The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to F. C. S. Schiller’


…the word real was introduced as a technical word (first of law and then of logic) and was so little used before Scotus and so continually by him that it ought to be regarded as his word; and my ethics of terminology will not permit me to give it any other meaning than that it is that whose characters do not at all depend upon what any man or men think that they are. I have said (in 1892) that to say that anything is quite real is a postulate, much as if a man went to borrow money of a bank and was asked for his security, he might say ‘Oh, I have no other security than that I postulate the loan.’ But I added that many things certainly approach so near to being real that we cannot say they are not so.

MS [R] L390; Published in Scott, F. J. D. (1973). Peirce and Schiller and Their Correspondence. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 11(3), 363–386
‘Real’ (pub. 07.10.18-22:38). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 07, 2018, 22:38 by Mats Bergman