The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Minute Logic: Chapter II. Section II. Why Study Logic? ’


In the derivation of this word, “phenomenon” is to be understood in the broadest sense conceivable; so that phenomenology might rather be defined as the study of what seems than as the statement of what appears. It describes the essentially different elements which seem to present themselves in what seems. Its task requires and exercises a singular sort of thought, a sort of thought that will be found to be of the utmost service throughout the study of logic. It can hardly be said to involve reasoning; for reasoning reaches a conclusion, and asserts it to be true however matters may seem; while in Phenomenology there is no assertion except that there are certain seemings; and even these are not, and cannot be asserted, because they cannot be described. Phenomenology can only tell the reader which way to look and to see what he shall see. The question of how far Phenomenology does reason will receive special attention.

1902 [c.]
CP 2.197
‘Phenomenology’ (pub. 06.02.13-18:55). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Feb 06, 2013, 18:55 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 02, 2016, 16:07 by Mats Bergman