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On Interpratation   


propositions as have in them either truth or falsity. Thus a prayer is

a sentence, but is neither true nor false.

Let us therefore dismiss all other types of sentence but the

proposition, for this last concerns our present inquiry, whereas the

investigation of the others belongs rather to the study of rhetoric or

of poetry.



5



The first class of simple propositions is the simple affirmation,

the next, the simple denial; all others are only one by conjunction.

Every proposition must contain a verb or the tense of a verb. The

phrase which defines the species 'man', if no verb in present, past,

or future time be added, is not a proposition. It may be asked how the

expression 'a footed animal with two feet' can be called single; for

it is not the circumstance that the words follow in unbroken

succession that effects the unity. This inquiry, however, finds its

place in an investigation foreign to that before us.

We call those propositions single which indicate a single fact, or

the conjunction of the parts of which results in unity: those

propositions, on the other hand, are separate and many in number,

which indicate many facts, or whose parts have no conjunction.

Let us, moreover, consent to call a noun or a verb an expression

only, and not a proposition, since it is not possible for a man to

speak in this way when he is expressing something, in such a way as to

make a statement, whether his utterance is an answer to a question

or an act of his own initiation.

To return: of propositions one kind is simple, i.e. that which

asserts or denies something of something, the other composite, i.e.

that which is compounded of simple propositions. A simple

proposition is a statement, with meaning, as to the presence of

something in a subject or its absence, in the present, past, or

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