Dicent, Dicent Sign, Dicisign
(cf. Pheme; see also Rhema, Argument)


"In regard to its relation to its signified interpretant, a sign is either a Rheme, a Dicent, or an Argument. This corresponds to the old division Term, Proposition, & Argument, modified so as to be applicable to signs generally. [---] A proposition as I use that term, is a dicent symbol. A dicent is not an assertion, but is a sign capable of being asserted. But an assertion is a dicent. [---] I define a dicent as a sign represented in its signified interpretant as if it were in a Real Relation to its Object. (Or as being so, if it is asserted.)" (A Letter to Lady Welby, SS 33-34, 1904)


"The readiest characteristic test showing whether a sign is a Dicisign or not is that a Dicisign is either true or false, but does not directly furnish reasons for its being so. This shows that a Dicisign must profess to refer or relate to something as having a real being independently of the representation of it as such, and further that this reference or relation must not be shown as rational, but must appear as a blind Secondness. But the only kind of sign whose object is necessarily existent is the genuine Index. This Index might, indeed, be a part of a Symbol; but in that case the relation would appear as rational. Consequently a Dicisign necessarily represents itself to be a genuine Index, and to be nothing more." ('A Syllabus of Certain Topics of Logic', EP 2:275-276, 1903)


"A Dicent Sign is a sign, which, for its Interpretant, is a Sign of actual existence. It cannot, therefore, be an icon, which affords no ground for an interpretation of it as referring to actual existence. A Dicisign necessarily involves, as a part of it, a rheme, to describe the fact which it is interpreted as indicating. But this is a peculiar kind of rheme; and while it is essential to the dicisign, it by no means constitutes it.
     [---] Or we may say [...] that a Dicisign is a sign which is understood to represent its object in respect to actual existence..." ('A Syllabus of Certain Topics of Logic', EP 2:292, 1903)



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