The Commens Dictionary

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


Mind has its universal mode of action, namely, by final causation. The microscopist looks to see whether the motions of a little creature show any purpose. If so, there is mind there. Passing from the little to the large, natural selection is the theory of how forms come to be adaptive, that is, to be governed by a quasi purpose. It suggests a machinery of efficiency to bring about the end – a machinery inadequate perhaps – yet which must contribute some help toward the result. But the being governed by a purpose or other final cause is the very essence of the psychical phenomenon, in general. [—]

But under this universal law of mind, there are other laws, it may be equally ubiquitous yet not so abstract. There is, first of all, the great law of association (including fusion), a principle strikingly analogous to gravitation, since it is an attraction between ideas. There are, besides, other general phenomena of mind not explicable by association.

CP 1.269-270
‘Law of Mind’ (pub. 26.07.15-20:22). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jul 26, 2015, 20:22 by Mats Bergman