The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Consequences of Pragmaticism’


A habit which is objective continues as long as the future conditional proposition continues true, ‘If such and such conditions are fulfilled, such and such will the behaviour of the subject be’. It would be absurd to say that the habit only subsists at the moment that it operates, or that it only subsists if the conditions are about to be fulfilled. For a habit is general, and as such cannot be constituted by any multitude of individual occurrences, – not even by an infinite multitude, not even by an abnumeral multitude of whatever order you please. It is only constituted by the truth of the general future conditional proposition; that is to say by the nonoccurrence of a given kind of event, not by occurrences of the reverse event, however. Moreover, if the conditions never are to arise, still there may be something to determine what could not occur even if they should arise.

LI 302
‘Habit’ (pub. 23.10.15-17:28). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 23, 2015, 17:28 by Mats Bergman