The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Prolegomena to an Apology for Pragmaticism’


An ordinary Proposition ingeniously contrives to convey novel information through Signs whose significance depends entirely on the interpreter’s familiarity with them; and this it does by means of a “Predicate,” i.e., a term explicitly indefinite in breadth, and defining its breadth by means of “Subjects,” or terms whose breadths are somewhat definite, but whose informative depth (i.e., all the depth except an essential superficies) is indefinite, while conversely the depth of the Subjects is in a measure defined by the Predicate. A Predicate is either non-relative, or a monad, that is, is explicitly indefinite in one extensive respect, as is “black”; or it is a dyadic relative, or dyad, such as “kills,” or it is a polyadic relative, such as “gives.”

CP 6.543
‘Predicate’ (pub. 12.01.15-18:32). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 12, 2015, 18:32 by Mats Bergman