Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments


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Definition: determination of the use of linguistic signs (words, symbols, connectives) for non-linguistic or linguistic objects. New definitions are not supposed to be creative, that is, they are to be derived from the use of the signs already employed. See also definability, conservativity, systems, theories, models, reference systems, context definition, explicit defnition, implicit definition.

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 Item Summary Meta data
I 124
Definition/Goodman: is not symmetrical: usually a definiens describes that to which it applies in more detail than the definiendum. It provides an analysis and introduces means for a systematic integration.
III 61
Definition coextensive, but not identical/Goodman: E.g. featherless bipeds, definitions.
III 96
Definition/criterion/Goodman: the definition of hydrogen does not provide us with a test of how much of that is in this room.
III 126f
Definition/Goodman: Even though a definition always unambiguously determines which objects it is in accordancce with, but rarely a definition, in turn, is clearly justified by each of their individual cases. You can see, the table, to which I point, as a "steel table", "steel thing" then finally put it into a class with cars. In such a way that no label in this range applies to both.
Such flexibility cannot be allowed in the case of scores.
III 169f
None of our common natural languages is a notation system. E.g. a wheelbarrow belongs to many performance classes of object-English: "Wood object", "Transport means with wheel", etc. In such a language, there is no such thing as the definition. In a system of notation, however, all scores for a given performance are coextensive, all have the same performances as a fulfillment object.
III 191f
Definition/Goodman: the difference between real and nominal defining still applies, as is already illustrated by the difference between writing a score for a pre-existing work and composing a new work. In the first case, a score is uniquely determined by a performance, in the second case a score determines a class of performances clearly.

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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

N. Goodman
Catherine Z. Elgin
Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences, Indianapolis 1988
German Edition:
Revisionen Frankfurt 1989

Goodman I
N. Goodman
Ways of Worldmaking, Indianapolis/Cambridge 1978
German Edition:
Weisen der Welterzeugung Frankfurt 1984

Goodman II
N. Goodman
Fact, Fiction and Forecast, New York 1982
German Edition:
Tatsache Fiktion Voraussage Frankfurt 1988

Goodman III
N. Goodman
Languages of Art. An Approach to a Theory of Symbols, Indianapolis 1976
German Edition:
Sprachen der Kunst Frankfurt 1997

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-02-25
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