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Essay Quiz 4

  • Submitted by: ginabrown68
  • on February 19, 2012
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,477 words

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1..Explain Aristotle's theory of definition.

Aristotle’s theory of a good definition describes what a thing is; they specify its essential attributes. A bad definition describes how a thing happens to exist at a particular moment; they only specify a thing’s accidental attributes. In conclusion this is Aristotle’s theory of definition.
There are limits that are placed on Aristotle’s theory of definition. He distinguished two kinds of substances; those that exist in nature called Real definitions and those that exist artificially by humans categorizations called nominal definitions. Definitions of things require both a specific difference and a genus. Real definitions provide knowledge about many things. Individuals and existence itself can only be known through direct experience.   Aristotelians realists claim that these distinct attributes reflect real differences in nature, not mere differences in languages or in a humanly constructed system of classification. An essential attribute is one all members of the species must have to be a member of the species; and accidental attribute is one that a particular individual happens to have, but it both can and does vary among individuals; a property is an attribute which could vary among members of the species, even though in fact it doesn’t. Finally modal words they refer to the way a thing or event either exists or does not exist. Aristotle called these two distinct modes contingent a thing’s existence, attributes, or actions that are dependent upon something besides the thing itself. Necessary means that a thing’s existence, attributes, or actions are dependent upon nothing except the thing itself. This distinction between contingent and necessary modes of existence allows us to sharpen our definition of accidents, properties and essences. Both accidents and properties are contingently connected to the substances of which they are attributes.   Only essences are necessarily connected to the substances of which they...

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