The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Syllabus: Syllabus of a course of Lectures at the Lowell Institute beginning 1903, Nov. 23. On Some Topics of Logic’


Philosophy is divided into (a) Phenomenology; (b) Normative Science; (c) Metaphysics.

Phenomenology ascertains and studies the kinds of elements universally present in the phenomenon; meaning by the phenomenon, whatever is present at any time to the mind in any way. Normative science distinguishes what ought to be from what ought not to be, and makes many other divisions and arrangements subservient to its primary dualistic distinction. Metaphysics seeks to give an account of the universe of mind and matter. Normative science rests largely on phenomenology and on mathematics; metaphysics on phenomenology and on normative science. [—]

Metaphysics may be divided into (i) General Metaphysics, or Ontology; (ii) Psychical, or Religious, Metaphysics, concerned chiefly with the questions of (1) God, (2) Freedom, (3) Immortality; and (iii) Physical Metaphysics, which discusses the real nature of Time, Space, Laws of Nature, Matter, etc. The second and third branches appear at present to look upon one another with supreme contempt.

EP 2:259-260
‘Metaphysics’ (pub. 05.02.13-20:18). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 05, 2013, 20:18 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:59 by Commens Admin