Extensions of euler diagrams in peirce’s four manuscripts on logical graphs

Ahti Veikko Pietarinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Charles Peirce’s important manuscript on Euler diagrams (Ms 479, 1903) was partially printed in the Collected Papers in 1933 (CP 4.347-371). That transcription omitted many paragraphs, figures and important variants of the main text, and diagrams were reproduced misleadingly or imprecisely. Another important and wholly unpublished paper of his (Ms 481, 1896-7) presents a novel extension of Euler’s diagrams for negative terms. Third, among the discarded pages of a published article (Ms 1147, 1901) we find a variant on logical graphs suggesting similar extensions. Ms 855 (1911) is yet another unpublished note in which Peirce deals with existentials and shading. The present paper restores Peirce’s original drawings from these four manuscripts and explains their main innovations. As Euler diagrams were not designed to reason about relative terms, Peirce’s interest was not in their mathematical application or problem solving but in showing what the basic elements of syllogistic reasoning are.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiagrammatic Representation and Inference
Subtitle of host publication9th International Conference, Diagrams 2016, Philadelphia, PA, USA, August 7-10, 2016, Proceedings
EditorsMateja Jamnik, Yuri Uesaka, Stephanie Elzer Schwartz
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319423333
ISBN (Print)9783319423326
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2016
Event9th International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Diagrams, Diagrams 2016 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 7 Aug 201610 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
NameLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
NameDiagrams: International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams


Conference9th International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Diagrams, Diagrams 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Euler diagrams
  • History of diagrams
  • Logical graphs
  • Peirce
  • Syllogism
  • Venn diagrams


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