The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Smithsonian Institution letters’


In 1867, I produced what I considered, and still consider proof that all arguments are of three kinds Deduction, Induction and Hypothesis, with a supplementary kind Analogy sharing in the nature of Induction and of Hypothesis. In various publications, I gradually made my doctrine more definite, until in 1883 I gave an account of it in Studies in Logic by Members of the Johns Hopkins University. The theory there given seems to me substantially correct as far as Induction goes. Later, I was led to see objections to the method in which I there dealt with Hypothesis, in regard to which I had departed from my earlier opinions; and in order to meet these objections, I at first proposed slightly to modify my theory both of Induction and of Hypothesis, leaving my later opinions about their relations to one another, as they were. But this new view on further consideration was found not to be acceptable in regard to Induction; and finally some five years ago I made an entirely fresh investigation, more careful than ever, the result of which was that I return to my early views on the relations of induction and hypothesis, leave the theory of induction as I had it in 1883 substantially, and restrict the modifications of it to hypothesis only. I think I may be confident of having the matter right now. At any rate, several careful re-criticisms of it have not disclosed any faults.

HP 2:876-877
‘Induction’ (pub. 03.02.13-17:41). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 03, 2013, 17:41 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 02, 2016, 16:18 by Mats Bergman