Single Idea 17237

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 2. Aims of Definition]

Full Idea

Definitions of things which may be understood to have some cause, must consist of such names as express the cause or manner of their generation, as when we define a circle to be a figure made by the circumduction of a straight line in a plane etc.

Gist of Idea

Definitions of things that are caused must express their manner of generation


Thomas Hobbes (De Corpore (Elements, First Section) [1655], 1.6.13)

Book Reference

Hobbes,Thomas: 'Metaphysical Writings', ed/tr. Calkins,Mary Whiton [Open Court 1905], p.32

A Reaction

His account of the circle is based on its mode of construction, which is the preferred account of Euclid, rather than a statement of its pure nature.