The Commens Dictionary

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


…logical criticism cannot go behind perceptual facts, which are the first judgments which we make concerning percepts. A perceptual fact is therefore an abstract affair. Each such fact covers only certain features of the percept. I look at an object and think that it seems white. That is my judgment of the object perceived, or my judgment concerning the percept, but not the percept itself; and it is idle to attempt to criticize by any logic that part of the performance of the intellect which draws that judgment from the percept, for the excellent reason that it is involuntary and cannot be prevented or corrected. Such a fact which represents the percept in a very meagre way, although it is, in itself, a relatively isolated fact, – as isolated as any fact can be, – nevertheless does not, in itself, call for any explanation.

EP 2:92; CP 7.198
‘Perceptual Fact’ (pub. 19.07.15-19:45). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jul 19, 2015, 19:45 by Mats Bergman