Thirdness (category)

Represented by 3. Thirdness initially comprised the concepts of representation, mediation, order, generality, law, habit, necessity and intelligence. It corresponded to the type, the general class or universal. From 1907 on, however, Thirdness began to involve also the teleological component of Peirce’s mature metaphysics (Short, 2004, p.16). It began to be understood as a habit in the conditional future, a “would be” that becomes effective in case some determined conditions are present. The laws of nature, essentially probabilistic, become manifestations of the general tendency of the universe to develop by the embodiment of new habits. Thirdness is a law of probability (CP 6.91), whose major expression is a superorder or a super-habit ruling the evolution of the universe (CP 6.490).