Wisdom of the Moderns: The Conquering of Doubt

In Charles Sanders Peirce’s essay, “The Fixation of Belief,” Peirce gives a defense of the scientific method. He does this by exploring four methods which people have used and continue to use in order to expel doubt from their minds. Interestingly, the goal of his methods is not to find the truth, but specifically to remove the discomfort of being unsure of what one believes. He notes that this is possible to do with or without the truth. The four methods he discusses are the tenacity method, the authority method, the a priori method, and the scientific method. He discusses the benefits and problems with each method, and ultimately concludes that the scientific method is the strongest.

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