The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Abstracts of 8 Lectures’


The word individuality applied to thisness involves a one-sided conception of the matter, as if unity and segregation were its characteristic. But this is not so. Segregate unity belongs to immediate consciousness, to quality; and wherever it appears that is its real origin. The true characteristic of thisness is duality; and it is only when one member of the pair is considered exclusively that it appears as individuality.

But what is commonly in our minds when we speak of individuality is a positive repugnance to generality. Our thoughts are so impregnated with generality, that we look at everything from its standpoint. Instead of thinking of thisness as it is in itself and for itself, we think of it in its relation to generality.

NEM 4:135-6
‘Individuality’ (pub. 20.08.15-13:28). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 20, 2015, 13:28 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Oct 13, 2015, 11:22 by Mats Bergman