The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On Existential Graphs as an Instrument of Logical Research’


By real, I always mean that which is such as it is whatever you or I or any generation of men may opine or otherwise think that it is. There must not be any confusion between reality and exteriority[.] [T]hat is real which is as it is no matter what one may think about it. The external is that which is as it is whatever one may think about anything. No doubt there are grades of reality, meaning that objects of signs may yield with more or less resistance to opinion or other representation. According to the definition absolute resistance is essential to reality. But an approach to reality, something that is not in the slightest of the nature of pretense is found wherever an object of thought is sufficiently obstinate to enable us to say, it has not these characters, but it does have these.

1906 [c.]
MS [R] 498
‘Real’ (pub. 24.08.17-09:51). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 24, 2017, 09:51 by Mats Bergman