x =v

that whatever object can be chosen is x. Then we cannot have at once



because f and v are different numbers. The equation

(*-f)(*-v) = 0

will denote that x = f or x = v that is that every object chosen is either x or not-*. The idea is that for each object chosen this holds so that for each, x =f that is that object is not x or x = v that is that object is v.


(*_f)(j,_v) = 0

means each object chosen is either not-* or is y.

Cayley proposes to write the negative of this thus


but this would be: the object chosen must be x and cant be y. This states too much. The true denial of the first equation would be

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13. Measurements of Gravity at Initial Stations in America and Europe

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF

Gravity at Initial Stations, 1879


squares will fail to detect. Such errors are, however, slight in comparison with those which may affect absolute determinations of gravity, into which the constant errors enter to their full amount. A source of error affecting all modern determinations was lately pointed out by the writer of this paper, which had produced errors in the accepted results amounting to one four or five thousandth part of the quantity measured, and in some cases even to more.

The value of gravity-determinations depends upon their being bound together, each with all the others which have been made anywhere upon the earth. In considering how the necessary connections should be made for our work, it seemed to you, sir, and to Prof.

Benjamin Peirce, the consulting geometer, as it did to the writer, that to trust to absolute determinations and to the transportation of metres would be more than hazardous, notwithstanding that such had been the recent practice in continental Europe. Your instructions were accordingly issued for the oscillation of the same pendulum at those fundamental stations of Europe where the chief absolute determinations had been made and whence pendulumexpeditions had set out, and at a station in America which would become the initial one for this continent. Similar action followed on the part of the European surveys; for at the meeting of the International Geodetic Congress in Paris, in 1875, it was resolved, at the suggestion of the writer, that the different states should carry their pendulums to Berlin and swing them in the Eichungsamt there. This has already been done by Switzerland and Austria, and will be done hereafter by every survey which is not willing to sacrifice the solution of a great problem to forms of action based on national exclusiveness.

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Medium 9780253008053

9. Lot's Wife and “A Plea for the Dead”: Commemoration, Memory, and Shame

Edited by Steven T Katz and Alan Rosen Indiana University Press ePub



THE BIBLICAL CHARACTER of Lot's wife, paralyzed into a pillar of salt, has fascinated readers, theologians, artists and critics alike for millennia. Her story has had very long legs indeed, as her fate has repeatedly been used as a cautionary tale, especially in Christian literature, to warn women against defiance and to promote the idea of obedience and compliance. The reason for her forbidden glance back at the destruction of Sodom has been attributed, often with strange and entirely unwarranted certitude, to various conflicting motives, such as a need to look back to where her sons in law were perishing, nostalgia for her happy family life in Sodom, disobedience for its own sake, and so on.1 As Martin Harries has remarked:

Her punishment suggests the potentially self-destructive nature of retrospection, as if looking backward posed dangers to the self, as if to look backward were in itself a form of masochism. This opaque narrative simply passes over the question of motive, and that very opacity, it seems has inspired speculations about her motives. Some of this speculation, in its dogmatic certainty, does not even recognize that it is speculation.2

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Medium 9780253203175

Red Star: A Utopia

Alexander Bogdanov Indiana University Press ePub

Letter from Dr. Werner to Mirsky

Dear Comrade Mirsky,

I am sending you Leonid’s notes. He wanted them published, and you, as a man of letters, can arrange that matter better than I. He himself has gone into hiding. I am leaving the clinic to try and trace him. I think I shall probably find him in the mountains, where the situation has lately become critical. By exposing himself to the dangers there he is evidently indirectly trying to commit suicide. He is obviously still unstable mentally, although he impressed me as being near complete recovery. I shall inform you the moment I learn of anything.

My warmest regards,

N. Werner

24 July 190? (illegible: 8 or 9)



It was early in that great upheaval* which continues to shake our country and which, I think, is now approaching its inevitable, fateful conclusion.

The public consciousness was so deeply impressed by the events of the first bloody days that everyone expected a quick and victorious end to the struggle. It seemed as though the worst had already occurred, that nothing more terrible could possibly happen. No one had realized how tenacious were the bony hands of the corpse that had crushed and still crushes the living in its convulsive embrace.

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Medium 9780253356413

Plates appear after page 140.

Rosemarie McGerr Indiana University Press ePub

1. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 55r

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

2. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 139r

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

3. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 198r

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

4. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 235v

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

5. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 261r

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School

6. New Haven, Yale Law School, Goldman Library MssG +St11 no.1, fol. 358r

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Medium 9780253003102

2 Consider the Source: Critical Considerations of the Medium of Social Media / Kirsten C. Uszkalo and Darren James Harkness

PAUL BUDRA Indiana University Press ePub


In 2009 Iran blocked its citizens’ access to Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to quell social discord about its federal election. A Ryerson student was threatened in 2008 with suspension for cheating because of setting up a study group on Facebook. The U.S. Marine Corps has banned the use of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. New media studies, especially those concerned with social media environments, are investigating the constructions, roles, and effects of the media that are proliferating in the information age. The variety of social media available to those with high-speed internet connections means that those with an inclination can publish themselves online. These technologies do more than create a platform for speakers, however. The infrastructure and interface of social media influence how messages are created and sent. McLuhan couldn’t have been more prescient with his assertion that the medium is the message; for social media, the software is the message. There are myriad social media platforms available, but this chapter will concentrate on the interfaces of three of the most widely used in North America: blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Moreover, we will look at how the infrastructures behind the interfaces themselves construct, normalize, and proliferate the public images of the speaker. The technologies that run under the hood of popular social media help create and distribute online selves, cobble together communities, and share sound bites and narratives. A study of new texts on the boundaries of literature must consider the ways in which the medium creates the message. The interface defines new social media.

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Medium 9780253356437

Five The Anne Frank We Remember/The Anne Frank We Forget

Alvin H. Rosenfeld Indiana University Press ePub

I would like to read in a published book what people think about Anne Frank.


People think that she is very special. Once, when my daughter was in the Netherlands with her twin daughters, one of the first things they wanted me to show them was the Anne Frank House. I didn’t feel up to it; actually, I didn’t want to go at all. For more than forty years I had pushed that aside because I really wanted to live normally, and I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

Nonetheless, I went to the Anne Frank House, and I had a very special feeling there. I had seen her, after all, from the time she came to Westerbork. People took pictures there [in the Anne Frank House] of every corner, every plank, everything. … My daughter panicked, because she knew that I had known Anne. She looked around and she said, “Mama, shouldn’t you tell these people that you knew her? Shouldn’t you do something? Tell them, tell them.”

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Medium 9780253372055


Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF


Study of Great Men, 1883-84

First Rank











68 Dante

76 Euler











Charles Martel

Charles XII










60 Cuvier

61 Cyrus

























King David



De Witt


77 ?Geo. Eliot

78 X Queen


?-R. W. Emerson


79 Epicurus

80 Euclid

81 Euripides









ICavour X


Charles V X


= Cicero X


Constantine X

= Captain

Cooke X

Cortes X






= Darius

266 Sir Humphrey 75

Davy X

Deschapelles X

267 Diez X


88 =Farragut X

= Froissart

91 Galen

92 Garibaldi

Vasco da Gama

Garcilaso de la


100 '.Gladstone X



??-D. Garrick

93 Germanicus

94 PGilbert

95 PGiotto




280 Clausius




75 Drake


82 (Erasmus X

Erigena van Eyck




B. Franklin

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Nine The End of the Holocaust

Alvin H. Rosenfeld Indiana University Press ePub

The day came when nobody wanted to listen to them anymore, and another day, when the last of them had vanished. … The era of the survivor has come to an end.

Werner Weinberg’s downcast prognosis, taken from his exceptionally thoughtful but barely known book, Self-Portrait of a Holocaust Survivor,1 says more than his words seem to say at first glance. Most Holocaust survivors are already gone, and those who remain are now in their eighties or older. Weinberg, however, expressed his lament over the closing of the era of survivors almost thirty years ago, so he clearly had in mind more than the diminishments that belong to human mortality and naturally come with the passing of time. He was troubled by losses of a more grievous kind—memory losses—those stemming from what he and others have seen as a general indifference to the testimony of Holocaust survivors and an unwillingness to learn from them. What he did not foresee and would have been shocked to see is the emergence of attacks on Holocaust memory, culminating in calls for the “end of Auschwitz.”

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Medium 9780253356864

17. Idleness

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

Walden offers itself as a practical book, but anyone hoping to find a set of immediately operable instructions will be confronted by its contradictory advice. On the one hand, the book’s first two chapters and its “Conclusion”—at once Thoreau’s most hectoring and inspiring—propose deliberation and effort as the means to a vivid, wide-awake life. In one of Walden’s most famous sentences, Thoreau declares, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor” (64). The key word endeavor will return near the end:

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. (217)

His repeated insistence that we “put the foundations” under our “castles in the air” (217) casts these parts of Walden in the active voice: we can work on our lives. “To affect the quality of the day,” he concludes, “that is the highest of arts” (65).

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5. Books

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or spring to our lives, and possibly put a new aspect on the face of things for us. How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. (76)

For Thoreau, the book that marked “a new era in his life” was Emerson’s Nature, published in the fall of 1836 and checked out of the Harvard library by Thoreau the following spring. He was ready for it: having been examined by Emerson on rhetoric in 1835, he had by 1837 won the older man’s support for some of Harvard’s prize money. More importantly, Emerson’s “manifesto of transcendentalism” suited Thoreau’s interest in reconciling his own avidity for nature with an emerging intellectual ambition. In Walden’s terms, Thoreau was “a prepared field.”

Although he writes dismissively of his own college education, Walden’s enormous number of allusions suggests just how bookish Thoreau was. In fact, as Richardson details, he read omnivorously, working fluently in the major European languages, as well as Latin and Greek. But his choice of reading seems strange, perhaps offering a clue to this mysterious man and his mysterious book. Thoreau, of course, was steeped in the classics, having a special fondness for Homer, but as he grew older, his taste became less and less literary: Goethe and Carlyle, yes, but mostly things like books on Eastern religions, tracts on Canadian history and Indian life, Cato’s treatise on farming, natural history (especially botany), travel books (a guilty pleasure), William Gilpin on landscape painting, the Jesuit Relations (forty-one accounts of the Jesuit missions to Canada’s Indians), Darwin. Thoreau showed no interest in fiction: although he knew Robinson Crusoe, he apparently never read any of his friend Hawthorne’s novels. When we remember that Thoreau was born in 1817, four years after Pride and Prejudice, the following list of books he appears never to have looked at seems suggestive:

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Medium 9780253209306

The Plot-Line of Myth in Dante’s Inferno

Dante Alighieri Indiana University Press ePub

The Plot-Line of Myth in Dante’s Inferno


We are gradually learning to focus critical attention not only on the story of the Commedia—that single line of spiritual development—but also, and now more valuably, on the stories within the Commedia. One of the more remarkable unfolding stories within the poem occurs exclusively in the Inferno. This drama—and it may accurately be so called—is made up of the series of encounters between the two travelers, Dante and Virgil, and a host of demonic challengers: Charon, Minòs, Cerberus, Pluto, Phlegyas, the demons at the gate of Dis and the Furies who emerge on the ramparts, the Minotaurs, and later the Malebranche.

These encounters are distinctive because through them—and only through them—are revealed in Hell the great patterns of Christian eschatology in which the individual soul knowingly or unknowingly participates—the contest in Heaven, the fall of the rebellious angels (with their resultant roles as devils in Hell), the death of Christ and the Harrowing of Hell. Furthermore, confined to the guards of Hell, all of these encounters exist outside and apart from the exchanges between Dante and the sinners. These encounters set up a separate line of development, and a crucial one it is. Only here in these “extra-curricular” meetings are the larger patterns of Dante’s journey established. Only here is his journey taken outside of history and placed in universal myth. It is as if to be in Hell is to be unaware of the larger justifying patterns in which one participates, and as if Dante’s own spiritual growth must lie in coming to recognize and understand these patterns. When Dante is brought later to confess that “present things” occupied his attention—and that this was the basis of his straying—we can begin to understand what he meant by that phrase, and why the journey to Hell—in its larger mythic patterning—is the beginning of his restoration.

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Medium 9780253372086

7. Review of Jevons’s Pure Logic

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF


Review of Jevons’s Pure Logic

3 July 1890

The Nation

Pure Logic, and Other Minor Works. By W. Stanley Jevons.

Edited by Robert Adamson and Harriet A. Jevons. Macmillan &

Co. 1890.

Though called Minor, these are scientifically Jevons’s most important writings. As when they first appeared, they impress us by their clearness of thought, but not with any great power. The first piece,

“Pure Logic,” followed by four years De Morgan’s Syllabus of Logic, a dynamically luminous and perfect presentation of an idea. In comparison with that, Jevons’s work seemed, and still seems, feeble enough. Its leading idea amounts to saying that existence can be asserted indirectly by denying the existence of something else. But among errors thick as autumn leaves in Vallambrosa, the tract contains a valuable suggestion, a certain modification of Boole’s use of the symbol ϩ in logic. This idea, directly suggested by De Morgan’s work, soon presented itself independently to half-a-dozen writers. But Jevons was first in the field, and the idea has come to stay. Mr. Venn is alone in his dissent.

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