September 10 – Happy Birthday, Charles Sanders Peirce

Posted on September 10, 2018

So, today's famous birthday pointed out that certain kinds of logic could be carried out by something as simple as an electrical switching circuit. 

And eventually people did just that as they created digital computers.

He began the formal branch of semiotics, which is the study of meaning-making. And he founded pragmatism, which is the philosophy of considering practical effects of ideas in a changing universe.

Born on this date in 1839, in Massachusetts in the U.S., Charles Sanders Peirce has a LOT of fields listed in his Wikipedia bio: logic, mathematics, statistics, philosophy, metrology (the study of measurement), chemistry, experimental psychology, economics, linguistics (the study of languages), and the history of science.


Peirce's dad was a professor at Harvard University - a math and astronomy professor - and Peirce graduated with honors from Harvard himself. However, he had a painful physical disorder that probably were the causes of his outbursts of temper and his difficulties with others, and because of these problems, Peirce had a lot of difficulty maintaining jobs and earning enough money for a happy and comfortable life.

So, despite the fact he is considered a really important and original thinker, many of Peirce's writings remain unpublished even now.

Let's celebrate Peirce with some logic fun! Here is a simple lesson on logic - and you can see why logic and mathematics are linked. Here are some printable logic puzzles, and here are a few videos about logical fallacies and critical thinking. 

My Answer to Viral Math Puzzle:
I got 2 + 3 + 3 + 11 = 19.  The 2 is from the clock, which shows the time to be 2:00. The 3 and 3 are from the two bunches of bananas, with three bananas in each bunch. The 11 was from the six-sided hexagon with the five-sided pentagon inside.

Are there any other valid answers? (I think I could justify an answer of 22.) Remember, another "correct" answer must be able to fit with all of the parts of the puzzle.

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