The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘The Critic of Arguments. II. The Reader is Introduced to Relatives’


A rhema is somewhat closely analogous to a chemical atom or radicle with unsaturated bonds. A non-relative rhema is like a univalent radicle; it has but one unsaturated bond. A relative rhema is like a multivalent radicle. The blanks of a rhema can only be filled by terms, or, what is the same thing, by “something which” (or the like) followed by a rhema; or, two can be filled together by means of “itself” or the like. So, in chemistry, unsaturated bonds can only be saturated by joining two of them, which will usually, though not necessarily, belong to different radicles. If two univalent radicles are united, the result is a saturated compound. So, two non-relative rhemas being joined give a complete proposition.

CP 3.421
‘Rhema’ (pub. 18.08.13-19:47). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 18, 2013, 19:47 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:55 by Commens Admin