The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On the Meaning of "Real" [R]’


Immanuel Kant, incomparably the greatest philosopher of knowledge that ever was, the great scrutinator of Reality, has in one large part of his chef d’oeuvre a good deal to say about the Ding an sich meaning all that is independent at once of Perspection and of Understanding. He even many times uses the phrase in the plural, possibly as a help to feebler minds. But it seems impossible upon his own principles that any meaning whatever should rightly be attached to the phrase. What we can in some measure know is our universe in such a sense that we cannot mean anything of what may be “beyond.” But the Ding an sich is very different from my idea of the Real, which is what I opine, or incline to believe that the men wisest about it will some day come unceasingly (as long as such wise men there be) to opine to be be an element of the truth.

MS [R] 930:23-25
‘Thing-in-itself’ (pub. 12.03.18-10:54). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 12, 2018, 10:54 by Mats Bergman