The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Sign’


An index is a sign which would, at once, lose the character which makes it a sign if its object were removed, but would not lose that character if there were no interpretant. Such, for instance, is a piece of mould with a bullet-hole in it as sign of a shot; for without the shot there would have been no hole; but there is a hole there, whether anybody has the sense to attribute it to a shot or not.

DPP2, 527; CP 2.304
‘Index’ (pub. 28.04.13-19:16). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 28, 2013, 19:16 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:57 by Commens Admin