I think:

None is void of relations. Not even those that don’t seem to be at all. The existing and the non-existing--all have superfluous relations, if not many at least one. This absolute one relation is their definition. One cannot deny the fact that when one attempts at defining a thing, he almost impudently takes as aid all the other constituents that mark their existence in the realm extraordinaire. A careful reflection reveals that for a thing to be, it owes its existence to every other thing. Hence it is a lineage of dependencies that follow—all because of the quest to define something completely. Any such definition would require infinite iterations, and still not provide a strong build. Instead it would frustrate us as we would again end up where we started. Take for example the sun. How does one define it? A star perhaps. But what is a star? A ball of mass formed from clouds of dust, you might say. Now, tell me then, what is mass and what are clouds and dust? First let’s deal with mass and then get on the latter two. Mass is amount of substance contained in an object, physicists say. In this statement, there is a huge gap in clarity. I question them, how to define an object and what exactly is this substance that it contains. For object, you might consider saying something that exists. But the mundane beauty in the falsity is that, what do you mean by the phrase that exists? What exists when you cannot, eruditely, describe it well enough? When there is an answer to this question, we will continue the argument. Since every existing thing in the Universe relies on each other for their cause, one might consider that the one who created all that we see and presume must be supposedly independent, because he had nothing before him to rely upon for his definition. And that leads us to the conclusion that this God is indeed indefinable. And that ultimately to the result that he shouldn’t exist. This is because of the fact earlier established that when one cannot define, he cannot argue over the topic of existence and vice-versa. When we make idols, stories, epics and so on, how can you be so sure that this indefinable something is merely like your imagination when you can even not define this cause substantially? Or, to engulf him into trivial existence, you could go on the side that indeed, he is dependent. Then he would surely exist but then what would he be dependent on? Anything he is dependent on would be surely trivial to him, because we had defined him to be the most Supreme Being who created this world. Depending on any trivial thing would surely degrade his omnipotent character, making him more and more ordinary because this trivial thing on which he is dependent upon would be dependent on every other thing that shows its existence as discussed earlier. This would make the Supreme just a partaker, place holder in this infinite loop, chain of man-made definitions, not giving him any special status whatsoever. Now that this is the result, what is your take? God exists or not?


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    Sorry, but this is not a site for posting essays, and "What do you think?" or "What would you suggest?" questions are off-topic. Questions should be impersonal, narrowly focused and more or less definitively answerable based on published literature. – Conifold Sep 11 at 3:50
  • Completly? Maybe. Independently? In what sense? To define a word/concept you need language and previously understood words/concepts. Thus, in general, No – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 11 at 8:21
  • The question here uses the defintion of a term to be based on a relation model. Essentially, the definition of any concept is, x=y. Obviously there is no 'indepedence' in using this model. Nor is there really any defintion at all. Spinoza explained that 'good' or accurate defintion can only be framed by describing the 'essence of a thing, or its 'proximate' cause. See wikisource, 'On the Improvement of the Understanding'. In the contents find the numbered paragraph for 'Good defintions'. That captures the true nature of an independent defintion. – Charles M Saunders Sep 11 at 18:10
  • @Charles M Saunders Thanks a ton! That really caught me. Are you a full time philosopher sir? I like your flow of thoughts.Thanks again! – QuasiVinci Sep 12 at 2:35
                          **Spinozistically Inspired Definitions**

Substance/Nature/god- Manifold Ontology which allows Spinoza to elucidate the immanent or indwelling presence of God as ‘causa sui’ in all macro and micro-evolution.

Science- Deductive cum Inductive knowledge accumulation mechanism. Proceeds from intuitively incepted axiomatic First Principles through to Inductively focused and conducted scientific research methodology which serves as linkage and demonstration of the deductive theory. From hypothesis to setting research parameters, testing, recording and analysis of findings, validation, replication; determining limits of certifiability, publication, comment, and codification.

Subject- Existent finite individual being, part of nature, therefore of reality. Living expression of Extension and Thought, conjoined in 'conatus' or self-assertion-in-act.

Object- Any and all things existent as part of nature in duration, therefore of reality. Finite modal expression of the Attribute of Extension.

Finite being- State of being referred to as contingent, meaning, necessarily ‘conditioned to act’ in a prescribed manner.

Logic- Necessary expressive relationship between ground and consequent. Expression of reality; immanence in deduction.

Definition- Lexical capture of a thing's essence or proximate cause. (Genetic Definition)

Idea- Immanent micro-expression of nature’s intelligibility. Expressed within the human mind as its knowledge of its own body. Also as thought-object, product of veridical perception, existent; exists independent of its correlate object. Content of both accumulated human knowledge within an individual mind while also serving as medium of exchange of information among conversants.

Veridical Perception- The direct experience of stimuli as they exist.

                           **Genetic Definition- Samples**

God- Omnipotent, and eternally and infinitely regenerating agency-in-self-inception and intelligibility; self-caused potency as driving force behind all macro- and micro-evolution.

If anyone can successfully absorb this awkwardly constructed statement from just a congeries of words and convert it into a meaningful comprehension within the confines of their own mind and life, a realization comes into focus. A singular recognition takes shape in the minds-eye, the elegance and enormity of all of creation still instills inside of us an appreciation for human life is a gift, and that through that gift we have been blessed with the capability to understand extended nature far beyond the confines of any bodily limitations. Although there is no Being to thank or to pray to; nevertheless, we can and should be thankful and therefore attempt to live a life which makes some form of contribution to this human journey that is our inheritance.

Motion and Rest- Infinite mediating concrete universal which delineates and demonstrates the sum total of Extended Substance as it is referred only as conceivable within the human mind, not as 'Natura,naturans' or Uncreated Substance.

This definition attempts to conform to Spinoza’s prescription for ‘proper’ definition in that its proximate cause, the essence from which it is derived and all of its properties can be deduced from this single statement.

                                 Genetic Definition
                                  Henry E. Allison

“Like the definitions of geometrical figures found in Euclid, Spinoza’s definitions are designed to describe not only the name used, but also the objects named. They therefore are presented as true propositions describing the essence of things. Thus, just as the mathematicians can deduce the properties of a real figure from his real definitions, so Spinoza, the metaphysician, proposes to deduce the basic properties of reality or nature form his fundamental real definitions. But then the obvious question arises. How does Spinoza know that he has arrived at a true definition which, in his own terms, provides us with an adequate or clear and distinct idea of the object in question? Here perhaps more than in any other area, we can discern the influence of the geometrical way of thinking in Spinoza, and especially the approach of the analytic geometry as developed by Descartes. What Spinoza does, in effect, is to ask how the mathematician knows that he has arrived at a real definition Of a figure? This is found to occur when he is able to construct it. His definition is thus a rule for constructing a figure, what is often called a ‘genetic’ definition’, and from just such a definition alone, all of the properties of the figure can be deduced. To cite Spinoza’s own example, the nominal definition of a circle as “a figure, such that all straight lines drawn from the center to the circumference are equal” is rejected in favor of the genetic definition as “the figure described by any line whereof one end is fixed and the other free.” This definition tells us how such a figure can be constructed, and from the rule for construction we can deduce all of its properties.” Spinoza’s central point is that the same principles apply to our knowledge of nature or reality as to our knowledge of abstract entities as mathematical objects. (p. 53) “Benedict de Spinoza”, Henry E. Allison, (1975, G. K. Hall)

(The above is excerpted from- Deductive Theory, Inductive Method) available for download on Academia.edu

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  • That was wholly instigating! Thanks for such a nice and descriptive clear answer sir..it has revealed a deeper meaning! Also I was drawn towards Spinoza now-a-days..can u recommend me some books to start with (those of Spinoza or otherwise..) – QuasiVinci Sep 15 at 2:44
  • @QuasiVinci- My four books on Spinoza's system are downloadable on Academia.edu. Just enter my full name in the search link. – Charles M Saunders Sep 15 at 3:37
  • That is exhaustive sir..I have downloaded all the three pamphlets..thanks a lot sir.. – QuasiVinci Sep 15 at 6:37

The question here describes the definition of a term exclusively based on a relational model. Essentially, the definition of any concept is, in this model, x=y, where both x and y are not independently defined but only are understood due to their shared relationship. Obviously there is no 'independence' in using this model. Nor is there really any definition at all.

Spinoza explained that 'good' or accurate definition can only be framed by describing the 'essence of a thing', or its 'proximate' cause. 'Essence' here means, The uncreated self-initiated object, the primary cause which allows the object to be defined to exist'. Alternatively, for those things which are not 'self-caused', that is 'created', an accurate definition must include the determinate action which 'causes' the object to exist. As an example. A circle should be defined as 'a figure formed from a line with one end fixed and the other free.' Notice that this definition includes the 'action' which enables the minds-eye to picture the free end of the line rotating in an open 360 degree motion.

This definition works because the movement of the straight line in a limitless 360 degree arc captures all of the properties which inhere within the compass of a circle, like its radius, diameter, the triangularity encompassed within its perimeter, etc.

Thus this type of definition qualifies as 'independent'.

See Wikisource, 'On the Improvement of the Understanding'. In the contents find the numbered paragraph for 'Good definitions'. That captures the true nature of an independent definition. – Charles M Saunders

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  • Thank you very much for a great answer. I will sure check it out. By the way could you give examples of any 'independent' definitions? Thanks again! – QuasiVinci Sep 12 at 17:10
  • Spinoza readily admitted that even though he could understand the method for creating 'independent or what are technically termed genetic definitions, they were not easy to shape. Let me get back to you on this. Cheers – Charles M Saunders Sep 13 at 3:36
  • Whoa, that nearly shares my opinion! Waiting for your add-on! I would like to learn a lot from you in the future sir! :)Well frankly, after I get any example, I am gonna mark my first green tick on philosophy stackexchange to your answer. One of the best reflections ever had was ignited by you..thanks!!! – QuasiVinci Sep 13 at 4:11
  • @QuasVinci- while I organize another example, please take time to reflect on the 'circle'example in the answer. That is Spinoza's example. For him 'ideas' and therefore 'truth' or 'certainty' because they are all synonymous. That is, that ideas or truth does not involve words, or sentences, or propositions or hypoyltheses. Nor is the truth a picture or image in the mind. Truth involves a dynamic process of active inter-agency. – Charles M Saunders Sep 13 at 20:47
  • Sure sir! I am indeed trying to ruminate and understand the thoughts and such consequences in the wikisource page! – QuasiVinci Sep 14 at 3:23

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