The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘First Introduction’


the state which consists in the fact that upon any occasion of any particular description, A, one would behave in any particular manner, B, is all I mean by “habit.” For I make no distinction between a “habit” and a “disposition;” and in my nomenclature a “habit” is nothing but a state of “would-be” realized in any sort of subject that is itself real; and I speak as readily of the “habits” of oxygen or hydrogen, or of the “habits” of electricity, as of the habits of bees or of classes of men. Consequently, the fact that any real subject, on any particular sort of occasion, A, would not behave in the particular manner, B, is just as truly a “habit,” in my sense of the word, as if he were sure to behave in the manner B. For a “habit” is nothing but the reality of a general fact concerning the conduct of any subject.

1911 [c.]
MS [R] 671:6-7
‘Habit’ (pub. 05.09.15-18:30). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 05, 2015, 18:30 by Mats Bergman