Logic: Or, the Morphology of Knowledge - Vol. 1

By Bernard Bosanquet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI.
UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT (continued).

ii. THE Universal Judgment, when pushed to the extreme point of abstraction, becomes the Hypothetical Judgment.

Pure Hypothetical Judgment. Its relation to previous forms.

a. The Hypothetical Judgment is distinguished from all which have thus far been spoken of, by its essentially abstract character; abstract not merely as thought is said to be abstract when compared with sense-perception, but as the thought of an ideally isolated attribute is abstract compared with the thought of a self-dependent and self-related individual. It represents the fourth of the elements or aspects which have been confounded, or at any rate have not been duly distinguished, by traditional logic within the socalled Universal Judgment. Its differentia is that it does not refer to a concrete subject, not even to what we called an individuality or the concrete self-related content in its aspect of self-relatedness; and that consequently we do not consider whether its subject is given in actuality or not. For it is essentially the judgment of necessity or relativity, in which the subject is taken, not given, and taken not for its own sake nor with reference to its individuality, but for the sake of that which is to follow from it, that is, for the sake of its relativity. It is a judgment which follows out the single thread of a nexus of attributes, and does not heed the import of the pattern into which it enters. If a gravitating body is set free to fall, it falls with an acceleration proportional to the squares of the times, whether it is a drop of rain, or a tortoise with the head of Aeschylus below it. Here we have, in an explicit shape, the relativity of knowledge which has haunted us throughout the evolution of judgment, forbidding us to feel satisfied in connecting

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