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an introduction

·to

susanne k. Zanger

AN INVESTIGATION OF THE LAWS OF THOUGHT

by George Boole

{;eorge Boole was one of the greatest mathematicians of the 19th century, and one of the most influential thinkers of all time. Not,. only did he make important contributions to differential equations and calculus of finite differences, he also was the discoverer of invariants, and the founder of modern symbolic logic. According to Bertrand Russell, "Pure mathematics was discovered by George Boole in his work published in 1854."

THE INVESTIGATION OF THE LAWS OF THOUGHT is the first exten­ sive statement of the modern view that mathematics is a pure deductive science that can be applied to various situations. Boole first showed how classical logic could be treated with algebraic terminology and operations, and then proceeded to· a general sym­ bolic method of logical inference; he also attempted to devise a calculus of probabilities which could be applied to situations hitherto considered beyond investigation.

The enormous range of this work can be seen from chapter head­ ings: Nature and Design of This Work; Signs and Their Laws; Deriva­ tion of Laws; Division of Propositions; Principles of Symbolical Reasoning; Interpretation; Elimination; Reduction; Methods of Abbre­ viation; Conditions of a Perfect Method; Secondary Propositions; Methods in Secondary Propositions; Clarke and Spinoza; Analysis; Aristotelian Logic; Theory of Probabilities; General Method in Prob­ abilities; Elementary Illustrations; Statistical Conditions; Problems \ on Causes; Probability of Judgments; Constitution of the Intellect. This last chapter, Constitution of the Intellect, 'is a very significant analysis of the psychology of discovery a d !cientific method.

"A

lisher is to

CAN.

classic

of

pure

mathematics

and

symbolic

be thanked for making it availpble,"

·.

'

logic

pub­

SCIENTIFIC AMERI-

the

Unabridged reproduction of 1854 edition, with corrections macf in

the text. xviii + 424pp. 5% x 8.

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symbolic

on

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other

No special

forgotten

mathematical

for

particularly

introductory

knowl­

most of

logic

logic

scientist

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mathematical

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AN

INTRODUCTION

SYMBOLIC

by

SUSANNE

K.

LOGIC

LANGER

TO

DOVER

SECOND EDITION

(REVISED)

by SUSANNE K. LOGIC LANGER TO DOVER SECOND EDITION (REVISED) ' ' 6265 f1v. Augusto <!aUma,

'

'

6265

f1v.

Augusto <!aUma, 133.

Sr!6re/oj!J: 19

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MatetJ

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PUBLICATIONS,

NEW

YORK

I

(

INC.

/,

FIRST

PUBLISHED

IN

SECOND EDITION,

I937

1953

COPYRIGHT 1953 BY SUSANNE K. LANGER

I I'IONTI·.D

ANI)

ll

IN SECOND EDITION, I937 1953 COPYRIGHT 1953 BY SUSANNE K. LANGER I I'I O N TI

UND

IN

TilE

U.S.A.

TO MY MOTHER ELSE U. KNAUTH

--

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CONTENTS

PREFACE To the First Edition PREFACE To the Second Edition

INTRODUCTION

THE

STUDY

OF

CHAPTER I

FORMS

I.

The Importance of Form

2.

Logical Form

Structure

4·

Form and Content

The Value of Analogy

6.

Abstraction

7·

Concepts

8.

Interpretation

'9·

The Field of Logic

10.

Logic and Philosophy

THE

ESSENTIALS

OF

CHAPTER II

LOGICAL

STRUCTURE

I. Relations and Elements

PAGE

II

13

1 7

21

45

2. Terms and Degxee 3 · Propositions

4 · Natural Language and Logical Symbolism

5· Some Principles Governing Symbolic Expression 6. The Power of Symbols

CHAPTER

III

THE ESSENTIALS OF LOGICAL STRUCTURE (continued)

1.

2.

Context

Concepts and Conceptions Formal Context The Universe of Discourse Constituent Relations

64

6

AN

INTRODUCTION

TO

SYMBOLIC

LOGIC

Truth-Values 5· Related Propositions in a Formal Context

6.

Constituent Relations and Logical Relations Systems Deductive Inductive Mixed

GENERALIZATION

CHAPTER

IV

I. Regularities of a System

2. Variables

3· Values

Propositional Forms The Quantifiers (a) and (3a)

4· 5· Propositional Forms The Quantifiers (a) and (3a) PAGE General Propositions The Economy of General

PAGE

5· Propositional Forms The Quantifiers (a) and (3a) PAGE General Propositions The Economy of General Propositions

General Propositions The Economy of General Propositions The Formality of General Propositions

g. Quantified Terms in Natural Discourse

8.

6.

 

CHAPTER

V

CLASSES

I.

Individuals and Classes

2.

Membership in a Class

Concepts and Classes

"Defining Forms" of Classes

Classes and Sub-Classes

6.

The Notion of a "Unit Class"

The Notion of a "Null Class"

8.

The Notion of a "Universe Class"

g.

Identity of Classes

10.

The Uniqueness of " I " and "o"

CHAPTER

VI

PRINCIPAL

RELATIONS

AMONG

CLASSES

II2

CHAPTER VI PRINCIPAL RELATIONS AMONG CLASSES II2 I. The Relation of Class-Inclusion 2. Consequences of the

I. The Relation of Class-Inclusion

2. Consequences of the Definition of "<"

Partial Inclusion or Conjunction of Classes

CONTENTS

7

 

PAGE

Joint Inclusion, or Disjunction of Classes

The Principle of Dichotomy: A and -A

6.

The Importance of Dichotomy: Negation

The Ubiquity of the Null Class

 

8. Complements of Sums and Products

 

g.

Equivalent Expressions

 
 

CHAPTER

VII

THE

UNIVERSE

OF

CLASSES

157

I. Relations and Predicates

2. Classes as Indispensable Constructs in a System

5·

Classes as "Primitive Concepts" in a System The Generalized System of Classes A Convenience of Symbolism: Logical Punctutrtion

THE

DEDUCTIVE

CHAPTER

SYSTEM

OF

VIII

CLASSES

Punctutrtion THE DEDUCTIVE CHAPTER SYSTEM OF VIII CLASSES 1. The Class-System as a Deductive System 2.

1.

The Class-System as a Deductive System

2.

Postulates and Theorems

Truth and Validity

Postulates for the System of Classes, K(a, b .

.

.)< 2

Relations and Operations

6.

Operations as "Primitive Notions"

Postulates for the System, K(a, b

Notions" 7· Postulates for the System, K(a, b 8. The "Calculus" of Classes ) +. X�

8. The "Calculus" of Classes

) +.

X� =

CHAPTER

IX

THE

ALGEBRA

OF

LOGIC

1. The Meaning of "Algebra," and its Relevance to the Class-Calculus

2. Further Discussion of the Postulates

and

Inference 4� Elementary Theorems Tautology, Absorption, Double Negation, Associa­ tion

Principles

of

Proof:

Substitution,

Application,

206

8

AN

INTRODUCTION

TO

SYMBOLIC

LOGIC

6.

The Definition of <, and Inclusion-Theorems

Comparison with Postulates for K(a, b

)<

8.

Fundamental Traits of Boolean Algebra

2

ABSTRACTION

AND

CHAPTER

X

INTERPRETATION

1.

Different Degrees of Formalization

2. Properties of Relations

PAGE

3 ·

Postulates

as Formal Definitions of Relations

4·

Boolean Algebra: the Calculus of Classes as a Formula

5-

Other Interpretations of the Boolean Formula

6.

The Two-Valued Algebra

of the Boolean Formula 6. The Two-Valued Algebra THE CALCULUS OF CHAPTER XI PROPOSITIONS 1. Properties

THE

CALCULUS

OF

CHAPTER

XI

PROPOSITIONS

1. Properties of Logical Relations and Operations

2. Propositional Interpretation of Boolean Algebra

3·

The

Propositional

Calculus

as

an

Algebra

of

Values

5·

6.The Significance of a Propositional Calculus

The Notion of "Material Implication"

The "Reflexiveness" of a Propositional Calculus

Truth-

CH/LPTER

XII

THE ASSUMPTIONS OF PRINCIPIA

MATHEMATICA

266

28 7

I. Limitations and Defects of the "Propositional" Algebra

2. Assertion and Negation

3.

The Calculus of Elementary Propositions of Principia

Mathematica

4· The Most Important Theorems Involving V,

5 ·

and:::>

The

Definition

of

Conjunction, and Some Important

Theorems

6.The

Definition of Equivalence, and Some Important

Theorems•

CONTENTS

9

:>

LOGISTICS

CHAPTER

XIII

I. The Pul)ose of Logistics 2. The Primtive Ideas of Mathematics 3· Functions

4· Assumptiors for a Calculus of General Propositions 5· The Definitims of "Class" and "Membership" 6. The Definiti01 of "Relation"

8.

The Structure of Principia Mathematica

The Value of Logic for Science and Philosophy

SYMBOLIC LOGIC AND T

LOGIC OF THE SYLLOGISM

PROOFS

OF

THEOREMS

I

AND

APPENDIX

C

I Ib

THE CONSTRUCTION AND USE OF TRUTH-TABLES

SUGGESTIONS

FOR

FURTHER

STUDY

INDEX

PAGE

3I2

340

350

352

3 .56

3 61

PRE I'ACE

TO

THE

FIRST

EDITION

SYMBOLIC LO;IC is a relatively new subject, and the easiest

methods of a?proach have not yet been determined. In

point of arran!ement, therefore, this Introduction has no

the need of

state of perfect innocence

to a possible un<.erstanding of the classical literature, has

become acute andcommanding. But, although my text has no predecessor, it has had at

least one inspirer: ny debt to Professor Sheffer of Harvard is too great to be expr�s ed in any detailed acknowledgments. The underlying ideas of e book-its emphasis upon system,

its progress from the spe c to the general, from the general

to the abstract, its whole reatment of logic as a science of forms-all this is due to his · fluence. How many lesser ideas also derive from him I am u able to say; it is the mark of a

great teacher that one cann�t render to him the things

that are his. They become par\ of one's own mentality, and

ultimately of the intellectual commonwealth. To my friend Professor Paul Henle I wish to express my

heartiest thanks for his kindness and patience in reading the entire manuscript, uncovering various errors, and checking

all the algebraic formulae. He has suggested many improve­

ments, and sometimes found simpler or briefer explanations or formal demonstrations. I would also thank Dr. Henry S.

Leonard for some excellent suggestions, �nd for reading a part of the proof.

predecessor. Th\t

is just why it was written:

some systematic guide, from the

S. K.

L.

PRElA.CE TO THE SECOND EDITION

WHE::>r THIS booc was written, there was no systematic textbook of symlolic logic in English except the Symbolic Logic of Lewis a�d Langford. Perhaps Couturat ' s little Summary, The Algtbra of Logic, could also be regarded as a text, in that it se, forth a system developed by various persons, notably De l{organ, Boole, and Schroeder, making no claim for itself to o-i inality ; but that \vas, after all, an outline rather than an troduction. For the rest, every exposition was still in nnection with a contribution:

Lewis ' s Survey of Symbolic ogic had been written mainly to propose the system of "st "ct implication," Russell raised many questions he did not cl · m to settle, Quine was almost completely original ; and eve the most "digested" work (Lewis and Langford) entered i o no elementary discussion of the basic logical notions- \neralization, abstraction, relation, form, system. Such fundamental concepts were taken for granted. They have always been taken for granted in that paragon of pure sciences, mathematics. It is the exceptional student of mathematics who knows why " +" is classed as an operation and '' ='' as a relation, or, indeed, why his exercises are called "examples" ; or who understands, even at a fairly advanced stage of technical proficiency, just how algebra is related to arithmetic. His training is entirely in techniques and their application to problems; arithmetic, geometry and algebra are related for him only by the fact that their several techniques may converge on one and the same problem ; that is to say, they are related practically but not intellec­ tually. The mathematics books used in schools dwell almost · exclusively on rules of operation. The prestige of mathematics is so great that logic, in emulating its method, tended to follow its pedagogy as well. The excellent textbooks of logic that have appeared during

14

AN

INTRODUCTION

TO

SYMBOLIC :tOGIC

the last fifteen years (see the supplementary nM' list appended to "Suggestions for further reading") teJd similarly to emphasize techniques-transformation, iJference, consis­ tency-tests, decision-procedures-without Jetailed explana­ tions of the concepts involved. Now, matnematics has such obvious practical uses that to learn its tricks without understanding their significance is no1 entirely silly ; but may the same be said of symbolic logic. ' Is the manipulation of its symbols of such practical imf')rtance that students should learn to perform logical op:rations even without knowing or questioning their co ceptual foundations? It seems to me that despite its pr tical uses, which are still coming to light in unexpected q rters, its chief value is con­ ceptual. Through the influenc of the various positivistic schools of philosophy, which e certainly the most promi­ nent and perhaps the most romising schools to-day, our scholars and educators are s imbued with methodology that they value the new logic p marily for its codification of the rules of inference. But tha is only one of its contributions to human thought, and even to science ; method can be over­ emphasized, and tends to be so in our intellectual life. Symbolic logic is an instrument of exact thought, both analytic and constructive ; its mission, accordingly, is not only to validate scientific methods, but also to clarify the semantic confusions that beset the popular mind as well as the professional philosopher at the present time. "Semantics" (blessed word!) is in dire need of responsible analysis and skilful handling, and symbolic logic is the most effective preparation I can think of for a frontal attack on the pathetic muddles of modern philosophical thought. It blasts natural misconceptions with every move, not by a process of "de­ bunking," but by purposeful and lucid construction of ideas. Because this book seeks to present in clear, stepwise fashion the elementary concepts of logic, it cannot encompass as much technical material as other textbooks do. But to-day that is not a serious embarrassment, because it may be

as much technical material as other textbooks do. But to-day that is not a serious embarrassment,
as much technical material as other textbooks do. But to-day that is not a serious embarrassment,

supplemented

a standard text.

One

of the

'Y

most useful

devices

now ge·erally

taught-the

construction

of "truth­

tables" to test t�

e legitimacy of constructs

in a truth-value

system-is

incluled

in

edition

this

as Appendix C.

The

reading list for

fu ther study has

been brought

date.

to

up

For the rest, o re'isions have been

made except to correct

especially

errors,

major

in

Chapter

<

IV, which

error

.

mystenouly escapethe

several readers

of

the

script,

and

has

necessitated

a ht le

actual rewriting.

Apart

from these

details, the book is unthanged-a

book for the student

who

ha: no teac�er, or fotl

teacher who has to meet too many

naiVe questions for his co

fort. As such it is still

alone in its

lass, at least for English r

ders ; and in the belief

that there

always a real need for at

IS

east one such book

I send my

Introduction

out anew.

PR}FACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

j uly 1952.

'

1 5

s. K. L.

l
l

l

I N TRODUCTION

THE first thing that strikes the student of symbolic logic is that it has developed along several apparently unrelated lines : (r) the symbolic expression of traditional logic ; (z) the invention of various algebras such as the algebra of logic, and with this the study of postulational technique ; (3) the derivation of mathematics from a set of partially or wholly "logical" postulates ; (4) the investigation of the "laws of thought," and formal deduction of logical principles them­ selves. Every worker in the field drifts into one or another of these specialized endeavours. To a novice, it is hard to see what are the aims, principles, and procedures of logic per se, and what relations the several branches bear to it and to each other. Underlying them all is the principle of generality which culminates in the attainment of abstractions. The several branches of logic are so many stud£es in pmerali.�ation. The aims of logical research may vary with the interests of different investigators-one may be interested in the validity of Aristotelian logic, another in that of mathematics, a third in the canons of science, a fourth in the relation between mathematics and science or mathematics and classical logic, etc., etc.-but the procedure is everywhere the same : it is progressive systematization and generalization. Likewise, the criterion of success is the same : it is the discovery of abstract forms. The latter interest distinguishes logic from natural science, which is in search of general but not abstract formulae, i.e. formulae for concrete facts. In order to prepare the reader for further study in any branch of symbolic logic, I have undertaken to discuss the characteristics of logical science as such, and show precisely how the branches spring from a parent trunk ; to lay down the principles governing all symbolic usage, and to introduce him specifically to the most important systems of symboliza-

<8

AN

IN tUCTION TO

S YMBOLIC

LOGIC

,

tion. To this end it is necessary for the student to have plenty of exercise in the actual manipulation of symbols.

Nothing else can overcome their initial mystery. Symbolic logic, like mathematics, is a technique as well as a theory, and cannot be learned entirely by contemplation. The book is built around the two great classic feats of

symbolic logic :

masterpiece of Messrs. Whitehead and Russell, Principia Mathematica. Its chief aim is to prepare the student to understand the thought and procedure of these two very distinct developments of logic, and to see the connection between them. Most introductions to symbolic logic treat them without relation to each other ; the student, who has mastered the algebraic symbolism and "postulational" method of Boole and Schroeder and feels reasonably familiar with the algebra as a system, suddenly finds himself at a new beginning, confronted with an entirely new realm of ideation, new symbols, new aims. Pedagogically, the transi­ tion is hard to effect. Therefore, this whole book has been planned to show very precisely that "algebra of logic" and "logistic" are all of a piece, and just how, why, and where they have diverged both in appearance and in sense. The present work endeavours to be both a textbook of symbolic logic and an essay on that logic. It is essential that the student should learn both to "do" logic, and to know precisely what he is doing. Therefore the exposition of method is interspersed throughout with discussion of the principles and general import of the procedure. The actual material presented should enable him, at the end of a systematic course of study, to tackle the monographic literature of symbolic logic, and pursue it either in the direction of mathematics, or of postulational theory, or of logistic. Furthermore, it should in some measure prepare students of philosophy to understand the epistemological problems which arise in contemporary philosophy of nature,

as presented by Poincare, Mach, Reichenbach, Carnap,

the Boole-Schroeder algebra, and the logistic

INTRODUCTION

end it emphasizes

To this

' and others.

Russell, Whitehead

d

bT

·

'

lt�es

construction; the

an

1

possl

of logical

principles

the

funddmetal

.

; equivalent conc:pti�n,

limits of formalization

slmphclty, eneralty,

of formulae, criteria of clarity,

types

the difference between fecund and stenle nowns.

and above all,

to show the beanng of logiC on

.

this connection it seeks

In

of nature.

natural science and philosophy

Although it is intended as a text for a course m symbohc

no

it

preupposes

though

a second

course,

(usually

logic

mtroductory

also

as

should

serve

it

training)

revious

eading for a course in philosophy

or a course of

of nature,

gradue

for

classmen,

or

for

' philosophy

upper

general

monograp lC

im?ortant

the

to

a key

seeking

students

It alms to tke no

.

and logistic.

literature of symbolic logic

mathematics for

logic, science, or

of

technical knowledge

ranted, but to develop every idea frothe level of common

also

to

and useful

comprehensible

may be

it

that

so

sense,

the

the interested layman who desires a general dlscusslo� of

·

.

.

technique, and results of symbohc logic.

purpose, approach,

l

g

and results o f s y m b o h c logic. p u r p

.

19

.

I

I
AN INTRODUCTION TO SYMBOLIC LOGIC CHAPTER THE STUDY OF I FORMS I. THE IMPORTANCE OF

AN INTRODUCTION TO SYMBOLIC LOGIC

CHAPTER

THE

STUDY

OF

I

FORMS

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF FORM

All knowledge, all sciences and arts have their beginning in the recognition that ordinary, familiar things may take on different forms. Our earliest experience of nature brings this fact to our notice ; we see water freezing into a trans­ lucent block, or the snow which fell from heaven changing to water before our very eyes. A little reflection makes us aware of further changes. Where do snow and rain come from ? From the vaporous masses we call clouds, the white mists that float in the air, and as the snow or rain descends those clouds dissolve. They have turned to water, or to

white flakes. Where did the clouds come from ? They are

made by some process of transformation from the waters of the earth. Different forms of the same thing may be so widely diverse in appearance that it is hard to think of them as essentially the same substance. All science tries to reduce the diversity of things in the

world to mere differences of appearance, and treats as many things as possible as variants of the same stuff. When Benjamin Franklin found out that lightning is one form of electricity, he made a scientific discovery, which proved to be but a step in a very great science, for an

amazing number of things can be reduced to this same fundamental "something," this protean substance called "electricity": the force that holds the firmament together,

the

the crackle of a eat ' s fur, the heat in a flat-iron,

flickering Northern Aurora. Electricity is one of the essential things in the world that can take on a vast variety

flickering Northern Aurora. Electricity is one of the essential things in the world that can take

22

AN

ILDUCTION

I
I

TO

S YMBOLIC

LOGIC

of forms. It�

its

not

thing,

other

wide

mutability makes

makes

nature interesting,

But if

forms

and

we could

of one

each

over

ultimate oneness

appreciate

then we

at

all;

its

would

science possible.

forms

different

as different

have no

way of relating them to

why sliding our

feet

we would

not know

a

rug

makes

the

brass

door-knob

give

off

a

spark

at

our

touch,

or

why

the

lightning

has

a

preference

for

metal

crosses

on

church-steeples,

nor

see

any

connection

what­

ever

between

these

two

causal facts.

of knowledge,

We have

two kinds

which may

and

called

about

senses

sort

its mother's breast,

knows

it has

by acquaint­

be

respectively

them.

give

of knowledge

its

these objects

what Bertrand Russell has

knowledge

that

of

things,

knowledge

which

our

a

thing-the

wall.

It

The former is

us,

usual

the

look and

a

view

direct

intimacy

feel

of

own bed,

window

and

hunger

smell and

of its

and

baby has

of

just

ceiling

as it

knows

or toothache;

called "knowledge

ance"

of certain

things,

a most

direct

and sensuous know­

ledge.

Yet the

baby cannot be

said to

know anything about

beds,

food, houses, or

toothaches.

To

know anything about

an

how

object

it

is

what sort

is

to know

how

it

is. To

made

of

up, how

thing it

related

functions, etc., in

have knowledge about it

short,

it

is

to its

surroundings,

know

we must

to

know

more than the

direct

sensuous

quality

of "this

stuff";

we must

know

what particular

shape

the stuff

is

taking

in

the

case

of

this

thing.

A

child

may

know

the

taste

and

feeling

of

a

scrambled

egg,

without

knowing

that

it

is

an

egg

which

has

been

scrambled;

in

that

case,

he

will

not

associate

it

with

a

boiled

egg

or an

omelette.

He

does

not

know

that

these

are

different

forms

of

the

same

thing.

Neither

egg

the

does

is

a

he

know that

in

its raw,

fresh,

pristine

form

of

chicken,

and

by

natural

more distant

state

relationship an

incipient

chicken-dinner.

 

The

only

way

we can

do

business

at

all

with a

rapidly

changing, shifting,

surprising

world

is

to

discover

the

most

general

laws

of

its

transformations.

The

very

word

"trans-

I

L

THg

STUDY

OF FORMS

23

formation"

form.

of

matter,

remains

Whenever

found

to

material,

variation belongs to

tells

us

what we

of

science

are

is

dealing with'l

the

most

of

striking demon­

from

which

changes.

changes

The

growth

stration

the importance

stuff,

or

when

of forms as

whatever

distinguished

we

of

a

call

that

thing

science,

one

substance,

"the

same"

we may

some principle

as just

the

form

truly claim

by which

so

to have a

we have

are related

or

new

different things

of

each other

and

many forms

that

can

be

substrate,

as

a

everything

treated

that science.

2. LoGICAL

FoRM

 

Not all

the sciences deal

with material

things.

Philology,

for

instance,

deals

with

the

relations

among

words,

and

although

the

production

of

a

word

in

speech

or

writing

always has a

material aspect-involving paper

and

ink,

or

movement

of

speech

organs-this

aspect

is

not

what

interests

the philologist.

When

the

word

undergoes changes

of

form,

as

for instance

the

word

"pater"

to

"pere"

and

"father"

and

"padre,"

this cannot

be

taken

to mean

that

it

changes

its shape,

as

an

egg

changes

shape

when

it

is

scrambled.

The meaning

of "form"

is

stretched

beyond

its

common

connotation

of

shape.

Likewise,

in

the science

or

art of musical composition we

speak of a

rondo

form,

sonata

form, hymn

form, and

no

one thinks of

a

material

shape.

Musical form is

So

not

recognize

material;

it

a wider

we

must

is

sense of

orderliness,

the

but

not

shape.

word than the

geometric

sense

of

physical

shape.

And

indeed,

we

admit

this

wider

sense

in

ordinary

parlance;

we

speak

of

"for­

mality"

in

social

intercourse,

of

"good

form"

in

athletics,

of

"formalism"

in

literature,

music,

or

dancing.

Certainly

we cannot refer to the

shape

of a dinner or a poem or a dance.

In

this

wider sense,

anything may

be

said to have

form

that

follows

a

pattern

of

any

sort,

exhibits

order,

internal

con­

nection;

our

many

synonyms

for

"form"

indicate

how

wide

the range

of

this notion

many synonyms for "form" indicate how wide the range of this notion really is. We speak

really is.

We

speak of physical,

I

AN
AN

I o/RODUCTION TO

SYMBOLIC LOGIC

 

grammatical, social

fo rms;

of

psychological types ;

norms of

conduct,

of

beauty,

of

intelligence;

fa shions in

clothing,

behaviour;

speech,

designs

new

of

automobiles

motor

or

boats;

architectural

plans,

the plans

or

for

a festival;

pattern,

standard,

mode,

and

many

other

words

signify

essentially

the

thing

same

in

specialized

subtle

usage

or

variations

of

meaning.

But

all these

words refer

to "form"

in

that

most

general

sense

in which

we are

going

to use it

here.

It

is

this

most

general

sense

which

we

always

give

to

the word in

logic.

Therefore

it

from "form"

I

shall

call

it "logical form,"

to distinguish

in any

more

restricted sense,

particularly its

usual connotation

of physical

shape.

3· STRUCTURE

"Logical form"

is

a

highly general

notion,

and

like

all

generalizations,

it

covers

a

large

number

of

particular

ideas. But

if these

various

particular ideas

may

all

be

called

by

one

general

name,

they

must

have

something-some

general feature-in common. But

what

is common

to, say,

the

form

of

declensions

and

conjugations

in

a language,

and

the

topography of

a

continent?

Both

are

"forms"

in

the

logical sense.

What bridge can be

thrown across

the gap

between

such

widely

diverse

notions

as

the

shape

of

the

continent,

and the

orderly sequence

of

word-endings

in the

language?

Is there

any justification

for applying

the same

name

to such different matters?

 

The

bridge

that

connects

all

the

various

meanings

of

form-from

geometric

form

to

the

form

of

ritual

or

etiquette-is

the

notion

of

structure.

The

logical

form

of

a thing is

the

way

that thing

is

constructed,

the

way

it

is

put

together.

Any

definite

been

thing

that has

This

put

a

does

definite

not

form

of

is con­

course,

somebody;

structed in

a

that

it

has

way.

deliberately

mean,

by

together

forms

may

be

preconceived,

or

they

may

be

natural,

or

accidental.

The

famous

"Old

Man

of

the

Mountain"

in

THE

STUDY

OF

FORMS

THE STUDY OF FORMS New together like then there is a eyes, a large projection, exactly

New

together like

then there is a

eyes, a large projection, exactly as a nose projects,

piece, a

as eyebrows do,

Hampshire

as a nose projects, piece, a as eyebrows do, Hampshire is a human an accidental a

is

a human

an

accidental

a piece

gap

rock-formation,

juts

out

just

like

the hollow

is beneath

put

a little,

of the

a straight

the lip,

profile;

fissure beneath

it, as

the mouth

another straight

piece

ending

in

a

projection

with

a

great

overhang

that

resembles

the

projection

of

a

strong

chin

and jaw.

The outline

of the

rock

is made

up like

a

human

fros­

have accidentally constructed the "Old Man of the Mountam"

common

Nature

crude structure

the infinitesimal dynamic

must not

with

previously

very recog­

"put

of

no

flake

with

is full

out

profile;

the

powers

of

nature-glacier,

water,

and

of granite; the

human flesh,

of most

cliff, which

has nothing else in

man

by

its form.

yet resembles a

elaborate constructs, from the

a geological fault to

electrons

in an

of strata in

pattern

make

something

separate.

nizable

together";

water.

They

process

fact,

construct.

of

of protons and

the

mistake

of

atom. One

associating

of

"structure" always

that

were

of

been

put together out

A

snowflake is a

individual

parts,