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Charles Peirce's The Doctrine of Necessity Examined - Essay Example

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Charles Peirce's The Doctrine of Necessity Examined

Charles S. Peirce wonders whether we necessarily have to see or notice signal effects of some element that may have happened by pure chance so that to ascertain that real chance exists. He wonders whether there are some occurrences or effects that may have gone unnoticed or unobserved. He gives an example of how physicists claim that gas particles move about randomly, considerably as if by pure chance, and that by the assumption of probabilities, there certainly will be situations contrary to the second law of thermodynamics whereby concentrations of heat in the gases lead to explosive mixtures, which must at the time have tremendous effects. He claims this assumption could be false because it has never happened like that. “What we are, that only can we see” (Dickinson). This is a popular quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson from his publication, Nature. Emerson believed in facts. Emersonian philosophy seemingly emphasized on seeing, and perception. Emerson would, therefore, probably support Charles on this argument, because Charles insists that he cannot support or believed in things that allegedly happened without any evidence or that have never happened. Another argument of Charles S. Peirce about this issue is that he is not of the belief that there is any person who can ascertain that the precise, universal compliance of facts to natural law is proved evidently, or depicted particularly possible, by any observations made so far. He noted that those in support of the doctrine of exact regularity used hypotheses other than proven experimental result of facts to support their arguments. He, therefore, dismissed this notion as it shows high levels of poor reasoning. Charles affirms that, sometimes people cannot help to believe a given proposition. However, he noted that this was of collective thinking which is wrong. Some people conclude a proposition to be true while others look at it as “we” instead of “I”. This leads to the proposition being true to certain people and wrong to others depending on their levels of ignorance, or the evidence they have. He calls this problem “inability to conceive” and claims that every man passes through this stage with respect to the number of beliefs they have. The mind of man is sometime subjected to this blind coercion, but it is cast off as time goes through rigorous thinking. As a result, Charles confirms that, the things that are not conceivable today will turn out to be indisputable in future. This is supported by the countercultural philosophy of Emerson whereby he lobbied to create a structure of a form of life that will go past the status quo expectations and thinking models. This was in favour of deeply independent and creative manifestations of universal truths. This, he argued, will also help solve the problem of inability to conceive by stating, “Every man has a form of mind peculiar to himself.” The author confirms that the principles of mechanics are indeed natural beliefs, which have been confirmed by experience. The only problem is that those that were formulated long time ago were exceedingly erroneous. As a result, they need to be continually corrected and purified from natural illusions. This process of products adapting to recognizable usefulness or ends, as seen in nature, is never quite perfect. The author, therefore, finds this argument well ...Show more


Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Charles Peirce’s “The Doctrine of Necessity Examined” ‘Against absolute chance is inconceivable’ is the third argument examined by Charles S. Peirce in “The Doctrine of Necessity Examined”. Necessitarianism or Determinism is a principle that refuses all simple possibility, and affirms that there is exactly a single way in which the world can be…
Author : kochleann
Charles Peirces The Doctrine of Necessity Examined essay example
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