A translation of Fr Alain Contat's Logica


21 August 2008

General Overview (4)

3. Implications of the acts of the mind

3.1 Structure of the intellective act in genere

To correctly determine the place of logic, it is necessary to distinguish accurately the many aspects which make up a concept in the mind. Let's first analyze an example, the enunciation "Peter is polite". This simple affirmation includes four things in one and the same act of judgment:
a) the act itself of judging that Peter is polite.
b) correlatively, the product immanent in this mental act, in this case, the proposition "Peter is polite" considered as an intelligible expression of thought.
c) the external word "Peter is polite" or at least the same internal word, considered as a linguistic expression of the intelligible proposition.
d) either the perception or if he's absent, the imagined representation of Peter and his manners.

It is extremely important to grasp the diversity of these. In particular, it should be noted that:
1) a) is not b): the act of judgment is different from the proposition as the act of construction differs from the thing constructed*.
2) b) is not c): while the linguistic expression is different in different languages ("Peter is polite", "Pierre est poli", "Pedro es civil", "Pietro e garbato", etc) the intelligible expression is identical for all men, although there is may never be, in the state of union with the body, a thought which is not made incarnate in a language.
3) b) is not d): one thing is the understanding that Peter is polite, which proceeds from the intellect, and another thing is the visual perception or memorized imagination of "Peter - polite"

* Cf I-II 90,1,2m: Sicut in actibus exterioribus est considerare operationem et operatum, put aedificationem et aedificatum; it in operibus rationis est considerare ipsum actum rationis, qui est intelligere et ratiocinari, et aliquid per huiusmodi actum contitutum. Quod quidem in speculativa ratione primo quidem est definitio; secundo, enunciatio; tertio vero, syllogismus vel argumentatio
I-II 90,1,2m
Just as, in external action, we may consider the work and the work done, for instance the work of building and the house built; so in the acts of reason, we may consider the act itself of reason, i.e. to understand and to reason, and something produced by this act. With regard to the speculative reason, this is first of all the definition; secondly, the proposition; thirdly, the syllogism or argument.


Jessica said...

By what principle does he distinguish a and b?

Niggardly Phil said...

b) is the product or expression of a), but remains immanent to the act.

I think an analogy could be made to sight, where we could distinguish the act of seeing, and the view, which remains immanent to the act of seeing.

But I certainly don't claim to be the final interpreter of the work. Perhaps it will become clearer further on.

Niggardly Phil said...

It would also help if I posted the footnote, sheesh. Well that's why I don't get paid the big bucks.

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