The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Syllabus: Nomenclature and Division of Triadic Relations, as far as they are determined’


An Induction is a method of forming Dicent Symbols concerning a definite question, of which method the Interpretant does not represent that from true premisses it will yield approximately true results in the majority of instances in the long run of experience, but does represent that if this method be persisted in, it will in the long run yield the truth, or an indefinite approximation to the truth, in regard to every question. An Induction is either a Pooh-pooh Argument, or an Experimental Verification of a general Prediction, or an Argument from a Random Sample. A Pooh-pooh Argument is a method which consists in denying that a general kind of event ever will occur on the ground that it never has occurred. Its justification is that if it be persistently applied on every occasion, it must ultimately be corrected in case it should be wrong, and thus will ultimately reach the true conclusion. A Verification of a general Prediction is a method which consists in finding or making the conditions of the prediction and in concluding that it will be verified about as often as it is experimentally found to be verified. Its justification is that if the Prediction does not tend in the long run to be verified in any approximately determinate proportion of cases, experiment must, in the long run, ascertain this; while if the Prediction will, in the long run, be verified in any determinate, or approximately determinate, proportion of cases, experiment must in the long run, approximately ascertain what that proportion is. An Argument from a Random Sample, is a method of ascertaining what proportion of the members of a finite class possess a predesignate, or virtually predesignate, quality, by selecting instances from that class according to a method which will, in the long run, present any instance as often as any other, and concluding that the ratio found for such a sample will hold in the long run. Its justification is evident.

EP 2:298; CP 2.269
‘Induction’ (pub. 02.02.13-11:00). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 02, 2013, 11:00 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin