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October 13

Page history last edited by Conor Shaw-Draves 10 years, 1 month ago



Your Suggested Terms








Definition Test Cases


1. Terms that require technical (dictionary-ish/encyclopdedic) definitions, such as





Question What criteria designates and distinguishes a pencil from all other items?


Criteria Match Strategy: When placing something in a category, one must match the item's attributes to the criteria being proven/proposed/stipulated. The definition of a pencil would most likely be a formal definition.


2. Terms that have taken on a certain controversy or confusion, such as




Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

- Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler



Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

-Pat Robertson





Compassionate Conservatism


Arguments over these categories would likely take place through operational definitions,


3. The application of established terms to a "hard case."


For instance, get all nostalgic with me by considering the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal.



Did the “interactions” between Clinton and Lewinsky constitute “sexual relations?”


Did Clinton’s testimony that he did not have “sexual relations” with Lewinsky constitute perjury?


Did Clinton’s behavior with Lewinsky and his evasions of the truth while testifying to a grand jury in the Paula Jones lawsuit constitute “Treason, Bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional phrase that describes an impeachable offense?


Arguments over entries in this category often proceed through definitions from example.


Terms that find themselves in need of (re)definition due to new contexts.


For instance, consider the 2003 Embryo Imbroglio in the UK.



Two infertile couples separately conceive several embryos in a test tube and then freeze the fertilized embryos for future use. Both couples then divorces and disagrees about the disposition of the embryos (in both situations, the women wish to use them to conceive a child with another, whereas the men want them destroyed).


Technically, this is a proposal issue: what action should be taken regarding this controversy?

However, all proposals are built on evaluations and this situation in particular begs to be analyzed by definitional stasis (perhaps via resemblance as well as cause/consequence stases):



Are the embryos “persons,” in which case they should be “fought” over much like a child in a custody hearing?


Or, are the embryos property, therefore suggesting that the couple should split them equally in accordance with standard property settlements?


Either point can be argued using standard Definitional and/or Categorical strategies, such as criteria-match.


Issue: In a divorce proceeding, is a frozen embryo a “person” rather than “property”?


Criteria: What criteria must be met for something to be a “person”?


Match: Does a frozen embryo meet these criteria?



Specifically, will if the ex-wives are allowed to carry and deliver these children, will the ex-husbands be liable for child support?


Generally, will the result of this ruling alter abortion laws? Laws regulating technologically-aided procreation?

Tenth Response due by Thursday evening.

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