The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism: Lecture V’


Whatever opinion be entertained in regard to the scope of logic, it will be generally agreed that the heart of it lies in the classification and critic of arguments. Now it is peculiar to the nature of argument that no argument can exist without being referred to some special class of arguments. The act of inference consists in the thought that the inferred conclusion is true because in any analogous case an analogous conclusion would be true. Thus, logic is coeval with reasoning. Whoever reasons ipso facto virtually holds a logical doctrine, his logica utens. This classification is not a mere qualification of the argument. It essentially involves an approval of it – a qualitative approval. Now such self-approval supposes self-control.

CP 5.130
‘Logica Utens’ (pub. 01.02.13-18:35). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 01, 2013, 18:35 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin