Reply To: Basics Questions on Terms


Hi Professor,

Yes, that helped. I actually had to read you response, go reread the passage in the book, and then reread your response once more.

It sounds like singular concepts are concepts that extend to one specific thing (I want to avoid using the word “individual” here), while individual concepts are universals, extending to an infinite number of singulars, that are taken individually – or maybe it’s better to say “taken one at a time?”

McCall said earlier in the chapter that as comprehension increases extension decreases. Does an individual concept side step this inverse relationship? I can see how saying “this man” might call to mind the image of a specific man and his unique traits, whereas saying the term “my father” limits the universal concept “father” to just one of its many singulars without at all changing the image of the universal concept. It seems a bit “gentler” or “less restricting” I suppose.

Is this correct? I have just one other question about the chapter on Terms and wanted to see if I could first grasp the singular concept vs. individual concept distinction.

Thank you, again.