Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


In 1995, a journal article asked if 'commons' might be the name of 'thirdness'. In this revision of that article the question is renewed and reintroduced. The concept of the commons and common goods still offer satisfactory ways to label and characterize voluntary action outside markets, states and households. Theory is said to be a problem of language. Language creativity, including the coining of various new terms is a characteristic part of the commons theory of voluntary action. The remaining challenge is how the concept of the commons can relate to the other side of the third sector - the quasi-commercial nonprofit corporations which have been the center of attention for many third sector scholars.

Source Citation

Commons: Can This Be The Name of Thirdness? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 25. 1. (1995)


This is a complete revision and update of the original 1995 article.



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