The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


…the total meaning of the predication of an intellectual concept is contained in an affirmation that, under all conceivable circumstances of a given kind, (or under this or that more or less indefinite part of the cases of their fulfillment, should the predication be modal,) the subject of the predication would behave in a certain general way, – that is, it would be true under given experiential circumstances (or under a more or less definitely stated proportion of them, taken as they would occur, that is in the same order of succession, in experience).

A most pregnant principle, quite undeniably, will this “kernel of pragmatism” prove to be, that the whole meaning of an intellectual predicate is that certain kinds of events would happen, once in so often, in the course of experience, under certain kinds of existential conditions, – provided it can be proved to be true.

MS [R] 318:12-16; CP 5.467-8
‘Maxim of Pragmatism’ (pub. 13.10.15-20:03). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 13, 2015, 20:03 by Mats Bergman