In logic, the meaning of terms can be given out connotative or denotative. The first operation of the mind is simple apprehension. When it takes place, ideas are formed. An idea is a simple intellectual representation of a thing. An idea, which is found in the mind, can be represented using terms. A term is a word or combination of words which can stand on its own as the subject and predicate term.
STRUCTURE OF A TERM
A term can be a subject or predicate of a given proposition.
- Subject term: this refers to that about which the assertion is made in the proposition
- The predicate term: this refers to that which is affirmed or denied of the subject in the proposition.
TYPES OF TERMS
- Concrete and Abstract terms
Concrete terms are persons or things possessing attributes. E.g. stone, money, water
Abstract terms refer to the attributes or qualities possessed by persons or things e.g. jovial, hospitable.
- Singular and Common terms:
A singular term refers to one thing or an individual. E.g. Mike Ryan, Yaoundé.
Common terms pertain to several persons or things. It is always expressed in plural
- General and Collective Terms:
A general term is shared by members of a genus or group. It is a generic term and is never expressed in plural E.g. Man, government.
Collective terms apply to groups of persons or things but not the individuals that make up the group. E.g. Crowd, gang etc.
- Contradictory and contrary terms:
Contradictory terms are those that are mutually exclusive. Two terms are said to be contradictory when one is the negative of the other. E.g. tall and non-tall, honest and dishonest etc.
Contrary terms are those terms most opposed to each other under the same class. E.g. present and absent.
- Positive, negative and privative terms:
Positive terms affirm or suggest the presents of en attribute example: happy, shining, and beautiful.
Negative terms deny or negate the presents of an attribute
Private terms denies the presence of an attribute or suggests its absence where it presence was expected
- Infinite and correlative terms:
An infinite term is a concrete general term negated
correlative terms are terms that are intrinstically related by some facts or principles
THE SIGNIFICANCE AND MEANING OF TERMS
Reasons for using terms
- It enables one to illustrate simple apprehension.
- It permits one to express ideas.
- It helps one to increase vocabulary.
- It permits one to state the relationships between concepts.
Meaning of terms
In logic, the meaning of terms can be given out connotatively or denotatively. Therefore, to better attain a greater clarity about linguistic meaning, it is necessary to distinguish between intension and extension.
Denotation is stating the meaning of a term by pointing to the thing or individual or by giving examples. For example, in order to, define a school denotatively, one points to GBHS NKOL ETON YAOUNDE. It is like extension of the “collie” consists of lassie, REX and so on.
Connotation is statement of the essential attribute of a term. It gives the deeper meaning of a term. It is like INTENSION which refers to the technical meaning or expert property of a term. For example, man can be connotatively defined as a “rational animal”