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PHL 214
Asher Alkoby

CHAPTER 5LANGUAGEDEFINITIONS No such things as just semantics because the meaning of words plays such an important role in argumentsSTIPULATIVE DEFINITIONS Reports how the word is actually used Established or restricts meanings for a particular purpose Two great virtues 1 Help you delimit your topic2 They guide the expectations of your reader so that your arguments receive the consideration you wantExample defining the word student1 A student is anyone registered in one or more regular courses found in university catalogues2 A student is anyone who is engaged in the process of learning applies to all humans3 A student is anyone who is registered fulltime in a regular course of study omits parttime students some institutions do not admit parttime studentsDefinitions and their faults A definition of a term t tells us what things are included in the class named by tA definition that is too broad includes in that class things that ought not to be thereA definition that is too narrow excludes things that ought to be thereA definition that is too broad and too narrow includes some things it should exclude and excludes some things it should includeOPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS An operational definition of a term t can be used when and only when a specified operation yields a specified result Example The landlord may enter the rented premises when and only when 1 the tenant gives consent at the time of entry or 2 in case of an emergency that may result in damage to propertyThis defines permissible landlord entryThree aspects of the definition1 it states what are intended to be necessary and sufficient conditions for entry the landlord may enter the premises in all cases of tenant consent or emergency2 specifies an operation that when performed it will establish whether the landlord was permitted to enter the premises3 there will ideally be definite yer or no answers Operational definitions important in cases where people must have enough information to determine whether an event or thing fits into a given category Also important to anyone who wants to measure somethingPERSUASIVE DEFINITIONS Persuasive definitions are disguised stipulative definitions in which the redefinition of the term plays a crucial role in the argument Usually smuggled in covertly as though we all agree Example The Internet is a bad thing It claims to enable widespread communication free speech and a worldwide community but actually it prevents people from real communication which takes place face to face in a real physical communityThe arguer is trying to convince us that the Internet rather than enabling communication as it
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