The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Deduction, Induction, and Hypothesis’


… the distinction between induction and hypothesis. In the main, it is broad and decided. By induction, we conclude that facts, similar to observed facts, are true in cases not examined. By hypothesis, we conclude the existence of a fact quite different from anything observed, from which, according to known laws, something observed would necessarily result. The former, is reasoning from particulars to the general law; the latter, from effect to cause. The former classifies, the latter explains. It is only in some special cases that there can be more than a momentary doubt to which category a given inference belongs. One exception is where we observe, not facts similar under similar circumstances, but facts different under different circumstances–the difference of the former having, however, a definite relation to the difference of the latter. Such inferences, which are really inductions, sometimes present, nevertheless, some indubitable resemblances to hypotheses.

CP 2.636
‘Induction’ (pub. 30.01.13-19:15). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 30, 2013, 19:15 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin