Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

The third logic : Adolf Hitler and abductive logic / by Ben Novak.

Publication | Library Call Number: DD247.H5 N63 1999

The life and career of Adolf Hitler has long been a mystery to scholars. Central to that mystery is Hitler's youth. So far, scholars have found little in Hitler's youth that presages or augurs Hitler's subsequent political development or explains his phenomenal success in his rise to power. Many historians and biographers have noted a strange logic to Hitler's career. Yet that logic has never been identified. Clearly, it is neither deductive nor inductive logic. Charles Sanders Peirce (1841–1914) discovered a “third form of logic” that he called “abduction.” Abductive logic has unique characteristics and exerts a strange power over the human mind that is very different from other forms logic. Although the discovery of abductive logic is relatively recent, it has long existed and has been identified as the basis of two streams of literature that became extremely popular at about the time of Hitler's birth: (1) the detective story, embodying a new type of fictional hero, “Ratiocinative Man,” which bears a strong resemblance to Hitler; and (2) the tracker stream, exemplified by Voltaire's “Zadig” and the novels of Karl May, which Hitler early encountered and which exerted a lifelong influence on him. In this work, the author presents the nature and characteristics of abductive logic, and explains how Hitler may have employed this logic in his rise to power. The author then presents Peirce's theory of interpretation of historical documents and applies it to the facts of Hitler's youth to explain the genesis of der Fuehrer from his earliest recollections to his mountaintop experience in which he conceived himself as the leader of the German people.

Novak, Ben, 1943-
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
This page: