The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘PAP [ed.]’


A Diagram, in my sense, is in the first place a Token, or singular Object used as a Sign; for it is essential that it should be capable of being perceived and observed. It is, however, what is called a General sign; that is, it denotes a general Object. It is, indeed, constructed with that intention, and thus represents the Object of that intention. Now the Object of an intention, purpose, or desire is always General. The Diagram represents a definite Form of Relation. This Relation is usually one which actually exists, as in a map, or is intended to exist, as in a Plan. But this is so far from being essential to the Diagram as such, that if details are added to represented existential or experiential peculiarities, such additions are distinctly of an undiagrammatic nature. The pure Diagram is designed to represent and to render intelligible, the Form of Relation merely. Consequently, Diagrams are restricted to the representation of a certain class of relations; namely, those that are intelligible.

NEM 4:315-316n1
‘Diagram’ (pub. 07.04.13-11:15). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 07, 2013, 11:15 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jun 22, 2017, 14:38 by Mats Bergman