The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Issues of Pragmaticism’


Another doctrine which is involved in Pragmaticism as an essential consequence of it, but which the writer defended (Journal of Speculative Philosophy 1868, and North American Review 1871) before he had formulated, even in his own mind, the principle of pragmaticism, is the scholastic doctrine of realism. This is usually defined as the opinion that there are real objects that are general, among the number being the modes of determination of existent singulars, if, indeed, these be not the only such objects. But the belief in this can hardly escape being accompanied by the acknowledgment that there are, besides, real vagues, and especially real possibilities. For possibility being the denial of a necessity, which is a kind of generality, is vague like any other contradiction of a general. Indeed, it is the reality of some possibilities that pragmaticism is most concerned to insist upon.

EP 2:354; CP 5.453
‘Scholastic Realism’ (pub. 09.06.14-20:00). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jun 09, 2014, 20:00 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Aug 08, 2016, 17:16 by Mats Bergman