JMC : The Metaphysics of the School / by Thomas Harper, S.J.



ABSTRACTION. A faculty of the mind by which we seize upon certain notes, or realities, in the object of thought and neglect the rest. Hence, the mind is considered as taking away (asbstrahere) the former from the latter. It often stands objectively for the idea so formed. PHYSICAL. The abstracting of the specific or essential nature from the individual notes it has as this existing body. MATHEMATICAL. The abstracting of the laws and forms of continuous quantity from material things. METAPHYSICAL. The abstracting of essences or natures from all whatsoever material conditions. These terms are likewise applied to the ideas thus formed, pp. 24, 25.

ACCIDENT. An entity which cannot naturally exist by itself, but has an essential tendency to inhere in another. It is opposed to substance. The two divide all Being, p. 61.

ACT. The reduction of a possibility to a reality, -- of a power active or passive to its complete reality. FIRST AND SECOND ACT. (i) The act of being or existing is the first, the act of operating or energizing is the second, act; because a being must exist, before it can do anything. (ii) The first act of a power or faculty is its first inchoative motion; the second act is its completed operation. Thus, the first act of fire is to assimilate the fuel to itself by communicating its own heat; the second act is combustion. ACTUAL. That which is in act. Act is opposed to potentiality; actual to potential. A form is called an Act, because it is either in act itself or actuates that which it informs.

ANALOGY. A proportion between things that are in other ways different, or a respect of things that are different to each other according to a certain form. ANALOGOUS TERM. A word which has a difference of meaning as applied to different objects, yet such a similarity as to justify its application to them. It differs from a univocal term, because the latter has absolutely but one signification, to whatsoever object it may be applied. It differs from an equivocal term; because the latter has no similarity of idea to justify its application to the different objects. Moreover, analogous terms are designedly used; equivocal, by accident. ANALOGATES. The objects to which the analogous term is applied. THE PRIMARY. That to which it is principally and rightly applied. THE SECONDARY. Those objects to which it is applied in a subordinate sense, because of some proportion or relation which they bear to the primary. ANALOGY OF PROPORTION AND ATTRIBUTION. See note, p. 30; also p. 67.

ANALYSIS (ANALYTICAL). The process of resolving an idea or cognition into its elements.

ANTECEDENT. In its most general sense, that which goes before the conclusion of a syllogism. It is more specifically applied to the major premiss in a conditional syllogism.

ANTHROPOLOGY. The science whose subject-matter is the nature of man.

ATTRIBUTE. That reality which properly belongs to an essence or nature, though it forms no part of the latter. In Demonstration it is called the Passion, because it is that which is logically received in the Subject. It always constitutes the Major Term of the demonstrative syllogism; and is called an attribute, because it is assigned, or attributed, to the Subject in the Conclusion, pp. 155, 156.


CATEGORY. One of the ten pigeon-holes in which Aristotle has arranged and distributed all real, finite, complete, beings. CATEGORICAL JUDGMENT. A Judgment which pronounces absolutely in the affirmative or negative; that is to say, without either condition or alternative. It is opposed to a conditional or disjunctive Judgment. CATEGORICAL SYLLOGISM. A syllogism that is exclusively composed of categorical Judgments. The word, Category, is derived from a Greek verb which means to predicate.

CAUSE. An entity which is either absolutely or hypothetically both necessary and sufficient for the existence of something really distinct from itself. MATERIAL, FORMAL, EFFICIENT, FINAL, EXEMPLAR. Be patient, till the next volume appears. UNIVOCAL. A cause which is naturally limited to the production of one effect. EQUIVOCAL. A cause which is naturally capable of producing more than one effect. Thus, for instance, the sun is the cause both of light and heat; heat causes erpansion and contraction.

CERTITUDE. The quality of a mental act, according to which the act is free from doubt, and the mind firmly adheres to its object. The term has been transferred to the object of thought, in so far as this latter is apt to produce a certain cognition of itself in the mind. The former (which is the primary signification) is called SUBJECTIVE CERTAINTY; the latter, OBJECTIVE CERTAINTY. The correlative of certainty is evidence; which see. The division of certitude corresponds with that of evidence.

COGNITION (Cognize). A term derived from the Latin cognitio, knowing, -- cognoscere, to know. It is sometimes used to express any kind of idea, or concept; but it is properly applied exclusively to judicial concepts, or Judgments of the mind as distinguished from simple Apprehensions.

COLLECTIVE IDEAS OR NOUNS. Ideas or words that represent a collection of individuals; and can only be predicated of the collection, not of each individual. Hence they approach nearer to the nature of singulars than to that of universals; and are not logically distributive. Thus, it is true that the soldiers in Afghanistan are an army; but no one would be so foolish as to say that General Roberts is an army. On the contrary, a distributive, or universal, term can be predicated of all and each. Thus, the said soldiers are men; and General Roberts is a man.

COMPOSITION (COMPOSITES). The being made up of parts; or the actual union of the parts. It is opposed to simplicity. PHYSICAL COMPOSITION. Composition of physical parts that are physically separable. METAPHYSICAL COMPOSITION. Composition of metaphysical parts which are oniy conceptually separable. COMPOSITION AND DIVISION in Logic are equivalent to Affirmative and Negative Judgments.

COMPOSSIBLE. That which is possible jointly with something else. Thus, redness and a sweet smell are compossible in the same rose; but redness and whiteness are not compossible in the same part of the rose at the same time.

COMPREHENSION. A perfect, or adequate, concept of the object. It is thus distinguished from mere apprehension. In Logic the WHOLE OF COMPREHENSION is opposed to the whole of extension. The former is smallest in extent and greatest in representation; that is to say, it represents the most limited range of objects, but those representations are complete. It is also called the metaphysical whole. The latter, on the contrary, is widest in the range of objects that it includes; but it is most meagre and indefinite in its representation. It is also called the logical whole. These two wholes are in inverse ratio to each other.

CONCEPT. A formed idea or cognition; for the term concept includes both. CONCEPTION. The act of forming the idea. We are indebted to Sir William Hamilton for this useful distinction. OBJECTIVE CONCEPT. That reality in the object which is covered by our present thought, -- that which we are exclusively thinking about at the time. Thus, an anatomist, when be looks at an animal professionally, thinks only of its bodily structure. This reality, therefore, in the animal will be his objective concept. SUBJECTIVE OR FORMAL CONCEPT. The idea which is formed in the subject (the man who is thinking) of the objective concept, or particular reality in the object. See pp. 56.

CONDITIONED. That which is subject to a condition. It is opposed to absolute. Thus, for instance, that projectiles will eventually fall towards the earth, is a conditioned truth; for it is only verified on the condition that He Who imposed the law of gravitation on bodies wills to continue the same order. But that the limited and contingent cannot be the cause of its own existence, is an absolute truth; for no conceivable conditions can affect it.

CONNOTE (CONNOTATION, CONNOTATIVE). To designate something else that is not included in the object formally represented by the concept. Thus, to wash connotes the presence of water; or better still perhaps, that he who washes is living. Similarly, a river connotes its banks.

CONSEQUENT. Conclusion drawn from the antecedent. Logicians make a distinction between consequent and consequence; but the reader need not be troubled with it here.

CONTINGENT (CONTINGENCY). That which is, but possibly might not have been. Thus, the Mansion-house in London is; but it might never have been. The contingent is opposed to the necessary. The former must be, because it is; the latter is, because it must be. FUTURE CONTINGENTS. Almost the same to natural reason as purely possibles.

CONVERTIBLE. This epithet is ordinarily used to denote Judgments which are capable of simple conversion, as Logicians say; that is, Judgments in which the Subject may become Predicate and the Predicate Subject without change of quantity or quality. Thus, All A is B is simply convertible, when it can be truly said that All B is A. When the above conversion is verified, it is by virtue of the matter of the Judgment (i.e. of the represented object); for it is never logically admissible in a Universal Affirmative. Nevertheless, by virtue of the matter, all the propositions in the highest form of Demonstration -- to wit, the two premisses and the conclusion (though affirmative universal Judgments), are simply convertible.

CONVERTIBLE TERMS. Such as can be mutually used in the place of each other. Thus, man and rational animal are convertible terms.

COPULA. The Logical verb, is or is not; -- is for affirmative, is not for negative, Judgments. It is called the copula, because it couples either affirmatively or negatively the concept of the Subject with that of the Predicate.

COROLLARY. An immediately, or as it were immediately, evident consequence of a demonstrated truth. The deduction is so apparent, that proof is considered unnecessary.

COSMOLOGY. The science which treats of the material universe.


DEFINITION. The synthesis, or conjunction, of the several parts which constitute an integral concept. It, therefore, always presupposes Division, or a previous analysis. ESSENTIAL DEFINITION. The synthesis of the metaphysical parts of a metaphysical whole; that is to say, the material and formal parts. LOGICAL DEFINITION. The synthesis of the logical parts of a logical whole. These are the genus and difference, which constitute the species. PHYSICAL DEFINITION. The synthesis of the accidents which are properties of a class. It is also called DESCRIPTIVE DEFINITION. The former of the two last named has been sometimes distinguished from the latter, as it would seem, without reason, p. 6.

DEMONSTRATION. A syllogism in necessary matter; that is, a syllogism applied to truths which are not contingent. OSTENSIVE DEMONSTRATION. A Demonstration which directly proves the truth of the conclusion, as contradistinguished from a reductio ad absurdum, in which a truth is indirectly proved by showing the absurdity of its contradictory. This latter is the only way of proving truths that are immediately evident. For the further divisions of demonstration, consult any competent treatise on Logic; as, for instance, that of Sanderson.

DETERMINATION. See pp. 22-24.

DICHOTOMY (DICHOTOMIC). The only logically exhaustive division; since it includes every entity under one or other of its two members. It is called Dichotomy, because it always divides a whole in two. Thus, men and not man -- finite and infinite -- substance and accident -- are dichotomic Divisions; though the first is the only one that is logically dichotomic, that is to say, according to the formal laws of thought.

DIFFERENTIA or DIFFERENCE (DIFFERENTIAL). That which formally distinguishes one thing from another. LOGICAL DIFFERENTIA. That logical whole which intersects and so divides the genus; constituting the species, and distinguishing it from all the other species contained under the same genus. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENTIA. That which formally distinguishes an individual from all other individuals of the same species, pp. 21 and 331.

DIGNITIES. Fundamental principles which never actually enter into demonstration; but are virtually present as the necessary basis on which all demonstration reposes. Such is, for instance, the principle of Contradiction.

DIMENSIONS. The measure, or limit, of continuous quantity in length, breadth, and thickness. DETERMINATE DIMENSIONS. The definite measure, or limit, of continuous quantity; as it always is, and must be, in real existing entities. INDETERMINATE DIMENSIONS. The measure, or limit, of continuous quantity, as conceived indefinitely by the mind. Such dimensions are purely conceptual; since it is impossible that they should really exist in a state of indetermination. Thus, for instance, we can conceive a circle indefinitely as a figure in which all straight lines drawn from the centre to the circumference are equal; and, by force of the imagination, we can even give to the concept a sort of individuality. Yet it is impossible that there should ever be a really existing circle, which has not a definitely measurable circumference and a radius of a determined length. DISCIPLINE. A body of truths within a definite sphere, which have been obtained by means of physical induction.

DISTRIBUTION (DISTRIBUTIVE, -- DISTRIBUTIVENESS). A Logical term, significative of a property of universals, by virtue of which these are applicable to all, and each, of the individuals that are included within the limits of their periphery.

DICI AD CONVERTENTIAM. To be predicated in such sort as to justify a simple conversion of the Terms; so that it is true that All A is B, and that All B is A.

DICTUM DE OMNI ET NULLO. The fundamental principle of the categorical syllogism, which may be thus enounced That which is affirmed of the logical whole, is affirmed of each and every part contained under that whole; and that which is denied of the logical whole, is denied of each and every part contained under that whole.



ELENCHTIC. An elenchus, according to Aristotle, is a syllogism that contradicts the conclusion. (sullogismos met antiphaseôs tou sumperasmatos. Soph. Elench. i.) Some say, that this supposes the conclusion contradicted to be your own; and that, therefore, the elenchus is a syllogism which proves that it is impossible for the conclusion to be otherwise than it is. But it is more commonly understood to be directed against the conclusion of the opponent. Hence, an elenchtic syllogism would be a syllogism of war. Accordingly, an elenchtic argument has come to mean an argument directed against the conclusion of your adversary. It is in this sense that Ogilvie in his Dictionary defines elenchus to be 'a syllogism, by which the adversary is forced to contradict himself.' His meaning is plain; but the definition is by no means accurate. p. 129.

ENTITY (ENTITATIVE). Thingness, -- the reality of a thing. As Being (ens) has two significations, -- one nominative, which is equivalent to essence; the other participial, equivalent to existence; in like manner, entity. More usually, however, it is accepted in the former of the two meanings specified.

ENUNCIATION. The pronouncing of a Judgment. In the present Work it is taken to mean the Proposition, or expressed Judgment, which is submitted to proof, and is printed in capitals.

EQUIVOCALS. Terms which accidentally represent wholly distinct objects and concepts. Thus, line stands for the limit of a superficies, -- a horizontal mark on a sheet of paper, -- part of the tackle of a fisherman, -- a verse of poetry, -- a range of soldiers -- the equator, -- a family tree.


EVIDENCE. The intelligibility of an object. This word is primarily predicated of the object of thought; secondarily of the thought itself, In the former acceptation it goes by the name of objective, in the latter, by the name of subjective, evidence. Objective evidence is threefold i. METAPHYSICAL, which is absolutely unconditioned and, therefore, eternal and unchanging; ii. PHYSICAL, which is conditioned by the Divine Will; iii. MORAL, which is likewise conditioned by the human will. It is objective evidence that causes certainty in cognition; consequently, there will he three kinds of certainty corresponding to the above division. See CERTITUDE.

EXEMPLAR IDEA. The pattern idea or plan, conceived in the mind of a maker, according to which the latter fashions his work.

EXTENSION. INTRINSIC is the existence of part outside part. This is an essential property of all bodies. EXTRINSIC EXTENSION is twofold. APTITUDINAL EXTRINSIC EXTENSION consists in an aptitude for local extension, or the distinct location of each part in space. It is identical with quantity. ACTUAL EXTRINSIC EXTENSION. The actual position of each part in space. This is the effect of quantity. LOGICAL EXTENSION. The quantity of objects included under an idea. Thus, the idea animal has a wider logical extension than the idea man. This use of the term is analogical.


FORM. That which anywise determines the indeterminate. It is one of the two essential constituents of bodies. See MATTER. As the various senses, divisions, etc., of this word and its cognates will be given at some length in the next Volume, the above will suffice for the present.

IN FIERI. The state of a new entity, when it is in course of being produced, -- when it is in the course of being made.

IN FACTO ESSE. The state of a new entity, when it has been completely produced, -- when it is made. Thus, the watch is in fieri, when the watchmaker is putting the watch together; it is in facto esse, when it is ready for sale. p. 384.


GENUS. A logical whole, which is predicated of many that differ in species. It is contracted by the dividing difference to the species, losing in extension that which it gains in comprehension. The fuller the idea, the more restricted its application.

GENESIS (GENETIC). The generation or new production of a thing. GENETIC ORDER. The order in generation or production. Thus, in animal generation the evolution of the internal organs is prior in genetic order to that of the limbs. p. 225.


HAECCEITY. The thisness of a thing, -- that something which constitutes an entity to be individually itself, and really distinct from every other individual. See pp. 209, 210.


IDEALISM (IDEALISTIC). A term applied to certain systems of philosophy, which deny the objective existence of the external visible universe, and maintain that it is a mere creation of the human mind, -- in other words, purely ideal. Hence the name.

IDEAS PSYCHOLOGICALLY REFLEX, -- IDEAS ONTOLOGICALLY REFLEX. When the mind looks out upon an object external to itself (which it does almost exclusively when it first begins to think and, indeed, for years after), it forms an idea of that object. This is called a direct idea. But the mind has a power of throwing itself back upon these its own primitive ideas, and of making them in turn the object of another idea. The latter is called a reflex idea. Now, the mind, in contemplating its own idea, may do so in two different ways. It may regard it as a purely psychological fact, that is to say, as an entity -- a modification, -- a fact, -- in the soul. The idea that is formed accordingly, is said to be psychologically reflex. Or it may regard its own idea as representative of an object, with the intention of gaining, by analysis, abstraction, or other method, a more definite knowledge of the Being so represented. The idea thus formed is called ontologically reflex.

IDEOLOGY. The science which deals with thought in its relation to objective truth. By some it has been called Applied Logic. But the nomenclature is not happy. For Logic deals exclusively with the forms, or laws, of thought, and only considers the matter of thought (that in it which is representative of an object), in so far and to such extent as the matter postulates a modification of the form. That part of Logic, therefore, which has these modifications for its object (such as Demonstration or, again, the Topics), is rightly denominated applied, or (to use another term that is in vogue) special Logic. I have, therefore, preferred to call the science first described by the name of Ideology.

INDIVISION. A state of undividedness.

INTENTION (INTENTIO). The stretch of the mind over its object -- its grasp of the latter, -- which really constitutes the idea. Now, the first stretch is the direct idea; as explained above under the word idea. This is called the first intention (prima intentio). The second stretch is over the direct idea; and is called the second intention. Hence, every reflex idea might be called a second intention. But, as a fact, the term is exclusively applied to ideas that are logically reflex. An idea is logically reflex, wherein the mind stretches itself afresh over its first intention or previous idea, simply and only to discover and represent to itself the form of the first thought, -- the mould in which it is shaped, -- the logical law in obedience to which it was generated. It entirely excludes from its consideration all in thought that is representative of an object, and simply looks to the shape which the thought, as a thought, exhibits. The ideas which result from this process are called Second Intentions, -- 'the entire and adequate formal subject of Logic,' as Sanderson justly remarks. INTENTIO INTELLECTA. The name given by Avicenna to the objective concept. See under CONCEPT. INTENTIONAL (INTENTIONALLY). In Ideology, that which partakes of the nature of a mental intention, or idea.

INTUITION (INTUITIVE). An act of the understanding specifically so called, as distinguished from an act of the reason specifically so called. The operation of the former is an act; of the latter, a process. The one primarily cognizes self-evident truths; the other discovers, or renders explicit, truths implicitly contained in others, by reasoning either inductive or deductive. Hence the understanding forms its intuitions; the reason, its conclusions. The verb INTUE is now used by some philosophical writers.


LEMMA. Something borrowed from another science and assumed to be true on its authority. p. 290.


MATTER. That element in an entity which is indeterminate in itself and is capable of receiving determination from another. Consequently, as matter, it is purely passive. This is the most generic meaning of the word. PRIMORDIAL MATTER. One of the two essential constituents of all bodies. It is a purely passive potentiality, only capable of existence in union with some form; of all real entities the nearest to nothingness. See FORM. Its existence and nature will be fully discussed in the next volume. p. 227. INTELLIGIBLE MATTER. That which is considered by mental abstraction as solely determined by the laws and forms of quantity, -- the whole adequate formal subject of pure mathematics, p. 497.

MAJOR PREMISS. That Judgment of the syllogism, wherein the major term is judicially connected with the middle term. Hence its name. MINOR PREMISS. That Judgment, or Proposition, of the syllogism, wherein the minor term is judicially connected with the middle term. Hence its name. It is sometimes called the assumption. Both these Judgments, or Propositions, are called premisses, because they are presupposed to the conclusion, as its causes.

MAJOR TERM. The predicate of the conclusion. MINOR TERM. The subject of the conclusion. MIDDLE TERM. That term which becomes the medium of judicially connecting the major and minor terms in the conclusion, by virtue of its previous judicial comparison with each of these terms in the premisses. Hence, each of these three terms appears twice in the syllogism; -- the middle term twice in the premisses, the major and minor terms each once in the premisses and once in the conclusion.

MODE. An entity which cannot by any possibility exist apart from the subject which it informs. Thus, the contact of the water with the glass cannot possibly exist apart from the water. The sitting position cannot exist apart from the man who is seated. p. 243.

A MINORI AD MAJUS. One of the Places (topoi) enumerated by Aristotle. A Place is a particular class of arguments that are conversant with contingent matter, and belong to Rhetoric more than to pure Logic. Its symbol may be thus given: Much more, or How much more. It is only valid in an affirmative form; just as its opposite, A MAJORI AD MINUS, is only valid in a negative form. Example of the former: If it takes so much to feed four persons; how much more to feed a dozen. Example of the latter: If a man cannot carry the weight; much less can a boy carry it.


NOTE. A mark which makes an entity known, -- by which it is distinguished. ESSENTIAL NOTE. That which makes an essence known, or that by which an essence is distinguished. ACCIDENTAL or INDIVIDUAL NOTE. That by which an individual is distinguished. p. 325.


OBJECT. That which is objected, or presented before, the mind. FORMAL OBJECT of a science is that reality in the object which the science professedly contemplates, and which forms its adequate and distinctive subject-matter. MATERIAL OBJECT of a science is the entity which possesses the aforesaid reality, or which is really identified with it. The latter may be common to many entities; the former never can be. Thus, man is the material object common to many sciences or disciplines, v.g. Ethics, Psychology, Anatomy, Medicine, etc. But man as a moral Being tending by his free-will to his constituted end, is peculiar to Ethics. That which is the object, is also called the subject, of a science. It is the object of contemplation, the subject of investigation. MORAL OBJECT. The purpose or end of an action.

OBJECTIVE is opposed to SUBJECTIVE. The former denotes that which is outside us; the latter, that which is within us. Thus, objective truth is ontological; subjective truth is purely logical.

OECONOMICS. The science of social life. Some moderns have styled it sociology.


ONTOLOGY. The science of Being. ONTOLOGICAL. Belonging to Being. ONTOLOGICAL TRUTH. Real, as distinguished from conceptual, or logical, truth. It is often used in the sense of metaphysical truth.

IN OBLIQUO. IN RECTO. These terms are grammatical. A substantive is said to be in recto, when it is in the direct or nominative case; in obliquo, when it is in any of the indirect or oblique cases, p. 329.


PARALOGISM. A syllogism which is deficient in form.

PASSION (PASSIO). That by which an entity is affected; -- that which is received in an enfity. See pp. 156. It is logically identical with attribute; and correspends also, more or less, with property in the list of Predicables. In Metaphysics the three Transcendental attributes are commonly called passiones (affections) of Being. In demonstration, the major term of the syllogism is the passio of the subject.

PERIPATETICISM. The philosophy of Aristotle. A disciple of that School is called a PERIPATETIC; so called, because the pupils of Aristotle were wont to walk about the Athenian Lyceum during their instructions and disputations.

PERIPHERY. The circumference of a circle. It is applied to the limit of a concept, a science, etc.

PERSEITY. The existing by itself of an entity, -- the existing in its own right.

PERSONALITY (PERSON). A substantial mode by which a complete intellectual substance is so individually completed in his own right, that it is incommunicable to any other. This mode in complete irrational substance is called supposit. Intellectual substance, as perfected by this mode, is called PERSON. That which belongs to him by virtue of such individual incommunicability, is said to be PERSONAL. The subject will be treated at length in another volume.

PHANTASMA (PHANTASM). An impression made in the sensory by sensile perception, or the perception of the senses. It can be evoked at will by the imagination, which has been not inaptly termed the memory of the senses. While the human soul remains united to the body, a phantasma accompanies every, -- even the most abstract, -- concept, or act, of the intellect. The use of the Latin word is preferable to that of the English, because this latter is generally employed to signify a mere fancy.

PHENOMENON. An appearance; that which meets the senses. The formal objects, therefore, of experience, -- of physical experiment -- are PHENOMENAL. The word is opposed to noumenon, which represents an object of the pure understanding. Accidents and their action are phenomena; essences, or natures, are noumena.

POSITION. In Ideology a truth laid down. Hence, the verb To POSIT, that is, to lap down.

POTENTIALITY (POTENTIAL). A capability. Now, a capability may be active or passive. An active capability is a capacity of doing, acting, energizing, working. This is called an ACTIVE POTENTIALITY. Such are the forces of nature, bodily power, the faculties of intellect and will. A passive capability is a capacity of receiving (i.e. a receptivity), -- a capability of being perfected by another. Such are, the capacity of wax for receiving an impression, the capacity of water for receiving the form of heat the capacity of a criminal for receiving corporal punishment, the capability of human nature for receiving the gift of immortality. This is called a PASSIVE POTENTIALITY. It is to be noticed, however, that all entities, save two, have both active and passive potentiality. These two are the Infinite, because, being most pure Act, He has no potentiality at all; and primordial matter which is simply and exclusively a passive potentiality. Every potentiality is perfected by its act. POTENTIAL. That which is capable of act or actuation. POTENTIAL WHOLE. That which is capable of becoming a true, or distributed, universal, -- an absolute universal, pp. 293-296.

PRIORITY (PRIOR). The state of being before something else. PRIORITY OF NATURE. The state of being before something else by nature, inasmuch as the prior entity is independent of the something else, but the something else is dependent on the former. Thus, the intellectual faculty is prior in order of nature to its thought; for it is independent of the thought, but the thought is dependent on it. PRIORITY OF TIME. The state of being before something else in order of time. PRIORITY OF ORDER. The state of being before something else in a given series.

PRIVATION (PRIVATIVE). The being without something that belongs of right to the deprived entity. It is thus distinguished from want or absence, (carentia), which is simply being without something. Thus, a mackerel is deprived of its fins; but a bird wants, or is without them. See p. 533.

PROCESS INFINITE. When one thing supposes another, and that other another, and so on for ever. When one thing presupposes another, and so on for ever, it is called an infinite regress. Now, if one thing supposes others in an infinite series as necessary condition of its own existence, it is plain that it could never be. But this is a contradiction in terms. In the condition of an infinite regress, there is no such metaphysical repugnance; because an infinite series a parte ante (that is to say, in its commencing,) completes itself existentially, as it goes on, In the one case, the series already is; in the other, it is to be.

PROLEGOMENON. An explanation prefixed to a proposition, in order to render the subsequent proof more intelligible.

PROPERTY. In Logic one of the five Predicables. Property is an accident that is simply convertible with the logical whole of which it is the property. GENERIC PROPERTY is that which is simply convertible with genus. SPECIFIC PROPERTY is that which is simply convertible with species. Considered metaphysically, Property is a reality which does not form any part of the essence of a thing, but flows from, and necessarily accompanies it. Thus, the intellectual faculties are properties of the human soul.

PROSYLLOGISM. A syllogism which contains within itself one or, at the most, two other cryptical syllogisms. For it includes a proof of either one or other of the premisses, or of both. To take an example from Aristotle's Ethics: The supreme good is perfect. But pleasure (since it is a motion and sort of generation) is not perfect. Therefore, it is not the supreme good. In this instance, the cryptical syllogism is contained in the minor premiss. Sometimes, the term prosyllogism is applied to the cryptical syllogism.

PROTOTYPE (PROTOTYPAL). The original pattern after which anything is formed. It is likewise called archetype.

PSYCHOLOGY (PSYCHOLOGICAL). The science of soul. It embraces within its subject-matter the souls of animals, but principally treats of the human soul, its nature, properties, etc.

PETITIO PRINClPII. A begging of the question. It is a logical fallacy, wherein that which professedly has to be proved in the conclusion, is taken for granted in the premisses; so that it serves to prove itself.

DE POTENTIA ABSOLUTA. DE POTENTIA ORDINATA. These are two phrases which are used to modify possibility or impossibility. Accordingly, a thing is said to be possible or impossible de potentia absoluta, when it is absolutely possible or absolutely impossible, even in regard of the Divine Omnipotence. A thing is said to he possible or impossible de potentia ordinate when it is possible or impossible according to the moral order. Thus it is possible that a man should commit suicide de potentia absoluta; but it is impossible that he should do it de potentia ordinata. See pp. 77, 78.

A PRIORI. A POSTERIORI. These two terms are used relatively to experience, or experimental knowledge. The one expresses that which is antecedent to, the other that which is consequent upon, and derived from, experience.


QUIDDITY. Essence, Nature. It answers to the question, What (Quid) is the thing? p. 46.


REASON. In Psychology it means two things. It is either taken for the intellectual faculties in general (its generic signification); or it is used to express that particular faculty which is discursive, as distinguished from the Understanding which is intuitive. The Greeks called the former logos, the latter nous.

RECEPTIVITY. The capacity of receiving. REAL RECEPTIVITY is a real capability of receiving something, and connotes the existence of the subject capable of receiving. Thus, primordial matter is a real receptivity, because it is real itself and really receptive of the substantial form. CONCEPTUAL RECEPTIVITY is a capability of receiving something that is not real, but is conceived by the mind; and does not connote the existence of the subject. Thus, finite Being is said to be receptive of existence, because it is contingent and exists by virtue of another; but there is no real receptivity, because there is no real being to receive.

REDUPLICATIVELY. A term which expresses a doubling back of the mind on its own concept and, consequently, on the word that expresses such concept. Thus, -- to take an instance from Aristotle, -- Virtue, as (qua) virtue, is an extreme; considered in its relation to vice, it is a mean between two extremes, In the former of the two clauses, virtue is taken reduplicatively.


RELATION. One of the ten Categories of Aristotle. It is an accident; and may be described (for the definition of a supreme, or highest, genus is impossible) as the order or respect that one entity has to another. PREDICAMENTAL RELATION is a relation under the Category. It is simply and exclusively respective; since it merely regards its term. Thus, brotherhood is a predicamental relation; since its whole reality consists in its order towards another who is its term. A brother is the brother of his brother. A TRANSCENDENTAL RELATION is one which primarily connotes something positive, -- such as dependence, production, cognoscibility, desirableness, -- which is foundation of the relation. To put it more clearly: a Predicamental relation exercises no other office than that of simply looking to its term; while Transcendental relation besides and primarily exercises some other office in respect of its term, -- for instance, of producing, of depending, etc. Thus, there is a relation between knowledge and the truth known, because of the cognoscibllity of the latter. As all finite Being is in some such way dependent on some other, such relation runs through all the Categories and beyond. Hence it is called Transcendental. Thus, every accident is related to substance, because it depends on the latter as its subject; and substance is related to accident by which it is perfected, p. 390. TERM OF RELATION. That entity to which the relation looks. It is also used to signify the subject of the relation. Hence, one reads of the two terms of relation. RELATIVE. The subject of relation. CORRELATIVE. The term of the same relation. Thus, in fatherhood the father is the subject, or relative; the son, the term, or correlative. The question will be fully investigated in another volume.

RESPECT. A bastard sort of relation, -- neither a predicamental nor a transcendental relation, yet bearing a nearer resemblance to the latter. It is also called HABITUDE (habit). Such is the order of truth to the intellect and of goodness to the will. It may be described as a referribility to something else, founded in a certain convenience, or aptitude, or compatibility.


REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM. A reduction to an absurdity. A species of elenchtic demonstration, which destroys the conclusion or antecedent of an opponent by reducing it to an absurdity. It is an inferior form of demonstration; but is very useful when, from the nature of the case, ostensive demonstration is impossible. To take an instance: -- It is impossible to demonstrate directly the falseness of perfect scepticism, because there is no foundation for an argnment, that is not preoccupied by a doubt. The infallibility of the reasoning faculty (positis ponendis) and of the understanding, -- the formal laws of thought, lie under the interdict of doubt. But you can expose its absurdity thus; Either the sceptic doubts the truth of his scepticism, or he does not. If he does doubt; the categorical enunciation of his doubt is absurd. If he does not doubt; he gives the lie to his own system, seeing that there is something about which he does not doubt, -- to wit his philosophy of doubt.


SCIENCE. A habit in the soul demonstrative of truth (hexis apodeiktikos, as Aristotle defines it). Consequently, no habit of induction can be properly called a science. The above is the meaning of science, considered subjectively. Objectively considered, science means the collection of ordered truths, within a certain definite sphere, acquired by such habit. This latter use of the term is analogical. To speak, then, of the physical disciplines as sciences, is a strange misnomer. Similarly, expertmentalists are nowadays commonly called, and rather like calling themselves, scientific men. Nay, more there are some who have not scrupled to appropriate to these investigations the name of philosophy. Others, more moderate, have claimed a partnership in the name. Accordingly, in some library-catalogues one is amused at seeing a division headed mental philosophy; as though Philosophy could he anything else than mental, pp. 7-9.


SENSILE. That which belongs to the senses, or is connected with them. It is a word coined by the author from the Latin, in order to avoid the amubiguity of the English word sensible. SENSILE JUDGMENT bears two meanings. For it expresses either a sort of imitation-judgment of the senses, such as is observable in brute animals, or a true intellectual judgment concerning things of sense.

SPECIES. One of the five Predicables in Logic. It is the result of the determination of the genus by means of the difference. Metaphysically, it is representative of the essence. p. 332.

SUBALTERNANT. SUBALTERNATE. That which retains another under itself; and, That which is retained under the former. In Logic, they are the terms of subaltern opposition, i.e. of the opposition between a universal and its corresponding particular (in the same quality, AI and EO). The universal is the subalternant; the particular, the subalternate. As applied to the sciences, in Ideology the SUBALTERNANT SCIENCE is the one which imparts to its subordinate sciences their first principles; the SUBALTERNATE SCIENCE is the one that borrows its first principles from the former, -- the governing science. SUBALTERNANT, -- SUBALTERNATE, pp. 13, 14.

SUBJECT. i. That which is treated of in a science or discipline, -- the subject-matter. Thus, the subject of Astronomy is the celestial bodies. ii. That which is subjected to the action of an efficient cause and, more especially, to the actuation of any form. Thus, for instance, substance is the common subject of all the accidents. For the sake of distinction, when the word is employed in this latter sense, it has been printed in this work with a capital S. In Logic, SUBJECT is the Minor Term of a syllogism.

SUBSISTENCE. A mode by which substance becomes master of itself and incommunicable to another. An incomplete substance may be perfected by this mode; forasmuch as it is incommunicable to another as sustaining or receiving its nature, though capable of conjunction with another incomplete substance. Thus, for instance, the human soul, separated from the body, has subsistence, but not personality. The former mode secures it from the commnunicability native to an accident; the latter, from the communicability proper to an incomplete substance. See PERSONALITY.

SUPPOSIT (SUPPOSITUM). A substance complete in its nature alike and in its substantiality, and, consequently, master of itself and incommunicable to another in such wise as to become the latter's nature.

SYNTHESIS (SYNTHETICAL). Combination, -- composition. It is the opposite of analysis. By synthesis the elements of a concept are gathered into one whole. Thus, induction, generalization, logical definition, are synthetical; deduction, abstraction, logical division, are analytical.


TERM. A boundary or limit. In Logic it denotes the subject and predicate of a judgment; the major, minor, and middle, of a syllogism. In Metaphysics it denotes the limit of a cause, more particularly of an efficient cause. In Ethics, the final cause is the term, because the limit of desire. From the explanation given, it will be easy to gather the meaning of the verb TERMINATE, as well as of the adverb TERMINATIVELY.

TRANSCENDENTAL. That which enters into each one of the Categories of Aristotle, and goes beyond, or transcends, them.

TYPAL IDEA. An idea which serves as a model of production. Thus, the conception of the artist is the model of his painting.


UBICATION. The position of an entity. In material entities, position in space.

UNDERSTANDING. The intuitive faculty of the human soul, p. 36. See INTUITION.

UNIVERSAL. A concept which represents its object apart from any individual notes or conditions. Among its various divisions two require special notice. i. A DIRECT UNIVERSAL is the primitive intuitive act of the understanding, which intues the essence, or partial essence, of its object through the sensile perception by its own (as it were) instinctive nature. For essence (which is an absolute universal) is the formal object of the understanding. Such acts of the understanding are patent in the first thoughts of a child. A REFLEX UNIVERSAL. That which is acquired by the reflection of the understanding on its own primitive concept. By such process the universal becomes more and more clear, definite, philosophical, p. 15. ii. ABSOLUTE UNIVERSAL, which is metaphysical. This is a true universal in germ, and foundation of the logical universal. It represents the object, stripped of its individual conditions, purely as it is in its own nature, or essence; but represents it in its simple unity, irrespective of its potential distribution. RELATIVE UNIVERSAL, which is logical. This is a true and proper universal. It formally represents an essence, or nature, as communicated and communicable to individuals either virtually or explicitly, -- virtually, in genera and subaltern species; explicitly, in the ultimate species. But, in every case, it is measured by extension, -- that is to say, by its referribility to those entities that are included within its periphery.

UNIVOCAL. A grammatical term which has found its entrance into Logic, with the authority of Aristotle in justification. As applied to words, (its primary and native meaning,) it is thus distinguished from equivocal and analogous terms. Univocal; -- one word, one meaning. Equivocal; -- one word with more than one meaning. Analogous; -- one word with one meaning after a certain fashion, but with more than one meaning simply, p. 68. UNIVOCAL CAUSE. A cause which in its nature is terminated to one specific effect. See CAUSE.

UBI, or place, is one of the Categories of Aristotle.


WHOLE. Logical whole, -- the whole of extension; metaphysical whole, -- the whole of comprehension. The two are in inverse ratio; that is to say, as you near the logical, you proportionally recede from the metaphysical, whole; and the nearer you are to the whole of comprehension, the further you are from the whole of extension. In plainer womds, the wider the periphery of the idea, the fewer are the notes that it contains; and the more notes an idea contains, the more restricted and less containing its periphery. pp. 25, 26.

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