The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Syllabus: Nomenclature and Division of Triadic Relations, as far as they are determined’


An Index is a sign which refers to the Object that it denotes by virtue of being really affected by that Object. It cannot, therefore, be a Qualisign, because qualities are whatever they are independently of anything else. In so far as the Index is affected by the Object, it necessarily has some Quality in common with the Object, and it is in respect to these that it refers to the Object. It does, therefore, involve a sort of Icon, although an Icon of a peculiar kind; and it is not the mere resemblance of its Object, even in these respects which makes it a sign, but it is the actual modification of it by the Object.

EP 2:291-292
‘Index’ (pub. 05.05.13-10:31). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
May 05, 2013, 10:31 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:57 by Commens Admin