Letter from Charles S. Peirce to his father Benjamin Peirce
(New York, 15.04.1877)

Spanish translation & annotations


1877, April 15


My dearest Father,

Thank you for calling my attention to that error. It does not follow that because every great circle on Mercator's Projection becomes straight at the equator, that therefore every straight line near the equator approximates to the great circle drawn between its extremities. However, it is true that the straight lines on the projection I propose would be much better than the shumb (?)


lines of an ordinary Mercator's projection & as these latter only differ 30 miles in length from that of a great circle in crossing the Atlantic, it follows that the deviation of my lines would be less still.

If a map were constructed as I propose with the great circle between New York & Queens town as its center, the straight line from the point of Florida to Gibraltar (the worst one on it) would diverge about


60 miles as it maximum from a great circle. A simple rule would enable the navigator to lay down approximately an intermediate point, so as to go by a curve.

I have received an invitation to go on to the Academy & read a paper. Hilgard also wanted me too and a list of my printed papers. I sent only the names of four logical papers & said that I wished to stand or fall as a scientific man by those. That in my opinion the members of the Academy would feel that




the subject was one they knew little of & could not judge of the merits of the papers, that if this were so of course they could not put me in & that if I was presented on the ground of these papers only that I should so interpret a rejection & I should not mind it at all. That I have real pretensions in logic & I have none outside of that, & that it would not be consistent with the former, to urge me on minor grounds, & I desired it should not be done. That I hoped the matter would be decided before I read my paper, which I would read irrespective of that decision. That I think civilly avoids the question of joining.

Love to all


Transcription by Max Fisch, revised by Sara Barrena (2016)
Una de las ventajas de los textos en formato electrónico respecto de los textos impresos es que pueden corregirse con gran facilidad mediante la colaboración activa de los lectores que adviertan erratas, errores o simplemente mejores transcripciones. En este sentido agradeceríamos que se enviaran todas las sugerencias y correcciones a sbarrena@unav.es
Proyecto de investigación "La correspondencia del tercer viaje europeo de Charles S. Peirce (septiembre-noviembre 1877)"

Fecha del documento:5 de enero 2017
Última actualización: 20 de julio 2017

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