The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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72                 THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
Our house is on a lot 60 x 150. There are five rooms, all on one floor. The living room is 17 x 21. This faces the street on the 21-foot side. Facing the rear is a dinette, the kitchen, and the utility room. There are two bedrooms (with connecting bath), one facing the street, the other the rear.
Ogden and Richards would call this a complex reference because it is made up of several references that are related to each other. These several references refer to relationships in space. Suppose, from this complex reference, you drew a floor plan of the house. If this floor plan "hangs together" in the way the actual rooms in the house hang together, then, the complex reference is true. It is true because the separate referencestogethermake a verbal pattern that matches the actual patternthe house. The separate references are, therefore, in the proper arrangementin the proper order. And the verbal arrangement is precisely that of the actual arrangement of the referent the house.
But Ogden and Richards go a broad step beyond this. They say that if the complex reference "hangs together" in precisely the way the actual referent hangs together, the statement is logical.
This is an expansion of the usual use of the term "logical." Ogden and Richards believe that logic must be concerned with something more than consistency, with something more than validity. We know that consistency between verbal statements may result in utter nonsense. Look, for example, at the following valid syllogism:
All widows are manhunters.
Jane is a widow.
Therefore, Jane is a manhunter.