Well, general context sometimes, but immediate context, no. That is why quote-mining is so misleading.
Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
The content of these statements, not their context, is what makes it clear that they are to be understood as universals.
The statements I made above for example, and those in the syllogisms provided. If you disagree, then I think you ought to challenge a few published professors, their editors, and publishing companies (from which the examples and claims re: missing existential quantifier were taken):
I don't see any claim from the authors, editors, etc. to the effect that the context in which the statements and syllogisms provided are made "is easily derived from statements alone" This seems a rather bizarre claim to make in any case. Perhaps that is not what you meant. Is your point rather that the meaning of the statements (and terms) is clear because the context in which they are here presented is that of a syllogism (albeit non-standard) and thus all non-quantified terms are necessarily understood to be universal? If this isn't your point, then please clarify.
I take it that the above paragraph is your synopsis of the relevant content from the texts you reference. It doesn't appear to me that they support the argument I think you are making.
Come Let Us Reason
, Drs. Norman Giesler, Norman Brooks, Phil West and Richard How (numerous pages, but specifically p 22,29). Likewise the textbook Logic and Philosophy
All S is P
is identical to S is P
" is implied when it is not stated. A proposition that does not have a stated quantifier is called an "individual proposition
", when it is stated, it is called a "general proposition
". And when the domain of discourse is not explicitly specified or restricted, it is assumed to be "everything" (in that domain).
I understand an individual proposition to simply be a proposition about an individual rather than a class; e.g. 'Socrates is a man.' This statement is treated as an affirmative universal and could be translated as such: 'All things identical to Socrates are things that are men', but this is cumbersome and awkward and uneccessary. The point that your referenced text is making (so I gather) is that individual propositions will (naturally) lack a universal qualifier but are nevertheless logically equivalent in their function to their general counterparts. The text is not arguing however that whenever a non-quantified term is encountered, it is always to be understood as a universal. There are numerous such examples of natural language where a quantifier is omitted from a statement that is clearly not meant to be understood as a universal. When such statements are rendered in syllogistic form, if the natural language is preserved (the particular/existential quantifier not made explicit), then the syllogism will not accurately represent them (i.e. if the assumption is made that statements lacking a quantifier are to be understood as universals).
In the examples of syllogisms you provided, you expect us to employ this rule of interpretation of non-quantified terms as universals and that this assumption accurately represents the actual argument being made. I think this expectation is unwarranted.
Rather than further arguing the point here, I'll just quote a passage from one of my texts that happens to be to hand. (I'm not going to trouble myself to post a photo.)
From: The Elements of Logic Stephen F. Barker, Department of Philosophy, The John Hopkins University -- 1965 McGraw-Hill p. 76-77, 79
Sometimes we meet sentences that contain no specific indication as to quantity. Occasionally such sentences are really ambiguous, but more often if we think about them we have no trouble seeing that they mean one thing rather than the other. Thus, someone who says "Bachelors are unmarried" surely means "All bachelors are unmarried persons"; but someone who says "Visitors are coming" surely means "Some visitors are people coming". Similarly, "An elephant is a pachyderm" surely means "All elephants are pachyderms"; but "A policeman is at the door" means "Some policemen are persons at the door".And from the following exercise:
Working out translations such as these is necessary as a preliminary to the syllogistic analysis of ordinary reasoning. But it also has an additional intellectual value, in that it encourages us to learn to understand more accurately what ordinary sentences are saying.
In each case, (b) is a proposed translation of (a) into categorical form. Decide whether each translation is correct. If any is incorrect, explain why.
It seems glaringly obvious to me that (b) is not an accurate translation of (a), yet this is exactly how you insist we must interpret it.
- (a) American warships are in the Mediterranean.
(b) All American warships are things in the Mediterranean.
I appreciate your attempting to meet my formal challenge to support your claim, but I find it unsuccessful.
From what I can read of it, I don't see that your first referenced text is really advancing the broad principle that you seem to be insisting upon. I can only read what you provided of course, but such as it is, it is very unconvincing.
Your second selection merely defines A statements. It provides no justification for the challenged claim. That it includes the statement "Dogs have fleas" as essentially meaning the same as "All dogs have fleas" does nothing to argue that in principle all similarly formed statements must be likewise interpreted as universals. All the examples you provided to make your case are likewise understood to be universals because that is the most natural interpretation of their meaning. But it is by virtue of their content, not their form that this is so. This is not the case however for the statement "Mammals live in California."
I don't think it necessary to comment much on the domain of discourse being unrestricted unless explicitly stated otherwise as it doesn't have much bearing on the issue. Restricting the domain won't change a universal into a particular or vice-verse.