The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Minute Logic: Chapter I. Intended Characters of this Treatise’


Argument is of three kinds: Deduction, Induction, and Abduction (usually called adopting a hypothesis). A Transuasive Argument, or Induction, is an Argument which sets out from a hypothesis, resulting from a previous Abduction, and from virtual predictions, drawn by Deduction, of the results of possible experiments, and having performed the experiments, concludes that the hypothesis is true in the measure in which those predictions are verified, this conclusion, however, being held subject to probable modification to suit future experiments. Since the significance of the facts stated in the premisses depends upon their predictive character, which they could not have had if the conclusion had not been hypothetically entertained, they satisfy the definition of a Symbol of the fact stated in the conclusion. This argument is Transuasive, also, in respect to its alone affording us a reasonable assurance of an ampliation of our positive knowledge. By the term “virtual prediction,” I mean an experiential consequence deduced from the hypothesis, and selected from among possible consequences independently of whether it is known, or believed, to be true, or not; so that at the time it is selected as a test of the hypothesis, we are either ignorant of whether it will support or refute the hypothesis, or, at least, do not select a test which we should not have selected if we had been so ignorant.

CP 2.96
‘Induction’ (pub. 02.02.13-10:20). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 02, 2013, 10:20 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin