The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Possibility, Impossibility, and Possible’


Chance […] has a double meaning: (i) something not derivable or explainable causally by reference to antecedent facts. There are those who assert the reality of such chance. On this view there are many possibilities in store in the future which no amount of knowledge would enable us to foresee or forestall. Indeterministic theories of the will assert possibilities of this sort also. (ii) Chance may mean that which, while necessary causally, is not necessary teleologically; the unplanned, the fatalistic. From this point of view the ‘possible’ is that which unexpectedly prevents the carrying-out of a purpose or intention.

DPP 2:313; CP 6.366
‘Chance’ (pub. 11.08.17-10:50). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 11, 2017, 10:50 by Mats Bergman