The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Vague (in logic)’


Vague (in logic) [Lat, vagus, rambling, indefinite]: Ger. unbestimmt ; Fr. vague ; Ital. vago. Indeterminate in intention.

A proposition is vague when there are states of things concerning which it is intrinsically uncertain whether, had they been contemplated by the speaker, he would have regarded them as excluded or allowed by the proposition. By intrinsically uncertain we mean not uncertain in consequence of any ignorance of the interpreter, but because the speaker’s habits of language were indeterminate; so that one day he would regard the proposition as excluding, another as admitting, those states of things. Yet this must be under stood to have reference to what might be deduced from a perfect knowledge of his state of mind; for it is precisely because these questions never did, or did not frequently, present themselves that his habit remained indeterminate.

DPP 2:748
‘Vague’ (pub. 14.08.17-13:05). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 14, 2017, 13:05 by Mats Bergman