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By this is meant the power to think individuals into classes. Our percepts are notions of individual things. Between individuals we discern relations. I perceive this block, and this, and this, and this. They differ as to size and proportion, but I see that they are related as to the number of sides. I think these threesided figures into one class. As the notion three-sidedness is common to all three-sided figures, it is called a general notion or a concept.

We discern general notions through individual notions, as

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John and Ohio and (a) boy and (a) book are individual notions. Percepts are our scaffolding to enable us to think up to concepts. We discern the name-relation between John, Ohio, etc., and think all name-words into one class. Noun is a concept. Verb is a concept. All class-notions are concepts.

Acts of Conception Analyzed.-You observe these blocks of various forms and sizes. You decide to consider them with reference to the number of sides. You abstract the property, number of sides. You leave out of view everything else. You now compare the several

figures. You discern common properties. This, and this, and this, have three sides; this, and this, and this, four sides. You generalize-discern a general property. You now classify the figures with reference to the common property. You collect them into groups. This group of three-sided figures you call triangles. You discern the group-notion or the concept, triangle. This group of four-sided figures you call quadrilaterals. You discern the group-notion or the concept, quadrilateral. So with the concepts pentagon, hexagon, etc. Draw the scaffolding, and analyze the act of forming the concept pencil; also, the concept tree; also, the concept lake; also, the concept quadruped.

Elements of Conception.-From the analysis you discover the steps or processes by which the mind reaches concepts. Analytic observation, abstraction, generalization, and classification are processes of thinking things into classes. Self, as conception, advances by these steps in gaining group notions.

1. Analytic observation. You perceive things having properties. Here you have a collection of leaves. This leaf is oval, its veins are parallel, its edges are dentate. You observe this leaf, and this, and this, and note peculiarities. Observing things as having properties and parts is called analytic observation. The first step in elaboration is necessarily analytic. We must discriminate before we can assimilate.

2. Abstraction. You decide to consider leaves with reference to shape. You abstract shape and disregard the veins, edges, etc. Drawing out one quality and considering things with reference to this, regardless of other qualities, is called abstraction. Above, we considered figures with reference to number of sides. You may give other examples of abstraction. You discover how you get your notions of attributes. These notions you call abstract ideas, as redness, hardness, dullness, roundness, goodness, etc.

3. Comparison. Putting leaves side by side, you compare them,

and thus discern relations of likeness.

As you have abstracted shape, you compare the leaves as to shape, and find points of agreement as well as of disagreement. Discerning resemblances is called comparison.

4. Generalization. You discover a common something; you generalize; you find a general property. This leaf, and this, and this, are ovate. Ovateness is general to these leaves. This leaf, and this, and this, are lanceolate. Lanceolateness is general to these leaves. Finding a property common to several objects is called generalization. Above we generalized and found the common properties of the figures to be three-sidedness, four-sidedness, etc.

5. Classification. You now arrange the leaves in groups with reference to the general property, shape, and name the groups. This group you call ovate; this, lanceolate; this, cordate. You gain the class notions-ovate, lanceolate, cordate-and designate them by these names. The act of conception is complete. Grouping objects into classes with reference to general properties is called classification. The second step in elaboration is synthetic; we first discriminate, and then assimilate. You may classify books with reference to color of binding, and point out and define the five elements of conception. You may classify these roses with reference to color, and point out the steps.

Office of Conception.-Self, as conception, discerns relations of similarity between things, and thus thinks many individuals as one class. You perceive this tree, and this, and this. You compare them, and find that they have the common property-apple-bearing, You think them into one class-apple-tree. The mind, as thought, can not well deal with the trees of the forest or the inhabitants of the sea as individuals; but, endowed with conception, we are able to think myriads of individuals into a few classes. As sensations are the materials out of which sense-percepts are made, so percepts are the elements out of which concepts are made. Discerning concepts, through percepts, is the office of conception.

Characteristics of Conception.-We perceive particular notions, but think general notions:

1. As conception, self discerns many as one. The millions of acorn-bearing trees are oaks. The billions of back-boned animals are vertebrates.

2. As conception, self elaborates percepts into concepts. From the percepts, this bird, and this, and this, I elaborate the concept bird. I discriminate various kinds of fruit, and assimilate such as have common properties into classes, and call these group-notions peach, apple, pear.

3. As conception, self gives names to general notions. Thus, the general notion, four-footedness is embodied in the word quadruped. Things are realities, and the relations between things are realities. Things and relations exist independent of the mind. We discern the relations of resemblance, and think things into groups. We call these group-notions concepts. We give to our general notions names; as noun, verb, adjective.

4. As conception, self discerns, but does not picture, group-notions. We think three-sidedness, but we can not picture a triangle at once isosceles, equilateral, and right-angled. We can picture only the concrete individual thing. We can picture this cow, but we can not picture mammal.

Conception defined.-Conception is the power to discern group-notions.

1. Conception is the soul-energy to think many into one. We think many individuals into one class. We discern class-relations, and elaborate percepts into concepts.

2. Original. Express clearly in your own words your view of conception. Illustrate.

3. Various Definitions.-1. SCHUYLER: Conception is the capability to form general notions. 2. PORTER: Conception is the power to form concepts. 3. SULLY: Conception is the power to form general notions. 4. McCosн: The power to discover relations of resemblance. 5. DAY: Conception is the power of the intelligence itself to conceive general notions.

Products of Conception.


General Notions or General Ideas.
Group-Notions or Group-Ideas.

Concept, that which is grasped or held together, admirably expresses the meaning. We discern the relations of resemblance between these animals, grasping them together as one class; we call this class of animals dogs. As the notion is common to all these animals, it is a general notion; and as it grasps together all these animals, it is a class-notion or group-notion. All class-notions are concepts. A concept is a notion of objects grasped together through common properties.

Concepts of Objects and of Attributes.-You observe this red rose, this red bird, and this red sky. You gain two concepts: red objects and redness. You test this hard wood, this hard iron, and this hard glass; you gain the concepts, hard objects and hardness. Redness, hardness, brightness, etc., are general notions of properties of objects. As the properties are abstracted from the objects, these terms are called abstract concepts, abstract ideas, abstract nouns. But the distinction is not deemed material. A concept is ever a general notion.

Properties of Concepts.-Self, as conception, discerns group-notions, and gives names to these notions. I discern the group-notion three-sidedness, and call this notion triangle. General notions take general names:

1. Denomination is the giving to a class-notion a class-name. I

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