The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On the Algebra of Logic’


De Morgan, in the remarkable memoir with which he opened his discussion of the syllogism (1846, p. 380) has pointed out that we often carry on reasoning under an implied restriction as to what we shall consider as possible, which restriction, applying to the whole of what is said, need not be expressed. The total of all that we consider possible is called the universe of discourse, and may be very limited. One mode of limiting our universe is by considering only what actually occurs, so that everything which does not occur is regarded as impossible.

CP 3.174
‘Universe of Discourse’ (pub. 25.11.12-15:39). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Nov 25, 2012, 15:39 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:05 by Commens Admin