Primitive Concepts: Habits, Conventions, and Laws

  • James H. Fetzer
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 216)


Perhaps no aspect of the theory of definitions has become more familiar to students of this subject than that there are really only two ways in which every word that occurs within a language could be defined. The first — that of definitional circularity — arises when the words that occur in a language L are permitted to be defined by means of other words, which are ultimately defined by means of those original words themselves. The second — that of definitional regress — arises when new words are allowed to be introduced to define the meaning of old words, and new words for those, ad infinitum.


Social Convention Semiotic System Primitive Concept Personal Habit Primitive Word 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Fetzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MinnesotaDuluthUSA

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