The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On the Logic of Drawing History from Ancient Documents Especially from Testimonies (Logic of History)’


… the distinction in respect to the nature of their validity between deduction and induction consists in this, – namely, deduction professes to show that certain admitted facts could not exist, even in an ideal world constructed for the purpose, either without the existence of the very fact concluded, or without the occurrence of this fact in the long run in that proportion of cases of the fulfilment of certain objective conditions in which it is concluded that it will occur, or in other words, without its having the concluded objective probability. In either case, deductive reasoning is necessary reasoning, although, in the latter case, its subject matter is probability. Induction, on the other hand, is not justified by any relation between the facts stated in the premisses and the fact stated in the conclusion; and it does not infer that the latter fact is either necessary or objectively probable. But the justification of its conclusion is that that conclusion is reached by a method which, steadily persisted in, must lead to true knowledge in the long run of cases of its application, whether to the existing world or to any imaginable world whatsoever.

CP 7.207
‘Induction’ (pub. 02.02.13-09:46). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 02, 2013, 09:46 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:00 by Commens Admin