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subject concerning which we can affirm or deny something, no assertion can be made. We have now seen that Propositions contain a second element.
But, besides this, there is a third. If we say, man is,— summer is, winter is,-life is,—art is,—fire is, &c.; or if we say, man is not,―summer is not,—winter is not,—life is not, &c., we combine words to no purpose. They form only parts, fragments, or rudiments of propositions. We speak, indeed, of man, summer, &c., but we state nothing concerning them: we say nothing about them. As to whether they are mortal, or not mortal, cold or not cold, we make no assertion. Thus we have seen that propositions contain a third element.
§ 54. The object concerning which we make an assertion, is called the Subject. Man, summer, winter, &c., are Subjects; and we can assert of them that they are mortal, or warm, or cold, &c.; or else the contrary, i. e. that they are not mortal, not warm, &c. In the first case they are the Subjects of an Affirmative, in the next of a Negative proposition.
The assertion made concerning any object, or concerning the subject of our discourse, is called the Predicate. Mortal, warm, cold, &c., are Predicates; and we can speak of certain things as mortal, warm, cold, or the contrary. In the first case they are Predicates in an Affirmative, in the second they are Predicates in a Negative proposition.
That part of a proposition which connects the Subject and Predicate is called the Copula. If the word is stand by itself, the proposition is Affirmative; if it be accompanied by the word not, it is Negative.
§ 55. The following words, amongst many others, are capable of forming, by themselves, Subjects:
The following words, amongst many others, are capable of forming, by themselves, Predicates:
All words that can by themselves form Subjects, can also, by themselves, form Predicates.
The words that can, by themselves, form Predicates, cannot also, by themselves, form Subjects.
We have now seen that there are, at least, three sorts, or classes, of words: (1) those that can, by themselves, form either subjects or predicates; (2) those that can, by themselves, form predicates only; (3) those that can, by themselves, form copulas. To these must be added a fourth class, consisting of words like not, that can convert an affirmative copula into a negative one.
§ 56. The form of proposition that is at once the simplest and the most regular, is that where the number of words and the number of parts coincide; that is, where an affirmative proposition consists of three words, and a negative one of four. In this case, each part consists of a single word; e. g. the subject of one, the predicate of one, the affirmative copula of one, the negative copula of two man is mortal, man is not mortal.
It is not, however, the usage of language for propositions to take always the simple and regular form exhibited above.
Languages may be so constructed as to admit of two of the parts of a proposition being included in a single word; and, in reality, most languages are so constructed. Thus―
The copula and predicate may be expressed by a single word. To say men die, or fires burn, is to make an assertion concerning men and fires. This assertion is that they are dying, or that they are not dying; that they are burning, or that they are not burning. Instead, however, of saying are dying, or are burning, we say die, and burn.
The following words, amongst others, are capable of forming, by themselves, both a predicate and a copula, at
§ 57. Inasmuch as the copula connects the subject and predicate, it comes between them: man is mortal. Hence the copula forms the middle part of a proposition. Consequently, the subject and the predicate form the two limits, boundaries, or extremities of a proposition. Now the Latin word for a limit, boundary, or extremity, is terminus. Hence the subject and predicate of a proposition are called, in logical and grammatical language, the terms of a proposition. The subject is one term, the predicate another. § 58. The following list of words indicates a fresh series of facts:
Not one of these words can form a term by itself; that
is, not one of them can be either subject, predicate, or copula, so long as it stands alone. No one says wisely is good, from is black, man is wisely.
For the present this is sufficient. As we proceed we shall read of Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adverbs, and the socalled Parts of Speech. When we do this, it will only be necessary to remember that the Part of Speech to which a word belongs is determined by the place that it takes in the structure of a Proposition. For instance,—words that can by themselves constitute terms are either Nouns or Pronouns; words that can constitute both predicates and copulas, Verbs; words which can constitute but parts, or fractions of terms, Adverbs, Prepositions, and the like.
§ 59. NAMES.
There are more than a million of persons in London, and each of these has a name. There are more than ten thousand towns and villages in England, and each of these has one also. There are more than fifty racehorses at Newmarket, no one of which is without its name.
Of the persons, then, in London, of towns and villages in England, and of the racehorses at Newmarket, every individual has its own designation: John-Hammersmith— Eclipse, &c., &c. And as the number of other persons, other towns and villages, and other racehorses, is great, the number of names, in England only, becomes enormous. There is more than a million for the Londoners only. Yet London and Newmarket are only parts of England, and England only a part of the world in general. Persons, too, and towns, villages, and racehorses are mere fractions of the whole collection of the innumerable somethings,
Have all these names? They have not names in
real or imaginary, of the universe. They have and they have not. the way that the persons of London, the towns and villages of England, and the racehorses of Newmarket have. They have not names like Thomas, Hammersmith, or Eclipse.
Nevertheless they have all names.
The million of Johns,
Thomases, Janes, and Marys, that occupy London are all persons, men, women, boys, girls, children, as the case may be. The numerous Hammersmiths, Londons, Newmarkets, &c., are all places, towns, villages, hamlets, &c., as the case may be. The fifty Eclipses, &c., at Newmarket, are all horses, mares, &c., as the case may be. The Hammersmiths, &c., constitute part of an indefinite collection of individual places, towns, or villages; the word place, town, village, being names for the class or collection thus constituted. The Eclipses, &c., of Newmarket constitute part of an indefinite collection of individual horses, the word horse being a name for the class to which these Eclipses, &c., belong. This leads us to a great twofold division of all names whatsoever.
§ 60. Names are either Individual or Common.
An Individual name is one which denotes a single object and no more. A Common name is one which denotes a whole class of objects.
Thomas is a single and particular individual of the class called man: Julius Cæsar, a single or particular individual of the class called conquerors. Or it may be that we look upon him rather as a hero. In that case he is an individual of the class of heroes. Whether, however, he be a conqueror, a hero, or a man, he is still Julius Cæsar; for this is what he is as an individual, irrespective of the particular class under which it may please the speaker to place him, and independent of any class at all.
Examples of this sort may be given ad infinitum. The main point, however to be remarked, remembered, and reflected on is the following:-Common names apply to things of which there may be more than one. Individual names apply to things of which there is one and no more. There are many towns, but there is only one London; many men, but only one Thomas; many conquerors, but only one Julius Cæsar.