The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Forms of Consciousness [R]’


An element of Feeling is neither a part of self-consciousness nor is set up over against self-consciousness. But the consciousness of compulsion in sensation as well as the consciousness of willing necessarily involves self-consciousness and also the consciousness of some exterior force. The self and the not-self are separated in this sort of consciousness. The sense of reaction or struggle between self and another is just what this consciousness consists in. Hence, to give it a name, I propose to call it altersense. To avoid circumlocution, I will speak of the altersense element of sensation, as Sensation simply. Thus, Altersense has two varieties, Sensation and Will. The difference between them is that Sensation is an event in which a feeling is forced upon the mind; while Volition or Willing, is an event in which a desire is satisfied, that is, an intense state of feeling is reduced. In Sensation, a feeling is forced upon us; in Willing, feeling forces its way out from us.

1896 [c.]
CP 7.543
‘Will’ (pub. 11.09.14-12:18). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 11, 2014, 14:29 by Sami Paavola
Sep 11, 2014, 12:18
Last revised: 
Apr 20, 2018, 08:10 by Mats Bergman