CHAPTER IV. NAMING.
“I endeavour, as much as I can, to deliver myself from those fallacies which we are apt to put upon ourselves, by taking words for things. It helps not our ignorance to feign a knowledge where we have none, by making a noise with sounds without clear and distinct significations. Names made at pleasure, neither alter the nature of things, nor make us understand them, but as they are signs of, and stand for, determined ideas.” Locke, Hum. Und. b. ii. ch. 13, 18.
WE have now surveyed the more simple and obvious phenomena of the human mind. We have seen, first, that we have SENSATIONS; secondly, that we have IDEAS, the copies of those sensations; thirdly, that those ideas are sometimes SIMPLE, the copies of one sensation; sometimes COMPLEX, the copies of several sensations so combined as to appear not several ideas, but one idea; and, fourthly, that we have TRAINS of those ideas, or one succeeding another without end.
These are simple facts of our nature, attested by experience; and my chief object in fixing upon them the attention of the reader has been, to convey to him that accurate and steady conception of them, which is requisite for the successful prosecution of the subsequent inquiries.
After delineating the simple and elementary states of consciousness, it follows, in order, that we should endeavour to show what is contained in those that are complex. But in all the more complicated cases of human consciousness something of the process of Naming is involved. These cases, of course, cannot be unfolded, till the artifice of Naming is made known. This, therefore, is necessarily an intermediate inquiry; and one to which it is necessary that we should devote a particular degree of attention.
There are two purposes, both of great importance, for which marks of our ideas, and sensations; or signs by which they may be denoted; are necessary. One of these purposes is, That we may be able to make known to others what passes within us. The other is, That we may secure to ourselves the knowledge of what at any preceding time has passed in our minds.
The sensations and ideas of one man are hidden from all other men; unless they have recourse to some expedient for disclosing them. We cannot con vey to another man our sensations and ideas directly. Our means of intercourse with other men are through their senses exclusively. We must therefore choose some SENSIBLE OBJECTS, as SIGNS of our inward feelings. If two men agree, that each shall use a certain sensible sign, when one of them means to make known to the other that he has a certain sensation, or idea, they, in this, and in no other way, can communicate a knowledge of those feelings to one another.
Almost all the advantages, which man possesses above the inferior animals, arise from his power of acting in combination with his fellows; and of accomplishing, by the united efforts of numbers, what could not be accomplished by the detached efforts of individuals. Without the power of communicating to one another their sensations and ideas, this co-operation would be impossible. The importance, therefore, of the invention of signs, or marks, by which alone that communication can be effected, is obvious.
Among sensible objects, those alone which are ad dressed to the senses of seeing and hearing have sufficient precision and variety to be adapted to this end. The language of Action, as it has been called, that is, certain gesticulations and motions, has very generally, especially among rude people, whose spoken language is scanty, been found in use to indicate certain states, generally complicated states, of mind. But, for precision, variety, and rapidity, the flexibility of the voice presented such obvious advantages, not to mention that visible signs must be altogether useless in the dark, that sounds, among all the varieties of our species, have been assumed as the principal medium by which their sensations and ideas were made known to one another.
There can be little doubt that, of the two uses of marks, Communicating our thoughts, and Recording them, the advantage of the first would be the earliest felt; and that signs for Communicating would be long invented, before any person would see the advantage of Recording his thoughts. After the use of signs for Communication had become familiar, it would not fail, in time, to appear that signs might be employed for Recordation also; and that, from this use of them, the highest advantages might be derived.
In respect to those advantages, the following particulars are to be observed.
1. We cannot recall any idea, or train of ideas at will. Thoughts come into the mind unbidden. If they did not come unbidden, they must have been in the mind before they came into it; which is a contra diction. You cannot bid a thought come into the mind, without knowing that which you bid; but to know a thought is to have the thought: the know ledge of the thought, and the thought s being in the mind, are not two things but one and the same thing, under different names.
If we cannot recall at pleasure a single idea, we are not less unable to recall a train. Every person knows how evanescent his thoughts are, and how impossible it is for him to begin at the beginning of a past train, if it is not a train of the individual objects familiar to his senses, and go on to the end, neither leaving out any of the items which composed it, nor allowing any which did not belong to it, to enter in.
2. It is most obvious that, by ideas alone, the events which are passed, are to us any thing. If the objects which we have seen, heard, smelt, tasted, and touched, left no traces of themselves; if the immediate sensation were every thing, and a blank ensued when the sensation ended, the past would be to us as if it had never been. Yesterday would be as unknown as the months we passed in the womb, or the myriads of years before we were born.
3. It is only by our ideas of the past, that we have any power of anticipating the future. And if we had no power of anticipating the future, we should have no principle of action, but the physical impulses, which we have in common with the brutes. This great law of our nature, the anticipation of the future from the past, will be fully illustrated in a subsequent part of this inquiry: at present, all that is required is, the admission, which will probably not be refused, of this general truth: That the order, in which events have been observed to take place, is the order in which they are expected to take place; that the order in which they have taken place is testified to us only by our ideas; and that upon the correctness, with which they are so testified, depends the faculty we possess of converting the powers of nature into the instruments of our will; and of bringing to pass the events which we desire.
4. But all this power depends upon the order oft our ideas. The importance, therefore, is unspeakable, of being able to insure the order of our ideas; to make, in other words, the order of a train of ideas correspond unerringly with a train of past sensations. We have not, however, a direct command over the train of our ideas. A train of ideas may have passed in our minds corresponding to events of great importance; but that train will not pass again, unvaried, except in very simple cases, without the use expedients.
5. The difference between the occasions of our IDEAS, and the occasions of our SENSATIONS, affords a resource) for this purpose. Over the occasions of our sensations; we have an extensive power. We can command the smell of a rose, the hearing of a bell, the sight of a tree, the sensation of heat or of cold, and so on. Over the I occasions of our ideas we have little or no direct power. Our ideas come and go. There is a perpetual train of them, one succeeding another; but we cannot will any link in that chain of ideas; each link is determined by the foregoing; and every man knows, how impossible it is, by mere willing, to make such a train as he desires. Thoughts obtrude themselves without his bidding; and thoughts which he is in quest of will not arise.
By the power, however, which we have over the occasions of our sensations, we can make sure of having a train of sensations exactly the same as we have had before. This affords us the means of having a train of ideas exactly the same as we have had before. If we choose a number of sensible objects, and make use of them as marks of our ideas, we can ensure any succession which we please of the sensible objects; and, by the association between them and the ideas, a corresponding succession of the ideas.
6. To one of the two sets of occasions, upon which Signs are thus useful, evanescent Signs are the best adapted; permanent signs are absolutely necessary for the other. For the purposes of speech, or immediate communication, sounds are the most convenient marks. Sounds, however, perish in the making. But for the purpose of retracing a train of ideas, which we have formerly had, it is necessary we should have marks which do not perish. Marks, addressed to the sight, or the touch, have the requisite permanence; and, of the two, those addressed to the eye have the advantage. Of marks addressed to the eye, two kinds have been adopted; either marks immediately of the ideas intended to be recalled; such as the picturewriting, or hieroglyphics, of some nations: or, visible marks, by letters, of the audible marks employed in oral communication. This latter kind has been found the most convenient, and in use among the largest, and most intelligent portion of our species.
According to this scheme, spoken language is the use of immediate marks of the ideas; written language, is the use of secondary marks of the ideas. The written marks are only signs of the audible marks; the audible marks, are signs of the ideas. (40)
[40 This exposition of Naming in its most general aspect, needs neither explanation nor comment. It is one of those specimens of clear and vigorous statement, going straight to the heart of the matter, and dwelling on it just long enough and no longer than necessary, in which the Analysis abounds. Ed.]
SECTION I. NOUNS SUBSTANTIVE.
The power of Language essentially consists, in two things; first, in our having marks of our SENSATIONS, land IDEAS: and, secondly, in so arranging them, that they may correctly denote a TRAIN of those mental I states or feelings. It is evident, that if we convey to others the ideas which pass in our own minds, and also convey them in the order in which they pass, the business of COMMUNICATION is completed. And, if we establish the means of reviving the ideas which we have formerly had, and also of reviving them in the order in which we formerly had them, the business of RECORDATION is completed. We now proceed to show, by what contrivances, the expedient of Marking is rendered efficient to those several ends.
The primary importance to men, of being able to make known to one another their SENSATIONS, made them in all probability begin with inventing marks for that purpose; in other words, making Names for their SENSATIONS. Two modes presented themselves. One was to give a name to each single sensation. Another was to bestow a name on a cluster of sensations, whenever they were such as occur in a cluster. Of this latter class, are all names of what are called External Objects; rose, water, stone, and so on. Each of these names is the mark of as many sensations (sight, touch, smell, taste, sound) as we are said to derive from those objects. The name rose, is the mark of a sensation of colour, a sensation of shape, a sensation of touch, a sensation of smell, all in con junction. The name water, is the mark of a sensation of colour, a sensation of touch, a sensation of taste, and other sensations, regarded not separately, but as a compound. (41)
[41 It is not intended to be understood that all this complex meaning entered into the names as originally given. The process of naming seems to have been this: Each object was designated by a term expressive of some one prominent quality, and of that only. Thus rose is referred with every probability to the same root as the adjective red (compare Greek ρόδον, a rose, έρυθρος, German roth, Latin rutilus), and thus meant “the ruddy” (flower). Other objects would doubtless also be called “ruddy,” and would dispute the epithet with the rose; but by a process of natural selection, each would settle down in possession of the term found best suited to distinguish it; which would thus cease to be an attributive, and become a name substantive with a complex connotation derived from association. All names of objects whose origin can be traced are found to be thus simple in their primary signification. The stars (Sans, staras) were so called because they were “atrewers” (of light). F.]
There is a convenience in giving a single mark to any number of sensations, which we thus have in clusters; because there is hence a great saving of marks. The sensations of sight, of touch, of smell, and so on, derived from a rose, might have received marks, and have been enumerated, one by one; but the term rose, performs all this much more expeditiously, and also more certainly. The occasions, however, are perpetual, on which we need marks for sensations, not in clusters, but taken separately. And language is supplied with
names of this description. We have the terms, red, green, hot, cold, sweet, bitter, hard, soft, noise, stench, composing in the whole a numerous class. For many sensations, however, we have not names in one word; but make a name out of two or more words: thus, for the sensation of hearing, derived from a trumpet, we have only the name, sound of a trumpet;” in the same manner, we have “smell of a rose,” “taste of an apple,” “sight of a tree,” “feeling of velvet.”
Of those names which denote clusters of sensations, it is obvious (but still very necessary) to remark, that some include a greater, some a lesser number of sensations. Thus, stone includes only sensations of touch, and sight. Apple, beside sensations of touch and sight, includes sensations of smell and taste.
We not only give names to clusters of sensations, but to clusters of clusters; that is, to a number of minor clusters, united into a greater cluster. Thus we give the name wood to a particular cluster of sensations, the name canvas to another, the name rope to another. To these clusters, and many others, joined together in one great cluster, we give the name ship. To a number of these great clusters united into one, we give the name fleet, and so on. How great a number of clusters are united in the term House? And how many more in the term City?
Sensations being infinitely numerous, all cannot receive marks or signs. A selection must be made. Only those which are the most important are named.
Names, to be useful, cannot exceed a certain number. They could not otherwise be remembered. It is, therefore, of the greatest importance that each name should accomplish as much as possible. To this end, the greater number of names stand, not for individuals only, but classes. Thus the terms red, sweet, hot, loud, are names, not of one sensation only, but of classes of sensations; that is, every sensation of a particular kind. Thus also the term, rose, is not the name of one single cluster, but of every cluster coming under a certain description. As rose denotes one class, stone denotes another, iron another, ox another, and so on. (42)
[42 Economy in the use of names is a very small part of the motive leading to the creation of names of classes. If we had a name for every individual object which exists in the universe, and could remember all those names, we should still require names for what those objects or some of them have in common; in other words, we should require classification, and class names. This will be obvious if it is considered that had we no names but names of individuals, we should not have the means of making any affirmation respecting any object; we could not predicate of it any qualities. But of this more largely in a future note. Ed.]
As we need marks for SENSATIONS, we need marks also for IDEAS.
The Ideas which we have occasion to name, are first, Simple Ideas, the copies of simple sensations secondly, Complex Ideas, the copies of several sensations, combined. Of those complex ideas, also, there is one species, those copied directly from sensations, in the formation of which the mind has exercised but little control; as the ideas of rose, horse, stone, and of what are called the objects of sense in general. There is another species of complex ideas which, though derived also from the senses, are put together in a great degree at our discretion, as the ideas of a centaur, a mountain of gold, of comfort, of meanness; all that class of ideas in short which Mr. Locke has called mixed modes.
We may thus distinguish three classes of ideas, which we have occasion to name: 1, simple ideas, the copies of single sensations: 2, complex ideas, copied directly from sensations: 3, complex ideas, derived indeed from the senses, but put together in arbitrary combinations. The two former classes may be called Sensible, the last Mental Ideas.
With respect to ideas, of the first two classes, those which are the direct copies of our sensations, either singly, or in groups; it is of great importance to observe, and also to remember, that, for the most part, the words, which are employed as marks of the Sensations, are made to serve the further purpose of being marks also of the Ideas. The same word is at once the name of the sensations, and the ideas.
If any person were asked, whether the word BEING is the name of a Sensation, or of an Idea; he would immediately reply, that it is the name of an Idea. In like manner, if he were asked, whether the word ANIMAL is the mark of a cluster of Sensations, or of a cluster of Ideas; he would with equal readiness say, of a cluster of Ideas. But if we were to ask, whether the name Sheep is the name of a cluster of Sensations, or of a cluster of Ideas; he would probably say, that Sheep is the name of Sensations; in the same manner as rose, or apple. Yet, what is the difference? Only this, that ANIMAL is the more general name, and includes sheep along with other species; and that BEING is still more general, and includes animal along with vegetable, mineral, and other genera. If sheep, therefore, or stone, be a name of sensations, so is animal or being; and if animal, or being, be a name of ideas, so is sheep or stone a name of ideas. The fact is, they are all names of both. They are names of the Sensations, primarily; but are afterwards employed as names also of the Ideas or copies of those sensations.
It thus appears, that the names generally of what are called the objects of sense are equivocal; and whereas it would have been a security against con fusion to have been provided with appropriate names, one, in each instance, for the Sensation, and one for the Idea, the same name has been made to serve as the mark for both. The term horse is not only made to stand for the sensations of sight, of hearing, of touch, and even of smell, which give me occasion for the use of the term horse; but it stands also for the ideas of those sensations, as often as I have occasion to speak of that cluster of ideas which compose my notion of a horse. The term tree denotes undoubtedly the Idea in my mind, when I mean to convey the idea tree into the mind of another man; but it also stands for the sensations whence I have derived my idea of a tree.
Thus, too, if I mean to name my simple ideas; those, for example, of sight; I have no other names than red, blue, violet, c.; but all these are names of the sensations. When forced to distinguish them, I must use the awkward expressions, my sensation of red, my idea of red. Again; sound of a trumpet, is the name, as well of the sensation, as the idea; flight of a bird, the name, as well of the sensation, as the idea; light the name as well of the sensation as the idea; pain the name as well of the sensation as the idea; heat the name as well of the sensation as the idea. (43)
[43 In strict propriety of language all these are names only of sensations, or clusters of sensations; not of ideas. A person studious of precision would not, I think, say heat, meaning the idea of heat, or a tree, when he meant the idea of a tree. He would use heat as the name only of the sensation of heat, and tree as the name of the outward object, or cluster of sensations; and if he had occasion to speak of the idea, he would say, my idea (or the idea) of heat; my idea (or the idea) of a tree. Ed.]
As we have remarked, in regard to SENSATIONS, singly, or in clusters, that they are too numerous to receive names but in classes, that is names common to every individual of a class, the same is obviously true of the IDEAS. The greater number of names of Sensible Ideas are names of classes: man is the name of a class; lion, horse, eagle, serpent, and so on, are names of classes.
Ideas, of the third class, those which the mind forms arbitrarily, are innumerable; because the combinations capable of being formed of the numerous elements which compose them, exceed computation. All these combinations cannot receive names. The memory can manage but a moderate number. Of possible combinations, therefore, a small proportion must be selected for naming. These, of course, are the combinations which are suggested by the occasions of life, and conduce to the ends which we pursue.
We arrange those ideas, also, in classes; to the lend that every name may serve the purpose of markling, as extensively as possible. Thus the term fear is applicable to a state of mind, of which the instances form a class. In like manner, courage is the name of a class; temperance, ignorance, piety, and so on, names of classes. Republic, aristocracy, monarchy, are names, each of them, not of an individual government, a government at one time and place, but of a class, a sort of government, at any time and place.
The names of the ideas which are thus mentally clustered, are exempt from that ambiguity which we saw belonged to the names of both classes of sensible ideas. The names of sensible ideas generally stand for the sensations as well as the ideas. The names of the mental ideas are not transferable to sensations. But they are subject to another uncertainty, still more fertile in confusion, and embarrassment.
As the combinations are formed arbitrarily, or in other words, as the ideas of which they are composed, are more or less numerous, according to pleasure, and each man of necessity forms his own combination, it very often happens, that one man includes something more or something less than another man in the combination to which they both give the same name. Using the same words, they have not exactly the same ideas. In the term piety, for example, a good catholic includes many things which are not included in it by a good protestant. In the term good manners, an Englishman of the present day does not include the same ideas which were included in it by an Englishman two centuries ago; still less those which are included in it by foreigners of habits and usages dissimilar to our own. Prudence, in the mind of a man of rank and fortune, has a very different meaning from what it bears in the minds of the frugal and industrious poor. Under this uncertainty in language, it not only happens that men are often using the same expressions when they have different ideas; but different, when they have the same ideas. (44)
[44 There is some need for additional elucidation of the class of complex ideas distinguished (under the name of Mixed Modes) by Locke, and recognised by the author of the Analysis, as “put together in a great degree at our discretion;” as those which the. mind forms arbitrarily,” so that “the ideas of which they are composed are more or less numerous according to pleasure, and each man of necessity forms his own combination.” From these and similar phrases, interpreted literally, it might be supposed that in the instances given, a centaur, a mountain of gold, comfort, meanness, fear, courage, temperance, ignorance, republic, aristocracy, monarchy, piety, good manners, prudence the elements which constitute these several complex ideas are put together premeditatedly, by an act of will, which each individual performs for himself, and of which he is conscious. This, however, happens only in cases of invention, or of what is called creative imagination. A centaur and a mountain of gold are inventions: combinations intentionally made, at least on the part of the first inventor; and are not copies or likenesses of any combination of impressions received by the senses, nor are sup posed to have any such outward phenomena corresponding to them. But the other ideas mentioned in the text, those of courage, temperance, aristocracy, monarchy, &c., are supposed to have real originals outside our thoughts. These ideas, just as much as those of a horse and a tree, are products of generalisation and abstraction: they are believed to be ideas of certain points or features in which a number of the clusters of sensations which we call real objects agree: and instead of being formed by intentionally putting together simple ideas, they are formed by stripping off, or rather, by not attending to, such of the simple sensations or ideas entering into the clusters as are peculiar to any of them, and establishing an extremely close association among those which are common to them all. These complex ideas, therefore, are not, in reality, like the creations of mere imagination, put together at discretion, any more than the complex ideas, compounded of the obvious sensible qualities of objects, which we call our ideas of the objects. They are formed in the same manner as these, only not so rapidly or so easily, since the particulars of which they are composed do not obtrude themselves upon the senses, but suppose a perception of qualities and sequences not immediately obvious. From this circumstance results the con sequence noticed by the author, that this class of complex ideas are often of different composition in different persons. For, in the first place, different persons abstract their ideas of this sort from different individual instances; and secondly, some persons abstract much better than others; that is, take more accurate notice of the obscurer features of instances, and discern more correctly what are those in which all the instances agree. This important subject will be more fully entered into when we reach that part of the present work which treats of the ideas connected with General Terms. Ed.]
SECTION II. NOUNS ADJECTIVE.
As the purpose of language is to denote sensations and ideas; to mark them for our own use, or to give indication of them to our fellow men; it is obvious that the names of sensations and ideas are the fundamental parts of language. But as ideas are very numerous, and the limits of the human memory admit the use of only a limited number of marks or names, various contrivances are employed to make one name serve as many purposes as possible.
Of the contrivances for making the use of each word as extensive as possible, we have already adverted to one of great importance; that of arranging ideas in classes, and making one name stand for each individual of the class. When the classes are large, one word or mark serves to name or indicate many individuals.
But when, for the sake of economizing names, those If classes have been made as large as possible, we often find occasion for breaking them down into smaller I parcels, or sub-classes, and speaking of these subclasses by themselves.
An example will render what is here expressed sufficiently plain. The term sound, is the name of a large class of ideas or sensations; for it is equally the name of both; the sound of thunder, the sound of a cannon, the whistling of the wind, the voice of a man, the howling of a dog, and so on.
Among these sounds I perceive differences; some affect me in one way, and I wish to mark them as doing so; some affect me in another way, and I wish to mark them as affecting me in that particular way.
It is obvious that names might be invented for these subordinate classes, to mark such of them as we have occasion to mark; and the cases are numerous, in which this is the expedient adopted. Thus the term animal is the name of a large class. But we have occasion to speak apart of various portions of this class, to all the more important of which portions, we have given particular names. Horse is the name of one portion, man of another, sheep of another, and so of the rest.
There is, however, another mode of naming subordinate classes; a mode by which the use of names is greatly economized, and of which the utility is there fore conspicuous.
The subordinate class is distinguished from they rest of the greater class by some peculiarity, something in which the individuals of it agree with one. another, and do not agree with the rest. Thus to recur to the example of sound. One set of sounds affect me in a certain way, a way peculiar to that set. Wishing to distinguish these sounds from others by a mark, I call them loud. Another set of sounds affect me in another way, and I call them low; a third set in another way, and I call them harsh; a fourth in another way, and I call them sweet. By means of those adjectives applied as marks upon the mark of the great class, I have the names of four species, or sub-classes; 1, loud sounds; 2, low sounds; 3, harsh sounds; 4, sweet sounds; and the number might be greatly enlarged.
It thus appears that, as nouns substantive are marks of ideas, or sensations, nouns adjective are marks put upon nouns substantive, or marks upon marks; in order to limit the signification of the noun substantive; and instead of its marking a large class, to make it mark a subdivision of that class. Thus the word, rose, is the mark of a large class: apply to it the adjective yellow, that is, put the mark yellow upon the mark rose, and you have the name, yellow rose, which is a sub-division, or species, of the class Rose.
This peculiarity of naming, this putting of marks upon marks, in order to modify the meaning of a certain mark, is a contrivance which deserves the greatest attention. It is one of the principal expedients for the great purpose of economizing names, and performing the business of marking with the smallest number of marks; but, like the rest of the contrivances for this purpose, it contributes to obscure the simple process of naming; and when not distinctly known and attended to, operates as a source of confusion and error.
The use of adjectives, in economizing names, is most conspicuous, in the case of those subdivisions which apply to the greatest number of classes. There is one distinction which applies to most classes; the distinction between what pleases, and what does not please us, no matter on what account. The first we call good, the second evil. These two terms serve to mark a very great number of subordinate classes, and, of course, save, to a great extent, the multiplication of names.
Thus, in the case of the senses, we have the word taste, the mark of one great class of sensations. Tastes we divide into sub-classes by the words good and evil; good tastes being one class, bad tastes another. If we had invented separate marks for each of these two classes, we should have had three names, to mark the class taste with these its two primary subdivisions; and we should have had occasion for the same number of names in the case of each of the five senses; or, fifteen different names. But the adjectives, good, and evil, they being applicable to all the senses, save us the invention of names for the sub classes of the other four senses; as we say good smells, bad smells, in the same manner as good tastes, and bad tastes. They save, therefore, eight names out of fifteen, or more than one-half.
The economizing power of adjectives is still more remarkable, when we depart from simple sensations and ideas, and apply them as marks upon the names of the complex, which are far more numerous. Thus, the term horse is the mark of a complex idea, and the name of a class of objects. We say good horse and bad horse, good dog and bad dog, good house and bad house, and so in cases without number; in each of which, the repetition of the two adjectives, good, and bad, saves us the use and embarrassment of separate names.
It deserves to be remarked, that the terms good and evil apply much more generally to that class of complex ideas, in the formation of which the mind has but little control; namely, those of external objects; than they do to the other class of complex ideas which the mind makes up in an arbitrary manner to suit its own convenience. Ideas of the latter description are very often made up according to the distinction of good and evil. Thus, the idea glory, is composed of ingredients all of which belong to the classes, good; and the idea good, is multifariously included in the name. After the same manner, the idea of evil is multifariously included in the complex idea disgrace. Good is implied in the term virtue, evil in the term vice; good is implied in the term wealth, evil in the term poverty; good is implied in the term power, evil in the term weakness. In some cases, the ideas of this class are so general, that good and evil are both included; and, in such cases, adjectives are necessary to mark the subdivisions or species. Thus, we say good manners, bad manners; good sense, bad sense; good conduct, bad conduct; and so on.
Next to the adjectives which form the numerous t sub-classes of good and evil, those which mark degrees are of the most extensive application, and in the operation of sub-marking save the greatest number of names. Thus the terms, great, and little, are applicable to a great proportion of the marks of complex ideas of both formations. We say a great tree, a little tree; a great man, a little man; a great crime, a small crime; great blame, little blame; great honour, little honour; great value, little value; great weight, little weight; great strength, little strength, and so on.
Different adjectives differ in the number of classes to the subdivision of which they are subservient. Thus hot and cold are only applicable where diversities of temperature are included; round, square, and so on, where figure is included; white or black, where colour; and so on.
Beside the use of adjectives, in dividing great classes into smaller ones, without multiplication of names; they sometimes answer another purpose. It often happens that, in the cluster of sensations or ideas which have one name; we have occasion to call attention particularly to some one ingredient of the cluster. Adjectives render this service, as well as that of marking a class. This rose, I say, is red; that rose is yellow: this stone is hot, that stone is cold. The term, red rose, or yellow rose, is the name of a class. But when I say, this rose is red, where an individual is named, I mark emphatically the specific difference; namely, red, or yellow; which constitutes that subdivision of the genus rose, to which the individual belongs. (45)
[45 In the concluding paragraph we find the first recognition by the author that class names serve any purpose, or are introduced for any reason, except to save multiplication of names. Adjectives, it is here said, answer also the purpose of calling attention to some one ingredient of the cluster of sensations combined under one name. That is to say, they enable us to affirm that the cluster contains that ingredient: for they do not merely call attention to the ingredient, or remind the hearer of it: the hearer, very often, did not know that the cluster contained the ingredient, until he was apprised by the proposition.
But surely it is not only adjectives which fulfil either office, whether of giving information of an ingredient, or merely fixing the attention upon it. All general names do so, when used as predicates. When I say that a distant object which I am pointing at is a tree, or a building, I just as much call attention to certain ingredients in the cluster of sensations constituting the object, as I do when I say, This rose is red. So far is it from being true that adjectives are distinguished from substantives by having this function in addition to that of economizing names, that it is, on the contrary, much more nearly true of adjectives than of the class-names which are nouns substantive, that the economizing of names is the principal motive for their institution. For though general names of some sort are indispensable to predication, adjectives are not. As is well shewn in the text, the peculiarity, which really distinguishes adjectives from other general names, is that they mark cross divisions. All nature having first been marked out into classes by means of nouns substantive, we might go on by the same means subdividing each class. We might call the large individuals of a class by one noun substantive and the small ones by another, and these substantives would serve all purposes of predication; but to do this we should need just twice as many additional nouns substantive as there are classes of objects. Since, however, the distinction of large and small applies to all classes alike, one pair of names will suffice to designate it. Instead therefore of dividing every class into sub-classes, each with its own name, we draw a line across all the classes, dividing all nature into large things and small, and by using these two words as adjectives, that is, by adding one or other of them as the occasion requires to every noun substantive which is the name of a class, we are able to mark universally the distinction of large and small by two names only, instead of many millions. Ed.]
SECTION III. VERBS.
1. There is one class of complex ideas, of so particular a nature, and of which we have so frequent occasion to speak, that the means of sub-dividing them require additional contrivances. Marks put upon marks are still the instrument. But the instrument, to render it more effectual to this particular purpose, is fashioned in a particular way. I allude to the class of words denominated Verbs: which are, in their essence, adjectives, and applied as marks upon marks; upon marks; but receive a particular form, in order to render them, at the same time, subservient to other purposes.
The mode of their marking, and the peculiarity of their marking power may easily, I hope, be thus conceived.
A billiard-ball affects my senses, in a particular manner. On account of this, I call it round; and the term round is ever after a mark to me of a portion of the sensations which I derive from it. It affects me in another manner. I call it on that account white, and the term white is to me a mark of this other mode in which it affects me: and in the same manner as I call it white, round, on account of such and such sensations, I call it Moving, on account of certain other sensations, of which the term Moving is to me a perpetual mark.
The manner of affecting me on account of which I call it moving, I learn from experience to be peculiarly entitled to ray regard. I find that it is a mode of affecting me, which belongs to almost all bodies; and I find that upon this attribute of theirs the greatest part of my interesting sensations depend. I am there fore deeply concerned in the knowledge of motions; and have the strongest inducement to divide them into such classes as may in the highest degree facilitate that knowledge.
Motions are divided in a great variety of ways for a variety of purposes. Sometimes we divide them ac cording to their subjects. Thus, the motion of a bird is one class of motions; the motion of a horse another; so the motion of a serpent, the motion of an arrow, the motion of a wheel. At other times we form classes of motions according to the manner. Thus we have running, flying, rolling, leaping, staggering, throwing, striking, and so on.
Of all the classifications of motions, however, that which deserves the greatest attention is the distinction of them into the motions which originate within the moving body, and those which originate without it. Of the motions which originate within the moving body, the principal are the living motions of animals. We find, also, that of all the motions of animals, those of men are the most important to men. The motions of men are divided into a great number of classes. On account of one set of motions we call a man walking; on account of another sort we call him running; another, writing; another, dancing; another, fencing; another, boxing; another, building; and so on. We have also frequent occasion for a name which shall embrace all these motions of men. For this purpose the word Acting is employed: and the term Action denotes any of the motions, which originate within a man as the moving body. It is no objection to this account of the use of the word action, that it is some times employed in cases in which the motion is not the principal object of attention; as in the act of singing, or that of speaking. Here, though it is not the motion, but the effect of the motion, which is the object of attention to the hearer, the act of the singer or speaker is not the less truly a motion.
The word action, when thus invented, and used, is afterwards applied metaphorically to motions which do not originate in the moving body, as when we say the action of a sword; and also to certain processes of the mind, which, as they are accompanied with the feeling we call effort, resembling that which accompanies the voluntary motions, are sometimes classed along with them, and, by an extension of the meaning of the word, receive the name of actions. In this manner, remembering, computing, comparing, even hearing, and seeing, are denominated actions.
2. In applying the term Acting, or the terms expressive of the several kinds of acting, the Time of the action is a material circumstance. The gram divisions of time are the Past, the Present, and the Future. There is great utility in a short method of marking these divisions of time in conjunction with the mark of the action. This is effected by the Tenses of Verbs.
3. When the name of an act is applied to an agent the agent is either the person speaking, the person spoken to, or some other person. The word denoting the action is, by what are called the Persons of the verb, made to connote these diversities. Thus amo notes the act, and connotes the person speaking as the actor; amas notes the act, and connotes the person spoken to, as the actor; amat notes the act, and con notes some person, as the actor, who is neither the person speaking, nor the person spoken to. (46)
[46 There is here a fresh instance of the oversight already pointed out, that of not including in the function for which general names are required, their employment in Predication. Amo, amas, and amamus, cannot, I conceive, with any propriety be called names of actions, or names at all. They are entire predications. It is one of the properties of the kind of general names called verbs, that they cannot be used except in a Proposition or Predication, and indeed only as the predicate of it: (for the infinitive is not a verb, but the abstract of a verb). What else there is to distinguish verbs from other general names will be more particularly considered further on. Ed.]
4. When the names of actions are applied to agents, they are applied to one or a greater number. A short method of connoting this grand distinction of numbers is effected by the marks of the Singular and Plural number. Thus amo notes the act, and connotes one actor; amamus notes the act, and connotes more than one actor.
5. In applying the names of actions to the proper subjects of them, there are three Modes of the action, one or other of which is always implied. The first is, when the action has no reference to any thing previously spoken of. The second is, when it has a reference to something previously spoken of. The third is, when it has a reference to some state of the will of the speaker or person spoken of. These diversities of mode are connoted by the Moods of the verb. The Indicative is used when no reference is made to any thing which precedes: the Subjunctive, when a reference is made to something which precedes: and the Optative, and Imperative, when the reference is to the state of the will of the speaker or the person spoken of.
Such are the contrivances to make the marks or names of action, by their connotative powers, a more and more effectual instrument of notation. Accurately speaking, they are adjectives, so fashioned as to connote, a threefold distinction of agents, with a two-fold distinction of their number, a threefold distinction of the manner of the action, and a threefold distinction of its time; and, along with all this another important particular, about to be explained, namely, the COPULA in PREDICATION. 47
[47 The imperfection of this theory of Verbs is sufficiently apparent. They are, says the author, a particular kind of Adjectives. Adjectives, according to the preceding Section, are words employed to enable us, without inconvenient multiplication of names, to subdivide great classes into smaller ones. Can it be said, or would it have been said by the author, that the only, or the principal reason for having Verbs, is to enable us to subdivide classes of objects with the greatest economy of names?
Neither is it strictly accurate to say that Verbs are always marks of motion, or of action, even including, as the author does, by an extension of the meaning of those terms, every process which is attended with a feeling of effort. Many verbs, of the kind which grammarians call neuter or intransitive verbs, express rest, or inaction: as sit, lie, and in some cases, stand. It is true however that the verbs first invented, as far as we know anything of them, expressed forms of motion, and the principal function of verbs still is to affirm or deny action. Or, to speak yet more generally, it is by means of verbs that we predicate events. Events, or changes, are the most important facts, to us, in the surrounding world. Verbs are the resource which language affords for predicating events. They are not the names of events; all names of events are substantives, as sunrise, disaster, or infinities, as to rise, and infinitives are logically substantives. But it is by means of verbs that we assert, or give information of, events; as, The sun rises, or, Disaster has occurred. There is, however, a class of neuter verbs already referred to, which do not predicate events, but states of an unchanging object, as lie, sit, re main, exist. It would be incorrect, therefore, to give a definition of Verbs which should limit them to the expression of events. I am inclined to think that the distinction between nouns and verbs is not logical, but merely grammatical, and that every word, whatever be its meaning, must be reputed a verb, which is so constructed grammatically that it can only be used as the predicate of a proposition. Any meaning what ever is, in strictness, capable of being thrown into this form: but it is only certain meanings, chiefly actions or events, which there is, in general, any motive for putting into this particular shape. Ed.]
6. We have, last of all, under this head, to consider the marking power of a very peculiar, and most comprehensive word, the SUBSTANTIVE VERB, as it has been called by grammarians, or the word expressive of BEING. The steps, which we have already traced, in the process of naming, will aid us in obtaining a true conception of this, which is one of the most important steps, in that process.
We have seen that, beside the names of particular species of motions, as walking, running, flying, there was occasion for a general name which might include the whole of those motions. For this purpose, the names Action and Acting were employed. It is now to be remembered, that those sensations which we mark by the names of action, as walking, running, &c., are but part of the sensations which we derive from objects; that we have other sensations, and clusters of sensations, from them, on account of which we apply to them other names; as when we call a man tall, on account of certain sensations; dark, on account of certain other sensations, and so on. Now, as we had occasion for a name to include the separate clusters, called walking, running, flying, rolling, falling, and so on, and for that purpose adopted the name Acting; so, having from objects other sensations than those marked by the word acting, we have occasion for a name which shall include both those sensations, and those comprehended in the word acting along with them: in short, a word that shall embrace all sensations, of whatever kind, which any object is capable of exciting in us. This purpose is effected by the word affirmative of Existence. When we affirm of any thing that it EXISTS, that it is: what we mean, is, that we may have sensations from it; nothing, without ourselves, being known to us, or capable of being known, but through the medium of our senses.
There is the same occasion for making the Substantive Verb connote the three distinctions of TIME PAST, TIME PRESENT, and TIME FUTURE, as in the case of other verbs; also to connote the distinctions of PERSONS and NUMBERS; and, lastly, to connote the THREE MODES, that in which there is no reference to any thing preceding, that in which there is a reference to something preceding, and that in which reference is made to the will of one of the PERSONS. Accordingly the Substantive Verb has TENSES, MOODS, NUM BERS, and PERSONS, like any other verb.
Such is the nature and object of the Substantive Verb. It is the most GENERICAL of all the words, which we have characterized, as marks upon marks. These are the words usually called ATTRIBUTIVES. According to the view which we have given of them, they may be more appropriately denominated, SECONDARY MARKS. The names of the larger classes, as tree, horse, strength, we may call PRIMARY MARKS. The subsidiary names by which smaller classes are marked out of the larger; as when we say, tall tree, great strength, running horse, walking man; that is, all attributives, or marks applied upon marks; we may call SECONDARY MARKS.
SECTION IV. PREDICATION.
The purposes of language are two. We have occasion to mark sensations or ideas singly; and we have occasion to mark them in trains; in other words, we have need of contrivances to mark not only sensations and ideas; but also the order of them. The contrivances which are necessary to mark this order are the main cause of the complexity of language.
If all names were names of one sort, there would be no difficulty in marking a train of the feelings which they serve to denote. Thus, if all names were names of individuals, as John, James, Peter, we should have no difficulty in marking a train of the ideas of these individuals; all that would be necessary would be to set down the marks, one after another, in the same order in which, one after another, the ideas occurred.
If all names were names of Species, as man, horse, eagle, the facility of marking the order of the ideas which they represent would be the same. If the idea man occurred first, the idea horse second, the idea eagle third; all that would be necessary would be to put down the name or mark man the first, the name or mark horse the second, and the order of marks would represent the order of ideas.
But we have already seen, that the facility of communication requires names of different degrees of comprehensiveness; names of individuals, names of classes, and names both of the larger and the smaller classes. For the younger and less instructed part of my readers, it may be necessary to mention, that the names of the smaller classes, are called names of Species, or specific names; the names of the larger classes, names of Genera, or generic names. Thus, the term animal, denotes a large class; a class which contains the smaller classes, man, horse, dog, &c. The name animal, therefore, is called a Genus, or a generic name; the name man, a Species, or a specific name.
In using names of these different kinds; names of individuals when the idea is restricted to one individual; and, for brevity, the names of classes; the names of the less when necessary, of the large when practicable; there is perpetual need of the substitution of one name for another. When I have used the names, James and John, Thomas and William, and many more, having to speak of such peculiarities of each, as distinguish him from every other, I may proceed to speak of them in general, as included in a class. When this happens, I have occasion for the name of the class, and to substitute the name of the class, for the names of the individuals. By what contrivance is this performed? I have the name of the individual, John; and the name of the class man; and I can set down my two names; John, man; in juxta-position. But this is not sufficient to effect the communication I desire; namely, that the word man is a mark of the same idea of which John is a mark, and a mark of other ideas along with it, those to wit, of which James, Thomas, &c. are marks. To complete my contrivance, I invent a mark, which, placed between my marks, John and man, fixes the idea I mean to convey, that man, is another mark to that idea of which John is a mark, while it is a mark of the other ideas, of which James, Thomas, &c., are marks. For this purpose, we use in English, the mark “is.” By help of this, my object is immediately attained. I say, John “is” a man. I, then, use the word man, instead of the word John, with many advantages; because every thing which I can affirm of the word man, is true not only of John, but of James, and Peter, and every other individual of the class.
The joining of two names by this peculiar mark is the act which has been denominated, PREDICATION; and it is the grand contrivance by which the marks of sensations and ideas are so ordered in discourse, as to mark the order of the trains, which it is our purpose to communicate, or to record.
The form of expression, “John is a man,” is called a Proposition. It consists of three marks. Of these, “John,” is denominated the SUBJECT; “man,” the PREDICATE; and “is,” the COPULA. To speak gene rally, and in the language of the grammarians, the nominative of the verb is the subject of the proposition; the substantive, or adjective, which agrees with the nominative, is the predicate, and the verb is the copula.
By a few simple examples, the reader may render familiar to himself the use of PREDICATION, as the grand expedient, by which language is enabled to mark not only sensations and ideas, but also the order of them. (48)
[48 The theory of Predication here set forth, stands in need of further elucidation, and perhaps of some correction and addition.
The account which the author gives of a Predication, or Proposition, is, first, that it is a mode of so putting together the marks of sensations and ideas, as to mark the order of them. Secondly, that it consists in substituting one name for another, so as to signify that a certain name (called the predicate), is a mark of the same idea which another name (called the subject) is a mark of.
It must be allowed that a predication, or proposition, is in tended to mark some portion of the order either of our sensations or of our ideas, i.e., some part of the coexistences or sequences which take place either in our minds, or in what we term the external world. But what sort of order is it that a predication marks? An order supposed to be believed in. When John, or man, are said to be marks of an individual object, all there is in the matter is that these words, being associated with the idea of the object, are intended to raise that idea in the mind of the person who hears or reads them. But when we say, John is a man, or, John is an old man, we in tend to do more than call up in the hearer s mind the images of John, of a man, and of an old man. We intend to do more than inform him that we have thought of, or even seen, John and a man, or John and an old man, together. We inform him of a fact respecting John, namely, that he is an old man, or at all events, of our belief that this is a fact. The characteristic difference between a predication and any other form of speech, is, that it does not merely bring to mind a certain object (which is the only function of a mark, merely as such); it asserts something respecting it. Now it may be true, and I think it is true, that every assertion, every object of Belief, everything that can be true or false that can be an object of assent or dissent is some order of sensations or of ideas: some coexistence or succession of sensations or ideas actually experienced, or supposed capable of being experienced. And thus it may appear in the end that in expressing a belief, we are after all only declaring the order of a group or series of sensations or ideas. But the order which we declare is not an imaginary order; it is an order believed to be real. Whatever view we adopt of the psychological nature of Belief, it is necessary to distinguish between the mere suggestion, to the mind of a certain order among sensations or ideas such as takes place when we think of the alphabet, or the numeration table and the indication that this order is an actual fact, which is occurring, or which has occurred once or oftener, or which, in certain definite circumstances, always occurs; which are the things indicated as true by an affirmative predication, and as false by a negative one.
That a predication differs from a name in doing more than merely calling up an idea, is admited in what I have noted as the second half of the author’s theory of Predication. That second half points out that every predication is a communication, intended to act, not on the mere ideas of the listener, but on his persuasion or belief: and what he is intended to believe, according to the author, is, that of the two names which are conjoined in the predication, one is a mark of the same idea (or let me add, of the same sensation or cluster of sensations) of which the other is a mark. This is a doctrine of Hobbes, the one which caused him to be termed by Leibnitz, in words which have been often quoted, “plus quarn nominalis.” It is quite true that when we predicate B of A when we assert of A that it is a B B must, if the assertion is true, be a name of A, i.e., a name applicable to A; one of the innumerable names which, in virtue of their signification, can be used as descriptive of A: but is this the information which we want to convey to the hearer? It is so when we are speaking only of names and their meaning, as when we enunciate a definition. In every other case, what we want to convey is a matter of fact, of which this relation between the names is but an incidental consequence. When we say, John walked out this morning, it is not a correct expression of the communication we desire to make, that “having walked out this morning” or a person who has walked out this morning” are two of the innumerable names of John. They are only accidentally and momentarily names of John by reason of a certain event, and the information we mean to give is, that this event has happened. The event is not resolvable into an identity of meaning between names, but into an actual series of sensations that occurred to John, and a belief that any one who had been present and using his eyes would have had another series of .sensations, which we call seeing John in the act of walking out. Again, when we say, Negroes are woolly-haired, we mean to make known to the hearer, not that woolly-haired is a name of every negro, but that wherever the cluster of sensations signified by the word negro, are experienced, the sensations signified by the word woolly-haired will be found either among them or conjoined with them. This is an order of sensations: and it is only in consequence of it that the name woolly-haired comes to be applicable to every individual of whom the term negro is a name.
There is nothing positively opposed to all this in the author’s text: indeed he must be considered to have meant this, when lie said, that by means of substituting one name for another, a predication marks the order of our sensations and ideas. The omission consists in not remarking that what is distinctively signified by a predication, as such, is Belief in a certain order of sensations or ideas. And when this has been said, the Hobbian addition, that it does so by declaring the predicate to be a name of everything of which the subject is a name, may be omitted as surplusage, and as diverting the mind from the essential features of the case. Predication may thus be de fined, a form of speech which expresses a belief that a certain coexistence or sequence of sensations or ideas, did, does, or, under certain conditions, would take place: and the reverse of this when the predication is negative. - Ed.]
For the more complete elucidation of this important part of the business of Naming, it is necessary to remark, that Logicians have classed Predications, under five heads; 1st, when the Genus is predicated, of any subject; 2dly, when the Species is predicated; 3dly, when the Specific Difference is predicated; 4thly, when a Property is predicated; 5thly, when an Accident is predicated. These live classes of names, the things capable of being predicated, are named PREDICABLES. The five Predicables, in Latin, the language in which they are commonly expressed, are named Genus, Species, Differentia, Proprium, Accidens.
We have already seen, perhaps at sufficient length, the manner in which, and the end for which, the Genus, and the Species are predicated of any subject. It is, that the more comprehensive name, may be substituted for the less comprehensive; so that each of our marks may answer the purpose of marking, to as great an extent as possible. In this manner we substitute the word man, for example, for the word Thomas, when we predicate the Species of the individual, in the proposition, “Thomas is a man;” the word animal, for the word man, when we predicate the Genus of the Species, in the proposition, “man, is an animal.” (49)
[49 If what has been said in the preceding note is correct, it is a very inadequate view of the purpose for which a generic or specific name is predicated of any subject, to say that it is in order that the more comprehensive name may be substituted for the less comprehensive, so that each of our marks may answer the purpose of marking to as great an extent as possible.” The more comprehensive and the less comprehensive name have each their uses, and the function of each not only could not be discharged with equal convenience by the other, but could not be discharged by it at all. The purpose, in predicating of anything the name of a class to which it belongs, is not to obtain a better or more commodious name for it, but to make known the fact of its possessing the attributes which constitute the class, and which are therefore signified by the classname. It is evident that the name of one class cannot possibly perform this office vicariously for the name of another. Ed.]
We have already, also, taken notice of the artifice, by which smaller classes are formed out of larger, by the help of secondary marks. Of these secondary marks, the principal classes are designated by the terms Differentia, Proprium, Accidens. No very distinct boundaries, are, indeed, marked by these terms; nor do they effect a scientific division; but, for the present purpose, the elucidation of the end to which Predication is subservient, they are sufficient.
Differentia is always an Attributive, applicable to a Genus, and which, when combined with it, marks out a Species; as the word rational, which is applicable to the Genus animal, and when applied to it, in the phrase “rational animal,” marks out a Species, and is synonymous with the word man. In a similar manner the word sensitive is applicable to body, and marks out the subordinate Genus, animal.
Proprium is also an Attributive, and the Attributives classed under this title differ from those classed under the title differentia, chiefly in this; That those classed under differentia, are regarded as more expressly involved in the definition of the Species which they seem to cut out from the Genus. Thus, both rational, and risible, when applied to animal, cut out of it the class Man; but rational is called DIFFERENTIA, risible PROPRIUM, because rational, is strictly involved in the definition of man; risible is not. Some Attributives are classed under the title proprium, which, when applied to the genus, do not constitute the same Species, constituted by the differentia, but a different Species; as bipes, two-footed animal, is the name of a class including at least the two classes of men, and birds; hot-blooded animal, is the name of a class so large as to include man, horse, lion, dog, and the greater part of the more perfectly organized Species. There are some Attributives, classed under the title proprium, which cut out of the Genus a class even less than that which is cut by the differentia; as, for ex ample, the word grammatical. This word grammatical, applied to the word animal, in the term “grammatical animal,” separates a class so small, as to include only part of the Species man, those who are called Grammarians. Such Attributives, for an obvious reason, are applicable, as well to the name of the Species, as to that of the Genus. Thus, we say, “a grammatical man,” as well as “a grammatical animal,” and that with greater propriety, as cutting out the sub-species from the Species more immediately.
The Attributives, classed under the title accidens, are regarded, like those classed under differentia, and proprium, as applicable to the class cut out by the differentia, but applicable to it rather fortuitously than by any fixed connection. The term lame is an example of such Attributives. The term lame, however, applied to the name of the Species, does not the less take out of it a sub-species, as “lame man,” “lame horse.”
With respect to these classes of Attributives (Differentia, Proprium, Accidens) this is necessary to be observed, and remembered; that they differ from one another only by the accident of their application. Thus, when rational, applied to the Genus animal, constitutes the Species man, all other Attributives applied to that Species are either accidens, or proprium; but these Attributives themselves may be the differentia in the case of other classes. Thus, warm-blooded, applied to man, stands under the class proprium; but when applied to the animals which stand distinguished from the cold-blooded, as constituting a class, it be comes the differentia, and rational, with respect to this comprehensive class, is only an accidens. (50)
[50 The author says, that no very distinct boundaries are marked by the three terms, Differentia, Proprium, and Accidens, nor do they effect a scientific division. As used, however, by the more accurate of the school logicians, they do mark out distinct boundaries, and do effect a scientific division.
Of the attributes common to a class, some have been taken into consideration in forming the class, and are included in the signification of its name. Such, in the case of man, are rationality, and the outward form which we call the human These attributes are its Differentiae; the fundamental differences which distinguish that class from the others most nearly allied to it. The school logicians were contented with one Differentia, whenever one was sufficient completely to circumscribe the class. But this was an error, because one attribute may be sufficient for distinction, and yet may not exhaust the signification of the class-name. All attributes, then, which are part of that signification, are set apart as Differentiae. Other attributes, though not included among those which constitute the class, and which are directly signified by its name, are consequences of some of those which constitute the class, and always found along with them. These attributes of the class are its Propria. Thus, to be bounded by three straight lines is the Differentia of a triangle: to have the sum of its three angles equal to two right angles, being a consequence of its Differentia, is a Proprium of it. Rationality is a Differentia of the class Man: to be able to build cities is a Proprium, being a consequence of rationality, but not, as that is, included in the meaning of the word Man. All other attributes of the class, which are neither included in the meaning of the name, nor are consequences of any which are included, are Accidents, however universally and constantly they may be true of the class; as blackness, of crows.
The author’s remark, that these three classes of Attributives differ from one another only in the accident of their application, is most just There are not some attributes which are always Differentiae, and others which are always Propria, or always Accidents. The same attribute which is a Differentia of one genus or species, may be, and often is, a Proprium or an Accidens of others, and so on. Ed.]
We now arrive at a very important conclusion; for it thus appears, that all Predication, is Predication of Genus or Species, since the Attributives classed under the titles of Differentia, Proprium, Accidens, cannot be used but as part of the name of a Species. But we have seen, above, that Predication by Genus and Species is merely the substitution of one name for an other, the more general for the less general; the fact of the substitution being marked by the Copula. It follows, if all Predication is by Genus and Species, that all Predication is the substitution of one name for another, the more for the less general.
It will be easy for the learner to make this material fact familiar to himself, by attending to a few instances. Thus, when it is said that man is rational, the term rational is evidently elliptical, and the word animal is understood. The word rational, according to grammatical language, is an adjective, and is significant only in conjunction with a substantive. According to logical language, it is a connotative term, and is without a meaning when disjoined from the object, the property or properties of which it connotes. (51)
[51 I am unable to feel the force of this remark. Every predication ascribes an attribute to a subject. Differentiae, Propria, and Accidents, agree with generic and specific names in expressing attributes, and the attributes they express are the whole of their meaning. I therefore cannot see why there should not be Predication of any of these, as well as of Genus and Species. These three Predicables, the author says, cannot be used but as part of the name of a genus or species: they are adjectives, and cannot be employed without a substantive understood. Allowing this to be logically, as it is grammatically, true, still the comprehensive and almost insignificant substantive, “thing” or “being,” fully answers the purpose; and the entire meaning of the predication is contained in the adjective. These adjectives, as the author remarks, are connotative terms; but so, on his own shewing elsewhere, are all concrete substantives, except proper names. Why, when it is said that man is rational, must “the word animal” be “understood?” Nothing is understood but that the being, Man, has the attribute of reason. If we say, God is rational, is animal understood? It was only the Greeks who classed their gods as ζωα αθανατα.
The exclusion of the three latter Predicables from predication probably recommended itself to the author as a support to his doctrine that all Predication is the substitution of one name for another, which he considered himself to have already demonstrated so far as regards Genus and Species. But proofs have just been given that in the predication of Genus and Species no more than in that of Differentia, Proprium, or Accidens, is anything which turns upon names the main consideration. Except in the case of definitions, and other merely verbal propositions, every proposition is intended, to communicate a matter of fact: This subject has that attribute This cluster of sensations is always accompanied by that sensation.
Let me remark by the way, that the word connote is here used by the author in what I consider its legitimate sense that in which a name is said to connote a property or properties belonging to the object it is predicated of. He afterwards casts off this use of the term, and introduces one the exact reverse: but of this hereafter. Ed.]
With respect, however, to such examples as this last, namely, all those in which the predicate consists of the genus and differentia, the proposition is a mere definition; and the predicate, and the subject, are precisely equivalent. Thus, “rational animal” is precisely the same class as man;” and they are only two names for the same thing; the one a simple, or single worded name; the other a complex, or doubleworded, name. Such propositions therefore are, properly speaking, not Predications at all. When they are used for any other purpose than to make known, or to fix, the meaning of a term, they are useless, and are denominated identical propositions. (52)
[52 In this passage the author virtually gives up the part of his theory of Predication which is borrowed from Hobbes. According to his doctrine in this place, whenever the predicate and the subject are exactly equivalent, and “are only two names for the same thing,” the predication serves only to make known, or to fix, the meaning of a term,” and “such propositions are, properly speaking, not Predications at all.” Ed.]
The preceding expositions have shown the peculiar use of the Copula. The Predication consists, essentially, of two marks, whereof the first is called the Subject, the latter the Predicate; the Predicate being set down as a name to be used for every thing of which the Subject is a name; and the Copula is merely a mark necessary to shew that the Predicate is to be taken and used as a substitute for the Subject.
There is a great convenience in giving to the Copula the same powers of connotation, in respect of Time, Manner, Person, and Number, as we have seen to be usefully annexed to the Verb.
It is necessary to explain a little this convenience; and the explanation will have another advantage, that it will still farther illustrate the manner in which Predication serves the great purpose of marking the Order of ideas in a Train.
If the sensations or ideas in a train were to be marked as merely so many independent items, the mode of marking the order of them would be simple; the order of the marks itself might suffice. If this, for example, were the train; smell of a rose, sight of a rat, sound of a trumpet, touch of velvet, prick of a pin, these names placed in order might denote the order of the sensations.
In the greater number of instances, however, it is necessary to mark the train as the train of somebody; and for this purpose additional machinery is required. Suppose that the train I have to mark is the train of John, a train of the sensations of John; what are the marks for which I shall have occasion? It is first of all evident that I must have a mark for John, and a mark for each of the sensations. Suppose it is my purpose to represent John as having a sensation by each of his senses, sight, smell, &c., how must I proceed? I have first the word John, for the mark of the person; and I have the word seeing, for the mark of the sensation. But beside the marks, “John,” “seeing,” I have occasion for a mark to show that I mean the mark “seeing” to be applied to the mark “John,” and not to any other. For that purpose I use the word “is.” I say “John is seeing,” and the first sensation of John’s train is now sufficiently de noted. In the same manner I proceed with the rest; John is smelling, John is tasting, John is hearing, John is touching.
But I have often occasion to speak not only of John s present sensations, but of his past or his future sensations; not of John as merely now seeing, hearing, &c., hut as having been, or as going to be, the subject of these sensations. The Copula may be so contrived as most commodiously to connote the main distinctions of Time: not merely to mark the connexion between the two marks which form the subject and the predicate of the proposition, but to mark, along with this, either past, or present, or future, Time. Thus, if I say John is seeing, the copula marks present time along with the peculiar connection between the predicate and the subject; if I say John was seeing, it connotes past time; if I say John will be seeing, it connotes future time.
As, in explaining the functions of verbs, there appeared a convenience in the contrivance by which they were made to connote three Manners; first, when no reference is made to any thing which is previously spoken of; secondly, when a reference is made to something which is previously spoken of; thirdly, when a reference is made to the will of one of the PERSONS; it will now be seen that there is the same convenience in making the Copula connote these references by a similar contrivance. Thus, when we speak of a man having sensations, we may speak of him as having them or as not having them, in consequence of something previously spoken of; or we may speak of him as having them in consequence of our will. It is, therefore, useful, that the Copula should have moods as well as tenses. The same thing may be said of persons and numbers; of which no illustration seems to be required.
We come next to an observation respecting the Copula, to which the greatest attention is due. In all Languages, the Verb which denotes EXISTENCE has been employed to answer the additional purpose of the Copula in Predication. The consequences of this have been most lamentable. There is thus a double meaning in the Copula, which has produced a most unfortunate mixture and confusion of ideas. It has involved in mystery the whole business of Predication; the grand contrivance by which language is rendered competent to its end. By darkening Predication, it has spread such a veil over the phenomena of mind, as concealed them from ordinary eyes, and allowed them to be but imperfectly seen by those which were the most discerning.
In our own language, the verb, TO BE, is the important word which is employed to connote, along with its Subject, whatever it be, the grand idea of EXISTENCE. Thus, if I use the first person singular of its indicative mood, and say, I am,” I affirm EXISTENCE of myself. I am,” is the equivalent of I am EXISTING.” In the first of these expressions, “I am,” the mark “am” involves in it the force of two marks; it involves the meaning of the word existing,” and the marking power or meaning of the Copula. In the second expression “I am existing,” the word “am” ought to serve the purpose of the Copula only. But in reality its connotation of EXISTENCE still adheres to it; and whereas the expression ought to consist of the three established parts of a Predication; 1, the subject “I;” 2, the predicate EXISTING; and 3, the copula; it in reality consists of, 1, the subject “I;” 2, the predicate EXISTING; 3, the Copula; which signifies, 4, EXISTING, over again.
Let us take, as another case, that in which the subject and predicate of my intended proposition are, the word “1” and “reading.” I want for the purpose of predication only a Copula to signify nakedly that the mark reading” is applied to the mark “I;” but in stead of this I am obliged to use a word which con notes EXISTENCE, along with the force of the Copula; and when I say “I am reading,” not only reading is predicated of me, but EXISTING also. Suppose, again, my subject is “John,” my predicate “dead,” I am obliged to use for my Copula the word “is,” which connotes EXISTENCE, and I thus predicate of John both existence and death.
It may be easily collected, from this one example, what heterogeneous and inconsistent ideas may be forced into connection by the use of the Substantive Verb as the Copula in Predication; and what confusion in the mental processes it tends to produce. It is in the case, however, of the higher abstractions, and the various combinations of ideas which the mind, in the processes of enquiring and marking, forms for its own convenience, to obtain a greater command over its stores and greater facility in communicating them, that the use of the verb which con joins the Predication of EXISTENCE with every other Predication, has produced the wildest confusion, and been the most deeply injurious. Is it any wonder, for example, that Cliance, and Fate, and Nature have been personified, and have had an EXISTENCE ascribed to them, as objects, when we have no means of predicating anything whatsoever of them, without predicating such EXISTENCE at the same time. If we say that “chance is nothing;” we predicate of it, by the word “is,” both existence and nothingness.
When this is the case, it is by no means to be wondered at, that philosophers should so long have inquired what those EXISTENCES are which abstract terms were employed to express; and should have lost themselves in fruitless speculations about the nature of entity, and quiddity, substance, and quality, space, time, necessity, eternity, and so on.
It is necessary here to take notice of a part of the marking power of Verbs, which could not be explained till the nature of the copula was understood.
Every Verb involves in it the force of the copula. It combines the marking powers of an adjective, and of the copula; and all Verbs may be resolved into those elements. Thus, “John walks,” is the same with “John is walking.” Verbs, therefore, are attributives, of the same nature as adjectives, only with additional connotative powers; and they cut smaller classes out of larger, in the manner of adjectives. Thus “John walks,” is an expression, the same in import as the Predication “John is a walking man;” and, walking men, standing men, running men, lying men, are all sub-species of the Species Man.
The same unhappy duplicity of meaning, which is incurred by using the Substantive Verb as the copula in Predication, is inflicted on other Verbs, in that part of their marking power by which they exhibit the connection between the two terms of a Predication.
The copula, included in Verbs, is not the PURE copula, but the ACTUAL copula; the copula familiar and in constant use; namely, the Substantive Verb. From this it results, that whatever the peculiar attribute, which is predicated by means of any verb, EXISTENCE is always predicated along with it. Thus, when I say “John walks,” which is equivalent to “John is walking,” I predicate both existence, and walking, of John. When I say, “Caliban existed not,” which is the same as “Caliban was not existing,” I predicate both existence, and non-existence, of the imaginary being Caliban. By the two first words of the Predication, “Caliban was,” existence is predicated of him; by the addition of the compound term “not existing,” the opposite is predicated of him.
The instances, in which the more complicated formations of the mind are the subjects of this double Predication, are those which, from the importance of their consequences, deserve the greatest degree of attention. Thus, when we say “virtue exalts,” both existing, and exalting, are predicated of virtue. When we say that “passion impels,” both existence, and impulsion, are predicated of passion. When we say that “Time generates,” and “Space contains all things,” we affirm existence of space and time, by the same expression by which we affirm of the one, that it generates; of the other, that it contains. This constancy of Predication, forcing the same constancy in the junction of the ideas, furnishes a remarkable in stance of that important case of association, of which we took notice above, where, by frequency of association, two ideas become so joined, that the one constantly rises, and cannot be prevented from rising, in combination with the other. Thus it is, that Time forces itself upon us as an object. So it is with Space. We cannot think of Space, we cannot think of Time, without thinking of them as existent. With the ideas of space and time, the idea of EXISTENCE, as it is predicated of objects, is so associated, by the use of the Substantive Verb as the copula in predication, that we cannot disjoin them. The same would have been the case with Chance, and Fate, and Nature; if our religious education did not counteract the association. It was precisely the same, among the Greeks and Romans, whose religious education had not that effect. (53) (54)
[53 The account of predication above given is in conformity with the phenomena of the family of languages known as the Indo-European. Logicians, in fact, in treating of this subject have had almost exclusive regard to Greek and Latin and the literary languages of modern Europe, which are all of one type. It might therefore be presumed that the theory thus formed would be found not to fit in all its parts when applied to languages of an altogether different structure. The mental process must doubtless be the same in all; but the words that express the several parts may be used in new and unprecedented ways. Were naturalists to construct a scheme of the animal organism without ever having seen any other animals than those of the vertebrate type, the theory would certainly fail in generality; certain organs or functions would be set down as essential to animal existence which acquaintance with other classes of creatures shows can be quite well dispensed with. Similarly, the current theory of predication, when viewed in the light of a wider and deeper knowledge of the organism of speech, seems to attach an exaggerated importance to the peculiar predicative power presumed to be inherent in verbs, and especially in the verb of existence. It is now a well known fact that in the monosyllabic class of languages, in which a third part of the human race express their thoughts, there is no distinction among the parts of speech. In Chinese, for example, the word ta expresses indifferently great, greatness, to be great, to make great or magnify, greatly. It is only position that determines in each case how the word is to be understood; thus traditional convention assigns to ta fu the meaning of “a great man,” and to fu ta that of “the man is great.” Being habituated to the constant use of the verb is in such a case as the latter, we are apt to suppose that the expression derives its predicative force from its suggesting the verb of existence, which the mind instinctively and necessarily supplies for itself. How little ground there is for this presumed necessity, has been conclusively shown by the late Mr. Garnett, in his profound and exhaustive essay on the Nature and Analysis of the Verb. Speaking of the theory that makes the essential difference between the verb and other parts of speech to reside in the verb substantive, which is to be supplied by the mind in all cases where the functions of the verb proper are to be called into requisition, he observes: “This theory presupposes the existence of a verb substantive in the languages in question, and consciousness of that existence and of the force and capabilities of the element in those who speak them. Unfortunately the Spanish grammarians, to whom we are indebted for what knowledge we possess of the Philippine dialects, unanimously concur in stating that there is no verb substantive either in Tagala, Parnpanga, or Bisaya, nor any means of supplying the place of one, except the employment of pronouns and particles. Mariner makes a similar remark respecting the Tonga language; and we may venture to affirm that there is not such a thing as a true verb substantive in any one member of the great Polynesian family.
“It is true that the Malayan, Javanese and Malagassy grammarians talk of words signifying to be; but an attentive comparison of the elements which they profess to give as such, shows clearly that they are no verbs at all, but simply pronouns or indeclinable particles, commonly indicating the time, place or manner of the specified action or relation. It is not there fore easy to conceive how the mind of a Philippine islander, or of any other person, can supply a word totally unknown to it, and which there is not a particle of evidence to show that it ever thought of.”
Of the substitutes put in place of the substantive verb, by far the most common are pronouns, and particles indicating position. Thus in Coptic, the descendant of the ancient Egyptian, the demonstrative pe, “this,” after a noun singular masculine, or te when the noun is feminine, is equivalent to is; and ne, these,” after a plural, to are. In the ancient hieroglyphic monuments the function of the substantive verb is performed by the same means. Even in the Semitic languages, which have substantive verbs, pronouns are habitually used instead of them; so that I I, or I he, stands for I am, and we we or we they, for we are. Thou art my King” (Ps. 44, 5) is in the Hebrew Thou he my King;” “We are the servants of the God of heaven” (Ezra 5, 11) is in Chaldee “We they servants of the God of heaven;” “I am the light of the world,” is in Arabic “I he the light of the world.”
Although such modes of expression are foreign to the Indo-European languages, even they furnish abundant evidence of the predicative power of pronouns and particles. If any word required to have inherent in it the peculiar affirmative power attributed to verbs, it is the word yes. Accordingly Tooke derives it from the French imperative a-yez: forgetting, or not knowing, that the Anglo-Saxon gese or yea (cognate with the Sanscrit pronoun ya) was in existence long before the French ayez. The fact is that Eng.yes, Ger.ja, and the corresponding words in the other European languages are oblique cases of demonstrative pronouns, and mean simply in this (manner),” or thus.” The Italian si (yes) is from Lat. sic, (thus); the Provençal oc is from Lat. hoc; and the modern Fr. oui was originally a combination of hoc illo, and passed through the stages of ocil and oïl into its present form.
The consideration of these and a multitude of similar phenomena suggests, that the Sanscrit as-mi, Gr. ei-mi, Lat. s-um (for es-um), Eng. a-m, may have had for its root the demonstrative pronoun sa, and meant primarily that (or there) as to me.” Be that as it may, all philologists are agreed that the verbs now used to express being in the abstract, expressed originally something physical and palpable. Thus Ital. stato, Fr. été, been, are from the Lat. statum, the participle of sto, “to stand;” and exist itself meant to stand out or be prominent.” Eng. be, Lat. fu- is identical with Gr. phy- to grow;” and, accord ing to Max Müller, as the root of as-mi meant “breath” or “breathing.” It may then be safely affirmed that no word had for its primary function to express mere existence; it seems enough for the purpose of predication that existence be implied.
With regard to ordinary verbs, the analytic processes of comparative grammar show no traces of a substantive verb entering into their structure. It is now an accepted doctrine of philology that, as a rule, the root of a verb is of the nature of an abstract noun; and that it became a verb simply by the addition of a pronominal affix as in the Greek δί-δω-μι, δί-δω-ς, δί-δω-σι, in which the terminations were originally -μι, -σι τι. The habits of thought arising out of the present analytic state of the Indo-European languages naturally lead us to conceive these pronominal affixes as nominatives. But gift I does not seem a very natural way of getting at the meaning “I give;” and therefore Mr. Garnett maintains that the affixes were originally in an oblique case the genitive or the instrumental so that the literal meaning was “gift of me,” or “giving by me.” That this is the nature of the verb in the agglutinate languages by far the most numerous class it seems hardly possible to dispute; for in these the affixes remain rigidly distinct and little disguised. Thus, according to Garnett, the Wotiak, in order to express “my son,” “thy son,” &c., joins oblique cases of the personal pronouns to the noun pi in the following way:
pi-ǐ ... son of me
pi-ed ... son of thee
pi-ez ... son of him
pi-mi ... son of us
pi-dy ... son of you
pi-zy ... son of them
In an exactly similar way the preterite of the verb to speak stands thus
bera-i ... speech of me=I spoke
bera-d ... speech of thee
bera-z ... speech of him
bera-my . . speech of us
bera-dy . . speech of you
bera-zy . . speech of them
In the Fiji language loma means “heart” or will;” and loma-qu (heart of me) may, according to the connection, signify either “my heart or will,” or “I will.”
In the inflected languages the affixes are so amalgamated with the root and otherwise obliterated that there is no such direct evidence of their nature; but a great many facts tend to show that the structure of the verb was originally the same as in the agglutinate family.
If this analysis of the verb is correct, the affirmation of existence found no expression in the early stages of language; the real copula connecting the subject with the predicate was the proposition contained in the oblique case of the pronominal affix. F.]
[54 The interesting and important philological facts adduced by Mr. Findlater, confirm and illustrate in a very striking manner the doctrine in the text, of the radical distinction between the functions of the copula in predication, and those of the substantive verb; by shewing that many languages have no substantive verb, no verb expressive of mere existence, and yet signify their predications by other means; and that probably all languages began without a substantive verb, though they must always have had predications.
The confusion between these two different functions in the European languages, and the ambiguity of the verb To Be, which fulfils them both, are among the most important of the minor philosophical truths to which attention has been called by the author of the Analysis. As in the case of many other luminous thoughts, an approach is found to have been made to it by previous thinkers. Hobbes, though he did not reach it, came very close to it, and it was still more distinctly anticipated by Laromiguière, though without any sufficient perception of its value. It occurs in a criticism on a passage of Pascal, and in the following words. “Quand on dit, l’être est, etc. le mot est, ou le verbe, n’exprime pas la même chose que le mot être, sujet de la définition. Si j’énonce la proposition suivante: Dieu est existant, je ne voudrais pas dire assurément, Dieu existe existant: cela ne ferait pas un sens; de même, si je dis que Virgile est poëte, je ne veux pas donner à entendre que Virgile existe. Le verbe est, dans la proposition, n’exprime donc pas l’existence réelle; il n’exprime qu’un rapport special entre le sujet et l’attribut, le rapport du contenant au contenu,” &c. (Leçons de Philosophic, 7me ed. vol. i. p. 307.) Having thus hit upon an unobvious truth in the course of an argument directed to another purpose, he passes on and takes no further notice of it.
It may seem strange that the verb which signifies existence should have been employed in so many different languages as the sign of predication, if there is no real connection between the two meanings. But languages have been built up by the extension of an originally small number of words, with or without alterations of form, to express new meanings, the choice of the word being often determined by very distant analogies. In the present case, the analogy is not distant. All our predications are intended to declare the manner in which something affects, or would affect, ourselves or others. Our idea of existence is simply the idea of something which affects or would affect us somehow, without distinction of mode. Everything, therefore, which we can have occasion to assert of an existing thing, may be looked upon as a particular mode of its existence. Since snow is white, and since snow exists, it may be said to exist white; and if a sign was wanted by which to predicate white of snow, the word exists would be very likely to present itself. But most of our predications do relate to existing things: and this being so, it is in the ordinary course of the human mind that the same sign should be adhered to when we are predicating something of a merely imaginary thing (an abstraction, for instance) and that, being so used, it should create an association between the abstraction and the notion of real existence. Ed.]
We have now observed, wherein Predication consists, and the instruments by which it is performed. We have also, in part, contemplated the End which it is destined to fulfil; that is, to mark the order in which sensations and ideas follow one another in a train. On this last part of the subject, however, the following observations are still required.
The trains, the order of which we have occasion to mark, may for the elucidation of the present subject, be divided into two classes. We have occasion to mark, either, first, The series of the objects we have seen, heard, or otherwise perceived by our senses; or, secondly, A train of thoughts which may have passed in our minds.
1. When we come to record a train of the objects we have perceived, that is, a train of sensations, the sensations have become ideas; for the objects are not now acting on our senses, and the sensations are at an end.
The order of the objects of our senses, is either the order of time, or the order of place. The first is the order of SUCCESSION; when one object comes first, another next, and so on. The second is the order of POSITION; when the objects are considered as simultaneous, but different in distance and direction from a particular point.
Let us observe in what manner the artifice of Predication is adapted to the marking of a train in either of those orders: and first, with respect to a train in the order of Time.
Of this the following may be taken as a simple example. “The sun rises; clouds form; clouds cover the sky; lightning flashes; thunder roars.” It is easy in these expressions to observe, what were the sensations, and in what order they succeeded one another. It is also observable, that the order is denoted by so many Predications; and that Predication is our only expedient for denoting their order. First sensation, “sight of the sun;” second sensation, “rising of the sun;” these two denoted shortly and in their order by the Predication, “the sun rises.” Third sensation, “sight of clouds;” fourth sensation, “forming of clouds;” these two again shortly denoted in their order by the Predication, “clouds form.” The next, clouds cover the sky,” needs no further explanation; but there is a peculiar artifice of language in the two following Predications; “lightning flashes,” “thunder roars,” which deserves to be well understood. “Lightning flashes;” here there is but one sensation, the sensation of sight, which we call a flash. But there are various kinds of flashes; this is a peculiar one, and I want to mark peculiarly what it is. It is not a flash on the earth, but a flash in the sky; it will not, however, sufficiently distinguish the flash in question, to say, the sky flashes, because other flashes come from the sky. What then is my contrivance? I form the fancy of a cause of this particular flash, though I know nothing concerning it, and for this unknown cause I invent a name, and call it lightning. I have then an expression which always accurately marks the sensation I mean to denote: I say, “the lightning flashes,” “a flash of lightning,” and so on. “Thunder roars,” is another case of the same artifice. The noise here is the only sensation; but in order to distinguish it from all other noises, I invent a name for its unknown cause, and by its means can mark the sensation with perfect precision.
The Fictions, after this manner resorted to, for the purpose of marking; though important among the artifices of naming; have contributed largely to the misdirection of thought.
By the unfortunate ambiguity of the Copula, EXISTENCE is affirmed of them in every Predication into which they enter. The idea of EXISTENCE becomes, by this means, inseparable from them; and their true nature, as Creatures of the mind, and nothing more, is rarely, and not without difficulty, perceived.
The mode in which a train, in the order of place, is marked by the artifice of Predication, may be thus exemplified: “The house is on a hill; a lawn is in front; a stable is on the left hand; a garden is on the right; a wood is behind.” It is not necessary, after the exposition of the preceding example, to exhibit the detail of the marking performed by these Predications. The reader can trace the sensations, the order of them, and the mode of the marking, according to the specimen which has just been exhibited.
2. The trains of thought which pass in our minds, re sequences, the items of which are connected in three principal ways: 1st, as cause and effect; 2dly, as resembling; 3dly, as included under the same name. A short illustration of each of these cases will complete the account of predication, as a contrivance for marking the order of ideas.
To illustrate a sequence, connected as Cause and Effect, let me suppose that I have a flint and steel in my hand, which I am about, to strike, one against the other, but at that instant perceive a barrel of gun powder open, close before me. I withhold the stroke in consequence of the train of thought which suggests to me the ultimate effect. If I have occasion to mark the train, I can only do it by a series of Predications, each of which marks a sequence in the train of causes and effects. “I strike the flint on the steel,” first sequence. “The stroke produces a spark,” second sequence. “The spark falls on gunpowder,” third sequence. “The spark ignites the gunpowder,” fourth sequence. “The gunpowder ignited makes an explosion,” fifth sequence. The ideas contained in these propositions must all have passed through my mind, and this is the only mode in which language enables me to mark them in their order. (55)
[55 It is necessary again to notice the consistent omission, throughout the author’s theory of Predication, of the element Belief. In the case supposed, the ideas contained in all the propositions might have passed through the mind, without our being led to assert the propositions. I might have thought of every step in the series of phenomena mentioned, might have pictured all of them in my imagination, and have come to the conclusion that they would not happen. I therefore should not have made, either in words or in thought, the predication, This gunpowder will explode if I strike the flint against the steel. Yet the same ideas would have passed through my mind in the same order, in which they stand in the text. The only deficient link would have been the final one, the Belief. Ed.]
The sequences of which the items are connected by Resemblance will not require much illustration. I see A, who suggests B to me by his stature. B suggests C by the length of his nose. C suggests D by the similarity of their profession, and so on. The series of my thoughts is sufficiently obvious. How do I proceed when I have occasion to mark it? I use a series of predications. “I see A;” this predication marks the first item, my sight of A. “A is tall,” the second. “A man of like tallness is B,” the third; and so on.
The mode in which thoughts are united in a Syllogism, is the leading example of the third case. Let us consider the following very familiar instance. “Every tree is a vegetable: every oak is a tree: there fore, every oak is a vegetable.” This is evidently a process of naming. The primary idea is that of the object called an oak; from the name oak, I proceed to the name tree, finding that the name oak, is included in the name tree; and from the name tree, I proceed to the name vegetable, finding that the name tree is included in the name vegetable, and by consequence the name oak. This is the series of thoughts, which is marked in order, by the three propositions or predications of the syllogism. (56)
[56 For the present I shall only remark on this theory of the syllogism, that it must stand or fall with the theory of Predication of which it is the sequel. If, as I have maintained, the propositions which are the premises of the syllogism are not correctly described as mere processes of naming, neither is the formula by which a third proposition is elicited from these two a process of mere naming. What it is, will be considered hereafter. Ed.]
The Predications of Arithmetic are another instance of the same thing. “One and one are two.” This again is a mere process of naming. What I call one and one, in numbering things, are objects, sensations, or clusters of sensations; suppose, the striking of the clock. The same sounds which I call one and one, I call also two; I have for these sensations, therefore, two names which are exactly equivalent: so when I say, one and one and one are three: or when I say, two and two are four: ten and ten are twenty: and the same when I put together any two numbers whatsoever. The series of thoughts in these instances is merely a series of names applicable to the same thing, and meaning the same thing.
Beside the two purposes of language, of which I took notice at the beginning of this inquiry; the re cording of a man s thoughts for his own use, and the communication of them to others; there is a use, to which language is subservient, of which some account is yet to be given. There are complex sensations, and complex ideas, made up of so many items, that one is not distinguishable from another. Thus, a figure of one hundred sides, is not distinguishable from one of ninety-nine sides. A thousand men in a crowd are not distinguishable from nine hundred and ninetynine. But in all cases, in which the complexity of the idea arises from the repetition of the same idea, names can be invented upon a plan, which shall render them distinct, up to the very highest degree of com plication. Numbers are a set of names contrived upon this plan, and for this very purpose. Ten and the numbers below ten, are the repetition of so many ones: twenty, thirty, forty, &c., up to a hundred, are the repetition of so many tens: two hundred, three hundred, &c., the repetition of so many hundreds; and so on. These are names, which afford an immediate reference to the ones or units, of which they are composed; and the highest numbers are as easily distinguished by the difference of a unit as the lowest. All the processes of Arithmetic are only so many contrivances to substitute a distinct name for an in distinct one. What, for example, is the purpose of addition? Suppose I have six numbers, of which I desire to take the sum, 18, 14, 9, 25, 19, 15; these names, eighteen, and fourteen, and nine, &c., form a compound name; but a name which is not distinct. By summing them up, I get another name, exactly equivalent, one hundred, which is in the highest degree distinct, and gives me an immediate reference to the units or items of which it is composed; and this is of the highest utility.
That the Predications of Geometry are of the same nature with those of Arithmetic, is a truth of the greatest importance, and capable of being established by very obvious reasoning. It is well known, that all reasoning about quantity can be expressed in the form of algebraic equations. But the two sides of an algebraic equation are of necessity two marks or two names for the same thing; of which the one on the righthand side is more distinct, at least to the present purpose of the inquirer, than the one on the left-hand side; and the whole purpose of an algebraic investigation, which is a mere series of changes of names, is to obtain, at last, a distinct name, a name the marking power of which is perfectly known to us, on the righthand side of the equation. The language of geometry itself, in the more simple cases, makes manifest the same observation. The amount of the three angles of a triangle, is twice a right angle. I arrive at this conclusion, as it is called, by a process of reasoning: that is to say, I find out a name “twice a right angle,” which much more distinctly points out to me a certain quantity, than my first name, “amount of the three angles of a triangle;” and the process by which I arrive at this name is a successive change of names, and nothing more; as any one may prove to himself by merely observing the steps of the demonstration. (57)
[57 I cannot see any propriety in the expression that when we infer the sum of the three angles of a triangle to be twice a right angle, the operation consists in finding a second name which more distinctly points out the quantity than the first name. When we assent to the proof of this theorem, we do much more than obtain a new and more expressive name for a known fact; we learn a fact previously unknown. It is true that one result of our knowledge of this theorem is to give us a name for the sum of the three angles, “the marking power of which is perfectly known to us:” but it was not for want of knowing the marking power of the phrase “sum of the three angles of a triangle” that we did not know what that sum amounted to. We knew perfectly what the expression “sum of the three angles” was appointed to mark. What we have obtained, that we did not previously possess, is not a better mark for the same thing, but an additional fact to mark the fact which is marked by predicating of that sum, the phrase “twice a right angle.” Ed.]
There is one important class of words, the NAMES of NAMES; of which we shall have occasion to take account more particularly hereafter, and of which it is necessary here to speak only as they form a variety of Predication. A few examples will make the case intelligible. WORD is a generical name for all Names. It is not the name of a Thing, as chair is the name of a thing, or watch, or picture. But word is a name for these several names; chair is a word, watch is a word, picture is a word, and so of all other names. Thus grammatical and logical terms are names of names. The word noun, is the name of one class of words. verb of another, preposition of another, and so on. The word sentence, is the name of a series of words put together for a certain purpose; the word paragraph the same; and so oration, discourse, essay, treatise, &c. The words genus and species, are not names of things, but of names. Genus is not the name of any thing called animal or any thing called body; it is a name of the names animal, body, and so on; the name animal is a genus, the name body is a genus; and in like manner is the name man a species, the name horse, the I name crow, and so on. The name proposition, the name syllogism,, are names of a series of words put together for a particular purpose; and so is the term definition; and the term argument. It will be easily seen that these words enter into Predication precisely on the same principles as other words. Either the more distinct is predicated of the less distinct, its equivalent; or the more comprehensive of the less comprehensive. Thus we say, that nouns and verbs are declinables; preposition and adverb indeclinables; where the more comprehensive terms are predicated of the less. Thus we say, that adjectives and verbs are attributes; where the more distinct is predicated of the less. (58)
[58 This exposition of the class of words which are properly names of names, belongs originally to Hobbes, and is highly important. They are a kind of names, the signification of which is very often misunderstood, and has given occasion to much hazy speculation. It should however be remarked that the words genus and species are not solely names of names; they are ambiguous. A genus never indeed means (as many of the schoolmen supposed) an abstract entity, distinct from all the individuals composing the class; but it often means the sum of those individuals taken collectively; the class as a whole, distinguished on the one hand from the single objects comprising it, and on the other hand from the class name. Ed.]
SECTION V. PRONOUNS.
The principal part of the artifice of Naming is now explained. We have considered the nature of the more necessary marks, and the manner in which they are combined so as to represent the order of a train. Beside those marks, which are the fundamental part of language, there are several classes of auxiliary words or marks, the use of which is, to abbreviate expression, and to render it, what is of great importance, a more rapid vehicle of thought. These are usually comprehended under the titles of pronoun, adverb, pre position, and conjunction; a classification which, for our present purpose, has the best recommendation, that of being familiarly known.
It is to be distinctly understood, that in the account which is here to be given of the subsidiary parts of speech, it is but one part of the explanation of them which will be attempted. The ideas, which many of them stand for, are of the most complicated kind, and have not yet been expounded. We are, therefore, not yet prepared to point out the items which they mark. Our present business is only to indicate the mode in which they are used in Predication, as part of the great contrivance for marking the order of a train of ideas, and for economizing the number of words.
It is also necessary to observe, that I have limited myself, in this part, to brief indications, without going into minute development, the length of which, it appeared to me, would not be compensated by the advantage.
In all speech their is a speaker; there is some person spoken to; and there is some person or thing spoken of. These objects constitute three Classes, marks of which are perpetually required. Any artifice, therefore, to abridge the use of marks, of such frequent recurrence, was highly to be desired. One expedient offered itself obviously, as likely to prove of the highest utility. Speakers constituted one class, with numerous names; persons spoken to, a second class; persons and things spoken of, a third. A generical name might be invented for each class; a name, which would include all of a class, and which singly might be used as the substitute of many. For this end were the Personal Pronouns invented and such is their character and office. “I,” is the generical mark which includes all marks of the class, speakers. “Thou,” is a generical mark, which includes all marks of the class, persons spoken to. “He,” “she,” “it,” are marks, which include all marks of the class, persons or things spoken of.
By forming Adjectives from certain kinds of Nouns we obtain a useful class of specific names. From wool we make woollen; and woollen, attached to various generic names, furnishes us with specific names; thus we say woollen cloth, which is a species of cloth; woollen yarn, which is a species of yarn; woollen garment, which is a species of garment. So, from the word gold we make golden, which furnishes us with a greater number of specific names; from wood wooden, which furnishes us with a still greater number. Adjectives are formed in like manner from the personal pronouns: from I, my or mine; from Thou, thy or thine; from He, She, It, his, hers, its; also from the plurals of them, ours, yours, theirs. These adjectives answer a purpose of very frequent recurrence; that of singling out, from any class of objects, a sub-class, or an individual, bearing a peculiar relation, to the person speaking, the person spoken to, or the person or thing spoken of. Thus, when I say, my sheep or my oxen, I denote a sub-class of those animals, those which stand in the relation of property to the speaker; when I say thy sheep or oxen, I denote a sub-class in the same relation to the person spoken to; and when I say his sheep or oxen, a sub class, standing in that relation to the person spoken of. When I say my son, thy wife, his father, I single out individuals having that relation.
The Demonstrative Pronouns, This and That, are of great utility. They serve to individualize any thing in a class. One of these marks put upon a specific mark, makes it an individual mark. Thus, the mark “man,” is the name of a class: put upon it the mark this, or that; this man, and that man, are marks, signs, or names, of individuals. In this manner innumerable individual namescan be made, without adding a single word to the cumbrous materials of language.
The nature of the Relative Pronoun is not difficult to understand. It supplies the place of a personal pronoun and a conjunction, in connecting a Predication with the subject, or predicate of another proposition. Thus, “John received a wound, which occasioned his death,” is of the same import as “John received a wound, and it occasioned his death.” This is a case in which the Relative connects a subsequent predication with the predicate of an antecedent predication. The following are cases in which it connects a subordinate predication with the subject of the principal one: “Erasmus, who was a lover of truth, but of a timid character, hesitated between the new and the old religion.” Erasmus, and he was a lover of truth, &c. “The man who spoke to you is my father.” “The man spoke to you, and he is my father.” (59)
[59 There is really no well marked distinction between relative pronouns and demonstrative pronouns, either in their origin or in their use. Of the demonstrative roots ka, sa, ta, ja, derivatives from the gutteral ka prevail as relatives in Latin and its modern descendants (Lat. qui, It. die, Fr.qui), and in the Teutonic languages (Goth, hva, Eng. who, Ger. wer, welch), but by no means exclusively. In Greek the relative differs little from the article, which is also used as a demon strative and a personal pronoun. Modern Italian uses as a demonstrative a compound of the Latin qui with iste and ilia questo, quella. In German the relative proper, viz. welch, is comparatively little used, its place being supplied by the article der, which is merely an unemphatic demonstrative; and in English that is perhaps as often used as who or which.
The relative serves for two purposes, which it is useful to distinguish. (1) It may add on either a clause containing an independent proposition, as in the example in the text, “John received a wound, which occasioned his death;” or a clause dependent in some way upon the preceding e.g. assigning the reason of it, as, “It was unjust to punish the servant, who only did what he was ordered.” (2) The clause introduced by the relative may serve simply to limit or define a noun, in the way that an adjective or another noun in apposition does, as “The man who spoke to you is my father.” It is in this latter use of the relative, and in no other, that it is permissible in English to use that; to substitute that for which in the first of the other two sentences, or for who in the second, would give a different meaning. Now it is only in the cases in which that could not be substituted for who or which that the relative involves the force of a conjunction; and it is not always and that is the conjunction involved. The conjunction has no verbal expression, and never had; it is only suggested, and the mind supplies that which best suits the logical connection. When the predication of the relative clause is co-ordinate with the preceding, as in the first example, and is the proper con junction to supply. In the sentence about the punishment of the servant, who is equivalent to for he; and in that about Erasmus, in the text, to inasmuch as he. When the relative clause merely defines, no conjunction of any kind is even implied. In such a sentence as “He rewarded the man that rescued him,” the relative clause is the answer to a question naturally suggested by “He rewarded the man” – what man? “The or that (man) rescued him;” which is equivalent to, “his rescuer.” To resolve it into “And that man rescued him,” gives quite a different meaning; namely, that he rewarded some man (otherwise known to the hearers) for something (likewise known to them), and that this man now rescued him. F.]
The Interrogative is easily explained. It is merely the Relative, in a very elliptical form of expression. The interrogative sentence, “Who gave you that book?” when the subaudition is supplied, is thus ex pressed: The person gave you the book, and him I will you to name to me. What is the hour of the day?” is an elliptical form of, It is an hour of the day, and it I will you to tell me.
SECTION VI. ADVERBS.
The power of this class of words, in the great business of marking, and the extent of the service rendered by them, will be so easily seen, that a few words will suffice to explain them. Adverbs may be reduced under five heads; 1, Adverbs of Time; 2, Adverbs of Place; 3, Adverbs of Quantity; 4, Adverbs of Quality; 5, Adverbs of Relation. They are mostly abridgments, capable of being substituted for longer marks. And they are always employed for the purpose of putting a modification upon the Subject, or the Predicate, of a Proposition. A few examples will suffice for the further elucidation of this subject. “Anciently,” is an adverb of time. It is of the same import as the expression, “In distant past time.” It is applied to modify the subject, or predicate, of a proposition, as in the following example: “A number of men anciently in England had wives in common.” “Had wives in common,” is the predicate of the above proposition, and it is modified, or limited, in respect to time, by the word “anciently.” Adverbs of place it is easy to exemplify in the same manner. Under adverbs of quantity all those which mark degrees may be included; as greatly, minutely: Thus, “He enlarged greatly upon patriotism:” “Greatly” here means “in many words;” and it modifies the predicate, “enlarged,” &c. Adverbs of quality and relation are exceedingly numerous, because they are easily made from the words which connote the quality or relation: thus, from hard, hardly; from loud, loudly; from sweet, sweetly; from warm, warmly: again, from father, paternally; from son, filially; from magistrate, magisterially; from high, highly; from expensive, expensively; and so on. In all this no difficulty is presented which requires removing. (60)
[60 In many cases, and even in some of the examples given, the adverb does not modify either the subject or the predicate, but the application of the one to the other. “Anciently,” in the proposition cited, is intended to limit and qualify not men, nor community of wives, but the practice by men of community of wives: it is a circumstance affecting not the subject or the predicate, but the predication. The qualification of past and distant time attaches to the fact asserted, and to the copula, which is the mark of assertion. The reason of its seeming to attach to the predicate is because, as the author remarked in a previous section, the predicate, when a verb, includes the copula. Ed.]
SECTION VII. PREPOSITIONS.
It is easy to see in what manner Prepositions are employed to abridge the process of discourse. They render us the same service which, we have seen, is rendered by adjectives, in affording the means of naming minor classes, taken out of larger, with a great economy of names. Thus, when we say, “a man with a black skin,” this compound name, “a man with a black skin;” is the name of a sub-class, taken out of the class man; and when we say, “a black man with a flat nose and woolly hair;” this still more compound name is the name of a minor class, taken out of the sub-class, “men with a black skin.”
Prepositions always stand before some word of the class called by grammarians nouns substantive. And these nouns substantive they connect with other nouns substantive, with adjectives, or with verbs. We shall consider the use of them, in each of those cases.
1. Substantives are united to Substantives by prepositions, on purpose to mark something added, something taken away, something possessed or owned. Thus, a man with a dog, a horse without a saddle, a man of wealth, a man of pleasure, and so on.
It was first shewn by Mr. Home Tooke, that prepositions, in their origin, are verbs, or nouns. Thus the prepositions in English, which note the modifications effected by adding to, or taking from, were originally concrete words, which, beside something connoted by them, marked particularly junction, or disjunction. In the use of them as prepositions, that part of their signification, which we have called the connotation, has been dropped; and the notation alone remains. Prepositions, therefore, are a sort of abstract terms, to answer a particular purpose. To express my idea of a man with a dog (a very complex idea, consisting of two clusters; one, that which is marked by the term man; the other, that which is marked by the term dog); it is not enough that I set down the term Man, and the term Dog; it is necessary, besides, that I have a mark for that particular junction of them, which my mind is making. For that mark I use the preposition “with.” “Without” denotes disjunction in a similar manner, and requires no further explanation. The preposition “of,” by which possession or ownership is denoted, (formerly, as remarked by Mr. Gilchrist, written og, oc, ac, &c.), is eke, or add. If we suppose that our verb have is of the same origin, of is merely the verb, which signifies possessing; and the learner may thus conceive the nature of its different applications.* “A man of wealth,” a man hav(ing) wealth; “a field of ten acres,” a field hav(ing) ten acres; so, “a house of splendour;” “a woman of gallantry;” in all of which cases, beside the two clusters of ideas, marked by the two names which the preposition connects, there is an idea of possession coming between.
[* See note at p. 209.]
Here, however, a peculiarity is to be noted. When there is a possessor, there is something possessed. The preposition, therefore, which marks the relation between the possessor and the possessed, stands ambiguously between the active and the passive power. It, therefore, partakes more of the active or the passive signification, according to the position of the words which it is employed to connect. In the in stances previously given, we have seen that it had clearly an active signification. In the following it has clearly a passive. “The book of John;” the book of, hav(ed) John. “The Creator of the world;” Creator hav(ed). “The wealth of Croesus;” wealth hav(ed).
Of is employed in a partitive sense, when one of the words denotes a part of the other; as half of the army;” “many of the people;” “much of the loss.” In this case the idea of possession is sufficiently obvious to support the analogy. The parts are possessed, had, by the whole. “Part of the debt,” part hav(ed) the debt.
It is easy to see how the preposition with a substantive, serves the purpose of a new adjective. Thus, in the expression, “a man with one eye,” the words, “with one eye,” might have been supplied by an adjective, having the same meaning or marking power; and the French language actually has such an adjective, in the mark borgne. We say, a man with red hair, and we have the adjective, red-haired; a man of wealth, and we have the adjective, wealthy; a man of strength, and we have the adjective, strong; cases which distinctly exemplify our observation.
2. We come now to shew in what manner, and with what advantage, prepositions are employed to connect Substantives with Adjectives. The following classes of adjectives will furnish sufficient illustration of this part of the subject: 1, Adjectives of place or position; Adjectives of time or succession; 3, Adjectives signifying profit or disprofit; 4, Adjectives of plenty or want; 5, Adjectives signifying an affection or state of the mind.
Adjectives of position, such as near, distant, high, low, have the ordinary power of adjectives, as marks upon marks; and an additional power, which will best be explained by examples. When we say “a distant house,” “a neighbouring town;” the words “distant,” and “neighbouring,” are not only marks upon “house,” and “town,” but refer to something else: “a distant house,” is a house distant from something; “a neighbouring town,” is a town neighbouring something: it may mean a house distant from my house,” a town neighbouring my house:” in these cases, we should say that the adjective has both a notation, and a connotation. The adjective distant, for example, notes house, and connotes my house; neighbouring, notes town, connotes my house. It is next, however, to be observed, that the connotation, in such cases, would be vague without a mark to determine it. The expression would be very imperfect, if, after the word high, we were merely to put the word hill;” and say, “the house is high the hill;” or, “the house is distant the post-town.” Prepositions supply this defect. We say, “the house is high on the hill;” the house is distant from the post-town.” In the case of some adjectives, their juxta-position makes the reference sufficiently precise; and in that case, the preposition may be dispensed with; as, near the town, near the road, &c.
It is observable, that the adjectives of position are not numerous. Some very general ones are used; and the sub-species are formed out of them by the aid of prepositions. Thus we have the word placed, which includes all positions; and this, joined with a substantive and a preposition, marks positions of all kinds: thus we can say, placed on the right hand, placed on the left hand, placed behind the house, placed before the house, placed above it, placed below it, placed in it, and so on.
It is not my intention to inquire into the precise meaning of each of the prepositions. It is sufficient to have given a sample of the inquiry, as in the case of the prepositions which connect substantives with substantives; and to have shewn the mode of their signification, as a kind of abstract terms, either active or passive.
The varieties of time or succession are not many, and the words to denote them, proportionally few. Previous, simultaneous, posterior, are the principal adjectives; and the terms to which these words of reference point, are marked by prepositions: thus we say, previous to, simultaneous to, and also with; “with,” as we have seen, denoting junction, sameness of time.
Adjectives of profit or disprofit, need prepositions to mark their connexion with the things benefited or hurt; as, hurtful to the crop; good for the health. These adjectives afford a good example of the manner in which generical adjectives are divided into numerous sub-species, without the inconvenience of new names, by the aid of the prepositions: thus, hurtful, which notes all kinds of hurtfulness, is made to note its various species, in the following manner: hurtful to the health, hurtful to the eyes, hurtful to the stomach, hurtful to the crops, hurtful to the reputation: all different species of hurtfulness, which might be noted by adjectives severally appropriated to them.
There is nothing particular to be remarked of the manner in which adjectives of plenty, or want, or those signifying an affection of the mind, are connected with the objects they connote, by prepositions; we shall, therefore, proceed to shew the manner in which verbs are connected with substantives, by their means.
3. All verbs are adjectives, either active or passive, put into particular form, for the sake of a particular connotation. All actions, saving those which begin and end in the actor, have a reference to a patient, or something acted on; and the being acted on; the passion as it is called; has a reference to the actor. Action, therefore, and passion, are relative terms, stand ing in the order of cause and effect; agent and patient, are the names of the subjects of the action and the passion, the cause and the effect.
Most actions are motions, or named by analogy to motions. In applying terms denoting motion, there is particular occasion for marking the points of termination; the point at which it began, and the point at which it ended. This is effected by the name of the two places, and a preposition. The contrivance will be sufficiently illustrated by an obvious example: “John travelled from London to Dover:” “Travelled,” the name of the motion; London, the point of commencement; Dover, the point of termination: from, a word denoting commencement, connecting London with travelled; to, a word signifying completion, connecting the word Dover, with the word travelled.
Some verbs, which imply motion, have their main, or only reference, to the point of its termination. Thus, he stopped at Dover: he struck him on the head: he stabbed him in the side. These prepositions, whatever their precise import, which we shall not now stop to inquire, mark, when thus applied to the name of the place at which the respective motions terminated, the connexion of the two names, that of the motion, and that of its point of termination.
With respect to motions, we have occasion to mark, not only the points of their commencement and termination, but also their direction. The direction of a motion, by which we mean the position of the moving body, at the several points of its course, can only be marked by a reference to other bodies, whose position is known. Thus, “He walked through the field.” The direction of the walk, or the position of the walking man, at the several moments of it, is marked by a reference to the field whose position is known to me, and a word which means from side to side. The expression, “It flew in a straight line,” is less full and particular in its marking, but clear and distinct, as far as it goes, by reference to a modification of position; namely, a line, with which I am perfectly familiar.
In using verbs of action and passion, that is, words which mark a certain cluster of ideas, we have occasion to modify such clusters, by adding to, or taking from them, not only ideas of Position, as above, but various other ideas; of which the idea of the Cause, or End, of the action, the idea of the Instrument with which it was performed, and the idea of the Manner of the performance, are among the principal. “John worked;” to this, a mark of a certain cluster of ideas, I want to make an addition, that of the Cause or End of his working. That End is, Bread. To mark this as the cause of his working, it is not enough to set down the name bread; I need a mark to fix its connexion with the working, and the kind of its connexion. I say, “John worked for (cause) bread.” “John was robbed for (cause of the robbery) his money.” The ideas of manner and instrument are commonly annexed by one preposition; “John worked with (joining) diligence,” the manner; “John worked with a spade,” the same idea, as “John with (joined) a spade worked;” spade, the instrument. “John worked by the job, worked by the day;” manner: “John worked by machinery,” the instrument. “He was killed with barbarity, with a cudgel.”
We say, done with hurry, or in a hurry, done in haste. “In,” which seems to mark a modification of position, is here applied to that which does not admit of position. Hurry and haste seem in such expressions to be personified; to be things which surround an action, and in the midst of which it is done.
We have compound names for many actions. Thus we may say, “he hurt John,” or “he did hurt to John,” “he gave a lecture to John,” or, “he lectured John.” The reason why a preposition is required before the patient, in the case of the compound name of the action, and not of the single name, is, that the word which stands with respect to the verb in the immediate relation of the recipient or patient of the action, is not the man, but the thing done. Thus, in the phrase, “he did hurt to John,” it is not John which is done, but hurt: in the phrase, “he gave a lecture to John,” it is not John who is given, but a lecture. There are here as it were, two patients, lecture, the primary, John, the secondary; juxtaposition marks the connexion of the primary; but a preposition is necessary, to mark that of the secondary.
The following phrases seem to admit of a similar explanation. “He reminded him of his promise;” “he accused him of perjury;” “he deprived him of his wife:” the secondary patients being “promise,” “perjury,” “wife.” He reminded him of his promise (hav(ed) his promise); the promise being the thing had or conceived in the reminding: accused him of perjury; perjury being the thing had in the accusation, the matter of the accusation: deprived him of his wife; his wife being the matter of the deprivation; the thing hav(ed) in it. (61)
[61 The ingenious speculations of Mr. Tooke did great service to the cause of philology in England, by awakening a very general interest in the subject. But his knowledge of the cognate languages was far too circumscribed to warrant his sweeping inductions. In his day, in fact, the accesses had not yet been opened up to this new mine, nor the right veins struck that have since yielded such rich results. Accordingly nearly all Tooke s derivations are now discredited, and among others his account of prepositions. One or two English prepositions, of comparatively recent formation, seem to be formed from nouns; as among Ang. Sax.gemang or ongemang, gemang meaning “mixture;” and against, Ang. Sax. on-gegen in which gegen, from its use in cognate dialects, appears to be a noun, though its primary meaning is not very clear. These however still involve a preposition which has to be accounted for. Between, again, is by twain, “near two;” and except, save, during were originally participles in the case absolute; “except this” was originally “this excepted,” Lat. hoc excepto. But the simple prepositions in, of, by belong to the radical elements of language, and are more independent of nouns and verbs than nouns and verbs are of them. Comparative philology, which did not exist in Tooke s days, has shewn, that, besides predicative roots, as they are called that is syllables expressive of some action or property, such as “to go,” “to eat,” “to be bright,” “to speak,” &c., which form the bases of nouns, adjectives, and verbs there was a class of roots denoting simply relations in space, that is, place or direction (here or this, there or that, up, down, away, &c.). It is easy to see how the audible marks of such notions, at first, doubt less, vague enough, would be rendered precise and intelligible by gesticulations; or perhaps the gesticulations were the original signs, and the words mere involuntary exclamations accompanying them, and in time taking their place. These syllables have been called local, demonstrative, or pronominal roots, and play a most important part in language. They are joined to other roots to form derivatives of various kinds; and it is of them that the inflexional endings of nouns and verbs are built up. Singly or in combination, they constitute the pronouns, personal as well as demonstrative. Abstract as are now the meanings of I, he, they were once patent to the senses; ma was an emphatic “here,” calling attention to the speaker; sa or ta, “there, that,” something different from both speaker and hearer. Most of the prepositions originated in roots of this class. The roots of some of them, at least, are identical with those of pronouns; others express direction, and thus imply motion. Thus up means, (motion) from below to above;” in the root FR (as in for, from), which is represented in Sans. Gr. and Lat. by PR (pro), the ground idea is, motion or removal from the speaker, in the front direction. Of is the Gothic af, Old Ger. aba or apa, Sans apa, Gr. άπο Lat. a or ab. It is not easy to determine the precise physical relation primarily expressed by this particle; probably “proceeding from” or “descending or depending from.” If there is any connection between of and have, it is more likely that have is derived from of than the reverse. That not a few verbs have this kind of origin, is now recognised; the English utter from out is a signal example.
The primary relations expressed by prepositions were always physical or sensible; but the transition to the abstruse mental relations which they now serve to mark (cause instrumentality, superiority, &c.) is, as a rule, sufficiently obvious. For example, “issuing or proceeding from” passes insensibly into “being part of,” “belonging to,” “in the possession of.” F.]
SECTION VIII. CONJUNCTIONS.
The Conjunctions are distinguished from the Prepositions, by connecting Predications; while the Prepositions connect only Words.
There are seeming exceptions, however, to this description, the nature of which ought to be under stood. They are all of one kind; they all belong to those cases of Predication, in which either the subject or the predicate consists of enumerated particulars; and in which the Conjunction is employed to mark the enumeration. Thus we say, Four, and four, and two, are ten.” Here the subject of the predication consists of three enumerated particulars, and the conjunction seems to connect words, arid not predications. In like manner, we say, “His bag was full of hares, and pheasants, and partridges.” In this last case, the predicate is composed of enumerated particulars. In these instances, the words called con junctions, appear to perform the business of prepositions, in joining words: and in fact, they may be supplied by prepositions. Thus, instead of “four, and four, and two, are ten,” we may say “four, with four, with two, are ten:” and, in the same way, “His bag was full of hares, and pheasants, and partridges,” may be put “full of hares, with pheasants, with partridges.” And nothing can be more simple than such a variety in the use of such words.
With means join; and means add. (62) These are words of the same kind, and the same import; and nothing but use has appropriated the one to the joining of words rather than predications, the other to the joining of predications rather than words.
[62 This is according to Tooke’s etymology, who traces and to an Ang. Sax. verb anan, to add. Unfortunately, Anglo- Saxon scholars deny that there is such a verb. The nearest to it is unnan, which means, however, merely “to wish well to,” “to favour.” No satisfactory account has been given of and, but the analogy of other conjunctions would connect it with a demonstrative root. J. Grimm is inclined to consider it as a nasalised form of the Lat. et; which in its turn may be an inversion of Greek τε, just as ac, is of καί.
All conjunctions are essentially adverbs, and derive their connective power from their adverbial meaning. This is well seen in also, the radical meaning of which is “all (quite) in that (the same) way.” Most of the adverbs used as conjunctions are obviously oblique cases of pronouns; so, as, than, when, where, turn, ubi, quam, quum. In Gothic, jah, (Old Ger.ja, Finnish ja; of the same origin as Eng. yes) takes the place of and, and means “in that or the same (manner).” The Gr. καί and the Lat. que, “and,” are similarly oblique cases from the root ka, and equivalent to “in which or that (manner).” The identity of manner or circumstance constitutes the mental bond. It is easy to see how a preposition used adverbially and expressing proximity, distance, or other relative position, would connect predications or ideas; e.g. “After he had rested a little, he began again.” F.]
Our object, however, on the present occasion, is distinct, both from that of the grammarian, and that of the etymologist. We have shewn, that a set of marks are exceedingly useful to connect single words, and by what contrivances this end is accomplished; it remains for us to shew, what use there is of marks to connect Predications; and by what contrivances that object is attained.
The occasions for the use of marks to connect Predications, seem to be of two kinds.
First, When two Predications are to be marked, as following one another.
Secondly, When they are to be marked, as modified, the one by the other.
1. Those of the first kind need but few words for their explanation.
I may say, “Newton was a mathematician,” “Locke was a metaphysician,” “Milton was a poet.” So stated, these Predications do not mark any particular order in my thoughts. I desire, however, to show, that the ideas thereby expressed, were proximate parts of the train in my mind. The word and, which means add, placed between every pair, affords the requisite indication.
Like and, the conjunction nor marks predications in sequence. It differs from and only in uniting negative predications. “The act is not honourable, nor is the man honest.” In this case, it is obvious that nor, whatever its origin, has the meaning of and not. The predications then are two negative predications, the sequence of which, is marked by the word and.
But, though it has been otherwise classed, and called adversative, is of the same kind, and simply marks the sequence. Thus we say, “Catiline was a brave man, but Catiline was a wicked man.” The meaning of but is scarcely different from that of and, addition being the fundamental idea signified by both of them. The opposition between the two predications is signified by the predications themselves, not by the connective. (63) In fact, the sense would not be changed, if we substituted and for but. It is only because, in use, but has been commonly confined to the sequence of two opposing predications, that the word but is no sooner expressed, than an opposing predication is anticipated. This is a simple case of association.
[63 This is not strictly correct. But is compounded of the two prepositions or local particles by and out (Ang. Sax. bi utan); and the force of it, in the example given in the text, may be thus paraphrased: “Catiline was a brave man; but (by, near or beside that fact, put another fact, which is out, away, or different from it, namely) Catiline was a wicked man.” This is something more than a simple case of association; the opposition is expressed as well as the addition. F.]
2. It is not necessary for us to do more than exemplify the principal cases in which one Predication is modified by another.
“The space is triangular, if it is bounded by three straight lines.”
“The space is triangular, because it is bounded by three straight lines.”
“The space is bounded by three straight lines, therefore it is triangular.”
In each of these three propositions, there are two predications; the one of which is dependent on the other. The dependence is that of necessary consequence. The triangularity is the consequence of being bounded by three straight lines.
In order to have names for two Predications thus related, we may call the one the conditioning, the other the conditioned. In the above instances, “The space is bounded by three straight lines,” is the conditioning predication; “The space is triangular,” is the conditioned.
There are two states of the conditioning predication; one, in which it is contingent; another, in which it is positive. Observe, now, the simple contrivance for marking the dependence of the conditioned upon the conditioning predication, in all the above cases.
In the first of the examples, “The space is triangular, if it is bounded by three straight lines,” the conditioning predication is contingent. The word if, which is equivalent to give, (64) prefixed to the conditioning predication, marks it both as the conditioning predication, and as contingent.
[64 That if has no connection with give, is manifest from the cognate forms; Goth, jabai, Frisic jef, Ang. Sax. gif, Old Ger. ibu, Lettish ja, all meaning primarily in which or in that case, or supposition.” “Jabai from which the other Germanic forms are descended appears to have originally been a dative or instrumental case of ja, analogous to tubya = Latin tibi: compare ibi, ubi, Gr. Βίηφι, Slavonic tebje = tibi.” Garnett. F.]
In the second of the examples, “The space is triangular, because it is bounded by three straight lines,” the conditioning predication is positive; the word because (having the meaning of, cause be, or cause is) (65) prefixed to it, marks it as at once the conditioning predication, and also positive. If for had been the mark instead of because, the artifice would have been still the same, as for has the meaning of cause.
[65 The syllable be, in “because,” “before,” &c., is the simple preposition by, Sans, abhi, Gr. επί, “near,” “close to.” Therefore is for that; in which for is a preposition, meaning primarily “position in front,” and thence, by metaphor, the relation of motive or cause. F.]
In the third of the examples, “The space is bounded by three straight lines, therefore it is triangular;” the order of the predications is inverted, the conditioning being put first. In this case, therefore, we need a mark to show that the last predication is conditioned, and conditioned by the preceding. This is done by prefixing to it the compound word, therefore, of which the first part there is equivalent to that, and fore or for means cause. The expression in its elementary form being, “The space is bounded by three straight lines; for that, or cause that, the space is triangular.”
In these cases we have examples of what are called, the Suppositive, the Causal, and the Illative conjunctions.
The following are examples of what are called the Disjunctive.
“The ship was well manned; else it would have been lost.”
“Unless the ship had been well manned, it would have been lost.”
In these two examples, the conditioning predicacations are, “The ship was well manned;” “The ship had been well manned:” the conditioned is, “it would have been lost,” in both instances.
The dependence here, between the conditioning and conditioned, is that of physical consequence. The ship s not being lost, was the consequence of its being well manned. The contrivance for marking this dependence is akin to that which we have traced in the former instance.
In the first of the two examples, the conditioning predication stands first. How do I mark that the next is conditioned, and conditioned as a physical consequent? I interpose the word else. This is part of an obsolete verb, signifying, to dismiss, to turn out, to take away. (66) And the sentence is thus resolved: “The ship was well manned,” take away that (take away the cause, the effect is taken away also) she would have been lost.”
[66 Else is the genitive of an obsolete adjective, in Gothic alis, corresponding to Lat. alius; and is analogous with Lat. alias. F.]
Other conjunctions of the disjunctive kind, as they are called, would here have answered the same purpose with else. “The ship was well manned, otherwise, she would have been lost.” Otherwise here is precisely of the same import as else. “The ship was well manned;” that being dismissed, that being other than it was; “it would have been lost.”
“The ship was well manned, or it would have been lost.” Or, in German oder, is other. The resolution of this sentence, therefore, is the same as the former.
In the second of the two examples, “Unless the ship had been well manned, it would have been lost,” the contrivance is the same, with a mere change of position. Unless, is a word of the same import, rather the same word, as else. Unless is PREFIXED to the conditioning predication, whereas else is SUFFIXED; and that is the difference. (67) The word except, which signifies take away., may be substituted for unless. A peculiar application of if (give) may here also be exemplified. If with the negative, (if not,) has a similar signification with unless, except; “If the ship had not been well manned, &c.”
[67 Unless is simply on less, corresponding to Fr. à moins, and is equivalent to if not. F.]
Let us now pass to another case.
“Although the ship was well manned, it was lost.” The two predications may change places, without change of meaning. “The ship was lost, although it was well manned.”
What (as above) was to be marked by else, unless, if not, except, and so on, was the connexion between a cause and its usual effect; that is, the manning of a ship, and the safety of the ship. What is to be marked in this case is the want of connexion between a cause and its usual effect. It is done by similar means.
Although is part of an obsolete verb, to allow, to grant. (68) The two predications are: “The ship was well manned,” “The ship was lost.” I want to mark between my two predications not only a connexion, that of the antecedence and consequence of the predicated events, but the existence of a consequent differing from that by which the antecedent is usually followed. Although, prefixed to the predication of the antecedent event, gives notice of another predication, that of the consequent, and of a consequent differing from that by which the antecedent might have been followed: Grant such an antecedent, such and not such was the consequent.
[68 Although is a compound pronominal adverb resembling Lat. tamen, and means “(the case being) quite thus (yet).” F.]
The same connection is marked by other conjunctions. “The ship was well manned, nevertheless it was lost.” Nevertheless, means not less for that. (69) “Notwithstanding the ship was well manned, it was lost.” Notwithstanding, is, not being able to prevent, maugre, in spite of. The resolution of the above sentences is obvious. “The ship was well manned, yet it was lost.” Yet is the verb get, and has here the force of although, grant. The ship was well manned, yet (or got, that being got, had, granted) it was lost.” (70) The ship was well manned, still, it was lost.” Still is part of an obsolete verb, to put, to fix, to establish. “The ship was well manned, still (that put, that supposed) it was lost.” (71)
[69 Nevertheless means literally, “not less by (or for) that.” In this compound the is not the article, but an adverb, in Ang. Sax. thy, “by that much,” and corresponds to Lat. eo in the expression eo minus. F.]
[70 Yet is of pronominal origin like Gr. ετι, Ger. jetzt, and has no connection with the verb get. F.]
[71 Still seems to be the adjective still, quiet, used adverbially, and having the force of “undisturbed, uninterrupted by that.” F.]
A few more cases will exemplify all that is material in the marking power of the conjunctions.
“We study, that, we may be learned.” The connexion here, again, is that of cause and effect. “We study:” “We may be learned,” are the two predications, between which the connexion in question is to be marked. The demonstrative pronoun performs the service. “We may be learned, that we study:” we study; what? to be learned.
“John is more learned than James is eloquent.” The conjunction here is a relative term, and consists of the two words, more than. The two predications are, “John is learned,” “James is eloquent.” The connexion between them is, that they are the two parts of a comparison turning upon the point of greatness in degree. The two words more than, suffice to mark that connexion. Than is but a mode of spell ing and pronouncing that, which use has appropriated to this particular case. “John is learned, more that (that being the more, the other of course is the less), James is eloquent.” (72)
[72 Than is only another form of then, and marks that the one comes after the other, and is therefore inferior. F.]
As, obsolete as a pronoun, only exists as a conjunction. It is a word of the same import with that. The following will suffice in exemplification of the marking property which it retains. “Virgil was as great a poet as Cicero an orator.” The two predications are, “Virgil was a great poet,” “Cicero was a great orator.” They also are connected as the two parts of a comparison, turning upon the point of equality in degree. As, or that, suffices to mark that connexion. “Virgil was a great poet,” that (namely great) Cicero was an orator. We shall see afterwards, in the composition of RELATIVE TERMS, that every such term consists of two words, or the same word taken twice. The conjunction here is a relative term, and consists of two words, namely, as, or that, taken twice. “Virgil was a poet great, that that, an orator was Cicero;” the first that marking great as poet; the second that, marking great as orator. (73)
[73 As is an oblique case of the demonstrative root sa, and is equivalent to “in this (degree);” and the nature of the connection is this: Virgil was a poet great in this degree; Cicero was an orator great in this degree; that is, the degree of greatness was the same in both. F.]