Definition

Philosophical Studies 179 (9):3019-3036 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper presents a puzzle about the logic of real definition. 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 logically 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

Citations of this work

Solving a puzzle of definition.Jonas Werner - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

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.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.

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