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was demonstrative and the predicate descriptive, and by straining matters a little we can say that this is always so. We can say, for example, that in the propositions 'A is larger than B', 'A is bullying B', everything but the subject ‘A’ is part of a predicate whose function is merely to describe or tell something about A. This, I suppose, would be the grammarian's interpretation of the sentences, and it is

the interpretation that we assumed when we defined the sub*ject of a sentence as the name of the object about which we

are speaking. But it is not quite fair, for in each of these sentences we tell quite as much about B as about A. The fairer way is to regard the sentence as made up, not of two parts, a subject and a predicate, but of three : two demonstrative terms, and a third term that describes some relation between the things which they point out. In view of this interpretation of propositions like these we cannot say that a predicate is always descriptive (or even that it always consists of a single term). But there is nothing in what we have said to prevent us from saying that the subject is always demonstrative. If we do say so, however, we must make it plain that we are speaking of real subjects and not such nominal subjects as “it' and 'there'in propositions like these : “It is a long distance from A to B’; “It is a long road that knows no turning’; There is a lion in the way'. Sometimes, moreover, it is hard to tell what is the real subject. In this last proposition, for example, are we telling about the lion, as the form of the sentence seems to imply, or are we telling about the

way and why we cannot travel in it ? Nouns (i.e., nouns substantive) are usually used demonstratively ; but they can also be used descriptively. When we say “ A man came to the house', the term “a man’ is demonstrative, for it points out, rather indefinitely to be sure, who it was that came; but when we say · John is a man', the term is used descriptively, for it is intended to summarize a great many of John's attributes, to indicate his general resemblance to the other creatures we call men, and perhaps

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and non

to convey an idea of his biological relations to them and to other animals.

Since it is possible to identify an object more or less definitely by describing it, a term whose primary function in a

given sentence is to do the one often serves at Connotative

the same time incidentally to do the other. When connotative.

we say that a man came to the house we not only tell the hearer that one or other of a certain large group of things came to the house, but we incidentally describe that thing, implying that it has all the qualities and other relations of a man ; and when we say that John is a man we not only describe him but incidentally we tell that he is one of a certain group.

Terms which perform this double function are called Connotative; those which do not, Non-connotative. *

What words really are connotative and what non-connotative, and even the definition of these terms themselves, is a matter about which logicians are not all agreed ; but the distinction will be illustrated well enough for our purposes if we say that the ordinary Common Nouns of grammar are connotative (e.g., 'man', 'horse', 'pig'), and that Proper Names and Abstract Nouns are probably not.

Whether a proper name is to some extent descriptive as well as demonstrative depends altogether upon whether there exists any convention in virtue of which any particular name is applied only to certain classes of objects. In Englishspeaking countries nowadays, for example, surnames usually indicate family connections. Elsewhere and at other times they have indicated something else. A Christian name may be given merely because a parent thinks it pretty ; and yet it is usually chosen with some reference to sex. Nevertheless I doubt whether we can say that to that extent it is descriptive, for however unusual and outrageous it might be to name an English boy Mary, one could hardly say that the parent who did it had falsely asserted that the child was a girl. It need hardly be said that when we call some one a Nero or a ocrates or a Napoleon these proper names are used altogether in a descriptive sense.

* A connotative' term, as defined in logic, must not be confused with the somewhat similar terms · which have connotation' as defined in books of rhetoric. They both do something incidentally; but this incidental function as described in rhetoric is generally some kind of appeal to feeling.

When a term is used demonstratively—to point out an object of thought—it is said by logicians to be used ‘Denotatively' or in its · Extension’; when used to describe one, it is said to be used • Connotatively' or in its • Intension '. From this it follows that when we define a term we tell the qualities it connotes ; when we give an example we tell one of the things it denotes. As Bosanquet puts it: “The denotation of a name consists of the things to which it applies, the connotation consists of the properties which it implies."*

Proper names are applied (more or less arbitrarily) to some individual object for the sake of indicating that particular object as distinguished from all others. But this function can also be discharged by some descriptive phrase

Singular which is obviously applicable to only one particu- and lar object (e.g., 'the man at my right', 'my black dog ’). In either case a term which is intended to discharge this function is called Singular. A General term, on the other hand, is one applied to every object which possesses some given characteristic or characteristics, and used to distinguish any object which possesses such characteristic or characteristics from objects which do not (e.g., triangle', 'angular').

Because a general term is not applicable to an object unless that object possesses a given attribute, it is evident that general terms are all connotative.

Singular terms are intended to distinguish a certain “real essence”, as Locke would have said, a certain person or thing that remains that same person or that identical thing throughout all the changes it may undergo. "The thin black

* The Essentials of Logic, p. 88,


haired man who passes here every morning'--this phrase is a singular term, because it is designed for the purpose of pointing out a special individual who would remain the same person when the description was no longer applicable. For the purpose in hand any other description might have done as well, for though we may identify the person by means of a description, it is the person, not the described characteristics, that we mean. General terms are intended to distinguish what Locke would have called “ nominal essences from each other. The terms a thin man', 'travellers', 'good students', 'good', 'gas' are each applicable to any object or set of objects only so long as the objects possess the attributes indicated; they are equally applicable to any objects possessed of those attributes, and are chosen for the express purpose of calling attention to the presence of the attributes.

Sometimes the same term may be singular in one connection (e.g., 'the child is sick'; ` Cæsar was killed '), and general in another (e.g., the child is father to the man’; he is a regular Cæsar '). Thus in logic it is the meaning of a word that counts, not the outward form.

Often a descriptive phrase whose primary purpose is to identify an object is not quite accurate, but if it suggests the required object this does no harm so far as the identification is concerned. If I say that the peddler who was so impudent at our door yesterday morning was afterwards arrested on a serious charge, and if you recognize the man from my description, the description has answered its purpose, even though it was not yesterday, but the day before, that he was at our door. Sometimes, however, a number of descriptive words

are added to a demonstrative term when they are Epithets.

wholly unnecessary for the identification of the object, e.g., 'swift-footed' Achilles, the beautiful and accomplished' Miss Blank, this most dangerous disease. Such epithets have a rhetorical value, for they convey in a neat way a desired conception of an object about which something is to be

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said ; but no one is logically justified in using one of them if its applicability is a question at issue or depends in any way upon one. A lawyer, for example, has no right to refer to a person accused of murder as this brutal assassin' until after the trial is over and the accused is found guilty, and then he may not wish to. Such descriptive terms used in this way are called Question-begging Epithets. They beg the question or take for granted what is to be proved, because they have the form and position of descriptive epithets used to identify an object; and these nearly always point to qualities that are obvious and admitted. Question-begging epithets are generally intended to appeal to the listeners' emotions and make them partisans instead of unprejudiced judges. Thus they are doubly unfair.

When we consider terms from another standpoint we must distinguish between those that are called Collective (such as “jury', 'army', 'mob', 'herd', 'crew',

Collective crowd', 'heap ’) and those which are called Dis- and dis

tributive. tributive (such as man', 'soldier', juryman', ‘goat'). A Collective term as distinguished from a Distributive is one used to denote any aggregate of similar and separable things regarded as constituting some sort of tem

When all notion of the separateness of the individuals in an aggregate is lost, so that the combined whole is regarded, at least for the moment, as a true unit, the collective term which names it become distributive. This is most likely to happen when we think of several such aggregates, e.g., “There were mobs in six cities at once', He was convicted by three different juries'.

It is extremely important to distinguish between statements which are intended to apply to several things considered as a whole and those intended to apply to each of a number of individuals. A jury as

A jury as a whole cannot get hungry, though each of its members may. The words “and',

all', 'many' are singularly ambiguous in this respect. · It was this ambiguity that gave point to the newsboy's re



porary unit.


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