The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Logic Viewed as Semeiotics. Introduction No 2. Phaneroscopy’


I beg the privilege, in the interests of that exactitude of technical terminology without which no study can become scientific, of creating an English word, phaneron, to denote whatever is entirely open to assured observation, in all the entirety of its being, even if this observation be not quite as direct as that of a percept is. An external reality is not a phaneron because it is not entirely open to observation. The phaneron resembles rather what many English philosophers call an idea.

When I say a phaneron is open to observation, I use the word “observation” in a pretty broad sense. Whatever, whether in a purposive or cognitive sense, we mean, or rather, when this is any distinction, what we think we mean is a phaneron, although it may be vague and is usually general, so that it cannot react upon us as a percept does, is a phaneron.

Again, that which is observed, as a percept is absent, must be objectified, while mere tones of consciousness are phanerons. But though subject and object are not discriminated in these feelings, yet it is that element of them which becomes developed into the immediate object which is the phaneron.

PSR 47-48
‘Phaneron’ (pub. 28.02.18-12:12). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 28, 2018, 12:12 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Feb 28, 2018, 17:10 by Mats Bergman