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have a center and circumstances : all spirits in their own nature are immortal.
A physical or natural univerfality is when, according to the order and common course of nature, a predicate agrees to all the subjects of that kind, though there may be some accidental and preternatural exceptions ; as, all men use words to express their thoughts, yet dumb persons are excepted, for they cannot speak. All beasts have four feet, yet there may be some monsters with five; or maimed; who have but three.
A moral universality. is when the predicate agrees to the greatest part of the particulars which are contained. under the universal subject; as, alt negroes are stupid creatures: all men are governed by affection rather than by reason: all the old Romans loved their country : and the scripture uses this language, when St. Paul tells us, the Cretes are always liars.
Now it is evident, that a special or singular conclu. sion cannot be inferred from a moral universality, nor always and infallibly from a physical one, tho' it may, be always inferred from an universality which is metaphysical, without any danger or possibility of a mistake.
Let it be observed also, that usually we make little: or no distinction in common language, between a subject that is physically or metaphysically univerfal.. :. • Note 2. An universal term is sometimes taken cola lectively for all its particular ideas united together, and sometimes distributively, meaning each of them single. and alone. • Instances of a collective universal are such as these ; all these apples will fill a bushel; all the hours of the night are sufficient for sleep : all the rules of grammar over-load the memory. In these propositions it is evident, that the predicate belongs not to the individuals feparately, but to the whole collective idea; for we cannot affirm the same predicate, if we change the word all into one or every, we cannot say one apple, or every apple will fill a bushel, 6. Now such a collective idea, when it becomes the subject of a proposition, ought to be elteemed as one single thing, and this renders the. proposition singular or indefinite, as we shall shew imomediately. .
A distributive universal will allow the word all to be changed into every, or into one, and by this means is distinguished from a collective.
Instances of a distributive universal are the most coma mon on every occasion; as, all men are mortal ; every man is a sinner, c. But in this sort of universal there is a distribution to be made, which follows in the next remark.
Note 3. When an universal term is taken distribus tively, sometimes it includes all the individuals. containe ed in its inferior species; as when I fay every sickness, has a tendency to death; I mean every individual sickness, as well as every kind. But sometimes it includes no more than merely each fpecies or kind; as when the evangelilt says Christ healed every disease, or every disease was heated by Christ, that is, every kind of difease. The firit of these, logicians call the distribution of an universal in fingula generum . the last is a distria
bution in genera fingulorum. But either of them join- cd to the subject render a proposition universal.
Note 4. The univerfality of a subject is often rea ftrained by a part of the predicate; as when we say all men learn wisdom by experience ; the universal subject, all men is limited to signify 'only, all those men who learn wisdom. The scripture also uses this sort of lana guage, when it speaks of all men being justified by the sighteousness, of one, Rom. v. 18. that is, all men who are justified obtain it this way.
Observe here, that not only a metaphysical or naa “tural, but a moral universality also is oftentimes to be restrained by a part of the predicate; as 'when we say, all the Dutch are good feamen: all the Italians are suba tile politicians ; that is, those among the Dutch that are seamen are good seamen; and those among the Italians who are politicians are subtle 'politicians, that is, they are generally fo.
Note 5. The universality of a term is. 'many times. restrained by the particular time, place, circumstance,
c. or the design of the speaker, as if we are in the city of London and say, all the 'weavers, went to present their petition ;, we mean only all the weavers who dwell
in the city. So when it is said in the gospel, all men did marvel, Mark v. 20. it reaches only to all thole men who heard of the miracles of our Saviour..
Here also it should be observed, that a moral univerLality is restrained by time, place, and other circum. stances, as well as a natural; so that by these means the word all sometimes does not extend to a tenth part of those who at first might seem to be included in that word..
One occasion of these difficulties and ambiguities, that belong to universal propositions, is the common humour and temper of rnankind, who generally have an inclination to magnify, their ideas, and to talk roundly and universally concerning any thing they speak of; which has introduced universal terms of fpeech into custom and habit, in all nations, and all languages, more than nature or reason would dictate ; yet when this custom is introduced, it is not at all improper to use this sort of language in solemn and sacred writings, as well as in familiar discourse..
II. Remarks concerning indefinite propositions. Note 1. Propositions carrying in them univerfal. forms of expression may fonetimes drop the note of: universality, and become indefinite, and yet retain the fame universal sense, whether metaphysical, natural ori moral, whether collective or distributive.
We may give instances of each of these..
Metaphysical; as, a circle has a center and circum-ference. “Natural; as, beasts have four feet. Moral ; : as, negroes are ftupid creatures. Colle&tive ; as, the apples will fill a bufhel. Distributive ;: as, men are: mortal.
Note 2. There are many cases wherein a collective idea is expressed in a proposition by an indefinite term, and that where it describes the nature or quality of the subject, as well as when it declares some patt mat ters of fact; as, fir-trees set in good order. will give a charming prospect; this must signify a collection of fir-trees, for one makes no prospect. In matters of fact this is more evident and frequent ; as the Romans overcame the Gauls: the robbers surrounded the .coach:
the wild geese flew over the Thames in the form of a wedge. All these are collective subjects.
Note 3. In indefinite propofitions the subject is often restrained by the predicate, or by the special time, place, or circumstances, as well as in propofitions which are exprefly universal; as the Chineses are ingenious! filk-weavers, that is, thote Chineses, which are filke weavers, are ingenious at their work. The stars ape pear to us when the twilight is gone. This can signi. fy no more than the stars which are above our horizon.
Note 4. All these restrictions tend to reduce fome indefinite propositions, almost into particular, as will. appear under the next remarks.
III. Remarks concerning particular propofitions,
Note 1. A particular propofition may sornetimes be expreiled indefinitely without any note of particularity prefixed to the subject : as, in tines of confufion laws are not executed : men of virtue are disgraced, and murderers escape, that is, some laws, some men of vir. tue, some murderers : unless we should call this language a moral'universality, though I think it can hardly extend so far.
Note 2. The words. fome, a few, GC, though they generally denote a proper particularity, yet fometimes they express a collective idea; as fome of the enemies beiet the general around. A few Greeks would beat a thousand Indians.
I conclude this section with a few general remarks on this subject, (viz.)
Gen. Rem. I. Since universal, indefinite, and particu lar terms in the plural number, may either be taken in a collective or diftributive sense, there is one fhort and easy way to find when they are collective and when distributive, (viz:) If the plural number may be changed into the lirgular, that is, if the predicate will agree to one single subject, it is a distributive idea; if not, it is collective,
Gen. Rem. II. Univerfal and particular terms in the plural number, such as, all, fimes few, nany, &c. 'wheb
they are taken in their distributive sense, reprefent fe'veral single ideas; and when they are thus aflixed to the subject of a propofition, render that proposition universal. or particular, according to the univerfality or particularity of the terms afhxed..
Gen. Rem. III. Universal and particular terms in the plural number, taken in their collective sense, repretent generally one collective idea..
If this one colleative idea be thus represented (whether by universal. or particular terms) as the lubject of a proposition which describes the nature of a thing, it properly makes either a singular. or an indefinite proposition ; for the words, all, foine, a few, &*c. do not then denote the quantity of the proposition, but are esteemed merely as terms which con:lect the individuals together in order to compose one collective idea. Observe these instances, all the sycamores in the garden would make a large grove; that is, this one coliection of sycamores, which is a singular idea. Some of the fy.camores in the garden would make a fine grove. Sy-, camores would make a noble grove : in thele last the fubject is rather indefinite than singular. But it is very evident, that in each of these propositions the predicate can only belong to a collective idea, and therefore the subject must be esteemed a collective.
If this collective idea (whether represented by uni. verfal or particular terms) be used in describing past matters of fact, then it is generally to be eittemedy singular idea, and renders the proposition singular; as, all the soldiers of Alexander made but a little army: a few Macedonians vanquished the large army of Darius; some grenadiers in the camp plundered all the neighbouring towns.
Now we have shewn before, that if a proposition describing the nature of things, has an indefinite subject, it is generally to be esteemed universal in its propositional lense; and if it has a singular subject, in its propositional sense it is always ranked with universals.
After all we must be forced to confess, that the language of mankind, and the idioms' of speech are so ex'eceding various, that it is hard to reduce them to a few