Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Friedrich Schlegel, Michèle Friend and Philip Kitcher

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2 ideas

2. Reason / D. Definition / 8. Impredicative Definition
An 'impredicative' definition seems circular, because it uses the term being defined [Friend]
     Full Idea: An 'impredicative' definition is one that uses the terms being defined in order to give the definition; in some way the definition is then circular.
     From: Michle Friend (Introducing the Philosophy of Mathematics [2007], Glossary)
     A reaction: There has been a big controversy in the philosophy of mathematics over these. Shapiro gives the definition of 'village idiot' (which probably mentions 'village') as an example.
2. Reason / D. Definition / 10. Stipulative Definition
Classical definitions attempt to refer, but intuitionist/constructivist definitions actually create objects [Friend]
     Full Idea: In classical logic definitions are thought of as revealing our attempts to refer to objects, ...but for intuitionist or constructivist logics, if our definitions do not uniquely characterize an object, we are not entitled to discuss the object.
     From: Michle Friend (Introducing the Philosophy of Mathematics [2007], 2.4)
     A reaction: In defining a chess piece we are obviously creating. In defining a 'tree' we are trying to respond to fact, but the borderlines are vague. Philosophical life would be easier if we were allowed a mixture of creation and fact - so let's have that.