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Philosophy_110_Chp6[1] - Types of Definitions Chapter 6...

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3/13/2009 1 Chapter 6: Definitions, Mike Olsen SF State, Spring 2009 Types of Definitions Extensional Enumerative or ostensive (listing or pointing out) ▫ Ex: “A book is that .” Intentional Lexical Stipulative Precising Theoretical Operational Merely Verbal Disputes Sometimes we are talk at cross-purposes It helps if we are clear about what it is that we are talking about. Reportive or “Lexical” Definitions Something you would find in the dictionary. This is a “factual assertion about how people use language, and can be either true or false.” (Royse, p. 120). Stipulative Creates a meaning for a word or phrase Cannot be judged to be true or false (independent of its context) Criteria of Adequacy A. Must not be circular Killing is the act of killing some living thing. A clear idea is a thought which is so precise and so different from any other idea that it contains nothing within itself but what is clear. A good rule: If you use the word to be defined in the definition, you have not told us what it means!
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3/13/2009 2 Criteria of Adequacy B. Must not be too narrow ▫ Art is “that which communicates the religious sentiments of mankind.” - Tolstoy A student is someone who goes to classes regularly. C. Must not be too broad A student is someone who reads all the time. Criteria of Adequacy D. Must not be more obscure than the word defined Evolution is the progressive aggregation of concrete processes in a developmental series giving fruition to the structure of a higher level. Criteria of Adequacy E. Must not be controversial Abortion is the murder of an unborn human being. Abortion is a moral action by a woman in removing a fetus from her body. Some Examples Money: the root of all evil. Triangle: a closed three-sided plain figure with equal angles. A neonatologist is someone who specializes in caring for neonates. Informed Consent Who is capable of informed consent? Defining who is “capable of consent” is a crucial issue among bioethicists. What would be the consequence of too broad a definition? Too narrow? Too obscure? Review Criteria of Adequacy Too Broad, Too Narrow, Obscure, Controversial, Circular Examples: Hamster means a small animal. Money is the amount of dollars you have.
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Philosophy_110_Chp6[1] - Types of Definitions Chapter 6...

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