The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘C. S . Peirce's Lowell Lectures for 1903. Lecture 4.’


qualities are not, properly speaking, individuals. All the qualities you actually have ever thought of might, no doubt, be counted, since you have only been alive for a certain number of hundredths of seconds, and it requires more than a hundredth of a second actually to have any thought. But all the qualities, any one of which you readily can think of, are certainly innumerable; and all that might be thought of exceed, I am convinced, all multitude whatsoever. For they are mere logical possibilities, and possibilities are general, and no multitude can exhaust the narrowest kind of a general. Nevertheless, within limitations, which include most ordinary purposes, qualities may be treated as individuals. At any rate, however, they form an entirely different universe of existence. It is a universe of logical possibility.

CP 4.514
‘Quality’ (pub. 08.01.15-13:14). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 08, 2015, 13:14 by Mats Bergman