It is impossible to imagine a person around the world without such a category as definition. This is due to the role that it plays in this complex process. It acts as a kind of conductive element that allows you to connect the patterns, phenomena, processes, objects of the surrounding world and the person's ideas about all this. Definition is an important link in the endless chain of cognitive activity.
Definition as a process
The concept that is the subject of consideration can be presented from two positions: as some action and as a term.
In the first case, for a more complete understanding, one should turn to such a science as logic for help. It reveals the essence in this way: a definition is a logical action aimed at revealing the content of an object. This operation allows you to distinguish an object that is expressed by a concept, from another, set the value of an expression or a word.
Definition = Definition?
Is it possible to equate these concepts? Let's try to understand.
In Latin, the word "definition" denotes the boundaries of something, the finish or the end. In other words, it can be said that here the definition is a limitation, a delineation of the framework.
The second Russian word "definition" comes from the verb "to divide". If we separate the prefix "o", then it becomes easier to understand the essence of this process - "establishing a limit". As can be seen from the above, the origin of the word allows us to approach the comprehension of the meaning of this operation and establish that the definition and definition are essentially the same thing.
To give a definition is to define what constitutes a concept, to establish its content by listing characteristics. In logic, they are divided into two groups: essential common and distinctive. It is they that make it possible to separate an object from another or to correlate it with a class similar to it.
During the definition, its meaning can also be revealed by reference to the object. If any of the named relations is absent, the term remains a symbol devoid of its semantic meaning.
The essence of the term
Considering this concept from the second point of view, one can be sure that the definition is a short definition of a word or concept, based on the essential general and a number of distinctive features of a single subject or group.
In fact, it is the initial logical form of human thinking. In modern Russian, there are more than 600 thousand different definitions that denote phenomena, objects, processes, properties, relationships, etc.
Structure of the definition
Formal logic establishes the rules according to which the term in question must be built. It allows us to establish that, in the classical sense, a definition is a construction that consists of two elements.
- First, from what is determined. In logic, this is called one Latin word "definiendum".
- Secondly, from the one with which it is determined - the "definition".
It should be noted that both these elements are always present in the definition, exceptions can only be implicit definitions. In this case, the idea of the subject can be obtained from the context of any part of the text or by means of an additional description, characteristic or comparison with another similar object.
Definendum and definition are related, they are in relation to identity and refer to the same denotation. What does it mean? The denoter is, in fact, the very thing that is conceived in the definition. It can also be thought of as an object of thought that can display one or more things or something that can be assigned a name or a name.
The role of the definition in law
In this area it is difficult to overestimate. The definition here is an interpretation of a legal term, a kind of verbal adjustment. It allows you to get an idea of what kind of meaning is put by the legislator in this or that legal concept.
The absence of interpretation of terms in a normative legal act can, on the one hand, lead to irreparable mistakes in the process of their implementation. On the other hand, such a situation is fraught with abuse of law, since it will not be available to all persons trying to understand it, but to a limited number of persons who have certain legal knowledge. This contradicts one of the basic qualitative principles of lawmaking - accessibility in understanding.
Particularly important in the process of norm-setting is the definition of those concepts, the essence of which differs in different normative and legal documents. Any misunderstanding of the legal term or its imperfect interpretation should be clarified by creating a clear legislative definition.
Every definition is designed to answer the question of what it is. Understanding what the concept is is becoming more transparent if any definition is given. Example: a version is one of a series of explanations that are given, differing from each other, of a certain phenomenon, process or fact. Another definition: the flora is a species composition of various plants growing in any territory.