The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Lowell Lectures on Some Topics of Logic Bearing on Questions Now Vexed. Lecture III [R]’


My view is that there are three modes of being. I hold that we can directly observe them in elements of whatever is at any time before the mind in any way. They are the being of positive qualitative possibility, the being of actual fact, and the being of law that will govern facts in the future.
On the whole, I think we have here a mode of being of one thing which consists in how a second object is. I call that Secondness.

Besides this, there are two modes of being that I call Firstness and Thirdness.

CP 1.23-25
‘Being: Modes of’ (pub. 07.04.13-09:46). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 07, 2013, 09:46 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:58 by Commens Admin