How to Define Definition
An Analysis on the Dispute about the Relation between the Definiens and the Definiendum in the Post-Avicennan Arabic Logic
As standing at the very heart of the conception (taṣawwur), the definition is not only the ultimate purpose of conception but also paves the way for the assent (taṣdīq). Therefore, it would merely be surprising to find definition sections at right after the principles of conception, namely five universals, and before the first part of assent, viz. the proposition, in the books compiled through the tradition of post-Avicennan Arabic logic. Having begun with identifying what definition is, definition sections proceed with its conditions, types, and the things that violate an ideal definition. This paper focuses on the absolute definition itself by considering it as a definiendum and its definition as its definiens to analyze whether this definiens satisfies one particular condition set in definition theory, namely the condition that a definiens must not be applied to anything other than the definiendum. In terms of this specific rule, we encounter with two opposing views on the convenience of the terms implying “necessity” (istilzām) utilized when formulating the definiens of absolute definition.
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