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From Latin repraesentamen


  • IPA(key): /ˌɹɛp.ɹə.zɛn.ˈteɪ.mən/
  • enPR: rĕp'-rə-zĕn-tāʹ-mən
  • Rhymes: -eɪmən


representamen (plural representamens or representamina)

  1. (semiotics) A representation; a thing serving to represent something.
    • 1861, Sir William Hamilton, The Metaphysics of Sir William Hamilton (page 318)
      The Leibnitzio-Wolfians distinguish three acts in the process of representative cognition: — 1° the act of representing a (mediate) object to the mind; 2° the representation, or, to speak more properly, representamen, itself as an (immediate or vicarious) object exhibited to the mind; 3° the act by which the mind is conscious, immediately of the representative object, and, through it, mediately of the remote object represented.
    • circa 1897: Charles Sanders Peirce [aut.] and Justus Buchler [ed.], Philosophical Writings of Peirce, chapter 7: “Logic as Semiotic: The Theory of Signs”, § 1: “What is a Sign? Three Divisions of Logic”, page 99 (from a circa 1897 manuscript (CP 2.227–9), first published in the 1940 selection The Philosophy of Peirce: Selected Writings, and later reprinted sic in 1955 by Dover Publications, Inc., New York; →ISBN, 9780486202174)
      A sign, or representamen, is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity.


  • "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." — C. S. Peirce, Lowell Lectures 1903, Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, v. 1, paragraph 540. Eprint.
  • "Possibly there may be Representamens that are not Signs." — C. S. Peirce, "A Syllabus of Certain Topics of Logic", 1903, the Essential Peirce v. 2, pp. 272-3. Eprint.
  • "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." — C. S. Peirce, Collected Papers v. 2, paragraph 229. Eprint.
  • Four instances of "representamina" used by John Deely, Four Ages of Understanding (2001, U of Toronto Press), p. 726, Google Books limited preview Eprint

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  • representamen in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.