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circular definition

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


L ogic A definition is circular if its definiens has to be explained by appeal to its definiendum , or if its definiendum appears in its definiens . This is in violation of the rule in formal logic that the definiens should not contain any part of the definiendum . A more common form of circularity occurs in a set of definitions, if a term A is defined by B, and B by C, and then C by A. “If a definition contains the definiendum in the definiens, the definition is said to be circular.” Adams, The Fundamentals of General Logic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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