A string search of "representamen or representamen's or representamens or representamina" in the electronic CP yields the following passages (I have not included comments by the editors of the CP). Note that what follows are in most cases the complete paragraphs in which the terms occur, but in a very few cases I have excluded a continuation of the paragraph which did not seem relevant, or added a short paragraph preceding or following the one employing the term. This has not been indicated in any special way.
Gary Richmond

CP 1.480 Cross-Ref:††
480. Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen, of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought is general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living.

Peirce: CP 1.540 Cross-Ref:††
540. The analysis which I have just used to give you some notion of genuine Thirdness and its two forms of degeneracy is the merest rough blackboard sketch of the true state of things; and I must begin the examination of representation by defining representation a little more accurately. In the first place, as to my terminology, I confine the word representation to the operation of a sign or its relation to the object for the interpreter of the representation. The concrete subject that represents I call a sign or a representamen. I use these two words, sign and representamen, differently. By a sign I mean anything which conveys any definite notion of an object in any way, as such conveyers of thought are familiarly known to us. Now I start with this familiar idea and make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to. If therefore I have committed an error in my analysis, part of what I say about signs will be false. For in that case a sign may not be a representamen. The analysis is certainly true of the representamen, since that is all that word means. Even if my analysis is correct, something may happen to be true of all signs, that is of everything that, antecedently to any analysis, we should be willing to regard as conveying a notion of anything, while there might be something which my analysis describes of which the same thing is not true. In particular, all signs convey notions to human minds; but I know no reason why every representamen should do so.
Peirce: CP 1.541 Cross-Ref:††
541. My definition of a representamen is as follows:
A REPRESENTAMEN is a subject of a triadic relation TO a second, called its OBJECT, FOR a third, called its INTERPRETANT, this triadic relation being such that the REPRESENTAMEN determines its interpretant to stand in the same triadic relation to the same object for some interpretant.
Peirce: CP 1.542 Cross-Ref:††
542. It follows at once that this relation cannot consist in any actual event that ever can have occurred; for in that case there would be another actual event connecting the interpretant to an interpretant of its own of which the same would be true; and thus there would be an endless series of events which could have actually occurred, which is absurd. For the same reason the interpretant cannot be a definite individual object. The relation must therefore consist in a power of the representamen to determine some interpretant to being a representamen of the same object.

Peirce: CP 1.557 Cross-Ref:††
557. Since no one of the categories can be prescinded from those above it, the list of supposable objects which they afford is,

What is.

Quale (that which refers to a ground)
Relate (that which refers to ground and correlate)
Representamen (that which refers to ground, correlate, and interpretant)

Peirce: CP 1.564 Cross-Ref:††
564. I must acknowledge some previous errors committed by me in expounding my division of signs into icons, indices and symbols. At the time I first published this division in 1867 I had been studying the logic of relatives for so short a time that it was not until three years later that I was ready to go to print with my first memoir on that subject. I had hardly commenced the cultivation of that land which De Morgan had cleared. I already, however, saw what had escaped that eminent master, that besides non-relative characters, and besides relations between pairs of objects, there was a third category of characters, and but this third. This third class really consists of plural relations, all of which may be regarded as compounds of triadic relations, that is, of relations between triads of objects. A very broad and important class of triadic characters [consists of] representations. A representation is that character of a thing by virtue of which, for the production of a certain mental effect, it may stand in place of another thing. The thing having this character I term a representamen, the mental effect, or thought, its interpretant, the thing for which it stands, its object.

Peirce: CP 2.228 Cross-Ref:††
228. A sign, or representamen, is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. It addresses somebody, that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign. That sign which it creates I call the interpretant of the first sign. The sign stands for something, its object. It stands for that object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea, which I have sometimes †1 called the ground of the representamen. "Idea" is here to be understood in a sort of Platonic sense, very familiar in everyday talk; I mean in that sense in which we say that one man catches another man's idea, in which we say that when a man recalls what he was thinking of at some previous time, he recalls the same idea, and in which when a man continues to think anything, say for a tenth of a second, in so far as the thought continues to agree with itself during that time, that is to have a like content, it is the same idea, and is not at each instant of the interval a new idea.
Peirce: CP 2.229 Cross-Ref:††
229. In consequence of every representamen being thus connected with three things, the ground, the object, and the interpretant, the science of semiotic has three branches. The first is called by Duns Scotus grammatica speculativa. We may term it pure grammar. It has for its task to ascertain what must be true of the representamen used by every scientific intelligence in order that they may embody any meaning. The second is logic proper. It is the science of what is quasi-necessarily true of the representamina of any scientific intelligence in order that they may hold good of any object, that is, may be true. Or say, logic proper is the formal science of the conditions of the truth of representations. The third, in imitation of Kant's fashion of preserving old associations of words in finding nomenclature for new conceptions, I call pure rhetoric. Its task is to ascertain the laws by which in every scientific intelligence one sign gives birth to another, and especially one thought brings forth another.

Peirce: CP 2.233 Cross-Ref:†† §3. DIVISION OF TRIADIC RELATIONS †1

233. The principles and analogies of Phenomenology enable us to describe, in a distant way, what the divisions of triadic relations must be. But until we have met with the different kinds a posteriori, and have in that way been led to recognize their importance, the a priori descriptions mean little; not nothing at all, but little. Even after we seem to identify the varieties called for a priori with varieties which the experience of reflexion leads us to think important, no slight labour is required to make sure that the divisions we have found a posteriori are precisely those that have been predicted a priori. In most cases, we find that they are not precisely identical, owing to the narrowness of our reflexional experience. It is only after much further arduous analysis that we are able finally to place in the system the conceptions to which experience has led us. In the case of triadic relations, no part of this work has, as yet, been satisfactorily performed, except in some measure for the most important class of triadic relations, those of signs, or representamens, to their objects and interpretants.
Peirce: CP 2.234 Cross-Ref:††
234. Provisionally, we may make a rude division of triadic relations, which, we need not doubt, contains important truth, however imperfectly apprehended, into--

Triadic relations of comparison,
Triadic relations of performance, and
Triadic relations of thought.
Triadic relations of Comparison are those which are of the nature of logical possibilities. Triadic relations of Performance are those which are of the nature of actual facts.
Triadic relations of Thought are those which are of the nature of laws.

Peirce: CP 2.241 Cross-Ref:††
241. In every genuine Triadic Relation, the First Correlate may be regarded as determining the Third Correlate in some respect; and triadic relations may be divided according as that determination of the Third Correlate is to having some quality, or to being in some existential relation to the Second Correlate, or to being in some relation of thought to the Second for something †2.
Peirce: CP 2.242 Cross-Ref:††
242. A Representamen is the First Correlate of a triadic relation, the Second Correlate being termed its Object, and the possible Third Correlate being termed its Interpretant, by which triadic relation the possible Interpretant is determined to be the First Correlate of the same triadic relation to the same Object, and for some possible Interpretant. A Sign is a representamen of which some interpretant is a cognition of a mind. Signs are the only representamens that have been much studied.

Peirce: CP 2.274 Cross-Ref:†† CHAPTER 3 THE ICON, INDEX, AND SYMBOL

274. A Sign, or Representamen, is a First which stands in such a genuine triadic relation to a Second, called its Object, as to be capable of determining a Third, called its Interpretant, to assume the same triadic relation to its Object in which it stands itself to the same Object. The triadic relation is genuine, that is its three members are bound together by it in a way that does not consist in any complexus of dyadic relations. That is the reason the Interpretant, or Third, cannot stand in a mere dyadic relation to the Object, but must stand in such a relation to it as the Representamen itself does. Nor can the triadic relation in which the Third stands be merely similar to that in which the First stands, for this would make the relation of the Third to the First a degenerate Secondness merely. The Third must indeed stand in such a relation, and thus must be capable of determining a Third of its own; but besides that, it must have a second triadic relation in which the Representamen, or rather the relation thereof to its Object, shall be its own (the Third's) Object, and must be capable of determining a Third to this relation. All this must equally be true of the Third's Thirds and so on endlessly; and this, and more, is involved in the familiar idea of a Sign; and as the term Representamen is here used, nothing more is implied. A Sign is a Representamen with a mental Interpretant. Possibly there may be Representamens that are not Signs. Thus, if a sunflower, in turning towards the sun, becomes by that very act fully capable, without further condition, of reproducing a sunflower which turns in precisely corresponding ways toward the sun, and of doing so with the same reproductive power, the sunflower would become a Representamen of the sun. But thought is the chief, if not the only, mode of representation.
Peirce: CP 2.275 Cross-Ref:††
275. . . . The most fundamental [division of signs] is into Icons, Indices, and Symbols. Namely, while no Representamen actually functions as such until it actually determines an Interpretant, yet it becomes a Representamen as soon as it is fully capable of doing this; and its Representative Quality is not necessarily dependent upon its ever actually determining an Interpretant, nor even upon its actually having an Object.
Peirce: CP 2.276 Cross-Ref:††
276. An Icon is a Representamen whose Representative Quality is a Firstness of it as a First. That is, a quality that it has qua thing renders it fit to be a representamen. Thus, anything is fit to be a Substitute for anything that it is like. (The conception of "substitute" involves that of a purpose, and thus of genuine thirdness.) Whether there are other kinds of substitutes or not we shall see. A Representamen by Firstness alone can only have a similar Object. Thus, a Sign by Contrast denotes its object only by virtue of a contrast, or Secondness, between two qualities. A sign by Firstness is an image of its object and, more strictly speaking, can only be an idea. For it must produce an Interpretant idea; and an external object excites an idea by a reaction upon the brain. But most strictly speaking, even an idea, except in the sense of a possibility, or Firstness, cannot be an Icon. A possibility alone is an Icon purely by virtue of its quality; and its object can only be a Firstness. But a sign may be iconic, that is, may represent its object mainly by its similarity, no matter what its mode of being. If a substantive be wanted, an iconic representamen may be termed a hypoicon. Any material image, as a painting, is largely conventional in its mode of representation; but in itself, without legend or label it may be called a hypoicon.
Peirce: CP 2.277 Cross-Ref:††
277. Hypoicons may be roughly divided according to the mode of Firstness of which they partake. Those which partake of simple qualities, or First Firstnesses, are images; those which represent the relations, mainly dyadic, or so regarded, of the parts of one thing by analogous relations in their own parts, are diagrams; those which represent the representative character of a representamen by representing a parallelism in something else, are metaphors.
Peirce: CP 2.278 Cross-Ref:††

Peirce: CP 2.283 Cross-Ref:†† §2. GENUINE AND DEGENERATE INDICES

283. An Index or Seme†1 ({séma}) is a Representamen whose Representative character consists in its being an individual second. If the Secondness is an existential relation, the Index is genuine. If the Secondness is a reference, the Index is degenerate. A genuine Index and its Object must be existent individuals (whether things or facts), and its immediate Interpretant must be of the same character. But since every individual must have characters, it follows that a genuine Index may contain a Firstness, and so an Icon as a constituent part of it. Any individual is a degenerate Index of its own characters.

Peirce: CP 2.286 Cross-Ref:††
286. . . . A low barometer with a moist air is an index of rain; that is we suppose that the forces of nature establish a probable connection between the low barometer with moist air and coming rain. A weathercock is an index of the direction of the wind; because in the first place it really takes the self-same direction as the wind, so that there is a real connection between them, and in the second place we are so constituted that when we see a weathercock pointing in a certain direction it draws our attention to that direction, and when we see the weathercock veering with the wind, we are forced by the law of mind to think that direction is connected with the wind. The pole star is an index, or pointing finger, to show us which way is north. A spirit-level, or a plumb bob, is an index of the vertical direction. A yard-stick might seem, at first sight, to be an icon of a yard; and so it would be, if it were merely intended to show a yard as near as it can be seen and estimated to be a yard. But the very purpose of a yard-stick is to show a yard nearer than it can be estimated by its appearance. This it does in consequence of an accurate mechanical comparison made with the bar in London called the yard. Thus it is a real connection which gives the yard-stick its value as a representamen; and thus it is an index, not a mere icon.

Peirce: CP 2.292 Cross-Ref:†† §3. THE NATURE OF SYMBOLS

292. A Symbol is a Representamen whose Representative character consists precisely in its being a rule that will determine its Interpretant. All words, sentences, books, and other conventional signs are Symbols. We speak of writing or pronouncing the word "man"; but it is only a replica, or embodiment of the word, that is pronounced or written. The word itself has no existence although it has a real being, consisting in the fact that existents will conform to it. It is a general mode of succession of three sounds or representamens of sounds, which becomes a sign only in the fact that a habit, or acquired law, will cause replicas of it to be interpreted as meaning a man or men. The word and its meaning are both general rules; but the word alone of the two prescribes the qualities of its replicas in themselves. Otherwise the "word" and its "meaning" do not differ, unless some special sense be attached to "meaning."

Peirce: CP 2.309 Cross-Ref:†† CHAPTER 4 PROPOSITIONS†1

309. Of the three classes of the [third] trichotomy of representamens--the simple or substitutive signs, or sumisigns [rhemes]; the double or informational signs, quasi-propositions, or dicisigns; the triple or rationally persuasive signs, or arguments, or suadisigns--the one whose nature is, by all odds, the easiest to comprehend, is the second, that of quasi-propositions, despite the fact that the question of the essential nature of the "judgment" is today quite the most vexed of all questions of logic. The truth is that all these classes are of very intricate natures; but the problem of the day is needlessly complicated by the attention of most logicians, instead of extending to propositions in general, being confined to "judgments," or acts of mental acceptance of propositions, which not only involve characters, additional to those of propositions in general--characters required to differentiate them as propositions of a particular kind--but which further involve, beside the mental proposition itself, the peculiar act of assent. The problem is difficult enough, when we merely seek to analyze the essential nature of the Dicisign, in general, that is, the kind of sign that conveys information, in contradistinction to a sign [such as an icon] from which information may be derived.†P1

Peirce: CP 2.311 Cross-Ref:††
311. This latter Object may be distinguished as the Primary Object, the other being termed the Secondary Object. The Dicisign in so far as it is the relate of the existential relation which is the Secondary Object of the Dicisign, can evidently not be the entire Dicisign. It is at once a part of the Object and a part of the Interpretant of the Dicisign. Since the Dicisign is represented in its Interpretant to be an Index of a complexus as such, it must be represented in that same Interpretant to be composed of two parts, corresponding respectively to its Object and to itself [the Dicisign]. That is to say, in order to understand the Dicisign, it must be regarded as composed of two such parts whether it be in itself so composed or not. It is difficult to see how this can be, unless it really have two such parts; but perhaps this may be possible. Let us consider these two represented parts separately. The part which is represented to represent the Primary Object, since the Dicisign is represented to be an Index of its Object, must be represented as an Index, or some representamen of an Index, of the Primary Object. The part which is represented to represent a part of the Dicisign is represented as at once part of the Interpretant and part of the Object. It must, therefore, be represented as such a sort of Representamen (or to represent such a sort), as can have its Object and its Interpretant the same. Now, a Symbol cannot even have itself as its Object; for it is a law governing its Object. For example, if I say, "This proposition conveys information about itself," or "Let the term 'sphynx' be a general term to denote anything of the nature of a symbol that is applicable to every 'sphynx' and to nothing else," I shall talk unadulterated nonsense. But a Representamen mediates between its Interpretant and its Object, and that which cannot be the object of the Representamen cannot be the Object of the Interpretant. Hence, a fortiori, it is impossible that a Symbol should have its Object as its Interpretant. An Index can very well represent itself. Thus, every number has a double; and thus the entire collection of even numbers is an Index of the entire collection of numbers, and so this collection of even numbers contains an Index of itself. But it is impossible for an Index to be its own Interpretant, since an Index is nothing but an individual existence in a Secondness with something; and it only becomes an Index by being capable of being represented by some Representamen as being in that relation. Could this Interpretant be itself there would be no difference between an Index and a Second. An Icon, however, is strictly a possibility involving a possibility, and thus the possibility of its being represented as a possibility is the possibility of the involved possibility. In this kind of Representamen alone, then, the Interpretant may be the Object. Consequently, that constituent of the Dicisign, which is represented in the Interpretant as being a part of the Object, must be represented by an Icon or by a Representamen of an Icon. The Dicisign, as it must be understood in order to be understood at all, must contain those two parts. But the Dicisign is represented to be an Index of the Object, in that the latter involves something corresponding to these parts; and it is this Secondness that the Dicisign is represented to be the Index of. Hence the Dicisign must exhibit a connection between these parts of itself, and must represent this connection to correspond to a connection in the object between the Secundal Primary Object [i.e., the primary object so far as it is dyadic in structure] and the Firstness [or quality of the primary object] indicated by the part [of the Secundal Primary Object] corresponding to the Dicisign.
Peirce: CP 2.312 Cross-Ref:††
312. We conclude, then, that, if we have succeeded in threading our way through the maze of these abstractions, a Dicisign, defined as a Representamen whose Interpretant represents it as an Index of its Object, must have the following characters:
Peirce: CP 2.312 Cross-Ref:††
First: It must, in order to be understood, be considered as containing two parts. Of these, the one, which may be called the Subject, is or represents an Index of a Second existing independently of its being represented, while the other, which may be called the Predicate, is or represents an Icon of a Firstness [or quality or essence]. Second: These two parts must be represented as connected; and that in such a way that if the Dicisign has any Object, it [the Dicisign] must be an Index of a Secondness subsisting between the Real Object represented in one represented part of the Dicisign to be indicated and a Firstness represented in the other represented part of the Dicisign to be Iconized.

Peirce: CP 2.322 Cross-Ref:††
322. The above is the best analysis the author can, at present, make of the Dicisign. However satisfactory the main points of it may appear, it is not likely, on general principles, to stand without more or less amendment, though it would seem as if it could not but be pretty near to the truth. It is doubtful whether it applies fully to all kinds of propositions. This definition of the Dicisign will naturally lead one to guess that a Sumisign is any Representamen of which the Interpretant represents it as an Icon; and that the Argument or Suadisign is a Representamen of which the Interpretant represents it as a Symbol. Close examination encourages the student to believe that this is something like the truth, but so far as it has been carried, excites doubt whether this be the whole story. . . .

Peirce: CP 2.340 Cross-Ref:††
340. In 1867 I defined a symbol as any general representamen;†1 and so far I was right. But I immediately proceeded after the traditional manner, to divide symbols into terms, propositions and argumentations, with the meaning that "terms" have no assertoric element, and there I was wrong, although the division itself is not so much wrong as it is unimportant. Subsequently, noticing that I had classed natural symptoms both among indices and among symbols, I restricted symbols to conventional signs, which was another error. The truth is that my paper of 1867 was perhaps the least unsatisfactory, from a logical point of view, that I ever succeeded in producing; and for a long time most of the modifications I attempted of it only led me further wrong.

Peirce: CP 4.418 Cross-Ref:†† CHAPTER 4


418. A diagram is a representamen †2 which is predominantly an icon of relations and is aided to be so by conventions. Indices are also more or less used. It should be carried out upon a perfectly consistent system of representation, founded upon a simple and easily intelligible basic idea.

Peirce: CP 4.446 Cross-Ref:††
Convention No. 7. A branching line of identity shall express a triad rhema signifying the identity of the three individuals, whose designations are represented as filling the blanks of the rhema by coincidence with the three terminals of the line.
Peirce: CP 4.447 Cross-Ref:††
447. Remark how peculiar a sign the line of identity is. A sign, or, to use a more general and more definite term, a representamen, is of one or other of three kinds:†1 it is either an icon, an index, or a symbol. An icon is a representamen of what it represents and for the mind that interprets it as such, by virtue of its being an immediate image, that is to say by virtue of characters which belong to it in itself as a sensible object, and which it would possess just the same were there no object in nature that it resembled, and though it never were interpreted as a sign. It is of the nature of an appearance, and as such, strictly speaking, exists only in consciousness, although for convenience in ordinary parlance and when extreme precision is not called for, we extend the term icon to the outward objects which excite in consciousness the image itself. A geometrical diagram is a good example of an icon. A pure icon can convey no positive or factual information; for it affords no assurance that there is any such thing in nature. But it is of the utmost value for enabling its interpreter to study what would be the character of such an object in case any such did exist. Geometry sufficiently illustrates that. Of a completely opposite nature is the kind of representamen termed an index. This is a real thing or fact which is a sign of its object by virtue of being connected with it as a matter of fact and by also forcibly intruding upon the mind, quite regardless of its being interpreted as a sign. It may simply serve to identify its object and assure us of its existence and presence. But very often the nature of the factual connexion of the index with its object is such as to excite in consciousness an image of some features of the object, and in that way affords evidence from which positive assurance as to truth of fact may be drawn. A photograph, for example, not only excites an image, has an appearance, but, owing to its optical connexion with the object, is evidence that that appearance corresponds to a reality. A symbol is a representamen whose special significance or fitness to represent just what it does represent lies in nothing but the very fact of there being a habit, disposition, or other effective general rule that it will be so interpreted. Take, for example, the word "man." These three letters are not in the least like a man; nor is the sound with which they are associated. Neither is the word existentially connected with any man as an index. It cannot be so, since the word is not an existence at all. The word does not consist of three films of ink. If the word "man" occurs hundreds of times in a book of which myriads of copies are printed, all those millions of triplets of patches of ink are embodiments of one and the same word. I call each of those embodiments a replica of the symbol. This shows that the word is not a thing. What is its nature? It consists in the really working general rule that three such patches seen by a person who knows English will effect his conduct and thoughts according to a rule. Thus the mode of being of the symbol is different from that of the icon and from that of the index. An icon has such being as belongs to past experience. It exists only as an image in the mind. An index has the being of present experience. The being of a symbol consists in the real fact that something surely will be experienced if certain conditions be satisfied. Namely, it will influence the thought and conduct of its interpreter. Every word is a symbol. Every sentence is a symbol. Every book is a symbol. Every representamen depending upon conventions is a symbol. Just as a photograph is an index having an icon incorporated into it, that is, excited in the mind by its force, so a symbol may have an icon or an index incorporated into it, that is, the active law that it is may require its interpretation to involve the calling up of an image, or a composite photograph of many images of past experiences, as ordinary common nouns and verbs do; or it may require its interpretation to refer to the actual surrounding circumstances of the occasion of its embodiment, like such words as that, this, I, you, which, here, now, yonder, etc. Or it may be pure symbol, neither iconic nor indicative, like the words and, or, of, etc.
Peirce: CP 4.448 Cross-Ref:††
448. The value of an icon consists in its exhibiting the features of a state of things regarded as if it were purely imaginary. The value of an index is that it assures us of positive fact. The value of a symbol is that it serves to make thought and conduct rational and enables us to predict the future. It is frequently desirable that a representamen should exercise one of those three functions to the exclusion of the other two, or two of them to the exclusion of the third; but the most perfect of signs are those in which the iconic, indicative, and symbolic characters are blended as equally as possible. Of this sort of signs the line of identity is an interesting example. As a conventional sign, it is a symbol; and the symbolic character, when present in a sign, is of its nature predominant over the others. The line of identity is not, however, arbitrarily conventional nor purely conventional

Peirce: CP 4.464 Cross-Ref:††
464. Every symbol is an ens rationis, because it consists in a habit, in a regularity; now every regularity consists in the future conditional occurrence of facts not themselves that regularity. Many important truths are expressed by propositions which relate directly to symbols or to ideal objects of symbols, not to realities. If we say that two walls collide, we express a real relation between them, meaning by a real relation one which involves the existence of its correlates. If we say that a ball is red, we express a positive quality of feeling really connected with the ball. But if we say that the ball is not blue, we simply express -- as far as the direct expression goes -- a relation of inapplicability between the predicate blue, and the ball or the sign of it. So it is with every negation. Now it has already been shown that every universal proposition involves a negation, at least when it is expressed as an existential graph. On the other hand, almost every graph expressing a proposition not universal has a line of identity. But identity, though expressed by the line as a dyadic relation, is not a relation between two things, but between two representamens of the same thing.

Peirce: CP 5.73 Cross-Ref:††
73. The representamen, for example, divides by trichotomy into the general sign or symbol, the index, and the icon.†2 An icon is a representamen which fulfills the function of a representamen by virtue of a character which it possesses in itself, and would possess just the same though its object did not exist. Thus, the statue of a centaur is not, it is true, a representamen if there be no such thing as a centaur. Still, if it represents a centaur, it is by virtue of its shape; and this shape it will have, just as much, whether there be a centaur or not. An index is a representamen which fulfills the function of a representamen by virtue of a character which it could not have if its object did not exist, but which it will continue to have just the same whether it be interpreted as a representamen or not. For instance, an old-fashioned hygrometer is an index. For it is so contrived as to have a physical reaction with dryness and moisture in the air, so that the little man will come out if it is wet, and this would happen just the same if the use of the instrument should be entirely forgotten, so that it ceased actually to convey any information. A symbol is a representamen which fulfills its function regardless of any similarity or analogy with its object and equally regardless of any factual connection therewith, but solely and simply because it will be interpreted to be a representamen. Such for example is any general word, sentence, or book.
Peirce: CP 5.73 Cross-Ref:††
Of these three genera of representamens, the Icon is the Qualitatively degenerate, the Index the Reactionally degenerate, while the Symbol is the relatively genuine genus.
Peirce: CP 5.74 Cross-Ref:††
74. Now the Icon may undoubtedly be divided according to the categories; but the mere completeness of the notion of the icon does not imperatively call for any such division. For a pure icon does not draw any distinction between itself and its object. It represents whatever it may represent, and whatever it is like, it in so far is. It is an affair of suchness only.
Peirce: CP 5.75 Cross-Ref:††
75. It is quite otherwise with the Index. Here is a reactional sign, which is such by virtue of a real connection with its object. Then the question arises is this dual character in the Index, so that it has two elements, by virtue of the one serving as a substitute for the particular object it does, while the other is an involved icon that represents the representamen itself regarded as a quality of the object -- or is there really no such dual character in the index, so that it merely denotes whatever object it happens to be really connected with just as the icon represents whatever object it happens really to resemble? Of the former, the relatively genuine form of Index, the hygrometer, is an example. Its connection with the weather is dualistic, so that by an involved icon, it actually conveys information. On the other hand any mere land-mark by which a particular thing may be recognized because it is as a matter of fact associated with that thing, a proper name without signification, a pointing finger, is a degenerate index. Horatio Greenough, who designed Bunker Hill Monument, tells us in his book †1 that he meant it to say simply "Here!" It just stands on that ground and plainly is not movable. So if we are looking for the battle-field, it will tell us whither to direct our steps.
Peirce: CP 5.76 Cross-Ref:††
76. The Symbol, or relatively genuine form of Representamen, divides by Trichotomy into the Term, the Proposition, and the Argument. The Term corresponds to the Icon and to the degenerate Index. It does excite an icon in the imagination. The proposition conveys definite information like the genuine index, by having two parts of which the function of the one is to indicate the object meant, while that of the other is to represent the representamen by exciting an icon of its quality. The argument is a representamen which does not leave the interpretant to be determined as it may by the person to whom the symbol is addressed, but separately represents what is the interpreting representation that it is intended to determine. This interpreting representation is, of course, the conclusion. It would be interesting to push these illustrations further; but I can linger nowhere. As soon as a subject begins to be interesting I am obliged to pass on to anot

Peirce: CP 5.81 Cross-Ref:††
81. The more moderate nominalists who nevertheless apply the epithet mere to thought and to representamens may be said to admit Categories First and Second and to deny the third [i ii]. The Berkeleyans, for whom there are but two kinds of entities, souls, or centres of determinable thought, and ideas in the souls, these ideas being regarded as pure statical entities, little or nothing else than Qualities of Feeling, seem to admit Categories First and Third and to deny Secondness, which they wish to replace by Divine Creative Influence, which certainly has all the flavor of Thirdness [i iii]. So far as one can make out any intelligible aim in that singular hodge-podge, the Cartesian metaphysics, it seems to have been to admit Categories Second and Third as fundamental and to deny the First [ii iii]. Otherwise, I do not know to whom we can attribute this opinion which certainly does not seem to be less acceptable and attractive than several others. But there are other philosophies which seem to do full justice to Categories Second and Third and to minimize the first, and among these perhaps Spinoza and Kant are to be included.

Peirce: CP 5.102 Cross-Ref:††

102. You may, perhaps, ask me how I connect generality with Thirdness. Various different replies, each fully satisfactory, may be made to that inquiry. The old definition of a general is Generale est quod natum aptum est dici de multis.†2 This recognizes that the general is essentially predicative and therefore of the nature of a representamen. And by following out that path of suggestion we should obtain a good reply to the inquiry.

Peirce: CP 5.119 Cross-Ref:††
119. Therefore, if you ask me what part Qualities can play in the economy of the universe, I shall reply that the universe is a vast representamen, a great symbol of God's purpose, working out its conclusions in living realities. Now every symbol must have, organically attached to it, its Indices of Reactions and its Icons of Qualities; and such part as these reactions and these qualities play in an argument that, they of course, play in the universe -- that Universe being precisely an argument. In the little bit that you or I can make out of this huge demonstration, our perceptual judgments are the premisses for us and these perceptual judgments have icons as their predicates, in which icons Qualities are immediately presented. But what is first for us is not first in nature. The premisses of Nature's own process are all the independent uncaused elements of facts that go to make up the variety of nature which the necessitarian supposes to have been all in existence from the foundation of the world, but which the Tychist supposes are continually receiving new accretions.†1 These premisses of nature, however, though they are not the perceptual facts that are premisses to us, nevertheless must resemble them in being premisses. We can only imagine what they are by comparing them with the premisses for us. As premisses they must involve Qualities.
Peirce: CP 5.119 Cross-Ref:††
Now as to their function in the economy of the Universe. The Universe as an argument is necessarily a great work of art, a great poem -- for every fine argument is a poem and a symphony -- just as every true poem is a sound argument. But let us compare it rather with a painting -- with an impressionist seashore piece -- then every Quality in a Premiss is one of the elementary colored particles of the Painting; they are all meant to go together to make up the intended Quality that belongs to the whole as whole. That total effect is beyond our ken; but we can appreciate in some measure the resultant Quality of parts of the whole -- which Qualities result from the combinations of elementary Qualities that belong to the premisses.

Peirce: CP 5.137 Cross-Ref:††

137. The ground is now cleared for the analysis of logical goodness, or the goodness of representation. There is a special variety of esthetic goodness that may belong to a representamen, namely, expressiveness. There is also a special moral goodness of representations, namely, veracity. But besides this there is a peculiar mode of goodness which is logical. What this consists in we have to inquire.
Peirce: CP 5.138 Cross-Ref:††
138. The mode of being of a representamen is such that it is capable of repetition. Take, for example, any proverb. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Every time this is written or spoken in English, Greek, or any other language, and every time it is thought of it is one and the same representamen. It is the same with a diagram or picture. It is the same with a physical sign or symptom. If two weathercocks are different signs, it is only in so far as they refer to different parts of the air. A representamen which should have a unique embodiment, incapable of repetition, would not be a representamen, but a part of the very fact represented. This repetitory character of the representamen involves as a consequence that it is essential to a representamen that it should contribute to the determination of another representamen distinct from itself. For in what sense would it be true that a representamen was repeated if it were not capable of determining some different representamen? "Evil communications corrupt good manners" and {phtheirousin ethe chresth' homiliai kakai} are one and the same representamen. They are so, however, only so far as they are represented as being so; and it is one thing to say that "Evil communications corrupt good manners" and quite a different thing to say that "Evil communications corrupt good manners" and {phtheirousin ethe chresth' homiliai kakai} are two expressions of the same proverb. Thus every representamen must be capable of contributing to the determination of a representamen different from itself. Every conclusion from premisses is an instance in point; and what would be a representamen that was not capable of contributing to any ulterior conclusion? I call a representamen which is determined by another representamen, an interpretant of the latter. Every representamen is related or is capable of being related to a reacting thing, its object, and every representamen embodies, in some sense, some quality, which may be called its signification, what in the case of a common name J.S. Mill calls its connotation, a particularly objectionable expression.†1
Peirce: CP 5.139 Cross-Ref:††
139. A representamen [as symbol] is either a rhema, a proposition, or an argument. An argument is a representamen which separately shows what interpretant it is intended to determine. A proposition is a representamen which is not an argument, but which separately indicates what object it is intended to represent. A rhema is a simple representation without such separate parts.
Peirce: CP 5.140 Cross-Ref:††
140. Esthetic goodness, or expressiveness, may be possessed, and in some degree must be possessed, by any kind of representamen -- rhema, proposition, or argument.

Peirce: CP 5.175 Cross-Ref:††

175. We have already seen †1 some reason to hold that the idea of meaning is such as to involve some reference to a purpose. But Meaning is attributed to representamens alone, and the only kind of representamen which has a definite professed purpose is an "argument." The professed purpose of an argument is to determine an acceptance of its conclusion, and it quite accords with general usage to call the conclusion of an argument its meaning. But I may remark that the word meaning has not hitherto been recognized as a technical term of logic, and in proposing it as such (which I have a right to do since I have a new conception to express, that of the conclusion of an argument as its intended interpretant) I should have a recognized right slightly to warp the acceptation of the word "meaning," so as to fit it for the expression of a scientific conception. It seems natural to use the word meaning to denote the intended interpretant of a symbol.

Peirce: CP 5.455 Cross-Ref:††
455. Other kinds of subjective Modality refer to a Sign or Representamen which is assumed to be true, but which does not include the Utterer's (i.e. the speaker's, writer's, thinker's or other symbolizer's) total knowledge, the different Modes being distinguished very much as above. There are other cases, however, in which, justifiably or not, we certainly think of Modality as objective. A man says, "I can go to the seashore if I like." Here is implied, to be sure, his ignorance of how he will decide to act. But this is not the point of the assertion. It is that the complete determination of conduct in the act not yet having taken place, the further determination of it belongs to the subject of the action regardless of external circumstances. If he had said, "I must go where my employers may send me," it would imply that the function of such further determination lay elsewhere. In "You may do so and so," and "You must do so," the "may" has the same force as "can," except that in the one case freedom from particular circumstances is in question, and in the other freedom from a law or edict. Hence the phrase, "You may if you can." I must say that it is difficult for me to preserve my respect for the competence of a philosopher whose dull logic, not penetrating beneath the surface, leaves him to regard such phrases as misrepresentations of the truth. So an act of hypostatic abstraction which in itself is no violation of logic, however it may lend itself to a dress of superstition, may regard the collective tendencies to variableness in the world, under the name of Chance, as at one time having their way, and at another time overcome by the element of order; so that, for example, a superstitious cashier, impressed by a bad dream, may say to himself of a Monday morning, "May be, the bank has been robbed." No doubt, he recognizes his total ignorance in the matter. But besides that, he has in mind the absence of any particular cause which should protect his bank more than others that are robbed from time to time. He thinks of the variety in the universe as vaguely analogous to the indecision of a person, and borrows from that analogy the garb of his thought. At the other extreme stand those who declare as inspired (for they have no rational proof of what they allege), that an actuary's advice to an insurance company is based on nothing at all but ignorance.

Peirce: CP 5.554 Cross-Ref:††
554. Truth is the conformity of a representamen to its object, its object, ITS object, mind you. The International Dictionary at the writer's elbow, the Century Dictionary which he daily studies, the Standard which he would be glad sometimes to consult, all contain the word yes; but that word is not true simply because he is going to ask on this eighth of January 1906, in Pike County, Pennsylvania, whether it is snowing. There must be an action of the object upon the sign to render the latter true. Without that, the object is not the representamen's object. If a colonel hands a paper to an orderly and says, "You will go immediately and deliver this to Captain Hanno," and if the orderly does so, we do not say the colonel told the truth; we say the orderly was obedient, since it was not the orderly's conduct which determined the colonel to say what he did, but the colonel's speech which determined the orderly's action. Here is a view of the writer's house: what makes that house to be the object of the view? Surely not the similarity of appearance. There are ten thousand others in the country just like it. No, but the photographer set up the film in such a way that according to the laws of optics, the film was forced to receive an image of this house. What the sign virtually has to do in order to indicate its object -- and make it its -- all it has to do is just to seize its interpreter's eyes and forcibly turn them upon the object meant: it is what a knock at the door does, or an alarm or other bell, or a whistle, a cannon-shot, etc. It is pure physiological compulsion; nothing else.
Peirce: CP 5.554 Cross-Ref:††
So, then, a sign, in order to fulfill its office, to actualize its potency, must be compelled by its object. This is evidently the reason of the dichotomy of the true and the false. For it takes two to make a quarrel, and a compulsion involves as large a dose of quarrel as is requisite to make it quite impossible that there should be compulsion without resistance.

Frances Kelly wrote:

Frances to Joseph Ransdell and listers...

You replied partly in effect that the distinction between "sign" and
"representamen" for Peirce in his writings is indifferent. You stated
that the word "representamen" was likely introduced by Peirce as the
name for his refined conception of the word "sign" which then enabled
him to understand interpretational processes more broadly than the
word "sign" would ordinarily permit, though he later thought that he
did not need to have recourse to "representamen" at all, presumably
meaning that he thought the word "sign" could be used more broadly
than he thought it could earlier; so that wherever interpretation is
involved, he uses the two terms indifferently.

You then kindly provided some passages in support of this position.
This basically was my assumption as well, but there are however some
other passages that for me seem to contradict your reasoned claim.
They had confused me somewhat, which lead me into positing the two
words differently within my understanding of Peircean philosophy. In
my guess, it may be that for Peirce in the evolution of things
"representamens" are more say monadic or dyadic and primitive then
"signs" where objects that act as "signs" require them to be say
triadic and the "thought" of organisms, while "representamens" may
not. My current access to the published writings of Peirce is however
limited, which further irritates me.

"A Representamen is the First Correlate of a triadic relation, the
Second Correlate being termed its Object, and the possible Third
Correlate being termed its Interpretant, by which triadic relation the
possible Interpretant is determined to be the First Correlate of the
same triadic relation to the same Object, and for some possible
Interpretant. A Sign is a representamen of which some interpretant is
a cognition of a mind. Signs are the only representamen that have been
much studied."
CP:2.242 (1903)

"A 'Sign', or 'Representamen', is a First which stands in such a
genuine triadic relation to a Second, called its 'Object', as to be
capable of determining a Third, called its 'Interpretant', to assume
the same triadic relation to its Object in which it stands itself to
the same Object. ...A 'Sign' is a Representamen with a mental
Interpretant. Possibly there may be Representamens that are not Signs.
Thus, if a sunflower, in turning towards the sun, becomes by that very
act fully capable, without further condition, of reproducing a
sunflower which turns in precisely corresponding ways toward the sun,
and of doing so with the same reproductive power, the sunflower would
become a Representamen of the sun. But 'thought' is the chief, if not
the only, mode of representation."
CP:2.274 (circa 1902)

"I make the best analysis I can of what is essential to a sign, and I
define a representamen as being whatever that analysis applies to.
...in particular, all signs convey notions to human minds; but I know
no reason why every representamen should do so."
CP 1.541 (1903)

"A sign is plainly a species of medium of communication and a medium
of communication is a species of medium, and a medium is a species of
MS 283 "The Basis of Pragmaticism" (circa 1905)

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