Consensual Stipulative and Legislative Definitions

Rather than kinds of definitions, the distinction here is more a matter of purpose. The purpose of a consensual definition is simply to tell us how people commonly use a word or what they understand a thing to be. It is what you find when you open your dictionary. A stipulative definition is a special meaning given to a word or entity for a particular purpose. It differs from the usual (consensual) definition, but is perfectly legitimate so long as the writer clearly explains what he or she means and uses the term consistently in its special sense. A legislative definition also differs from the conventional sense; it is put forward as what the word ought to mean. It differs from a stipulative definition in that the writer is not saying, "For convenience I shall use X to mean such and so." Instead, the writer is asserting, "I shall use X to mean such and so, and this is its proper sense and everyone else should use it in this way too."

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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Responses

  • Cataldo
    What is concensual and stipulative?
    8 years ago

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