Questions tagged [definitions]

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Reference request for definitions of belief

There is a lot that has been written about knowledge in the philosophical literature. However, I am interested in a simpler concept, namely belief. I want to read some texts on the definitions of ...
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What is the state-of-the-art of formal definitions of God?

Isn't the only formal analytic definition of God, that of Cantor's Absolute Infinity? What is the state-of-the-art of this approach? Are there other definitions?
Bastam Tajik's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
446 views

What characteristics define something as a mathematical entity?

It is easy to give examples of mathematical entities: Natural numbers, geometrical figures, sets, functions of variables ranging over numerical sets, etc. The list seems endless. Yet, listing those ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Something that is defined to be what it is is not part of the natural world. True?

Numbers are defined as they are: 10 digits, a positional system, and all the arithmetic rules are defined to be what they are. Even in all of math, many things are just defined to be what they are, ...
NotPhilosophy's user avatar
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0 answers
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What does Kant mean by "objects" in BXVI-BXIX of his Critique of Pure Reason?

In the discussion leading up to BXVI Kant consideres the application of reason to empirical cognition as in physical experiments, or to theoretical cognition as in mathematics. In these cases the ...
Steven Thomas Hatton's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
408 views

Reference request for the definition of logic

I am looking for philosophical texts on the question of what the definition of logic is or should be. I am pretty sure many logicians and philosophers have written about that philosophical topic. I ...
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Is there a term for when one claims that something can't be true of the collective because it is not true of every individual within the collective?

Basically as the title says, I'm wondering if there is a term for when someone says that because there are some exceptions to the norm, that the norm cannot be considered as part or all of what ...
LavenderTea045147's user avatar
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2 answers
120 views

Shortcomings in the following definition of "rationality"?

I'm going to try to engage with the following Encyclopedia Britannica article on "rationality". Rationality, the use of knowledge to attain goals. I have a bigger personal project to ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
-2 votes
3 answers
150 views

Is it philosophically difficult to adequately define “formal logic”? [closed]

If so, why? If not, what do you consider a complete definition of “formal logic”?
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

What is respect? [closed]

“Respect”, “respectful”, and “disrespectful” are concepts we regularly hear being used, yet it has not always been clear to me if there is any essential underlying characteristic conveyed by these ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
145 views

How should one answer the question ‘What is X?’?

This is sort of a thought experiment. I am not sure I expect it to mature into a canonical question, but I hope to have a little discussion through it. Imagine someone asks “What is/are X?”, where X ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

Is there a recognized topic in philosophy regarding the fallaciousness of debating what the ‘correct’ definition of a word is?

Or, what the defining properties of some thing are. For example, I might say, “Socialism is a government in which such-and-such happens,” and someone else might say, “No, socialism is when a society ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
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0 answers
130 views

What are the First Principles of Euclidean Geometry (Besides the Axioms)?

On first principles, Wikipedia says: A first principle is an axiom that cannot be deduced from any other within that system. The classic example is that of Euclid's Elements; its hundreds of ...
DDS's user avatar
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4 answers
71 views

Can the definition of philosophy be personal?

Is there a formal definition of philosophy agreed upon by everybody. If any new- or third-party decides to subscribe to "philosophy", do they compulsorily accept the formal definition. Or ...
megamonster68's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
1k views

Can reason be precisely defined?

Reason, or rationality, is classically defined as deriving a conclusion from observations. Again, classically this is achieved by the application of logic. Aristotle explained it in this way. There ...
Meanach's user avatar
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12 answers
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Can a definition be true/false?

Can a definition be false or, for that matter, true? Dog (noun): A tamed lupus canis. Unicorn (noun): A horse with a horn growing out of its forehead; may be of any color, but are usually pink or ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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What are the main elements of Stoicism? [duplicate]

My question is this: What are the main elements of Stoicism? As a secondary question, it would also be nice to know how Epicureanism compares to or contrasts with Stoicism. Primary source material ...
Epimanes's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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The Likelyhood Principle and Baysean Statistics

I am reading Kotzen's paper Selection Bias in Likelihood Arguments. The author takes the following principle as a starting point: I'm confused as to how to formalize this notion in terms of Bayesian ...
Mani's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
773 views

Question Regarding Holes

What even are holes? Are they something or nothing? Do they even exist? Sure, you might think me saying that holes do not exist is idiotic but think about it. The existence of holes doesn't make sense ...
Kamran Noor's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
78 views

Loops in logic and reasoning of TIME

My question is more specific about time. Say what is time -time is a measure of changed(rate of change) but how do you measure time - by measuring something which is changing (movement of clocks or ...
quanity's user avatar
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Is the mass/count-noun distinction the same as the continuous/discrete one?

Justification for this as a PhilosophySE questions: there are two SEP articles concerning this topic: The Logic of Mass Expressions (Nicolas[18]). The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions (Steen[22]). ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
34 views

What kind of homo/isomorphism, if any, applies to a certain pair of pairs of permission types?

The SEP article on deontic logic mentions at least once or twice that there seem to be two types of permissibility (also a difference between "ought" and "must," to note). Over the ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
62 views

What is the definition of "abstract"?

It is said that one of the distinguishing features of humans from other animals, is the capacity for abstract thought. But what is the definition of "abstract"? I know it when I see it, but ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why is it so hard to give a good definition of philosophy?

I have never seen an adequate definition of philosophy. It seems like a "family-resemblance" concept to me, to borrow Wittgenstein's famous phrase. It is easy to give definitions of, say, ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Is understanding possible?

Often, humans will claim to "understand" something. When pressed, they will define understanding as something like: Knowledge Conception within the mind Comprehension Awareness of meaning ...
Corbin's user avatar
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0 answers
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Does Russell's objection to Meinongianism apply whenever we take the meta-version of an existence-predicate distinction?

The point of departure: A third problem, one of Russell’s objections to Meinongianism (see [Russell 1905a, 1907]), turns on the fact that existence is, on Meinongianism, a property and hence figures ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
245 views

Is wisdom one type of intelligence, or distinct from it?

I asked this question on the psychology stack exchange, but was told this would be a better stack exchange for it. I subscribe to the theory that there are multiple types of intelligence. Is wisdom ...
user107952's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Categorizing with metaphor, analogy, and symmetry

Continuing the discussion Categorizing with metaphor, analogy, generalization, and abstraction my next question is how two concepts metaphor/analogy equivalent to symmetry(change without change) .If ...
quanity's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
121 views

Do we define 'infidelity' ourselves

I think we do, but it's a strange idea unless we think of it as passing rules, quasi laws, for ourselves, and that may go against the tenor of what it means for us (no joke intended, I"m ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
124 views

What is the definition of ability?

What is the definition of ability? More precisely, what is the definition of the relation "X is able to do Y"? For example, energy is defined as the ability to do work. Also, when a person ...
user107952's user avatar
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2 votes
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How do we know we've defined a thing properly when all definitions have exceptions? [closed]

I don’t understand definitions. Let’s take this question: “What is a woman?” Now if I am a Platonic Idealist (or some other essentialist) then I think that all women share the same essence and will ...
ProfessorFinesse's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
185 views

A circularity in Richard Dawkins's book "The Blind Watchmaker" regarding a definition of life

I wanted to put this question in the biology stack exchange, but some of my questions there have been downvoted. In Richard Dawkins's book "The Blind Watchmaker", in the first chapter, says &...
user107952's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a paradox of third-order arithmetic?

Calculus, sometimes analysis or second-order arithmetic, seems more intuitive when formulated in infinitesimal terms than in terms of real-valued limits. However, the meta-theory of analysis, i.e. its ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
167 views

"Animal is human": human is not among the five predicables

I'm asking about the proposition "Animal is human" (as opposed to "Human is an animal"). All predicates are amongst the five predicables, i.e. they are either essential or ...
Shahram's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
90 views

What is the definition of a possible world?

I recently asked if we can know whether other possible worlds exist. However, I should have asked first what the definition of a possible world is, for only then can we know whether other possible ...
user107952's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is a succinct description of the problem of the criterion?

I've been studying the problem of the criterion for about a month, and I'm finding that there is a paradox involved with knowing it. Supposedly, as I interpret, in order to know what the problem of ...
Dennis Francis Blewett's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
42 views

Does counterpossible reasoning limit the value of using folk intuitions as a parameter in conceptual analysis?

It's too long to quote as well as I'd like, but the section on moral responsibility in the SEP article on empirical moral psychology includes as an example: ... Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer and ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
101 views

Essentialism and concepts

I've been reading an old logic text (Deductive Logic. George Stock. 1888) and he describes something very like Aristotle's notion of a definition, but in his description, it is clearly a matter of ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
122 views

Fundamental difference between luck and skill

Is there a fundamental difference between luck and skill? One might think that the important factor is reproducibility, but shouldn't Gladstone Gander then be described as skilled in life instead of ...
Damian's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
83 views

How many isolated concept clusters are there?

Let me start by explaining what I mean by an isolated concept cluster. It is often remarked that you can't define any moral term without using other moral terms. For example, you can define obligation ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
4 votes
8 answers
9k views

Is this a fallacy: "A woman is an adult who identifies as female in gender"? [closed]

The phrase tries to avoid the overt circular definition found in the variant, "a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman", by swapping woman with female in gender. But is that still a ...
Eyeofpie's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
138 views

What have philosophers said or what stances are there on what religion is? [closed]

Religion has a relation to the individual and society, and it gets into the way of thinking of many people from the past and at present times. What is religion from the point of view of philosophy?
Emile.'s user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

What is an operational definition (eg as often said of the Turing test)?

The Turing test seems often to be regarded as an operational definition of human-like intelligence (eg in Russel and Norvig, AIAMA). What is an operational definition and how does the Turing test ...
Roddus's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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What is an objective criterion for “specificity”?

I was trying to ask ChatGPT to be more “specific” and it made me wonder what an objective criterion for “specificity” is, given that I found it slightly hard to formulate. All I can say is that ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
154 views

What is the definition of a physical thing?

Physicalism is the view that only the physical exists. But that raises the question, what is the definition of a physical thing or object? Has any philosopher defined physicality? I would like some ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
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What is the name of the philosophy that believes one should do whatever they want?

The philosophy in question believes: You only live once, and you have predetermined desires from your genetics and environment. If these desires are not fulfilled as short-term or long-term goals you ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
221 views

Is an equal outcome necessary to differentiate between equity and equality?

Based on the answer provided here, it seems to me that when the word "equity" is used in relation to "equality," an equal outcome is necessary in order to differentiate between ...
OutwardThinking's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
85 views

Is there a non-circular definition of consciousness?

All the definitions of consciousness I have come across seem to be circular. It is usually defined to be "experience", or "something that it is like to be". But that is circular. ...
user107952's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
256 views

The definition of life

The prevailing biology of the modern era describes life as a system. A system is defined a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. The NASA definition of ...
Chanhyu Lee's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
408 views

Is it easier to prove something wrong than it is to prove something right?

Constantly I am faced with questions of whether something is the right choice or the wrong choice and I am forced to choose. Often, when faced with a problem, I feel that there is a correct answer and ...
Noah's user avatar
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