In “The Fixation of Belief,” Peirce apparently accepts the causal claim that real physical objects cause us to reach an indefeasible “final opinion” concerning them. In “How to Make Our Ideas Clear,” he apparently accepts the constitutive claim that for physical objects to be real just is for them to be represented in that opinion. These claims initially seem inconsistent, since causal claims are explanatory and since equivalent claims cannot explain one another. Contrary to prominent suggestions that Peirce rejected the constitutive claim, however, he actually accepted both, reconciling them via a Humean denial that causal claims are genuinely explanatory.

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