The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘The Fourth Curiosity’


I have, since 1870, written much about the logic of relations. In those writings, I have usually restricted the terms “relations” and “relationships” to existential relations and relationships. By a relationship I understand the conception of a fact about a set of things abstracted from the representation of the things themselves or, in other words, a predicate which requires more than one subject to complete a proposition, or conception of a fact. A “relation” only differs from a “relationship” in that one of the subjects is regarded as being taken account of first, and is usually called the subject nominative, while the others are called the direct and indirect objects. In other words a relation is a predicate requiring one subject nominative and one or more objects in a definite sequence. In my earlier papers I use the conception of relation chiefly; in my later ones that of relationship. The difference is little more than trifling.

CP 6.318
‘Relation’ (pub. 11.09.14-13:22). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 09, 2014, 11:00 by Mats Bergman
Sep 11, 2014, 13:22
Last revised: 
Mar 07, 2016, 10:56 by Mats Bergman