Deductive Logic

by George William Joseph Stock, M.A.

Part 1: Chapter 2

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1888
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Stock, G. W. J. (1888). Deductive Logic. Oxford, England; Pembroke College.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 618
  • Genre: Informational
  • Keywords: math, math history
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |




Of the Division of Things.

77. Before entering on the divisions of terms it is necessary to advert for a moment to a division of the things whereof they are names.

78. By a ‘thing’ is meant simply an object of thought—whatever one can think about.

79. Things are either Substances or Attributes. Attributes may be sub-divided into Qualities and Relations.

    |                               |
Substance                       Attribute
                      |                          |
                   Quality                    Relation

80. A Substance is a thing which can be conceived to exist by itself. All bodies are material substances. The soul, as a thinking subject, is an immaterial substance.

81. An Attribute is a thing which depends for its existence upon a substance, e.g. greenness, hardness, weight, which cannot be conceived to exist apart from green, hard, and heavy substances.

82. A Quality is an attribute which does not require more than one substance for its existence. The attributes just mentioned are qualities. There might be greenness, hardness, and weight, if there were only one green, hard and heavy substance in the universe.

83. A Relation is an attribute which requires two or more substances for its existence, e.g. nearness, fatherhood, introduction.

84. When we say that a substance can be conceived to exist by itself, what is meant is that it can be conceived to exist independently of other substances. We do not mean that substances can be conceived to exist independently of attributes, nor yet out of relation to a mind perceiving them. Substances, so far as we can know them, are only collections of attributes. When therefore we say that substances can be conceived to exist by themselves, whereas attributes are dependent for their existence upon substances, the real meaning of the assertion reduces itself to this, that it is only certain collections of attributes which can be conceived to exist independently; whereas single attributes depend for their existence upon others. The colour, smoothness or solidity of a table cannot be conceived apart from the extension, whereas the whole cluster of attributes which constitutes the table can be conceived to exist altogether independently of other ‘such clusters. We can imagine a table to exist, if the whole material universe were annihilated, and but one mind left to perceive it. Apart from mind, however, we cannot imagine it: since what we call the attributes of a material substance are no more than the various modes in which we find our minds affected.

85. The above division of things belongs rather to the domain of metaphysics than of logic: but it is the indispensable basis of the division of terms, to which we now proceed.