In the contemplation ‘Etymology and Etymosophy’ was a difference mentioned between contentual and formal implication and explication.1 Here a short explanation of this difference shall be given.
Now the difference between contentual and formal implication and explication is of course dependent on the difference between content and form. Implication and explication are themselves however also different from each other. In everyday English is an implication understood as something which is involved without being expressed and an explication as something which is involved while being expressed.2, 3 Etymosophically it can be said that implication and explication are both plications but that they differ in being im and ex. This postfix ‘plication’ stems (through the Latin ‘implicātiōn(em)’ and ‘explicātiō(nem)’) from the Latin ‘plicō’, meaning ‘to fold’.4 Now with ‘im’ stemming from the Latin ‘in’,5 meaning basically ‘inwardly’,6 and ‘ex’ stemming from the Latin ‘ex’, meaning basically ‘outwardly’,7 can an implication be understood as a folding inward and an explication as a folding outward. So when a given is implicated then this given is folded inwardly and when it is explicated it is folded outwardly. Now inside stands to outside as reality stands to appearance, as cause stands to effect, and as spirit stands to matter. To implicate something then means to move it towards its inner cause and reality, or in a sense to spiritualize it. And to explicate something then means to move it towards its outer effect and appearance, or in a sense to materialize it.
So what does the above mean for an implicated or explicated content or form? It was mentioned that implication stands to explication as spirit stands to matter, and it is interesting to mention that spirit stands to matter also as content stands to form. Every form holds its content as matter holds its spirit and as an explication holds its implication. Here it must be made clear that ‘implication’ and ‘explication’ are no synonyms of ‘content’ and ‘form’. It is only that the relation of ‘implication’ and ‘explication’ is analogous to the relation of ‘content’ and ‘form’. Terms like ‘contentual implication’ and ‘formal explication’ are thus not tautological.
From the above we understand that content regards the inside and form the outside. And both of these can be implicated and explicated. To implicate a content means to move from its outer effect and appearance towards its inner cause and reality. And to explicate a content means to move from its inner cause and reality towards its outer effect and appearance. Etymology for instance implicates a content. It takes a content that is seen, that appears, and works from there to penetrate into the cause and reality of it. This is what in philosophy is called ‘empiricism’.8 Etymology takes concrete words and by analysing their phonetics and syntaxes induces their abstract semantics. Etymosophy however explicates a content. It takes a content of which the reality is (presupposedly) conceived and works from there to concretize it into its effect and appearance. This is what in philosophy is called (erroneously) ‘rationalism’.9 Etymosophy takes abstract significances and by contemplating them deduces their concrete semantics.
Now what goes for content does in a way also go for form. To implicate a form means to move from its outer effect and appearance to its inner cause and reality. And to explicate a form means to move from its inner cause and reality to its outer effect and appearance. Etymology for instance explicates a form. The manner in which its contents are expressed is very explicit. ‘What you see is what you get’, is the applicable saying. To process etymology thus research is needed. Etymosophy however implicates a form. The manner in which its contents are expressed is very implicit. ‘You need to read between the lines’, is here the applicable saying. And to process etymosophy contemplation is needed.
In our examples of etymology and etymosophy we thus get the following overview.
Hopefully this contemplation will add to the understanding of what is meant by 'contentual and formal implication and explication'.