The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Lecture II [R]’


Logicians call […] a collection of things or subjects of force, to which the whole discussions relates, the universe of discourse. This universe consists in the first place of certain mutually well-understood centres or subjects of force well-understood to be different from one another; secondly, of certain subjects of force well-understood to exist, but not thoroughly understood to be known to be different from any of those of the first class; and thirdly of an indefinite supplement of subjects of force presumed to exist but of which there has been no definite recognition. Summing up the matter, we may say that the universe of discourse is the aggregate of subjects of the complexus of experience-forces well-understood between the graphist, or he who scribes the graph, and the interpreter of it.

MS [R] 455:3-4
‘Universe of Discourse’ (pub. 24.09.14-10:35). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 24, 2014, 10:35 by Mats Bergman