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Silva and Levi affair subsiding. Suffer from Bad Health. Pet Ostrich. Longevity in The Desert. Mahometan Doctrine of Judicial Blindness. Custom of Dipping and Sopping in Meats. Mahometan Propositional Form of Doctrine. The Wild-Ox, or Bughar Wahoush. Salting and Drying Meat for Preservation. My Friend, the Arab Doctor. Ravages of Shânbah Brigandage. The Immemorial Character of the Arab.

Its logical structure is very different, however, from that of sense: sense gives acquaintance with particulars, and is thus a two-term relation in which the object can be named but not asserted, and is inherently incapable of truth or falsehood, whereas the observation of a complex fact, which may be suitably called perception, is not a two-term relation, but involves the propositional form on the object-side, and gives knowledge of a truth, not mere acquaintance with a particular.

This is effected when the above proposition is analysed as meaning: "Some one wrote Waverley and no one else did, and that some one also wrote Marmion and no one else did." This may be more simply expressed by saying that the propositional function "x wrote Waverley and Marmion, and no one else did" is capable of truth, i.e. some value of x makes it true, but no other value does.

Thus the true subject of our judgment is a propositional function, i.e. a complex containing an undetermined constituent, and becoming a proposition as soon as this constituent is determined. We may now define the denotation of a phrase.

Such judgments, therefore, can only be analysed by breaking up the descriptive phrases, introducing a variable, and making propositional functions the ultimate subjects. In fact, "the so-and-so is such-and-such" will mean that "x is so-and-so and nothing else is, and x is such-and-such" is capable of truth.

But phrases which commence with 'this' or 'that' are usually demonstrative, whereas phrases which commence with 'the' or 'a' are often descriptive. In studying the theory of propositional expression it is important to remember the wide difference between the analogous modest words 'this' and 'that' on the one hand and 'a' and 'the' on the other hand. The sentence

Unfortunately, however, the definition in Baldwin's Dictionary says that what is necessary is not only "true under all circumstances" but is also "true." Now these two are incompatible. Only propositions can be "true," and only propositional functions can be "true under all circumstances." Hence the definition as it stands is nonsense.

What is meant seems to be this: "A proposition is necessary when it is a value of a propositional function which is true under all circumstances, i.e. for all values of its argument or arguments." But if we adopt this definition, the same proposition will be necessary or contingent according as we choose one or other of its terms as the argument to our propositional function.

Thus if "necessary" means "what is true under all circumstances," then "if x is a man, x is mortal" is necessary, because it is true for any possible value of x. Thus we should be led to the following definition: "NECESSARY is a predicate of a propositional function, meaning that it is true for all possible values of its argument or arguments."

The first point to notice is that, if any meaning is to be given to the phrase "would be true under all circumstances," the subject of it must be a propositional function, not a proposition. A proposition is simply true or false, and that ends the matter: there can be no question of "circumstances." "Charles I's head was cut off" is just as true in summer as in winter, on Sundays as on Mondays.