The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Meaning Preface’


That is Real which has characters independently of what contrary or other characters any person or collection of persons may in any sort of idea attribute to it. This is not to say the characters are possessed independently of all Thought about it, nor of whatever might be the final opinion to which sufficient research would lead. Thus the substance of a dream, that is, what is dreamed is not Real, since the object dreamed has only such characters as the mind of the dreamer gives it. But the dream itself is a Real fact, if it has occurred no matter who opines that it has not. A Real object may be External or Internal, i.e. mental, as a dream is. For only that is external whose possession of some character is [not merely] independent of individuals’ opinions, but whose possession of any such Real character is independent of any individuals’ thought about any subject and ideation of every kind.

MS [R] 637:27-28
Editorial Annotations: 

From variant pages. The inserted words ('not merely') are from a rejected version of the sentence in question.

‘Real’ (pub. 07.04.15-20:07). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 07, 2015, 20:07 by Mats Bergman