PROPOSITIONS, SENTENCES, AND THE SEMANTIC DEFINITION OF TRUTH (1954)
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Those philosophers who conduct analyses of concepts in a formal way generally lay down formal and material conditions of adequacy for the definition which is to be constructed. The formal conditions of adequacy concern the formal features of the language in which the definition is to be constructed; an example would be the rule that any variable which occurs free (unbound by quantifiers) in the definiendum must likewise occur free in the definiens. The material conditions of adequacy, however, are philosophically more interesting: they are sentences which must be provable on the basis of an adequate definition, and which are intended to guarantee that the defined term A designates on the basis of the constructed definition the same concept it designates in its ordinary usage in the “natural” language (whether conversational or scientific)—or at least a closely similar concept.1 The material conditions of adequacy, then, are sentences containing A which must themselves satisfy the following requirements:
KeywordsMaterial Condition Propositional Variable Semantic System English Sentence Semantic Rule
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