The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to Lady Welby’


In respect to their relations to their dynamic objects, I divide signs into Icons, Indices, and Symbols (a division I gave in 1867). I define an Icon as a sign which is determined by its dynamic object by virtue of its own internal nature. Such is any qualisign, like a vision, - or the sentiment excited by a piece of music considered as representing what the composer intended. Such may be a sinsign, like an individual diagram; say a curve of the distribution of errors.

CP 8.335
‘Icon’ (pub. 28.04.13-20:04). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 28, 2013, 20:04 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:57 by Commens Admin