The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Probable Inference’


Any inference which does not regard its own conclusion as being necessarily true (though the facts be as the premisses assert).

In such an inference the facts asserted in the premisses are regarded as constituting a sign of the fact stated in the conclusion in one or other of three senses, as follows: i.e., that relation of the premissed facts to the concluded fact which is regarded as making the former a sign of the latter (1) may be such as could not exist until the conclusion was problematically recognized; this is inductive or experimental inference. Such a relation (2) may be altogether irrespective of whether the conclusion is recognized or not, yet such that it could not subsist if the concluded fact were not probable; this is probable deduction. Such a relation (3) may consist merely in the premissed facts having some character which may agree with, or be in some other relation to, a character which the concluded fact would possess if it existed; this is presumptive inference.

CP 2:783
‘Probable Inference’ (pub. 22.08.17-13:07). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 22, 2017, 13:07 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Aug 22, 2017, 13:12 by Mats Bergman