The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Abstracts of 8 Lectures’


…although here and there in physics we may pick up a useful fact or two about habit, we really are obliged to go to the mind for the bulk of our information about it.

But even from the human mind we only collect external information about habit. Our knowledge of its inner nature must come to us from logic. For habit is generalization.


Habits are not for the most part formed by the mere slothful repetition of what has been done, but by the logical development of the potential germinal nature of the man, generally by an effort, the accident of having done this or that merely having an adjuvant effect.


A habit then is not so much a mere tendency to repeat any action you happened to perform, though there is a certain tendency of this kind as it is the adoption of something which you happened to do because it happened to afford an outlet for the logical development of your germinal nature.

NEM 4:141-2
‘Habit’ (pub. 20.08.15-14:35). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 20, 2015, 14:35 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Aug 20, 2015, 14:41 by Mats Bergman