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with a common quality, but directly as individuals, and without any other relation between the name and them than the caprice of the inventor of the name, it is a proper name” (New Essay, vol. i. § 146). This is the distinction that Bain and others now make between connotative and non-connotative names (cf. Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic, vol. ii. pp. 319 sqq.; and Max Müller, Lectures on the Science of Language, First Series, pp. 356 sqq.). The truth is, that all ideas, in so far as their content (Inhalt) is concerned, are singulars; it is merely their application that is universal. To speak of a universal idea is to utter an absurdity. Even if the notion of white were inborn, I might have it to all eternity without its becoming universal, unless I could find or imagine a number of objects whereof to predicate it. It is the failure to observe this obvious distinction that has caused all the aberrations in the treatment of logic from Aristotle's day to our own, when they have reached a maximum in the logic of the English school. It is strange that it should still be necessary to utter such a truism as this. Since formal logic deals with the necessary relations between ideas, and all ideas are singulars, quantity or quantification cannot appear in that science. All and some are words absolutely forbidden in deductive logic, and, indeed, in all sciences, in so far as they are deductive. When I say, “ All equilateral triangles are equiangular," I am putting what expresses the necessary relation between two singular ideas in the form of the result of an exhaustive induction, such as, in this case at least, never could be made. What I really mean is : The equilateral triangle is necessarily equiangular, equilateral triangle expressing a singular idea. The Greek form of expression is much superior to the English : το ισοπλεύρω τριγώνω υπάρχει το ισογώνιον ; and, indeed, this form of expression is frequent, though by no means universal, in Greek Geometry. The universality of the truths of mathematics is entirely due to the fact that these truths express relations between singulars, which no more cease to be singulars when applicd to particular real objects than a knife ceases to be singular when it
is used to cut a dozen sticks. The Greeks quantified the subjects of their propositions, and that was bad enough; what shall we say to those who quantify the predicates also ? Simply that the entire doctrine of the quantification of the predicate is one huge blunder. If modern logicians had adhered to the Aristotelian mode of expression, incorrect as that was, they never could have fallen into such
It is, indeed, possible, without talking evident nonsense, to say, All equilateral triangles are all equiangular ones; but it is plainly absurd, using the Aristotelian every (Tās) instead of all, to say, Every equilateral triangle is every equiangular one. If the doubly quantified proposition means anything more than the entirely unquantified one, it is this: The sum of equilateral triangles is equal to the sum of equiangular ones, which again is an unquantified singular proposition. It is, moreover, both meaningless and useless; for there is no such thing as a sum of equilateral triangles, and, even if there were, the fact would be of no value, so long as I did not know that each particular equilateral triangle is necessarily equiangular; in other words, that the equilateral triangle is equiangular (see Jevons, Elementary Lessons in Logic, pp. 184 sq.).
Let us now examine the difference between particular real being and being in general. So long as I know only what being is, I do not know that there exists any particular or real being, and yet I understand what being is. The phrase "to understand what being is," expressed in philosophical language, means, to understand the essence of being. By intuition, therefore, we know the essence of being.
The next section deals more particularly with real being. In regard to the essence of being, otherwise ideal being or universal being, Rosmini says, “ Being in universal is idea”* (New Essay, vol. ii. $ 534). “Besides that form of being which is possessed by subsisting things, and which we have called real, there is another, entirely distinct, which we have called ideal, and which forms the basis of the possibility of these things. Yes, ideal being is an entity of a nature entirely peculiar, such that it cannot be confounded either with our minds, or with bodies, or with anything else belonging to real being. It would be a grave error to conclude from this that ideal being, or the idea, is nothing, on the ground that it does not belong to that kind of things that enter into our feelings. On the contrary, ideal being, the idea, is a most true and noble entity, and we have seen with what sublime characteristics it is endowed. It cannot, indeed, be defined; but it may be analyzed and its effect upon us stated, viz., that it is the light of the mind. What can be clearer than light? When this light is extinguished, there remains only darkness. Finally, from what has been said we may form a conception of the mode in which the idea of being adheres to the mind : it may be known without any assent or dissent on our part. It is present to us as a pure fact. The reason is this. Such an idea does not affirm and does not deny; it merely constitutes in us the possibility both of affirming and denying” (New Essay, vol. ii. SS 555-557). “Even if the reality and ideality of things were identical, which is not the case still things would never confound themselves with the act of the mind, nor with the subject which possesses them, because idea, as such, is object, distinct from the thinking subject and opposed to it” (Ibid., vol. iii. $ 1192). "Every one who attends to what takes place within himself may observe the difference existing between a thing which he thinks as possible and a real thing. It is easy to observe, and there is no one in the world who does not observe, that a thing or a being simply possible does not act on our senses. For example, a possible food does not satisfy our
According to Rosmini, “ The word idea expresses a mode of being, that is, indicates being in so far as it is intelligible” (Psychology, vol. i. $ 18, note ; cf. Restoration of Philosophy, Book iii. cpp. 39-51).
hunger, however long we think of it, even if we contemplate it for entire days, and the poor philosopher would die of hunger, if he had no other nutriment than this object of his mind. In order, therefore, that a real action may be exerted upon us, there must be a real being, because nothing acts really but that which is really. Nevertheless no one calls that which is not real, but merely possible, nothing; nor can it be so called ; for, if it were nothing, it could not call into exercise, as it does, the activity of our minds. This obvious observation, which everybody makes continually, and according to which everybody speaks and acts, leads us to the evident conclusion that being, taken in the widest sense, has two modes, the ideal and the real; that is, that being manifests and communicates itself to us in two ways, by that of the mind and that of the sense. Nor must we suppose it possible to reduce these two modes, in which being acts upon us and reveals itself to us, to one. The qualities of ideal bcing are different from, and opposed to, those of real being, and the sense, which perceives the latter, does not reach or attain to a knowledge of anything that the mind, which perceives the latter,
In fact, the sense does not perceive anything that is merely possible, but only that which is real, and the mind, as the faculty of knowing, perceives nothing of the real, but only the possible. In the faculty of knowing there are only ideas; things do not enter it" (La Sapienza, ii. 7, pp. 399 sqq.).
Rosmini criticizes Aristotle and the German school, from Kant to Hegel, for neglecting this obvious distinction between ideal and real being, or, which in his language is the same thing, between object and subject. Aristotle certainly is guilty of this neglect, or rather of a deliberate confusion and identification of these necessarily distinct elements of cognition. He tells us that “intellect and the intelligible are the same thing," * and that “the intellect is potentially, in a certain sense (Trúc), the intelligibles.” † Rosmini is very severe upon the word Trúc (“in a certain
“ Taútov voûs kal vontóv” (Metaph., xi. 7, 1072 b, 20 ; cf. Bonitz' note). + “Δυνάμει πώς έστι τα νοητά ο νους και (De An., iii. 4, 11 : 429 b, 30).
sense”). “In respect to Aristotle,” he says, “it is to be observed that ... he continually interlards his discourse with exceptive and diminutive particles, which he nowhere explains, and which, nevertheless, furnish him with a convenient excuse for accepting a proposition when it suits him, and rejecting it for its contrary when the case is otherwise. Thus, when he says that 'the mind is potentially, in a certain mode (Tóc), the intelligibles,' the whole knot of the question lies in the particle rós, a particle of such very small bulk that it escapes the reader's attention, as if it were nothing, whereas it is the very point of the whole system, if system there be, and if there be not, is that which makes us believe there is. Now, this particle is just the one most neglected by our philosopher. He leaves the interpretation of it to the reader, and, supposing it perspicuous in itself, gives no explanation of it. Nevertheless, from this proposition, conditioned and limited by Tóc 'in a certain mode,' he draws an absolute conclusion, namely, that the mind can think of the intelligibles when it chooses, which presupposes that the intelligibles are in the mind, not merely in a certain mode, but absolutely ; otherwise the consequence, keeping within the limits of the premises, ought to be, that the mind can think of the intelligibles when it chooses, in a certain mode. When, however, the proposition does not suit him, he takes its contrary, and affirms that the intelligibles are in a certain mode outside the mind. And there he is at once among real things, in defiance of his previous supposition" (Aristotle Explained, 94). The work from which this passage is taken is, for the most part, devoted to showing the errors into which Aristotle fell, from not distinguishing between ideal and real being. Rosmini, had he not been specially lenient to St. Thomas, might easily have shown that that philosopher sometimes falls into the same fundamental mistake as Aristotle, accepting unreservedly the doctrine that “In his quæ sunt sine materia, idem est intellectus et quod intelligitur”* (Sum. Theol., i. q. 55, art. 1, 2, con.); in other
* * Επί μέν γάρ τών άνευ ύλης, το αυτό έστι νοούν και νοούμενον” (De An. iii. 4, 12 : 430 a, sq).