The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Definitions for Baldwin's Dictionary [R]’


firstness, n.
1. The ordinal position of the first member of a series.
2. The mode of being of that which is whatever it is positively and regardless of anything else. According to the phenomenology of C. S. Peirce, this applies only to simple qualities, especially qualities of feeling. According to several of the other systems of metaphysics, it describes the mode of being of a substance, and does not apply to qualities which are such only by inhering in substances. In explanation of the former meaning, it is said that firstness is not attributed to simple qualities as embodied in subjects, but in the peculiar positive suchness which […] makes each what it is and which is not affected by the embodiment of the quality…

1901-1902 [c.]
MS [R] 1147
‘Firstness’ (pub. 10.08.17-10:48). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 10, 2017, 10:48 by Mats Bergman