The Commens Dictionary

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


The signification of the phrase “final cause” must be determined by its use in the statement of Aristotle that all causation divides into two grand branches, the efficient, or forceful; and the ideal, or final. If we are to conserve the truth of that statement, we must understand by final causation that mode of bringing facts about according to which a general description of result is made to come about, quite irrespective of any compulsion for it to come about in this or that particular way; although the means may be adapted to the end. The general result may be brought about at one time in one way, and at another time in another way. Final causation does not determine in what particular way it is to be brought about, but only that the result shall have a certain general character.

EP 2:120; CP 1.211
‘Final Causation’ (pub. 23.07.15-13:12). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jul 23, 2015, 13:12 by Mats Bergman