The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘The Basis of Pragmaticism’


I propose to use the word Phaneron as a proper name to denote the total content of anyone consciousness (for anyone is substantially any other,) the sum of all we have in mind in any way whatever, regardless of its cognitive value. This is pretty vague: I intentionally leave it so. I will only point out that I do not limit the reference to an instantaneous state of consciousness; for the clause “in any way whatever” takes in memory and all habitual cognition. The reader will probably wonder why I did not content myself with some expression already in use. The reason is that the absence of any contiguous associations with the new word will render it sharper and clearer than any well-worn coin could be.

1905 [c.]
MS [R] 908:4; EP 2:362
‘Phaneron’ (pub. 12.03.18-12:58). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 12, 2018, 12:58 by Mats Bergman