What is a Notion? – A notional Answer

What is a notion?

A “notion” means a “recognition,” “something known,” “something noticed,” a “concept.” It is a “knowing what,” but not a “knowing how.”

Sometimes the Latin has it mean, “thought” or “idea,” but as a “knowing what,” it is really only half an idea. As we know, an “idea,” “thought,” or “sentence” comprises two notions, to wit, the “subject” and “predicate.” A notion, therefore, will only be half a thought, half a sentence, half an idea. In the sentence, “Joe Bloggs goes for a walk,” “Joe Bloggs” is one notion and “goes for a walk” is a second. “Joe Bloggs” is the notion that is the subject; “goes for a walk” is the notion that is the predicate.

The root of “notion” is an interesting root and goes through Indo-European. Originally the root was “gno” in the Indo-European. From this root we get Sanskrit (Skt) “jna,” “jan-ati,” “he knows,” Greek (Gk) “gno” in “gi-gno-sko,” “I know,” Latin (L) “gno” in “co-gno-sco,” “I know,” and English (E) “know.” English also has another verb, “can,” from the same root. “Can,” however, suggests “to know how,” rather than simply “to know what,” as the rest of the verbs imply. (All these words are the exact same word coming from the exact same root thousands and thousands of years ago. They are said to be “cognate” with one another.)

In Grammar a sentence is an idea or thought complete in itself. The sentence or idea or thought is made up of two notions, the subject and predicate. The subject is someone or something (one notion) and the predicate is what’s said about it (a second notion).


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