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LESSON 3: SIMPLE APPREHENSION, TERMS AND CONCEPTS

(For Classroom purposes ONLY)



In our previous discussions, it has been established that logic is the fundamental field of
philosophy and is primarily concerned with correct thinking and reasoning. Valid reasoning is not just
any mental exercise but it must always be directed towards the attainment of truth.

SIMPLE APPREHENSION

Before we could determine the truthfulness or falsity of a thing, the thing must first be
apprehended by the mind. This act of the mind is generally referred to as SIMPLE APPREHENSION. It is
an act whereby the mind grasps the general meaning of the term without making any affirmation or
denial about it. The product of simple apprehension is what we call CONCEPT.

To illustrate:
We have concepts: Man but when we make affirmations like Man is mortal
Book books are educational
Dog dogs are loyal
Marker Marker is black

then we are not simple making an apprehension of the thing but we are now making a judgment.
JUDGMENT is the affirmation or denial of the quality of the thing being apprehended. Although
judgment is distinct from simple apprehension, it should be noted that the latter presupposes the
former.

PROPERTIES of simple apprehension
Comprehension of Concepts Extension of concepts
It refers to the complete expressed sum of it refers to the sum of real things, both actual
understandable aspects or elements represented and possible, to which the essence can be
by a concept. applied.

Note: the comprehension and extension of concepts are INVERSELY RELATED i.e. as the comprehension
of a concept INCREASES, its extension DECREASES and VICE VERSA.

To illustrate:
COMPREHENSION ELEMENTS EXTENSIONS
man Substance, material, living,
nutritive, sentient, rational
All possible men
Animal Substance, material, living,
nutritive, sentient
All possible men
All possible animals
plants Substance, material, living,
nutritive
All possible men
All possible animals
All possible plants

FOUR CATEGORIES OF CONCEPTS

1. FIRST AND SECOND INTENTION intention is an act of the mind where things are represented
by it.
a. First intention concept by which we identify a thing according to its very nature excluding
all other attributes. e.g. dogs are mammals, men are bipedal.
b. Second intention concept in which we include to our understanding of the nature or
essence of the thing all possible attributes which characterizes the existence of the thing as
perceived by the mind.

2. CONCRETE AND ABSTRACT
a. The concept is CONCRETE when it creates in the mind both a form (qualities, attributes or
characteristics) and a subject in which the form is inherent. E.g. cars, coffee, husband; so as
other concepts whose forms are integral to the subject itself like red car, black coffee, loyal
husband.
b. The concept is ABSTRACT when we think of a form separated from the subject e.g. honesty,
intelligence, devotion, nationalism are concepts that represent meanings as though they are
things or subjects themselves existing independently of subjects. They DO NOT describe
what the subjects are but make the subjects what they are.

3. ABSOLUTE AND CONNOTATIVE CONCEPTS
a. Absolute concepts are those that present their objects to the mind as independent realities,
either as a substance or as though they were substances.
b. Connotative concepts are presented to the mind as accidents which are inherent to a
substance. They are forms which merely suggest but do not indicate the nature or essence
of the subjects. Generally, adjectives like friendly, rude, kind, strong, weak and some nouns
provided they are use like adjectives such as announcer, debater, singer are considered as
connotative concepts.

4. POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE CONCEPTS
a. Positive concepts present to the mind what the thing is or what they possess.
b. Negative concepts are those which present to the mind what the thing is not or what it
lacks. Negative concepts can be formed by the use of the articles NO or NOT in a declarative
statement.

TERM
A TERM is a signifier, symbol, representation of an idea or concept which is a product of simple
apprehension. It is the basic indivisible element of an inference (also known as reasoning).

ETYMOLOGY
Term is from the Latin word terminus which literally means the last element to which a
proposition may be resolved. In relation to inference or argument, the term is a word or arrangement
of words that can serve as the subject or predicate of a proposition which, basically, is a statement of
denial or affirmation about something.

In logic, terms should be taken separately from words because not all words are terms. ONLY
WORDS THAT SIGNIFY A CONCEPT ARE TERMS. Adverbs, conjunctions and disjunctions, demonstrative
pronouns and articles are words and not logical terms. Proper names are words and not terms. For
example, Francisco Mercado does not follow that Francisco is a merchant or Norman Black is necessarily
black complexioned because surnames do not denote the essence of the bearer of the name.

FORMS OF TERMS
1. ORAL only an articulate sound can be a term, that is, is a sound formed in the mouth and
consisting of one or more distinct syllables (defined by the use of vowels and consonants).
2. WRITTEN group or characters and letters inscribed with the use of instruments on a writable
surface. A written term must symbolize an entity (idea, object, relationship or event) which
gives it meaning. Arrangements of letter that does not have any signification is nothing more
but mere scribbling and should not be considered a term.

FIVE CLASSIFICATIONS OF TERMS
COMPONENTS The basis is the number of words that constitute a term.
SIMPLE term is made up of only one word representing an idea or thing
COMPOUND term is made up of arranged group of words which refers to one thing or
kind of thing taken as one whole unit.
MEANING A term is a word that conveys meaning
UNIVOCAL - diff. spelling and sound but have the same meaning.
- Same spelling, sound and meaning in at least 2 occurrences
e.g. Man is mortal
but Marcus is a man
therefore Marcus is mortal

EQUIVOCAL - same spelling and sound but diff. meanings in at least 2 occurrences.
e.g. A star is a heavenly body
Krista is a star
Krista is a heavenly body

ANALOGOUS - partly the same and partly diff. meanings in at least 2 occurrences
DISTRIBUTIVE/COLLECTIVE distributive refers to terms that are extended to or realized
in each of the individual contained within its extension (bodily, rational) Collective
refers to terms that applies to a collection or aggregation of individuals (battalion, army,
pairs, myriads etc.)

**Note: caution should be used in using distributive/collective terms as some terms could be used both
ways ( the ASEAN participants, the delegates to the UN convention, the Philippine WYD participants)

QUALITY POSITIVE - when they expressed what is real/true or essential of a thing
- When they signify or affirm the existence or presence of desirable
qualities
NEGATIVE when they indicate the lack or absence of form, ability or quality

**Note: adding the prefix dis- or suffix less MAY change the quality of terms.

RELATION TO OBJECT REAL when they indicate what is true in nature or reality whether our minds
perceive them or not i.e. their existence is not dependent on the human mind.
CONCEPTUAL when they express ideas that can conceivably be verified in the
existing universe (race, social class, possible beings)
- when they express ideas that can be conceived of as existing without
contradiction, even though there are no discernable reason for its actual
existence (gold mountain, kal-el, raining cats and dogs, tree a mile high)
a. IDEAL Logical beings
- mathematical beings
- negative concepts
b. IMAGINARY when they express the results of fantasy and the creative
artistic mind. (talking bush, dancing lights, eternal flame, golden Buddha palm,
bird-brain person)

QUANTITY/EXTENSION ABSOLUTE when the term is used to cover all the individuals or groups
referred to by the term. (Man is rational)
FUNCTIONAL when the term includes those referred to in a
conversation or argument. (The man of today is social, political and
practical)

KINDS OF FUNCTIONAL EXTENSION OF TERMS

1. A term is SINGULAR if it is use to refer to one individual or group of persons or things which it
designates specifically and definitely.
a. Proper nouns Manila, Hawaii, Cebu, Allan, UST, Asia
b. Superlatives best, brightest, poorest, lowest, most, least
c. Demonstrative pronouns this, that, those, these
d. Personal pronouns I, you, he, we, us
e. Common nouns that have superlative and demonstrative modifiers this university,
that building, the brightest child
f. Collective nouns team, flock, clan, the 3 fine ladies, the battalion
2. A term is PARTICULAR when it signifies an indefinite part of an absolute extension. Even if the
term refers to one individual or group but it does not specifically designate said individual or
group, the term is still particular in extension. Nouns that have indefinite adjectives as modifiers
(some, many, several, few, most ) or nouns preceded by indefinite articles a and an are
particular terms.
A. Some men are hardworking.
B. Many Thomasians belong to the middle-upper class of society.
C. An egg is worth a lot of money.
3. A term is UNIVERSAL when it is use to designate all individuals or kinds to which the term can be
applied. Nouns are universal when they are introduced by universal modifiers such as ALL,
EACH, EVERY, EVERYTHING, ANYTHING, ANYONE. A term is also universal even without universal
modifiers when the term is use collectively. (The Filipinos, The horses, The cows and The birds)
A. All men are mortal
B. Dogs are not reptiles
C. Anyone is welcome in UST
D. Everything has its own value


COMPREHENSION AND EXTENSION OF TERMS
**Note: just like our understanding on the comprehension and extension of concepts, the relationship
of terms is also inversely proportional.

To illustrate:

Increasing comprehension :animal, men, Asian, Filipino, Pedro
Increasing extension :Pedro, Filipino, Asian, men, animal

Decreasing comprehension :Pedro, Filipino, Asian, men, animal
Decreasing extension :animal, men, Asian, Filipino, Pedro