The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to Mario Calderoni’


I find that there are in the phaneron,
3rd, elements each of which is as it is to a second and for a third, that is, its very being, as phaneron, consists in its bringing that second and that third into relationship. Such an element I call a Tertian element.

You naturally expect Quartan elements, [and] so forth. But I not merely opine, but can strictly demonstrate that every quartan part of a phaneron is reducible to a combination of Tertian elements. You might thoughtlessly ask why then a Tertian part cannot be reduced to a combination of a Secundan elements. But a moment’s reflection will show that this is a senseless and purely verbal suggestion, inasmuch as combination is already a Tertian idea.

MS [R] L67:18-19
‘Thirdness’ (pub. 18.03.18-17:53). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 18, 2018, 17:53 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Mar 19, 2018, 10:09 by Mats Bergman