IDEAS AND TERMSThe genesis of ideas and the meaningof different terms
IDEA (…meaning)• a mental representation of areality• a word that hascorresponding existence inreality• primary focus of transmissionfrom one person to another• can be apprehended if oneuses his senses to perceivewhat Aristotle calledphantasms, which are theindividuating notes or thesensible traits in an object
Kinds of Ideas• 3.1.1. According toComprehension• 22.214.171.124. Simple -- expressesonly one conceptual note;refers only to one specificmeaning• 126.96.36.199. Compound -- appliesto more than one conceptualnote (ex. Human person asbodily rational being)
Cont’n…• 188.8.131.52. Concrete --anything whoseattributes arecapable of beingperceived throughone’s use of senses• 184.108.40.206. Abstract --something whoseexistence lies in themind
Cont’n…• 3.1.2. According to Extension• 220.127.116.11. Universal -- can be predicatedto all the members of a certain class(person = all human beings regardlessof races)• 18.104.22.168. Particular -- can be predicatedto some objects or members of acertain class (some, many, few…books)• 22.214.171.124. Singular Idea -- a singlemember of a class• 126.96.36.199. Collective -- a number ofthings belonging to a certain group(team, society, class…)
Term• 3.2. Term -- refers to the verbal orwritten expression of a certain idea• 3.2.1. Connotation (of a term) [a.k.a.intension or comprehension] -- refersto traits or attributes that characterizethe term (e.g. sampaguita – round-shaped, white, fragrant…)• 3.2.2. Denotation [a.k.a. extension of aterm] -- refers to all the objects ormembers by which the term can beapplied to (e.g. fruit –apple, banana, apricot, chico…)
Kinds of Term…• 3.2.3. Kinds of Term According toDefiniteness of Meaning• 188.8.131.52. Univocal term -- one which canbe predicated to only one meaning(e.g., electric fan, car, crucifix)• 184.108.40.206. Equivocal -- has two or moredifferent meanings (e.g., pen – writingmaterial or cage for animals/ fish)• 220.127.116.11. Analogous -- predicated tothings whose meaning is partly thesame and partly different (foot – bodilypart or base/foundation)
Disputes• 3.3. Disputes – disagreements due todifferences in belief or perspective• 3.3.1. Merely verbal disputes -- ariseentirely from the use of equivocal orambiguous terms (eg, chair –committee head or furniture? Look forits dictionary meaning to resolve it)• 3.3.2. Genuine disputes -- involvedisagreement between disputantscaused by difference in beliefs orvalues affecting a certain term or ideaat hand (eg, sex – for married only orfor anyone in love or lust; respect eachother’s belief)
Cont’n• 3.3.3. Apparently verbal butreally genuine disputes --occur between disputants whodo not agree on the differentmeaning of a term being usedas well differ in beliefs orperspective regarding suchterm
Definition• 3.4. Definition• 3.4.1. Definiendum -- the wordor concept that is to be defined• 3.4.2. Definiens -- refers to themeaning or the group ofsymbols or the description ofthe concept• 3.4.3. Denotata – Samples ofthe concept
Kinds of Definition• 3.4.4. Kinds of Definition• 18.104.22.168. Lexical definition -- simplyreports the way in which a term isalready used within a languagecommunity• 22.214.171.124. Stipulative -- freely assignsmeaning to a completely newterm, creating a usage that had neverpreviously existed• 126.96.36.199. Precising D -- requires clear anddistinct meaning of a term without theuse of any vague meaning
Cont’n• 188.8.131.52. Theoretical -- specialcases of stipulative or precisingdefinition, distinguished by theirattempt to establish the use ofthis term within the context of abroader intellectual framework• 184.108.40.206. Persuasive -- attempt toattach emotive meaning to theuse of a term
Cont’n• 3.4.5. Definition by Genus andDifferentia: genus ( broadcategory or kind to whicheverything our term signifiesbelongs and ; differentia -- thedistinctive features that set thething apart from all the otherthings of that particular kind• Ex.: A chair is a kind of furniture(genus) that is used for sitting(specific difference).
Rules of Definition• 3.4.6. Rules of Definition by Genus andDifferentia• 1. A definition must set out the essentialattributes of the thing defined. All elementsnecessary to understand the term being definedshould be contained. Ex.: Basketball – is a gameplayed between two teams of five playerseach, the object being to throw a ball through anelevated basket on the opponents side of arectangular court• 2. Definitions should avoid circularity. Do not usethe term being defined as part of its definitionotherwise the definition given does not at allclarify what term is all about.Ex.: Falsehood – is astate of being false.
Cont’n• 3. The definition must not be too wide or toonarrow. A definition fails to clarify themeaning of a term when the attributesprovided do not exactly point to what theterm means. Example: Too broad Priest – isa religious person; Too Narrow Priest – issomeone who distributes Holy Communion• 4. A definition must NOT be figurative, vagueor obscure. The meaning of a term should beclear and distinct enough to understand. Itgoes straight to what the term really means.• Example: God- is both the efficient and finalcausality of everything. Person – is a beingwith endless possibilities.
Cont’n• 5. A definition should not benegative where it can bepositive. A good definitionshould define the term of what itis and not of what it is not.Although there are instanceswhen a term is defined in anegative way, the usualdefinition of term should be inthe positive way.• Example: Religious brother – isnot a priest.END OF THETOPIC