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LOGIC: Ideas & Terms


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Idea is the intellectual representation or
“image” of a thing.
Term is the verbal expression of an idea.

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LOGIC: Ideas & Terms

  1. 1. with the Supposition of Terms
  2. 2. Ideas Ideas are considered the building blocks of knowledge. They are constitutive elements that make up judgments, and judgments may express either truth or error. This being the case, ideas in all their manifestations must be thoroughly tackled by the philosopher-logician since no building can be solid unless its foundation is solid. Moreover, ideas are also the quasi-subjects of inferential relations.
  3. 3. Definition: Idea is the intellectual representation or “image” of a thing. It is the same as the concept in the mind although concepts are viewed sometimes as purified ideas. The term, idea, comes from the original Greek word idea which means image.
  4. 4. For instance, our idea of a cow is our mental image or apprehension of an animal called cow. This idea of a cow will apply to any and all cows, irrespective of their individual differences among themselves, provided they possess the same essential qualities which constitute the idea of a cow. Hence, a precept is distinct from an idea.
  5. 5. Formation: The process of forming ideas will be of great help to us in understanding their nature. All knowledge starts with the senses. Thus, man is able to produce the sensible image of a thing called phantasm. This phantasm of the imagination is the first step in the formation of an idea.
  6. 6. Properties of Ideas: • Comprehension • Extension Comprehension: The sum-total of all the thought-elements contained in an idea. The comprehension of an idea involves understanding of its meaning, signification, and thought-content. Also known as implication or connotation of the idea. It is manifested by definition.
  7. 7. Extension: The sum-total of the individuals and classes or groups to which an idea can be applied. The extension of an idea expresses the application of the thought-content to the individuals and groups in which it is found. Also known as application or denotation. It is manifested by division.
  8. 8. Terms We have learned that man invented language for communication purposes. He coined words, symbols, and terms by which to express his ideas and thoughts. Thought is invisible and imperceptible to the senses we cannot take it and put it in someone’s mind. We won’t know what somebody has in mind unless we understand his gestures or signs. Speech is the primary means by which we communicate with one another. The language we use is a body of symbols with which we articulate our feelings and ideas. The basic unit of a language is the word. We call it - term, from the Latin word terminus.
  9. 9. Definition: Term is the verbal expression of an idea. It is an articulate sound which serves as a conventional sign of an idea. It may also be understood as an idea or group of ideas expressed in words. We form ideas from the things we perceive, and then we express or manifest our ideas to others by means of terms or words. Not all words, however, are terms; some words have no referents, such as if, from, by, and in. But all terms are words, for all terms are articulate sounds signifying things.
  10. 10. Kinds of Terms: Terms may be classified according to quantity, incompatibility, definiteness of meaning, and the nature of referents. 1. As regards quantity: a. Singular Term – stands for a single individual or object. b. Particular Term – stands for an indefinite number of individuals of a class.
  11. 11. c. Universal Term – stands not only for a class as a whole but also for each member of that class. d. Collective Term – refers to a group or collection of objects or individuals regarded as a unit. A collective term, however, may be universal (e.g., family), particular (e.g., some family), or singular (e.g., this family).
  12. 12. 2. As regards incompatibility: a. Contradictory Terms – those wherein one affirms what the other denies. b. Contrary Terms – represent the two extremes among objects of a series belonging to the same class. c. Private Terms – those wherein one signifies a perfection and the other denies a perfection in a subject which naturally ought to posses it. d. Relative Terms – those wherein one cannot be understood without the other.
  13. 13. 3. As regards definiteness of meaning: a. Univocal Term – predicated of two or more individuals or things in exactly the same sense; admits of only one meaning. b. Equivocal Term – predicated of many in an entirely different sense; admits of two or more meanings. c. Analogous Term – predicated of two or more things that is partly the same and partly different sense.
  14. 14. 4. As regards the nature of referents: a. Concrete Term – can be perceived by the senses; referent is tangible. b. Abstract Term – can be understood only by mind; referent is intangible. It may denote the property of a thing, which is considered an entity by itself. It denotes being, quality, quantity, or relationship. c. Null or Empty Term – nothing actually existing to which it can be applied; no actual referents but only imaginary ones.
  15. 15. Supposition of Terms The exact meaning it has in relation to the other words in a given sentence. a. On the Basis of the Thing Signified: 1. Real Supposition – is present when the term stands for a thing which exists as a physical object in the realm of realities. 2. Logical Supposition – is present when the term expresses an aspect of a concept itself as it exists only in the mind.
  16. 16. 3. Imaginary Supposition – is present when the term signifies something which can exist only in the imagination. 4. Metaphorical Supposition – is present when the term signifies something which can be true only by analogy to another. 5. Symbolic Supposition – is present when a term signifies something which is true only from agreement of a group of men. 6. Material Supposition – is present when the term stands for itself insofar as it is a verbal symbol.
  17. 17. a. On the Basis of the Extension: 1. Individual Supposition – is present when the term stands for an individual person or thing. 2. Universal Supposition – is present when the term stands for all the individuals of a given whole. 3. Particular Supposition – is present when a term stands for a portion of a given whole or totality. 4. Indefinite Supposition – is present when a term stands for unspecific number of individuals.