Definition

Abstract

This paper presents a puzzle about the logic of real definition. In particular, I demonstrate that five principles concerning definition (that it is coextensional and irreflexive, that it applies to its cases, that it permits expansion and that it is itself defined) are incompatible. I then explore the advantages and disadvantages of each principle—one of which must be rejected to restore consistency.

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Samuel Elgin
University of California, San Diego

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.

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