Five Types Of Stipulative Definition

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Introduction In life, definitions play a keen role in eliminating verbal disputes. The best way to avoid verbal disagreements in belief is to define one’s terms clearly (Hall). However, there are numerous uses of definitions that play an important role in logic. Before we dive into categorizing the different definitions, one should note that definitions are merely definitions of symbols, this is because only symbols have meanings that may be explained. There are mainly five types of definitions used, all of which relying on how and in what context they are used (Copi, Cohen and Mcmahon). Stipulative definition A definition with a meaning purposefully assigned to a symbol is most often termed as a Stipulative definition (Copi, Cohen and Mcmahon).…show more content…
A précising definition is different from both Stipulative definition and lexical definition. It differs from Stipulative definition in the sense that its definiendum is not a new term, but one with a known usage, although it being vague or ambiguous. Therefore, when constructing a precise definition, we are not at liberty to assign the definiendum any meaning we want. A precise definition cannot be a simple report like that of lexical definition because it has to be beyond established usage if the vagueness of the definiendum is to be reduced (Copi, Cohen and Mcmahon). Précising definitions are used because in some cases we need to use a particular term in a way that is more precise than a definition found in the dictionary. Hence, such definitions are not to be found in the dictionary. Précising definitions are conceptual tools of vast significance (Hall). An example of where précising definition was used is in units of measurement in science. “ Horse power” is commonly used in reporting the power of motors, but its vagueness brought about commercial deception. To overcome that, a precise definition was formulated. One “horsepower” is now defined precisely as “the power needed to raise a weight of 550 pounds by one foot in one second”—calculated to be equal to 745.7 watts. The vagueness of the term “horse power” could not be eliminated by appealing merely to ordinary…show more content…
This is a definition that summarizes an understanding of the theory in which that term is a key element. Unlike lexical definitions, which aim at helping us understand how a concept is used, theoretical definitions attempt to help us understand how a concept is. Theoretical definitions are mostly used in science and philosophy. A philosophical example of the use of theoretical definitions was when Socrates struggled to find a correct definition for “justice”. Philosophers are not merely looking for a set of words that can serve as synonyms to define a term like justice, nor are they examining how people use such words or trying to eliminate borderline cases (Copi, Cohen and Mcmahon). The reason why such definitions like justice are theoretical is because they attempt to construct a theory about the nature of the thing in question (Cline). Theoretical definitions are the products of our comprehensive understanding in some sphere (Copi, Cohen and
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