The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


It is now necessary to point out that there are three kinds of interpretants. Our categories suggest them, and the suggestion is confirmed by careful examination. I terms them the Emotional, the Energetic, and Logical Interpretants. They consist respectively in feelings, in efforts, and in habit-changes. [—]

The majority of signs, in their significative capacity, provoke efforts, whether they be efforts in the outer or the inner world, or whether they be efforts of inhibition, or self-restraint, which make so large a part of the effort to pay attention. An event may provoke an effort of the mind, and not a mere reflex response of the body, without being thereby a sign; but if one becomes definitely conscious, in the provoked effort, of acting against a resistance, or of resisting a force, then the notion of such resistance or such active force is conveyed; and there is a sign.

MS [R] 318:43-5
‘Energetic Interpretant’ (pub. 13.10.15-17:16). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 13, 2015, 17:16 by Mats Bergman