The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Lowell Lectures. 1903. Lecture 3’


These substantive possibilities, – that is, qualities, relations, and the like, – are prior to existence, in the sense that non-existence is not a necessary proof of non-possibility, but non-possibility is a necessary proof of non-existence. For it is logically impossible that existence should exhaust pure possibilities of any kind. These truths are strictly deducible from the facts of phenomenology, or the analysis of the phenomenon; meaning by the phenomenon whatever is present in the mind in any kind of thought.

MS [R] 459:29-30
‘Phenomenon’ (pub. 29.09.14-10:23). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Sep 29, 2014, 10:23 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Sep 29, 2014, 10:25 by Mats Bergman