On ostensive definitions

Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-22 (1960)
The first part deals with the problem of the external form of ostensive definition. It is concluded that the definition statement is not complete. The proper form of this statement is not a sentence, but a sentential function, namely a sentential function of the type: ``Π x [N(x)=x is in the respect R and in the degree D such as A, B... and not such as K, L...]" where "N" stands for the term being defined. Thus the ostensive definition informs about the criteria of applicability of the defined term in a partial way only, and the rest must be supplied by the addressee for whom the given definition was destined. In the second part the conditions are analysed on which depends the possibility of solving that problem, and consequently the conditions on which depend the informational value and the efficacy of ostensive definition. The concluding remarks deal with the properties of the terms introduced by the ostensive method
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DOI 10.1086/287709
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