Thank you, Jon and Edwina. I don´t understand it, except I have a hunch that he is saying: A thing´s form is unique, and its matter is not, because other things are also made of the same material. I guess I rather want to keep my concept of form and matter, which I think is more naiive: In a piece of clay the clay is the matter, and its shape is the form. If the clay is red, this redness is a function of its matter, not of the form. Aristotle´s and Peirce´s views are too complicated for me in the moment. I am reluctant to adopt complicated concepts and give up clear enough (I think) concepts.
 12. Februar 2018 um 23:29 Uhr
 "Jon Alan Schmidt" <>
Edwina, Helmut, List:
The nearly 40 different types of "form" that Peirce cataloged in CP 6.360-361 (from Baldwin's Dictionary, 1902) highlight the importance of being clear about what we mean by "Form" when we talk about it; likewise "Matter."  In NEM 4:292-300 (c. 1903?), Peirce stated the following.
... Form is quality, suchness,--red, for example ... The peculiar suchness of the feeling, wherein is that? It is wholly in itself. The quality or form is whatever it is in itself, irrespective of anything else. No embodiment of it in this or that object or feeling in any degree modifies the suchness. It is something positive in itself. ... The suchness does not exist, but it is something definite. Neither does it consist in being represented. The being represented is one thing; the being represented such as red is represented, is another definite thing. It is general. It is an element of existing things; but it is not and has nothing to do with the element of existence. The suchness of red is such as it is in its own suchness, and in nothing else.
Matter, that something which is the subject of a fact, is, in every respect the contrary of form, except that both are elements of the world that are independent of how they are represented to be. Form is not an existent. Matter is precisely that which exists. (Remember, that whether corporeal, or physical matter is, or is not, the only matter is beyond my present scope.) Form is definite. Whatever red is, it is of its very essence, and is nothing else. Matter is an element of something definite. But it is in itself, as the subject of that determination, vague ... Form, as we have seen, is all that it is in itself. Matter being the subject of fact, and being nothing but the subject of a fact, is all that it is in reference to something else than itself ... (293-294)
The next paragraph includes what I quoted previously (294-295), and then comes the following.
This Entelechy, the third element which it is requisite to acknowledge besides Matter and Form, is that which brings things together. It is the element which is prominent in such ideas as Plan, Cause, and Law. The philosopher who recognizes only Form, will do best to insist that Form fulfills this uniting function by virtue of its generality. But it is not so; since Form remains entirely within its own self. (295-296)
Hence in this particular manuscript, it is clear that Form is 1ns, Matter is 2ns, and Entelechy is 3ns.  Similarly, in EP 2:304 (1904), Peirce stated the following.
But so far as the "Truth" is merely the object of a sign, it is merely the Aristotelian Matter of it that is so. In addition however to denoting objects, every sign sufficiently complete signifies characters, or qualities ... Every sign signifies the "Truth." But it is only the Aristotelian Form of the universe that it signifies ... What we call a "fact" is something having the structure of a proposition, but supposed to be an element of the very universe itself. The purpose of every sign is to express "fact," and by being joined with other signs, to approach as nearly as possible to determining an interpretant which would be the perfect Truth, the absolute Truth, and as such (at least, we may use this language) would be the very Universe. Aristotle gropes for a conception of perfection, or entelechy, which he never succeeds in making clear. We may adopt the word to mean the very fact, that is, the ideal sign which should be quite perfect, and so identical,—in such identity as a sign may have,—with the very matter denoted united with the very form signified by it. The entelechy of the Universe of being, then, the Universe qua fact, will be that Universe in its aspect as a sign, the "Truth" of being. The "Truth," the fact that is not abstracted but complete, is the ultimate interpretant of every sign.
Here it is equally clear that Aristotelian Form corresponds to the characters (1ns) that a Sign signifies, Aristotelian Matter corresponds to the object (2ns) that a Sign denotes, and Aristotelian Entelechy corresponds to the unity of these (3ns) that a Sign expresses.
Of course, whether or how these two texts have bearing on our interpretation of Peirce's other writings is another question.
Jon Alan Schmidt - Olathe, Kansas, USA
Professional Engineer, Amateur Philosopher, Lutheran Layman
On Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 3:05 PM, Edwina Taborsky <> wrote:

Helmut, list

My view of Peirce's Form and Matter is quite different from that of JAS. I refer you to Vol 6, 354-364, which has an extensive outline of different types of form. Indeed, he associates Form with 'forma corpus' and 'morphe' {Note: I am transliterating from the Greek]. Whereas, he associates Firstness with chance, quality, vagueness - none of which have spatial extension or a 'body' [corpus/morphe].

I don't see how one can assign only ONE category to matter - whether that one category be 1stness or 2ndness or 3rdness.. The point of anything in 'thisness',[haecceity]  is that it is made up of three categories.

Therefore, something discrete and individual, would be made up of a mode of 'potentiality' [1stness]; as well as 'thisness' [haecceity; 2ndness] as well as habits and even 'esse in futuro' 2.148 of these habits continuing on [3rdness]


On Mon 12/02/18 3:22 PM , "Helmut Raulien" sent:

Dear All,
I wonder why Peirce associated the categories like that. To me it rather seems like matter would be 1ns, form 2ns, and entelechy 3ns. That is because I cannot see more than one mode in matter, but 2 in form: Reason for it, and aim (telos) of it. Aristotle said, that form consists of energy and entelechy, so two parts (modes?). 2.1. might be said like: material reason of the form, or the form´s sustenance by matter, potential energies keeping the form together, and 2.2. the form of the form, or the form´s formal reason, which is it´s aim.
Also, I see "quality" rather associated with matter than with form. As the form of a thing is more likely to change due to circumstances than its matter is, I see "actuality" rather suiting with "form" than with "matter".
Does "entelechy" contain "telos"? Does it mean quite the similar?
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