Peirce’s Normative Sciences

Peirce’s Normative Sciences

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0972-3.ch010
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Abstract

One purpose of this chapter is to establish the basis for identifying the etiology of the abductive reasoning process by first addressing the relationship between Peirce’s concept of phenomenology and aesthetics, the first of his normative sciences. The connection between aesthetics and abductive inference will be drawn out, leading, consequently, to a discussion of the concept of methodeutic, the third sub-branch of logic from which the testing and proof of abduction needs to be undergone, and suggesting that the RTS model may provide a means for this testing.
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Introduction

The normative sciences are a group of philosophical disciplines—aesthetics, ethics, and logic—Peirce’s second classification of philosophy, following phenomenology. By normative, Peirce means that each of the three philosophical branches and logical sub-branches within this group (semiotic, logic proper and methodeutic) is subject to particular set of norms, or standards, for correct performance. Peirce intends for these norms to be applied to scientific endeavors. Thus, when engaged in scientific pursuits, deliberate behaviors ought to meet certain standards in terms of whether the aim is admirable or not (in the case of aesthetics) (Pierce, 1932, Vol. 1, para. 191); the actions, good or bad (in the case of ethics); the choices, correct or incorrect (in the case of logic) (Peirce, 1935, Vol. 5, para. 419)1.

The relationships between each of the normative sciences—aesthetic, ethics, and logic—are relevant to defining and demonstrating abduction. Thus, we address Peirce’s normative sciences here to prepare the way for a discussion of abduction (Peirce’s logic of discovery) in the next two chapters. Peirce’s concept of abduction is relevant to Relational Thinking Styles (RTS) because the abductive-like inferencing pattern of Relational thinking may offer a means for clarifying the differences between induction and abduction (the subject of Chapter 11), and for defining and norming creative abduction (the subject of Chapter 12). Peirce does not definitively identify and norm his concept of abduction, though it remains the first of his three sorts of traditional logic (logical critic).

For background, we define terms such as norms and normative, distinguish between the purely theoretical nature of the three branches of normative science and their practical expressions, and give a general description of each of the three branches of normative science as well as the sub-branches of logic.

The main focus of this chapter is to establish the basis for identifying the etiology of the abductive reasoning process by first addressing the relationship between Peirce’s concept of phenomenology and aesthetics, the first of his normative sciences. The connection between aesthetics and abductive inferencing will be drawn out, leading, consequently, to a discussion of the concept of methodeutic, the third sub-branch of logic from which the testing and proof of abduction needs to be undergone. The discussion of logic includes a brief treatment of its three sub-groups: (1) semiotic or speculative grammar (the study of signs and their meanings), (2) logical critic (traditional logic), and (3) methodeutic. Each classification, category, and sub-category acquires fundamental principles from each and all of those that precede it.

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