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.
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