The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘That Categorical and Hypothetical Propositions are one in essence, with some connected matters’


In every assertion we may distinguish a speaker and a listener. The latter, it is true, need have only a problematical existence, as when during a shipwreck an account of the accident is sealed in a bottle and thrown upon the water. The problematical “listener” may be within the same person as the “speaker”; as when we mentally register a judgment, to be remembered later. If there be any act of judgment independent of any registry, and if it have any logical significance (which is disputable), we may say that in that case the listener becomes identical with the speaker.

The assertion consists in the furnishing of evidence by the speaker to the listener that the speaker believes something, that is, finds a certain idea to be definitively compulsory on a certain occasion. There ought, therefore, to be three parts in every assertion, a sign of the occasion of the compulsion, a sign of the enforced idea, and a sign evidential of the compulsion affecting the speaker in so far as he identifies himself with the scientific intelligence.

1895-6 [c.]
CP 2.334-335
‘Assertion’ (pub. 23.09.14-16:13). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 23, 2014, 16:13 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Sep 01, 2015, 11:40 by Mats Bergman