Temporal Logic pp 128-148 | Cite as

C.S. Peirce on time and modality

Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 57)


To Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) semiotics (or to use his own expression:’ semeiotic’) gradually became identical with logic in a broad sense. In defining this relation between semiotics and logic, Peirce was no doubt highly influenced by the way the scholastic realists understood science, as for instance demonstrated by Emily Michael [1977]. He got his inspiration first and foremost from the medieval juxtapositon of three of the seven free arts into the so-called trivium. The trivium consisted of the disciplines Grammar, Dialectics (or: Logic), and Rhetoric. As demonstrated by Max H. Fisch [1978], Peirce’s work from 1865 to 1903 shows a constant development of reflections on the content and application of this tripartition. In the Spring of 1865 he subdivided the general science of representations into ‘General Grammar’, ‘Logic’ and ‘Universal Rhetorics’. In May the same year he called this division ‘General Grammar’, ‘General Logic’, and ‘General Rhetorics’, and in 1867 it was presented as ‘Formal Grammar’, ‘Logic’ and ‘Formal Rhetorics’. Twenty years later, in 1897, it had become ‘Pure Grammar’, ‘Logic Proper’ and ‘Pure Rhetorics’. In 1903 Peirce — within his own now more matred framework — determined the tripartition as’ speculative Grammar’, ‘Critic’, and ‘Methodeutic’.


Time Logic General Grammar Tense Logical System Mechanical Determinism Great Confusion 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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