The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Minute Logic: Chapter II. Prelogical Notions. Section I. Classification of the Sciences (Logic II)’


All natural classification is […] essentially, we may almost say, an attempt to find out the true genesis of the objects classified. But by genesis must be understood, not the efficient action which produces the whole by producing the parts, but the final action which produces the parts because they are needed to make the whole. Genesis is production from ideas. It may be difficult to understand how this is true in the biological world, though there is proof enough that it is so. But in regard to science it is a proposition easily enough intelligible. A science is defined by its problem; and its problem is clearly formulated on the basis of abstracter science. This is all I intended to say here concerning classification, in general.

EP 2:127; CP 1.227
‘Natural Classification’ (pub. 09.05.15-12:01). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
May 09, 2015, 12:01 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Jul 23, 2015, 16:43 by Mats Bergman