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What is definition? How should it be defined?

It is non-controversial that definitions play a central role in any belief system, for after all propositions make use of terms which often have definitions. Some propositions attempt to provide a definition of a term. Thus, it is important to have a coherent notion of definition, i.e. a definition of definition.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2018. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Definition (Barseghyan-2018) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term. Definition (Barseghyan-2018) states "A statement of the meaning of a term."


Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this question (it includes all the instances when the question was accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by a community):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy8 October 2018The question became accepted as legitimate with the publication of Barseghyan's Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change.Yes

All Theories

The following theories have attempted to answer this question:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Definition (Barseghyan-2018)A statement of the meaning of a term.2018
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Accepted Theories

The following theories have been accepted as answers to this question:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyDefinition (Barseghyan-2018)1 September 2019

Suggested Modifications

Here is a list of modifications concerning this topic:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2018-0007Scientonomy8 October 2018Accept the definition of definition as a statement of the meaning of a term.AcceptedThe consensus on this modification emerged primarily off-line. It was agreed that whether or not "definitions can have a truth value" is irrelevant to this modification and that "the question of most relevance to scientonomy is whether definitions can be accepted or not accepted by an epistemic agent".c1 It was also noted that the consensus concerning this modification "has manifested on several occasions, including the first scientonomy conference in May 2019 in Toronto."c21 September 2019

Current View

In Scientonomy community, the accepted definition of the term is Definition (Barseghyan-2018). It is defined as: "A statement of the meaning of a term."

Definition (Barseghyan-2018).png

This somewhat simplistic definition of definition is meant to highlight that definitions are themselves theories (statements, propositions). As a result, any stance that can be taken by epistemic agents towards theories can also be taken towards definitions. Read More

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