The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to William James’


…an assertion belongs to the class of phenomena like going before a notary and making an affidavit, executing a deed, signing a note, of which the essence is that one voluntarily puts oneself into a situation in which penalties will be incurred unless some proposition is true. One may maintain that every proposition involves an assertion. Very likely that may be true as a psychological truth; but if so the element of assertion is frequently altogether or in great degree inhibited and disavowed. I have nothing further to say about assertion.

CP 8.313
‘Assertion’ (pub. 23.09.14-16:32). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 23, 2014, 16:32 by Mats Bergman