Rules for Definitions
Avoid Circularity

A circular definition tells us how a concept relates to itself, but not how it relates to other concepts or to reality. Such a definition doesn't go anywhere; it just moves in a circle.


Suppose we define "ownership" as the legal relation between people and the things they own. Because this definition uses the word "own," it defines the concept OWNERSHIP in terms of itself.

A Genus and a Differentia | Neither Too Broad Nor Too Narrow |
Essential Attributes | Avoid Circularity | Avoid Negative Terms | Avoid Vagueness

Rules for Definitions

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