The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Cambridge Lectures on Reasoning and the Logic of Things: The First Rule of Logic’


… The only end of science, as such, is to learn the lesson that the universe has to teach it. In Induction it simply surrenders itself to the force of facts. But it finds, at once – I am partially inverting the historical order, in order to state the process in its logical order – it finds I say that this is not enough. It is driven in desperation to call upon its inward sympathy with nature, its instinct for aid, just as we find Galileo at the dawn of modern science making his appeal to il lume naturale. But in so far as it does this, the solid ground of fact fails it. It feels from that moment that its position is only provisional. It must then find confirmations or else shift its footing. Even if it does find confirmations, they are only partial. It still is not standing upon the bedrock of fact. It is walking upon a bog, and can only say, this ground seems to hold for the present.

CP 5.589, RLT 176-177
‘Il Lume Naturale’ (pub. 14.06.14-17:31). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jun 14, 2014, 17:31 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jun 14, 2014, 18:04 by Commens Admin