Classification of Definitions

Marián Zouhar



The aim of the paper is proposing a classification of definitions that would be both systematic and exhaustive. The classification is built on the one developed by Richard Robinson in his book on definitions; Robinson's classification is, however, further elaborated here in certain respects. The new classification is based on two criteria, namely the criterion of aboutness and the criterion of illocutionary force. According to the former, one may define either expressions or concepts or objects (broadly conceived); according to the latter, one may distinguish the definitions describing an existing system and the definitions transforming a system into a new one. Finally, certain well-known kinds of definitions are assessed with respect to the two criteria.


definícia; deskriptívna definícia; kritérium ilokučnej sily; kritérium predmetnosti; modifikačná definícia

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: