The Philosophy of Mathematics, Sections 46-65

The Philosophy of Mathematics, Sections 46-65 - CHAPTER IV....

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CHAPTER IV. }'ROl)ER NAMES, ADJECTIVES, AND VERBS. 46. IN the present chapter, certain questions are to be discussed belonging to what may be called philosophical grammar. The study of grammar, in my opinion, is capable of' throwing far more light on philosophical questions than is commonly supposed by philosophers. Although a grammatical distinction cannot be uncritically assumed to correspond a genuine philosophical difference, yet one is primii facie evidence of other, and may often be most usefully employed as a source discovery. Moreover, it must be admitted, 1 think, that every word occurring in a sentence must have some meaning: a perfectly meaningless sound could not be employed in more or less fixed way in which language employs words. correctness of our philo- sophical analysis a proposition may therefore be usefully checked by exercise assigning meaning each word in sentence expressing proposition. On whole, grammar seems to me to bring us much nearer a correct logic current opinions of philosophers; and in what follows, grammar, though our master, will be taken as our guide - . Of parts speech, three are specially important : substantives, adjectives, and verbs. Among substantives, some are derived from adjectives or verbs, as humanity from human, sequence from folloxos. (1 am speaking of an etymological derivation, but of a logical one.) Others, such as proper names, space, time, and matter, are derivative, appear primarily as subs ta ntives, What we wish to obtain is a classification, words, ideas ; 1 shall therefore call adjectives predicates all notions which are capable being such, even in a form in which grammar would call them substantives. fact is, as we shall see, human. and humanity denote precisely same concept, these words being employed respectively according to kind relation in which this concept stands to the other constituents a proposition in which occurs. distinction which we require if The excellence of grammar as a guide is proportional to the paucity of inflexions, i.e. to the degree of analysis effected by the language considered.
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46, 47J Proper Names, A4jectives, and Verbs 43 is not identical with the grammatical distinction between substantive adjective, since one single concept may, according to circumstances, be either substantive or adjective: it is distinction between proper general names that we require, or rather between objects in- dicated by such names. In every proposition, as we saw in Chapter III, we may make an analysis into something asserted something about which assertion is made. A proper name, when occurs in a proposition, is always, at least according one of possible ways analysis (where there are several), subject proposition or some subordinate constituent proposition is about, what is said subject. Adjectives verbs, on other hand, are capable of occurring in 'propositions in which they cannot be regarded as subject, but only as parts assertion.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2008 for the course PHL 332 taught by Professor Dever during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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The Philosophy of Mathematics, Sections 46-65 - CHAPTER IV....

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