The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘PAP [ed.]’


Let us now consider non-necessary reasoning. This divides itself, according to the different ways in which it may be valid, into three classes: probable deduction; experimental reasoning, which I now call Induction; and processes of thought capable of producing no conclusion more definite than a conjecture, which I now call Abduction. [—] The general principle of the validity of Induction is correctly stated in the Johns Hopkins Essay, but is too narrowly defined. All the forms of reasoning there principally considered come under the class of Inductions, as I now define it. Much could now be added to the Essay. The validity of Induction consists in the fact that it proceeds according to a method which though it may give provisional results that are incorrect will yet, if steadily pursued, eventually correct any such error. The two propositions that all Induction possesses this kind of validity, and that no Induction possesses any other kind that is more than a further determination of this kind, are both susceptible of demonstration by necessary reasoning.

NEM 4:319
‘Induction’ (pub. 03.02.13-19:32). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 03, 2013, 19:32 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jun 22, 2017, 14:39 by Mats Bergman