## On Reading Peirce • Discussion 1

$\begin{array}{l} \texttt{The spirit of inquiry comes from the heart.}\\ \texttt{Where it lives there's no need to force it.}\\ \texttt{Where it's dead there's no way to argue it}\\ \texttt{into being -- it demands an external shock}\\ \texttt{or an internal quake, a sense of anharmony}\\ \texttt{to kick-start it back to the realm of life.}\\ \texttt{But don't underestimate the persistence of}\\ \texttt{a static status quo to insulate its static}\\ \texttt{atmospherics from all hope of resuscitance}\\ \texttt{by all the available routines of authority,}\\ \texttt{parochial isolation, not to say xenophobia.}\\ \\ \texttt{-- Also Sprach 0*} \end{array}$

JFS:
I detect a prebit of irony in your note.

Although I respect Peirce’s ethics of terminology and observe his recommendations when they are appropriate and realistic, I also know that most of them have died on the vine of common sense.

If Peirce had owned an automobile, he would have called it an autokineto.  Greece is the only country in the world that uses the word “autokineto”.

Dear John,

I actually like the sound (if not the fuzy) of “prebit”, there’s a lot of potential for playing off QM’s “qubit” and I once coined the term “ambit” for an ambiguous bit.

But seriously, Folks, my tone may be comic ironic but the underlying sentiment is straightforward enough.  I’ve been consistent in the way I read Peirce since my first encounters with his work over 50 years ago, the same way I read every other mathematician or scientist worth reading, doyen or pioneer or otherwise.  Of all the things they say or write, some things can be proven logically, some things can be supported experimentally, and then there’s a host of approximations, beliefs, conjectures, hypotheses, impressions, popular expositions, rhetorical parables, speculations, ad inf.

If the thinker in question is worth reading at all then all of that is worth reading in the proper light, but it takes the due sort of intellectual prism to sort it all out.

Regards,

Jon

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