The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Draft of Nichols Review [C]’


the essence of law consists in its being a conditional truth about the indefinite future, and never can become matter of actual fact. Or we may say it is such a truth that upon the knowledge of it a perpetual or indefinitely lasting conditional expectation may be founded. We say “indefinitely lasting” because as a general rule our laws are vaguely understood to endure only so long as “the present state of things” continues; but that state of things may endure forever, or if it ceases, may return some day.

1904 [c.]
MS [R] 1476:10
‘Law’ (pub. 19.03.18-16:43). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 19, 2018, 16:43 by Mats Bergman