By R. G. Collingwood
2014 Reprint of 1933 version. specified facsimile of the unique variation, no longer reproduced with Optical acceptance software program. R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943) was once a British thinker and working towards archaeologist top identified for his paintings in aesthetics and the philosophy of historical past. Collingwood is the writer of 1 of crucial treatises in meta-philosophy written within the first half the 20th century, "An Essay on Philosophical approach" (1933), that is a sustained try and clarify why philosophy is an self reliant self-discipline with a particular technique and subject material that fluctuate from these of the typical and the precise sciences.
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To give an account of the universal, or, as it is also called, the concept, is the business of logic; but we canno t here conte nt ourselves with simpl y acceptingwh at logical text-books have to say on the matte r. We have a special question to ask: wheth er there are any differences betwe en the concepts found in I. HISTO RICAL THE OVERLAP OF CLASSES 27 philosophy and those found in science, whether exact or empirical, and if so what they are. The . ordinary text-books of logic assume that there are none; that a concept is always a concept, and that any theory which adequately describes the concepts of science will adequately describe those of philosophy also.
For these elements will be specifications of a single concept, and therefore there will be logical relations between them; to represent the fact as a mere aggregate of elements coexisting without any such logical bonds will be to leave an essential part of the analytic work undone. In an empirical co'ncept like man, there is no apparent connexion between such elements as having ten toes and having the power of speech; but in a philosophical concept there cannot be this looseness of structure, 52 THE OVERLAP OF CLASSES and the various elements must be somehow interrelated.
Thus every individual present in the generic class will be presen t in one, and only one, of the specific classes, which are thus'exclusive in relation to each other and exhaustive in relation to the generic class. Logicians sometimes assume that this follows necessarily from the nature of the concept, and therefore applies universally to every concept whatever. But this is not the case. From the fact that a certain generic nature may be realized in various specific ways, it does not follow that no instance can realize it in two of these ways at once.