more from A.George / D.J.Velleman

Single Idea 9955

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 7. Contextual Definition]

Full Idea

A contextual definition shows how to analyse an expression in situ, by replacing a complete sentence (of a particular form) in which the expression occurs by another in which it does not.

Gist of Idea

Contextual definitions replace a complete sentence containing the expression


A.George / D.J.Velleman (Philosophies of Mathematics [2002], Ch.2)

Book Reference

George,A/Velleman D.J.: 'Philosophies of Mathematics' [Blackwell 2002], p.29

A Reaction

This is a controversial procedure, which (according to Dummett) Frege originally accepted, and later rejected. It might not be the perfect definition that replacing just the expression would give you, but it is a promising step.