The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Draft of Nichols Review [C]’


“Representation” and “sign” are synonyms. The whole purpose of a sign is that it shall be interpreted in another sign; and its whole purport lies in the special character which it imparts to that interpretation. When a sign determines an interpretation of itself in another sign, it produces an effect external to itself, a physical effect, though the sign producing the effect may itself be not an existent object but merely a type. It produces this effect, not in this or that metaphysical sense, but in an indisputable sense.

1904 [c.]
CP 8.191
‘Sign’ (pub. 26.10.15-10:49). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 26, 2015, 10:49 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Mar 19, 2018, 15:10 by Mats Bergman