Pierce, “How to Make Our Ideas Clear”
Pierce wants to understand what we think or know what we think and how to make our ideas clear. Pierce thinks that a few clear ideas are better then vast amounts of partially unclear ideas. He says thought process is started or excited by the irritation of doubt; irritation of doubt ceases once a belief is formed. The production of belief is the sole function of thought. Doubt is usually from momentarily indecision (not having your mind made up of what your going to do at a time, pierce gives the example of paying for something worth 5 cents with a nickel or 5 pennies. You’re not irritated when you make up your mind in this situation but there is a slight use of mental activity or slight indecision momentarily when choosing.
Pierce next distinguishes between feigned hesitancy and indecision as a form of doubt. Feigned hesitancy creates beliefs on things to eventually come. It can be whether you’re just amusing yourself or just bored and create scenarios to compare and contrast. Your feigned hesitancy will be eventually used whether a second, an hour or years after you contemplated your feigned hesitancy and when that time comes it will be a belief.
Meaning that doubt/feigned hesitancy is used to prompt intellectual activity; intellectual activities help form beliefs.
Sensations are completely present at every instant as they last. Thoughts are actions having a beginning, middle, and end and consist in congruence in the succession of sensations which flow through the mind. Thought is a thread of melody running through the succession of our sensations. (Pierce’s example is being aware of immediate succession of music notes through conscious mediate sensations; the immediate music notes give way for the mediatley, the lasting of the notes. Belief separated into three things: One, it is something that we are aware of, second it appeases the irritation of doubt,And third it involves the establishment in our nature of rule of action, or habit. A habit is an action or the how were going to act.
Says it is impossible to have an idea in our minds which relates to anything but conceived sensible effects of things. Our idea of anything is our idea of its sensible effects; and if we fancy that we have any other we deceive ourselves, and mistake a mere sensation accompanying the thought for a part of the though itself. Three grades of clearness apprehension: One, familiarity – like a child memorizing things or recognizing from repetition, two Giving an Abstract definition- thinking above the obvious or concrete details, and the third he says“Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearing, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.”
Pierce says “the truth is what is the opinion that is fated to be ultimately agreed to by all who investigate, it is reality” (investigation is the scientific method that piece talked about in the “Fixation of Belief). More in depth Pierce says “Reality is independent, not necessarily of thought in general, but only of what you or I or any finite number of men may think about it; and that, on the other hand, though the object of the final opinion depends on what that opinion is, yet what that opinion is does not depend on what your or I or any man thinks”. Furthermore he says “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again” and the opinion which would finally result from investigation does not depend on how anybody may actually think. But the reality of that which is real does depend on the real fact that investigation is destined to lead, at lat, if continued long enough, to a belief in it”.