The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On Existential Graphs’


A term is a symbol in which the representative and reactive aspects of the object are left entirely vague except so far as they may be determined by the qualitative element, that is, the generalized icon created in the mind. The purest examples are verbs, like “– shines.” “– loves –;” although traditionally logicians have usually understood by terms class-names, equivalent to common norms. But these are really mere accidental parts of speech peculiar to certain classes of languages. They have no general logical significance. They are mere fragments of symbols. That is, “– is a man” is a symbol, but “man” is more nearly an icon.

MS [R] 484:7
‘Term’ (pub. 05.03.18-16:16). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 05, 2018, 16:16 by Mats Bergman