The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


It is evident that a definition, even if it be imperfect owing to vagueness, is an intellectual interpretant of the term it defines. But it is equally evident that it cannot be the ultimate intellectual interpretant, inasmuch as it is itself a sign, and a sign of the kind that has itself an intellectual interpretant, which is thereby an intellectual interpretant of the term defined. This consideration compels us to seek elsewhere than among signs, or among concepts, since they are all signs, for ultimate intellectual interpretants. This same consideration cuts off from searching among desires, expectations, etc., for ultimate intellectual interpretants, since such intellectual character as desires, etc., possess is due solely to their referring to concepts. At the same time, the ultimate intellectual interpretants must be some kind of mental effects of the signs they interpret. Now after an examination of all varieties of mental phenomena, the only ones I have been able to find that possess the requisite generality to interpret concepts and which fulfill the other conditions are habits.

EP 2:430-1
‘Ultimate Logical Interpretant’ (pub. 13.10.15-16:49). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 13, 2015, 16:49 by Mats Bergman