Abduction and the Origin of “Musement”

This paper is an evaluation of C. S. Peirce’s late essay “A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God” (1908), based on the two logical values that he calls “productiveness” and “security.” After reviewing the unique logical form of “abduction” and noting that it is a formal fallacy—and so enjoys less “security” than deduction or induction—I turn to the extraordinary case of abduction that is found in “A Neglected Argument.” I argue that the productiveness of the Neglected Argument is found in its ability to instigate practical results. The security of the Neglected Argument, on the other hand, is rooted in an activity Peirce calls “musement,” a kind of rational intuition. Moreover, I suggest that Peirce’s notion of “musement,” which has remained something of a mystery in Peirce studies, arose from hisearly reading of Friedrich von Schiller’s aesthetics
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