The Commens Dictionary

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


Mind has its universal mode of action, namely, by final causation. The microscopist looks to see whether the motions of a little creature show any purpose. If so, there is mind there. Passing from the little to the large, natural selection is the theory of how forms come to be adaptive, that is, to be governed by a quasi purpose. It suggests a machinery of efficiency to bring about the end - a machinery inadequate perhaps - yet which must contribute some help toward the result. But the being governed by a purpose or other final cause is the very essence of the psychical phenomenon, in general. There ought, therefore, one would think, to be under the order of psychonomy, or nomological psychognosy, a suborder which should seek to formulate with exactitude the law of final causation and show how its workings are to be traced out.

CP 1.269
‘Mind’ (pub. 07.04.13-18:52). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 07, 2013, 18:52 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:58 by Commens Admin