The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Minute Logic: Chapter II. Prelogical Notions. Section I. Classification of the Sciences (Logic II)’


The first of these is Phenomenology, or the Doctrine of Categories, whose business it is to unravel the tangled skein [of] all that in any sense appears and wind it into distinct forms; or in other words, to make the ultimate analysis of all experiences the first task to which philosophy has to apply itself. It is a most difficult, perhaps the most difficult, of its tasks, demanding very peculiar powers of thought, the ability to seize clouds, vast and intangible, to set them in orderly array, to put them through their exercises. The mere reading of this sort of philosophy, the mere understanding of it, is not easy. Anything like a just appreciation of it has not been performed by many of those who have written books. Original work in this department, if it is to be real and hitherto unformulated truth, is – not to speak of whether it is difficult or not – one of those functions of growth which every man, perhaps, in some fashion exercises once, some even twice, but which it would be next to a miracle to perform a third time.

1902 [c.]
CP 1.280
‘Phenomenology’ (pub. 06.02.13-18:59). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 06, 2013, 18:59 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 02, 2016, 16:06 by Mats Bergman