Digital Companion to C. S. Peirce

Some Wit, Wisdom & Bewilderment

I almost despair of making clear what I mean by a “quasi-mind;” But I will try. A thought is not per se in any mind or quasi-mind. I mean this in the same sense as I might say that Right and Truth would remain what they are though they were not embodied, & though nothing were right or true. But a thought, to gain any active mode of being must be embodied in a Sign. A thought is a special variety of sign. All thinking is necessarily a sort of dialogue, an appeal from the momentary self to the better considered self of the immediate and of the general future. Now as every thinking requires a mind, so every sign even if external to all minds must be a determination of a quasi-mind. The quasi-mind is itself a sign, a determinable sign.
Letter to Lady Welby, 1906