1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Synechism

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SYNECHISM (from Gr. συνεχής, continuous, from σύν, ἔχειν, to hold together), a philosophical term proposed by C. S. Peirce (Monist, ii. 534) to express the general theory that the essential feature in philosophic speculation is continuity. It is specially directed to the question of hypothesis, and holds that a hypothesis is justifiable only on the ground that it provides an explanation. All understanding of facts consists in generalizing concerning them. The fact that some things are ultimate may be recognized by the synechist without abandoning his standpoint, since synechism is a normative or regulative principle, not a theory of existence. The adjective “synechological” is used in the same general sense; “synechology” is a theory of continuity or universal causation; “synechia” is a term in ophthalmology for a morbid union of parts.