The distinction between the class of objects denoted by such a word and the class of objects denoted by a general name such as "man," "vegetable," or "planet," is that the sort of object which is an instance of (say) "lightning" is much simpler than (say) an individual man.
Let us take as an instance the telling of some remembered event.
The instances of a word shade off into other movements by imperceptible degrees.
To illustrate what is meant by "understanding" words and sentences, let us take instances of various situations.
Often, in such instances as our image of a friend's face or of a nondescript dog, an image is not derived from one prototype, but from many; when this happens, the image is vague, and blurs the features in which the various prototypes differ.
In the third place, two instances of the same word are so similar that neither has associations not capable of being shared by the other.
For instance, one particular substance, 'man', cannot be more or less man either than himself at some other time or than some other man.
This becomes evident by reference to particular instances which occur.
Of course there can be no exact parallel between arts so different as architecture and poetic composition: But certainly in the poetry of our day also, though it has been in some instances
powerfully initiative and original, there is great scholarship, a large comparative acquaintance with the poetic methods of earlier workmen, and a very subtle intelligence of their charm.
This point, if it could be cleared up, would be interesting; if, for instance, it could be shown that the greyhound, bloodhound, terrier, spaniel, and bull-dog, which we all know propagate their kind so truly, were the offspring of any single species, then such facts would have great weight in making us doubt about the immutability of the many very closely allied and natural species--for instance, of the many foxes--inhabiting different quarters of the world.
If the several breeds are not varieties, and have not proceeded from the rock-pigeon, they must have descended from at least seven or eight aboriginal stocks; for it is impossible to make the present domestic breeds by the crossing of any lesser number: how, for instance, could a pouter be produced by crossing two breeds unless one of the parent-stocks possessed the characteristic enormous crop?
In monstrosities, the correlations between quite distinct parts are very curious; and many instances are given in Isidore Geoffroy St.
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