The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘One, Two, Three: Kantian Categories’


We have to suppose that in looking into the indefinite past we are looking into back towards times when the element of law played an indefinitely small part in the universe.

If the universe is thus progressing from a state of all but pure chance to a state of all but complete determination by law, we must suppose that there is an original, elemental, tendency of things to acquire determinate properties, to take habits. This is the Third or mediating element between chance, which brings forth First and original events, and law which produces sequences or Seconds. Now this tendency to take habits is something essentially finite in amount, an infinitely strong tendency of this sort [unlike an absolute conformity to law] is inconceivable and self-contradictory. Consequently this tendency must itself have been gradually evolved; and it would evidently tend to strengthen itself.

Here is a rational physical hypothesis, which is calculated to account, or all but account for everything in the universe except pure originality itself.

W 5:293
‘Habit-taking’ (pub. 20.10.15-19:22). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 20, 2015, 19:22 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Oct 21, 2015, 10:29 by Mats Bergman