The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


[Pragmatism] says nothing directly as to the truth of things: but is merely a method professing to disclose the meaning of any and every abstract concept or general word, phrase, or conception, provided its meaning be of an intellectual nature. [—] I do not understand by pragmatism a method of ascertaining the meanings of all sorts of concepts, but only of “intellectual concepts,” or those upon which reasonings may turn. [—] Pragmatism looks upon a concept as a mental sign, or medium between the object to which it is moulded and the “meaning,” or effect which the object is enabled by the concept to produce; and in all general inquiries about signs nothing is of more lively importance than maintaining a clear and sharp distinction between the object, or professed cause of the sign, and the meaning, or intended effect of it.

1907 [c.]
MS [R] 320:5-7
‘Pragmatism’ (pub. 17.10.15-17:58). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 17, 2015, 17:58 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Oct 17, 2015, 18:06 by Mats Bergman