Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Context, context dependency: sentences, words and texts depend to a varying extent on the addition of additional information to eliminate ambiguities. In particular, the use of index words such as "here", "now", but also of pronouns like "mine" leads to indeterminacy of the reference. The additional information may possibly be taken from an already existing information set, whereby the sentences to be examined, words or texts, form a subset of this more comprehensive set. Such a more comprehensive amount of information already existing elsewhere is called context. See also dependency, ambiguity, indeterminacy, discovery.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Michael Walzer on Context/Context Dependence - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 15
Context dependence/political language/Walzer/Dworkin/Freeden: Some poststructuralists abandon the search for norms too readily. But even among the contrary camp of Anglo-American philosophers the certainty that is assumed to accompany objective and neutral understandings of concepts is being challenged.
, >Society.
Thus Michael Walzer (1985)(1) has focused on the contextual and social meanings of social goods, while Ronald Dworkin has noted that most contemporary philosophers accept that conceptual definitions are substantive and normative. Taking democracy as an example, Dworkin contends against essentialist definitions that
„we still need an account of what makes one feature of a social or political arrangement essential to its character as a democracy and another feature only contingent, and once we have rejected the idea that reflection on the meaning of ‘democracy’ will supply that distinction, nothing else will.“ (2001(2): 11).
>Democracy, >Essentialism, >R. Dworkin.

1. Walzer, M. 1895. (1985) Spheres of Justice. Oxford: Blackwell.
2. Dworkin, R. 2001. ‘Political and legal Archimedeans’, draft paper.

Freeden, M. 2004. „Ideology, Political Theory and Political Philosophy“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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