The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Abstracts of 8 Lectures’


What then does the logic of events require’? What is required, as an objectively hypothetic result, is that an arbitrary selection of them should crowd out the others. This is existence, the arbitrary, blind, reaction against all others of accidental combinations of qualities. [—]

But existence is continuous as far as the nature of the case admits. At every point of it, it reunites all qualities each in some degree. The thisness of it consists in its reacting upon the consciousness and crowding out other possibilities from so reacting.

It has often been said that the difference between the real world and a dream is that the real world coheres and is consistent. Undoubtedly this is the principal characteristic. The real events conspire as it were against the unreal ones, because there is not room for all. But observe that the logical analysis of this statement is that existence has its root in pairing. As soon as duality appears, as in contrast between the quality and the feeling of the quality, there is already an adumbration or prophetic type of real. But it is the composite of pairing in exclusion of another pair with the banding or pairing together of such exclusive pairs which produces thisness.

NEM 4:135
‘Existence’ (pub. 20.08.15-13:16). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 20, 2015, 13:16 by Mats Bergman