The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Forms of Consciousness [R]’


At present I hurry on to the third form of medisense which is that of the formation of sets of ideas, or association proper. A great many associations of ideas are inherited. Others grow up spontaneously. The rest depend upon the principle that ideas once brought together into a set remain in that set. Many associations are merely accidental. A child acquires a distaste for a particular kind of food merely because it ate it when it was sick. The idea of that food and the feeling of sickness are brought into a set; and the consequence is that every time the idea of that food reaches a high degree of vividness, the feeling of sickness gets a swift upward motion. Other associations cannot be called accidental because it was in the nature of things that they should appear in sets. Thus, light and warm get associated in our minds because they are associated in Nature.

Medisense has three modes, Abstraction, Suggestion, Association.

1896 [c.]
CP 7.549-51
‘Association’ (pub. 26.07.15-20:00). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jul 26, 2015, 20:00 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Apr 20, 2018, 08:07 by Mats Bergman