Quote for the Day – C.S. Peirce on the Difference Between Mathematics and Philosophy

…[M]athematics studies nothing but hypotheses, and is the only science which never inquires what the actual facts are; while philosophy, although it uses no microscopes or other apparatus of special observation, is really an experimental science which is common to us all; so that its principal reasonings are not mathematically necessary at all, but are only necessary in the sense that all the world knows beyond all doubt those truths of experience upon which philosophy is founded. This is why the mathematician holds the reasoning of the metaphysician in supreme contempt, while he himself, when he ventures into philosophy, is apt to reason fantastically and not solidly, because he does not recognize that he is upon ground where elaborate deduction is of no more avail than it is in chemistry or biology.

~C.S. Peirce, “Logic of Mathematics in Relation to Education”


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Filed under Books, Philosophy, Philosophy of science

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