Dynamic interpretant (aspect)

The dynamic interpretant is the effect really produced by the action of the sign. In other words, it is the upgrading of one of the many latent possibilities living as immediate interpretants. When the immediate interpretant is a possibility, the dynamic interpretant will necessarily be possible too. If the immediate interpretant is an existent, the dynamic interpretant might have the nature of a possibility or of an energetic reaction (as a thoughtless response to a stimulus). Only when the immediate interpretant is Thirdness – that is, when it is presented as grounded interpretability – the dynamic interpretant might be, in addition to the two previous possibilities, also a behavioral habit, a manner of effectively interpreting a sign to achieve a desired purpose, which will be the final interpretant of the sign. In fact, Thirdness in the dynamic interpretant is the first manifestation of an intelligent behavior, for it indicates the presence of a purpose or intentionality guiding the actions of the interpreter of the sign. This can be observed in the simplest forms of life.