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was detested—All admired the sublime poet—The humane governor was praised—To say nothing is often commendable—The boy showed himself grateful-I quite approve of your being kind to your companions The mother expressed herself anxious about her children's welfare.
There is another power of the mind connected with abstraction, which is yet to be distinguished from it; viz., generalisation. These two terms are often confounded, and it is therefore of consequence that we should understand the difference between them. Generalisation depends upon abstraction ; for, without the latter the former could not be performed. For example, when in thinking on any one object, such as a tree, we consider it as regards its age alone, or its height, or form, or any other of its qualities, in each and all of these cases we perform abstraction.
But when any one, contemplating a number of individual objects, observes that they all possess certain qualities in common, and, in consequence of this observation, he gives them a name which applies equally to them all—this is to generalise.
In abstraction, we contemplate but one quality of an object at a time, excluding for that time the consideration of all its other qualities. In generalising, we contemplate several objects together, and observing that they all agree in certain particulars, we make a
1. Generalisation' is derived from the Latin generalis; and this again from genus, a class. To generalise is to reduce particulars to their genera, or classes.
class (or genus) of them, and call them all by the same
It is then evident that we can abstract without generalising, but that we cannot generalise without abstracting
It is upon this principle that are formed what are called common terms, or, in grammar, common nouns. In consequence of their agreeing in a certain number of particulars (or having certain qualities in common) a large class of objects received the same name. Thus, when we meet with a building constructed with walls, and having a roof to shelter its inmates from the inclemency of the weather, we call such a thing a house,' without attending to the almost infinite variety which is well known to exist among such objects. For though we all know that no two houses agree in every particular, as long as they are found to agree in a certain number of circumstances, they will all be called by the same general term-house. Now, it is clear that this process of generalisation could not have been performed without the power of abstraction; for it is in consequence of abstracting, in each case, the same qualities from these objects, that we find them to agree in possessing such qualities.
Proper names, on the other hand, are applied, not to a class or number of objects agreeing in certain particulars, but to single individuals. Whenever I meet with a large stream of water flowing into a sea or lake, I call such an object a 'river,' because it agrees in these particulars with a large class of things. But if I wish to designate that individual river which flows by London, and falls into the German Ocean, I must apply the term Thames. The use of this, and of all other proper names, is to distinguish an individual object from all others of its class.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SENSES.
may be used in two, and some in three senses; but in all cases there is a connection between
a the first or primary meaning, and the secondary signification. These senses may be classed as primary (or concrete), and secondary (abstract, or metaphorical). Some English words, however, are not found in a secondary sense, and others have only an abstract signification, having lost their original concrete sense. Lastly, some words are used in two senses, both
For example, the word "head,' in the expression my head aches,' is used in its original concrete sense. In the sentence, The boy is at the head of his class,' it has a secondary, abstract meaning; whereas, in the line, "The mountain lifts his head above the storm,' it is applied in a metaphorical
Take out the words in italics in the following sentences, and explain in what sense they are respectively used.
He was moved to tears—The waters subsided
There is a rise in the price of bread— The patient was too ill to be moved—The leaves were agitated by the wind-The mother kissed her child— The wind did kiss the trees' - The master threatened to dismiss the apprentice—The clouds threaten rain—The army advanced into the heart of the country—My uncle was agitated at this news. He was a steady boy -My cousin is quick at learning—This happened in the course of yesterday afternoon—He was eager in the pursuit of literature—The horse ran over the courseMy brother is much advanced in his studies -He was killed in the pursuit of the French from Waterloo.
Many words are used in two senses, both concrete ; the one, however, derived from the other : for example,
Primary. He had not the free use of his hand.
The boy hurt his foot.
He sat at the foot of the tree.
In the first column, the words hand and foot are used in their primary sense; in the second, they are applied in a secondary, but yet a concrete, signification.
Use each of the following words in two senses, in separate sentences, similar to the examples above given.
roof leaf leg eye wing face
heart back brow lip neck tooth
mouth arm branch chest bed drum
side volume table blade body.
Use the following words in two senses :—1st, a concrete, and 2nd, an abstract sense : for example,Concrete.
Abstract. The boy's wound was in- | The orator inflamed the poflamed.
pulace. The men reaped the corn. They reaped the fruits of
polished sharpen revive
be useful and interesting to inquire into the cause of this secondary meaning of words,—how it happened that they acquired a new meaning distinct from their original sense, and yet, in a certain way, derived from it. The phenomenon may be thus explained. It depends upon, and may be attributed to, a principle called analogy. This term refers to a certain power of the mind, by which we
· The word 'analogy' is derived from the Greek verb åvaréw, 'I gather up, or consider together.' Analogy is the power of collecting and comparing relations.