The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Evolutionary Love’


Anancastic evolution advances by successive strides with pauses between. The reason is that, in this process, a habit of thought, having been overthrown, is supplanted by the next strongest. Now this next strongest is sure to be widely disparate from the first, and as often as not is its direct contrary. It reminds one of our old rule of making the second candidate vice-president. This character, therefore, clearly distinguishes anancasm from tychasm. The character which distinguishes it from agapasm is its purposelessness. But external and internal anancasm have to be examined separately. Development under the pressure of external circumstances, or cataclasmine evolution, is in most cases unmistakable enough.[—]

Internal anancasm, or logical groping, which advances upon a predestined line without being able to foresee whither it is to be carried nor to steer its course, this is the rule of development of philosophy.

CP 6.312-313
‘Anancasm’ (pub. 04.01.13-15:17). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 04, 2013, 15:17 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Oct 22, 2015, 10:47 by Mats Bergman