The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letter to J. H. Kehler’


… An Induction can hardly be sound or at least is to be suspected usually, unless it has been preceded by a Retroductive reasoning to the same general effect. Induction chiefly serves to render more certain ideas that have already been otherwise suggested. I use “Induction” in a wider sense than usual. It is usually regarded as a reasoning by which one passes from asserting something of a number of single things to asserting the same of the whole class to which those things belong. I give the definition a somewhat different turn, at least, and throw much light upon Induction by defining it as any reasoning from a sample to the whole sampled.

NEM 3:178
‘Induction’ (pub. 03.02.13-19:49). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 03, 2013, 19:49 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin