The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


any sign, of whatsoever kind, mediates between an Object to some sort of conformity with which it is moulded, and by which it is thus determined, and an effect which the sign is intended to bring about, and which it represents to be the outcome of the object’s influence upon it. It is of the first importance in such studies as these that the two correlates of the sign should be clearly distinguished: the Object by which the sign is determined and the Meaning, or as I usually call it, the Interpretant, which is determined by the sign, and through it by the object. The meaning may itself be a sign, a concept, for example, as may also the object. But everybody who looks out of his eyes well knows that thoughts bring about tremendous physical effects, that are not, as such, signs. Feelings, too, may be excited by signs without thereby and therein being themselves signs. [—] …it must not be forgotten that every sign is besides just an object like any other, and it may be two very different signs at once.

1907 [c.]
MS [R] 321:15-6, 19
‘Sign’ (pub. 17.10.15-19:01). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 17, 2015, 19:01 by Mats Bergman