more from Anil Gupta

Single Idea 11220

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 11. Ostensive Definition]

Full Idea

Ostensive definitions look simple (say 'this stick is one meter long', while showing a stick), but they are effective only because a complex linguistic and conceptual capacity is operative in the background, of which it is hard to give an account.

Gist of Idea

Ostensive definitions look simple, but are complex and barely explicable


Anil Gupta (Definitions [2008], 1.2)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.3

A Reaction

The full horror of the situation is brought out in Quine's 'gavagai' example (Idea 6312)

Related Idea

Idea 6312 We can never precisely pin down how to translate the native word 'Gavagai' [Quine]