The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘On Topical Geometry, in General (T)’


I use the word “experience” in a much broader sense than it carries in the special sciences. For those sciences, experience is that which their special means of observation directly bring to light, and it is contrasted with the interpretations of those observations which are effected by connecting these experiences with what we otherwise know. But for philosophy, which is the science which sets in order those observations which lie open to every man every day and hour, experience can only mean the total cognitive result of living, and includes interpretations quite as truly as it does the matter of sense. Even more truly, since this matter of sense is a hypothetical something which we never can seize as such, free from all interpretative working over.

CP 7.538
‘Experience’ (pub. 14.10.15-17:48). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Oct 14, 2015, 17:48 by Mats Bergman