The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Sketch of Dichotomic Mathematics’


A Definition is either Nominal or Real. [—] A Real Definition analyzes a conception. As Aristotle well says (and his authority is well-nigh absolute upon a question of logical terminology), a definition asserts the existence of nothing. A definition would consist of two members, of which the first should declare that any object to which the definitum, or defined term, should be applicable would possess the characters involved in the definition; while the second should declare that to any object which should possess those characters the definitum would be applicable. And any proposition consisting of two members of this description and really contributing to the development of the thought would be a Real Definition.

NEM 4:285
‘Real Definition’ (pub. 20.11.15-09:19). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Nov 20, 2015, 09:19 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Nov 20, 2015, 09:36 by Mats Bergman