The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to Lady Welby’


A Sign may itself have a “possible” Mode of Being. E.g. A hexagon inscribed in or circumscribed about a conic. It is a Sign, in that the collinearity of the intersections of opposite sides shows the curve to be a conic, if the hexagon is inscribed; but if it be circumscribed the copunctuality of its three diameters (joining opposite vertices.) Its mode of Being may be Actuality: as with any barometer. Or Necessitant: as the word “the” or any other in the dictionary. For a “possible” Sign I have no better designation than a Tone, though I am considering replacing this by “Mark.” [—] An Actual sign I call a Token; a Necessitant Sign a Type.

SS 83
‘Tone’ (pub. 22.04.13-19:25). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 22, 2013, 19:25 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:57 by Commens Admin