The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism: Lecture V’


These three kinds of reasoning are Abduction, Induction, and Deduction. [–] Induction is the experimental testing of a theory. The justification of it is that, although the conclusion at any stage of the investigation may be more or less erroneous, yet the further application of the same method must correct the error. The only thing that induction accomplishes is to determine the value of a quantity. It sets out with a theory and it measures the degree of concordance of that theory with fact. It never can originate any idea whatever. No more can deduction. All the ideas of science come to it by the way of Abduction.

CP 5.145
‘Induction’ (pub. 02.02.13-10:36). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 02, 2013, 10:36 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin