The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Letters to William James’


…there is certainly a third kind of Interpretant, which I call the Final Interpretant, because it is that which would finally be decided to be the true interpretation if consideration of the matter were carried so far that an ultimate opinion were reached. [—] In the Second Part of my Essay on Pragmatism, in the Popular Science of November 1877 and January 1878 I made three grades of Clearness of Interpretation. The first was such Familiarity as gave a person familiarity with a sign and readiness in using it or interpreting it. In his consciousness he seemed to himself to be quite at home with the sign. In short, it is Interpretation in Feeling. The second was Logical Analysis = Lady Welby’s Sense. The third was Pragmatistic Analysis [and] would seem to be a Dynamical Analysis, but [is] identified with the Final Interpretant.

EP 2:496-7
‘Final Interpretant’ (pub. 16.08.13-17:27). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Aug 16, 2013, 17:27 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:55 by Commens Admin