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In some of his online biographies Peirce is described as having showed early signs of precocity. Can someone describe some of these signs of precocity?

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    $\begingroup$ You mean like SEP's:"In his youth Peirce was amazingly precocious, and he began to study logic seriously at an extraordinarily early age." Doesn't this already answer what they mean? He studied chemistry and mathematics since 8, logic since 12, and entered Harvard at 16. Like his father, Charles suffered from trigeminal neuralgia (excruciating facial pains), so he became a heavy drinker early as well, to cope with the pain, see Corrington. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Nov 21 '20 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold Is that all the known evidence of his 'amazing' precocity? Are there any details of how he studied chemistry and math since 8? I mean if his father was somehow trying to make a genius out of him then this is not very impressive. I had a classmate who was studying math since 6, with the aid of his family. I don't think he was precocious despite acing math tests throughout most of the years at school. Eventually when the subjects changed sufficiently from what he was familiar with , he wasn't much above the average anymore. $\endgroup$ – GEP Nov 21 '20 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ Benjamin did not try to make a genius, he thought he already had one, and Charles did not need much aid, only prompting. You can peruse Brent's biography for details, p.47ff. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Nov 21 '20 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ @conifold it's still unclear how much early help he received from his family, he certainly wasn't comparable to Gauss in precocity . One thing is fairly clear, had he be born in another less influential family and shown the same character traits in his early youth, his career as a philosopher and intellectual would have been finished before it even started $\endgroup$ – GEP Nov 21 '20 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ I do not find "genius" or "precocious" to be sufficiently cogent concepts to call for evidence, they are more of emotional exclamation marks. People find it "amazing" that a boy is good at math since 8, there isn't much to be "shown by evidence" beyond that. Some are not as impressionable as others about it. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Nov 23 '20 at 22:51
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Pierce's father, Benjamin Pierce, was professor of mathematics at Harvard and was a founder, and for a while, a director the US Coast and Geoduetuc Survey, for whom Pierce worked for much of his adult life.

The SEP has this to say about Pierce's early life:

Pierce recieved much of the substance of his early education as well as much intellectual encouragement and stimulation from his father. Benjamin's didactic technique consisted mostly of setting interesting problems for his son ... in this challenging instructional atmosphere Pierce acquired his lifelong habit of thinking through philosophical and scientific questions entirely on his own. To this habit, perhaps, is to be attributed Pierce's considerable originality ...

Personally, I think this is true; intelligence and originality is not thinly spread amongst people; but widely spread and merely takes the right kind of stimulation to seed, to flower and then bloom ...

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