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Definition Hardcover – December 31, 1950

ISBN-13: 978-0198241607 ISBN-10: 0198241607

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 31, 1950)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198241607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198241607
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Robinson's 'Definition' dates from 1954. That places it after Ayer's Language Truth and Logic and Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica, but before the published work of J L Austin and before the major works of the new school of moral philosophers, notably R M Hare author of The Language of Morals and Freedom and Reason, who saw the terms used in moral philosophy as expressing evaluations rather than as describing objects.

This was the heyday of the Oxford school of linguistic philosophers. It may be an unfashionable view, but I see their approach as valuable and important. Ayer had argued, for instance, that one does not actually see or hear things but only receives sense-data (Russell's 'sensibilia') of them, and that pure logic should be rigorously independent of human psychology. This kind of thing could not go on, and Austin, author of Sense and Sensibilia, was the stylish leading advocate of a view that asserted that the ordinary terms of human speech were philosophically legitimate. Austin was also the author of How To Do Things With Words, and I don't deny that that much of the philosophical writing of the time was clever-clever rather than significant in playing games with verbal expressions, but its real value in stripping out solemn and unnecessary abstraction remains. Where Robinson is admirably level-headed is in ignoring the aspects of the fashion that were fashionably trivial, in refusing to toy with words and in subjecting his contemporaries to the same detached analysis that he brings to Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant and the rest of them. I had personal experience of both Ayer and Robinson, and in comparison with the frothy velocity of Ayer the slow and taciturn Robinson could seem a bit of an old cart-horse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2005
Format: Unknown Binding
Robinson's `Definition' dates from 1954. That places it after Ayer's Language Truth and Logic and Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica, but before the published work of J L Austin and before the major works of the new school of moral philosophers, notably R M Hare author of The Language of Morals and Freedom and Reason, who saw the terms used in moral philosophy as expressing evaluations rather than as describing objects.

This was the heyday of the Oxford school of linguistic philosophers. It may be an unfashionable view, but I see their approach as valuable and important. Ayer had argued, for instance, that one does not actually see or hear things but only receives sense-data (Russell's `sensibilia') of them, and that pure logic should be rigorously independent of human psychology. This kind of thing could not go on, and Austin, author of Sense and Sensibilia, was the stylish leading advocate of a view that asserted that the ordinary terms of human speech were philosophically legitimate. Austin was also the author of How To Do Things With Words, and I don't deny that that much of the philosophical writing of the time was clever-clever rather than significant in playing games with verbal expressions, but its real value in stripping out solemn and unnecessary abstraction remains. Where Robinson is admirably level-headed is in ignoring the aspects of the fashion that were fashionably trivial, in refusing to toy with words and in subjecting his contemporaries to the same detached analysis that he brings to Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant and the rest of them. I had personal experience of both Ayer and Robinson, and in comparison with the frothy velocity of Ayer the slow and taciturn Robinson could seem a bit of an old cart-horse.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By hadi rabiei on July 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
one of the chapters of this book is about "real definition".
Robinson believed that the notion of real definition is a confusion of at least twelve activities.some of these activities are legitimate and extremely valuable activities,but we shuld not call them "real definition", and some of them are wholly bad.
real definition as search for essence is a bad activity because it has some false premises.
I wrote a reaserch about real definition in islamic logicians attitudes and addapted it whit Robinson's book.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By hadi rabiei on July 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
one of the chapters of this book is about "real definition".
Robinson believed that the notion of real definition is a confusion of at least twelve activities.some of these activities are legitimate and extremely valuable activities,but we shuld not call them "real definition", and some of them are wholly bad.
real definition as search for essence is a bad activity because it has some false premises.
I wrote a reaserch about real definition in islamic logicians attitudes and addapted it whit Robinson's book.
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