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disagree ; and this is the reason of so many false judgments or mistakes among men. Both these practices are a proof that judgment has fomething of the will in it, and does not merely confift in perception, since we sometimes judge (though unhappily) without perceive ing, and sometimes we perceive without immediate judging.
As an idea is the result of our conception or apprehension, fo a proposition is the effect of judgment. The foregoing sentences which are examples of the act of judgment are properly called propositions. Plato is a philosopher, &c.
Here let us consider,
1. The general nature of a propofition, and the parts of which it is composed.
2. The various divisions or kinds of propositions.
3. The springs of falfe judgment, or the doctrine of prejudices.
4. General directions to allift us in judging aright.
5. Special rules to direct us in judging particular 'objects.
OF THE NATURE OF A PROPOSITION, AND ITS SEVE.
more ideas or terms are joined or disjoined by one affirmation or negation, as Plato was a philosopher : every angle is formed by two lines meeting : no man living on earth can be completely happy. When there are ever so many ideas or terms in the sentence, yet if they are joined or disjoined merely by one single affirmation or negation, they are properly called but one proposition though they may be resolved into fe.. veral propositions which are implied therein, as will appear hereafter.
In describing a proposition I use the word terms as well as ideas, because when mere ideas are joined in the mind without words, it is rather called a judgment, but when cloathed with words, it is called a propofition, even though it be in the mind only, as well as when it is expressed by speaking or writing.
There are three things which go to the nature and constitution of a proposition, (viz.) the subject, the predicate and the compula.
The subject of a proposition is that concerning which any thing is affirmed or denied : fo Plato, angle, man, living on earth, are the subjects of the foregoing propofitions.
The predicate is that which is affirmed or denied of the subject; so philofopher is the predicate of the first proposition; formed by two lines meeting, is the predicate of the second ; capable of being completely happy, is the proper predicate of the third.
The subject and predicate of a proposition taken together are called the matter of it; for these are the materials of which it is made.
The copula is the form of a proposition; it reprefents the act of the mind affirming or denying, and it is expressed by these words, am, art, is, are, &c. or, am not, art not, is not, are not, &c.
It is not a thing of importance enough to create a dispute, whether the words no, none, not, never, &c. which disjoin the idea or terms in a negative proposition, shall be called a part of the subject of the copula, or of the predicate. Sometimes perhaps they may seem most naturally to be included in one, and sometimes in another of these, though a proposition is usually denominated affirmative or negative by its copula, as hereafter.
Note 1. Where each of these parts of a proposition is not expreffed diftinctly in so many words, yet they are all understood, and implicitely contained therein; as Socrates disputed, is a complete proposition, for it fignifies Socrates was disputing. So I die, signifies I am dying. I can write, that is, I am able to write. In Latin and Greek one single word is many times a conplete proposition.
Note 2. These words, am, art, is, &c. when they are used alone without any other predicate fignify both the act of the mind judging, which includes the copula, and signify also actual existence, which is the predicate of that proposition. So Rome is, fignifes Rome is existent; there are some strange monsters, that is, fome ftrange monsters are existent: Carthage is no more, that is, Carthage has no being.
Note 3. The subject and predicate of a proposition are not always to be known and distinguished by the placing of the words in the sentence, but by reflecting duly on the sense of the words, and on the mind and design of the speaker or writer ; as if I say, in Africa there are many lions, I mean many lions are existent in Africa ; many lions is the subject, and existent in Africa is the predicate. It is proper for a philosopher to understand geometry; here the word proper is the predicate, and all the rest is the subject, except is the copula.
Note 4. The subject and predicate of a proposition ought always to be two different ideas, or two different terms ; for where both the terms and ideas are the same, it is called an identical propofition, which is mere trifling, and cannot tend to promote knowledge ; such as, a rule is a rule, or a good man is a good man.
But there are some propositions, wherein the terms of the subject and predicate seem to be the fame; yet the ideas are not the same; nor can these be called purely indentical; or trifling propositions, such as home is home; that is, home is a convenient or delightful piace : Socrates is Socrates still; that is, the
Som crates is still a philosopher : the hero was not a hero; that is, the hero did not shew his courage; what I have written, I have written ; that is, what I wrote I still approve, and will not alter it; what is done, is. done ; that is, it cannot be undone. It may be easily observed in these propofitions the term is equivocal, for in the predicate it has a different idea from what it has in the subject.
There are also some propofitions wherein the terms of the subject and predicate differ, but the ideas are the same ; and these are not merely indentical or trifling
propofitions ; as imprudent is shameless ; a billow is a wave ; or fluctus (in Latin) is a wave; a globe is a round body. In these propofitions either the words are explained by a definition of the name, or the ideas by a definition of the things, and therefore they are by no means useless when formed for this purpose.
OF THE VARIOUS KINDS OF PROPOSITIONS,
ROPOSITIONS may be distributed into various
kinds, according to their subject, their copula, their predicate, their nature or composition, their fense, and their evidence, which distributions will be explained in the following sections.
Of universal, particular, indefinite, and fingular Pro
ROPOSITIONS may be divided according to
their subject into universal and particular; this is ufually called a division arising from the quantity.
An universal propofition is when the subject is taken according to the whole of its extenfion; so if the subject be a genus, or general nature, it includes all its species or kinds; if the subject be a species, it includes all its individuals. This universality is usually signified by these words, all, every, no, none, or the like ; as, all men must die : no man is almighty; every creature had a beginning.
A particular proposition is when the subject is not taken according to its whole extension; that is, when
the term is limited and restrained to some one or more of those species or individuals, whose general nature it expreiles, but reaches not to all, and this is usually denoted by the words, fome, many, a few, there are, which, &c. as, fome birds can sing well; few meu are truly wise : there are .parrots, which will talk a hundred things.
Under the general name of universal propositions, we may justly include those that are-fingular, and for the most part those that are indefinite also.
A fingular proposition is when the subject is a fingular or individual term or idea; as Descartes was an ingenious philofopher : Sir Isaac Newton has far exceeded all his predeceffors: the palace at Hampton Court is a pleasant dwelling: this day is very cold. The fubject here must be taken according to the whole of its extension, because being and individual it can extend only to one, and it must therefore be regulated by the laws of universal proposition.
An indefinite proposition is when no note, either of universality or particularity is prefixed to a subject, which is in its own nature general; as a planet is ever changing its place ; Angels are noble creatures. Now this fort of proposition,
especially when it describes the nature of things, is usually counted univerfal also, and it supposes the subject to be taken in its whole extension: for if there were any planet which did not change its place, or any angel that were not a noble creature, these propositions would not be strictly true.
Yet in order to secure us against mistakes in judging of universal, particular and indefinite propositions, it is neceffary to make these following remarks.
I. Concerning universal propositions. Note. 1. Universal terms may either denote a metaphysical, a physical, or a moral universality.
A metaphysical or mathematical univerfality is when all the particulars, contained under any general idea have the same predicate belonging to them without any exception whatsoever; or when the predicate is fo effential to the universal subject, that it destroys the very nature of the subject to be without it; as, all circles