Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29448/108/
MODALITY 
cement for building up concepts. Accordingly, 
he has no doctrine of modality as a whole, 
but merely considers three cases, between 
which he traces no relation. Necessity may 
arise either out of the universal analytic 
judgment, the conditional judgment, or the 
disjunctive judgment. By the ‘judgment’ is 
meant the meaning of a proposition. Lotze 
finds that the meaning of the analytical judg¬ 
ment is illogical, since it identifies contraries. 
However, the meaning of this meaning is 
justified by its not meaning to mean that the 
terms are identical, but only that the objects 
denoted by those terms are identical. The 
analytic proposition is, therefore, admissible, 
because it is practically meant to mean a 
particular proposition, that is, one in which 
the predicate is asserted of all the particulars. 
And the justification of the proposition, whose 
use was to be to connect elements of terms, 
is that, meant not as it is meant, but as it is 
meant to be meant, these elements are iden¬ 
tical and do not need to be connected. In 
this way Lotze vindicates the necessity of the 
analytical categorical proposition. Coming 
next to conditionals, by thought of the same 
order, he finds that, assuming that the universe 
of real, intelligible objects is ‘ coherent/ we 
may be justified in asserting that the intro¬ 
duction of a condition X into a subject S 
gives rise to a predicate P as an analytical 
necessity ; and for this purpose, when it is 
once accomplished, it does not matter whether 
the ladder of the assumption of coherence 
remains or is taken away. Lotze treats the 
disjunctive proposition last, as if it were of 
a higher order, following Hegel in this respect. 
But what was excusable for Hegel is less so 
for Lotze, since he himself had signalized the 
significance of impersonal propositions, such 
as ‘ it rains/ ! it thunders/ ‘ it lightens,’ whose 
only subject is the universe. Now, if there 
is any difference between ‘ If it lightens, it 
thunders/ and ‘ Either it does not lighten or 
it thunders/ it is that the latter considers the 
actual state of things alone, and the former 
a whole range of other possibilities. However, 
Lotze considers last the propositional form 
‘ S is P1 or P2 or P3.’ Properly, this is not 
a disjunctive proposition, but only a proposi¬ 
tion with a disjunctive predicate. Lotze con¬ 
siders it a peculiar form, because it cannot be 
represented by an Euler’s diagram, which is 
simply a blunder. The necessity to which 
it gives rise must, therefore, either be the 
same as the conditional necessity, or else differ 
from it merely by greater simplicity. For 
9 
other sound objections to Lotze’s theory see 
Lange, Logische Studien, ii. 
Trendelenburg (.Logische Untersuch., xiii) 
maintains that possibility and necessity can 
only be defined in terms of the antecedent 
(Grund), though he might, perhaps, object to 
the translation of Grund by so purely formal 
a word as ‘antecedent,’ notwithstanding its 
harmony with Aristotle. If all conditions 
are recognized, and the fact is understood 
from its entire Grund, fo that thought 
quite permeates being—a sort of phrase which 
Trendelenburg always seeks—there is ‘ neces¬ 
sity.’ If, on the other hand, only some con¬ 
ditions are recognized, but what is wanting- 
in Grund is made up in thought, there is 
‘ possibility.’ In itself, an egg is nothing but 
an egg, but for thought it may become a bird. 
Trendelenburg will, therefore, neither admit, 
with Kant, that modality is originally a mere 
question of the attitude of the mind, nor with 
Hegel, whom he criticizes acutely, that it 
is originally objective. 
Sigwart, who holds that logical questions 
must ultimately be decided by immediate 
feeling, and that the usages of the German 
language are the best evidence of what that 
feeling is, denies that the possible proposition 
is a proposition at all, because it asserts 
nothing. He forgets that if a proposition 
asserts nothing, the denial of it must be 
absurd, since it must exclude every possibility. 
Now, the denial of ‘ I do not know but that 
A may be true is ‘ I know A is not true,’ 
which is hardly absurd. Sigwart, it is true, 
in accordance with usages of speech, takes 
‘A may be true’ in what the old logicians 
called the sensus usualis, that is, for the 
copulative proposition ‘A may be true, and 
further A may be not true.’ But this does 
not make it assert less, but more, than the 
technical form. In regard to the necessary 
proposition, Sigwart, following his guide, the 
usages of speech, finds that ‘ A must be true ’ 
asserts less than ‘A is true,’ so that from the 
latter the former follows, but not at all the 
latter from the former. This may be true 
for the usages of German speech, just as such 
phrases as ‘beyond every shadow of doubt/ 
‘ out of all question,’ and the like, in our 
vernacular commonly betray the fact that 
there is somebody who not only doubts and 
questions, but flatly denies, the proposition 
to which they are attached. Bradley accepts 
the sensational discovery of Sigwart. 
Lange (loc. cit.) thinks the matter is put 
in the clearest light by the logical diagrams 
2
        

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