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2.4 10. Practice with Definitional Techniques Definitional…

2.4

10. Practice with Definitional Techniques

Definitional techniques fall into two broad categories: extensional (denotative) definitions and intensional (connotative) definitions. Extensional definitions assign meaning to a term by indicating the members of the class that the term denotes or refers to. Intensional definitions, by contrast, assign meaning to a word by indicating the qualities or attributes that the word connotes.

 

Each of the following definitions proceeds according to a specific definitional technique. Indicate whether each definition uses an extensional definitional technique or an intensional definitional technique. Then indicate which specific definitional technique is being employed in each definition.

 

Definition A

 

A person is “HIV positive” if and only if an HIV test reads positive when administered to him or her.

 

 

 

Definition A is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition B

 

“Student” means pupil.

 

 

Definition B is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition C

 

“Dexterity” is derived from the Latin word dexter, which means on the right or means right hand.

 

 

Definition C is anintensional (connotative)    definition and uses the definitional technique ofetymological definition   .

 

 

Definition D

 

“Golfer” means a person such as Annika Sorenstam, Mickey Wright, Lee Trevino, or Tiger Woods.

 

 

Definition D is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition E

 

“Book” means novel, textbook, handbook, reference book, history book, and so on.

 

 

Definition E is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition F

 

“River” means something like this (while pointing to the Rio Grande).

 

 

Definition F is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition G

 

“Sick” means ill.

 

 

Definition G is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of    .

 

 

Definition H

 

A “tome” is a large book.

 

 

Definition H is an     definition and uses the definitional technique of

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11. True/False Review and Chapter Summary

Use your knowledge of definitional techniques to determine which (if any) of the following sentences are true. Check all that apply.

 

Extensional definitions in general cannot be used to produce precising definitions because vague terms do not have precisely defined extensions.

Demonstrative (ostensive) definition involves listing or naming the individual members of the class denoted by the term being defined, but this technique involves no pointing or gesturing.

Very few English words derive from other languages.

Since a relatively small number of classes denote a conveniently small number of subclasses, it can be difficult to provide a complete definition by subclass for some terms.

The technique of demonstrative (ostensive) is able to produce any of the following types of definitions: stipulative, lexical, and precising.

A partial definition by subclass names subclasses of the class denoted by the term being defined, such that the subclasses taken together include all members of the denoted class.

Operational definitions convey the complete intensional content of the term being defined.

An extensional definition assigns meaning to a term by indicating the members of the class denoted by the term being defined.

One problem with enumerative definitions is that some classes have members with no individual names.

Intensional definitions assign meaning by indicating the members of the class denoted by the term being defined.

An extensional definition guarantees that a reader or listener will grasp the intensional meaning of the word being defined.

The difference phrase does not have to be a single word in a definition by genus and difference.

Many words have subtle shades of meaning that are not connoted by any other single word.

A complete definition by subclass lists subclasses of the class denoted by the term being defined, such that the subclasses taken together contain all members of the larger class.

Stipulative definitions are used to initially assign meaning to new symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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