The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to William James’


If we imagine that feeling retains its positive character but absolutely loses all relation, (and thereby all vividness, which is only the sense of shock), it no longer is exactly what we call feeling. It is a mere sense of quality. It is the sort of element that makes red to be such as it is, whatever anything else may be. I do not see how that can be described except as being such as it is, positively, of itself, while secondness is such as it is relatively to something else. Anything familiar gains a peculiar positive quality of feeling of its own; and that I think is the connection between Firstness and Hegel’s first stage of thought.

CP 8.267
‘Quality of Feeling’ (pub. 14.10.15-17:59). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 14, 2015, 17:59 by Mats Bergman