The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to Paul Carus’


As for the validity of the hypothesis, the retroduction, there seems at first to be no room at all for the question of what supports it, since from an actual fact it only infers a may-be (may-be and may-be not). But there is a decided leaning to the affirmative side and the frequency with which that turns out to be an actual fact is to me quite the most surprising of all the wonders of the universe.

1910 [c.]
CP 8.238
‘Retroduction’ (pub. 03.02.13-18:06). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 03, 2013, 18:06 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 02, 2016, 16:14 by Mats Bergman