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Questions tagged [definitions]

The tag has no usage guidance.

4
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6answers
521 views

Is the use of inconsistent definitions a logical fallacy?

I am not asking for a defense of or pro/con of the existence of an omnipotent (or multiple omni-x) being, or for the existence of square-circles or any other similar thing. These arguments are well ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

What makes something mathematics?

What classifies something as math? Is "math" simply performing operations with a certain set of axioms in mind? Is "math" anything that involves numbers? What about mathematical logic? Google ...
8
votes
3answers
687 views

In Aristotle, What does it mean for something to be predicated?

I am studying Aristotle's views on substance, and in the narratives of his work, the term 'predicated' is used with great frequency, though not at all defined. In Googling the meaning of 'predicated', ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Please explain to a beginner: what is metaphysics?

As I understand it, most or all of philosophy can be put into the three main branches of philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Axiology. A devotee of reason, I have great affinity for, and ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

What was Cantor's philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

I have begun inquiring recently into mathematical aspects of Georg Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers and sets, which he developed between the years of 1874 and 1897. Throughout his theory, Cantor ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

“pleasure” vs “happiness”

With regards to the field of philosophy, are there any notable precise definitions of "pleasure" and "happiness"? How does "pleasure" compare to "happiness" and vice-versa?
20
votes
14answers
4k views

What is a straight line?

I am not a philosopher; I am an engineer with a reasonable grasp of mathematics. This question has been bothering me for a long time, and I have asked a variation of it to a mathematical community. ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Why did we define vacuous statements as true rather than false?

I have been trying to understand why implications about the empty set are treated as "true". It seems to me intuitively that vacuous statements should be false. For example consider the sentence: ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Does Aristotle ever explicitly refer to man as a “rational animal”?

Did Aristotle every explicitly refer to man as a "rational animal" (ζῷον λόγον ἔχον)? The internet is riddled with uncited claims to this effect: that "rational animal" was an explicitly stated ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Are all concepts polar ?

Do all concepts operate in pairs such that in order to define one member of the pair we need to specify its opposite ? For instance, we cannot define 'nothing' without understanding - being able to ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Aristotle's meaning of 'present in subject'

I've been reading the entry of Aristotle in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. "[Aristotle] says: ‘By “present in a subject” I mean what is in something, not as a part, and cannot exist ...
3
votes
2answers
598 views

What is the difference between implicit and explicit definitions?

B.Russell holds that certain classes of expressions are to be defined contextually, like definite descriptions or incomplete symbols in general, and some others are to be defined explicitly. What is ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Is there a name for the fallacy to appeal to connotation of an ambiguous term?

Consider the following argument We all agree that sexism is bad. Sexism is the discrimination based on sex or gender. Discrimination is 1) the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of ...
1
vote
3answers
207 views

Is there a word for a fallacy made by a listener instead of a speaker?

I've been thinking about misunderstandings that occur when people have philosophical discussions. Often somebody can make an entirely cogent argument, but then the other person misunderstands what has ...