, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 295–308 | Cite as

Circular definitions, circular explanations, and infinite regresses

  • Claude Gratton


This paper discusses some of the ways in which circular definitions and circular explanations entail or fail to entail infinite regresses. And since not all infinite regresses are vicious, a few criteria of viciousness are examined in order to determine when the entailment of a regress refutes a circular definition or a circular explanation.

Key words

Circular definition definiendum definiens principle of substitutivity circular explanation explanandum explanans infinite regress concatenating regress vicious regress superflous regress harmless regress beginningless process endless process asymmetric and transitive relation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Gratton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyLaurentian UniversitySudbury, OntarioCanada

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