The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God’


“Real” is a word invented in the thirteenth century to signify having Properties, i.e. characters sufficing to identify their subject, and possessing these whether they be anywise attributed to it by any single man or group of men, or not. Thus, the substance of a dream is not Real , since it was such as it was, merely in that a dreamer so dreamed it; but the fact of the dream is Real, if it was dreamed; since if so, its date, the name of the dreamer, etc., make up a set of circumstances sufficient to distinguish it from all other events; and these belong to it, i.e., would be true if predicated of it, whether A, B, or C Actually ascertains them or not.

EP 2:434-435; CP 6.453
‘Real’ (pub. 09.03.13-19:18). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Mar 09, 2013, 19:18 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jun 05, 2014, 19:20 by Sami Paavola