The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Ideas, Stray or Stolen, about scientific writing. No. 1’


… a speculative rhetoric, the science of the essential conditions under which a sign may determine an interpretant sign of itself and of whatever it signifies, or may, as a sign, bring about a physical result. [—]
In the Roman schools, grammar, logic, and rhetoric were felt to be akin and to make up a rounded whole called the trivium. This feeling was just; for the three disciplines named correspond to the three essential branches of semeiotics, of which the first, called speculative grammar by Duns Scotus, studies the ways in which an object can be a sign; the second, the leading part of logic, best termed speculative critic, studies the ways in which a sign can be related to the object independent of it that it represents; while the third is the speculative rhetoric …

EP 2:326-27
‘Speculative Grammar’ (pub. 27.01.13-11:29). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Jan 27, 2013, 11:29 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 01:01 by Commens Admin