The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘PAP [ed.]’


Let us now consider non-necessary reasoning. This divides itself, according to the different ways in which it may be valid, into three classes: probable deduction; experimental reasoning, which I now call Induction; and processes of thought capable of producing no conclusion more definite than a conjecture, which I now call Abduction.
Abduction is no more nor less than guessing, a faculty attributed to Yankees. [—] Such validity as this has consists in the generalization that no new truth is ever otherwise reached while some new truths are thus reached. This is a result of Induction; and therefore in a remote way Abduction rests upon diagrammatic reasoning.

NEM 4:319-320
‘Abduction’ (pub. 04.01.13-18:30). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 04, 2013, 18:30 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jun 22, 2017, 14:37 by Mats Bergman