The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letter to J. H. Kehler’


I consider Retroduction (a poor name) to be the most important kind of reasoning, notwithstanding its very unreliable nature, because it is the only kind of reasoning that opens up new ground. [—] Retroduction gives hints that come straight from our dear and adorable Creator. We ought to labour to cultivate this Divine privilege. It is the side of human intellect that is exposed to influence from on high. With this investigation starts. Having once formed a conjecture, the first thing to be done is to draw Deductions from it and compare them with observations. [—]

So Retroduction comes first and is the least certain and least complex kind of Reasoning.

NEM 3:206
‘Retroduction’ (pub. 12.03.13-19:07). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 12, 2013, 19:07 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:58 by Commens Admin