what's the definition of informativeness in philosophy?  ?

3 Answers

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Ironically a metaquestion, b/c conceptual analysis ---> deconstructing a whole into its essential working parts.  To begin the process, a definition is established.  (Thus, you're doing informativeness :-)

    What moves from dictionary defining to philosophical defining as informativeness process:  consider a Ford F-150 truck or an elephant as a thing to be defined by a philosopher.  She begins, "That is a truck"; or, "That is an elephant."

    Those are truth-statements, considered here as "theories" (really, specific hypotheses that can be tested by empirical atom-based data).   The metric of the "theory" is "truth."

    Finally, we arrive at "informativeness," which will be "defined" by this process:  truth of the theory is more or less strong (truck; elephant).  The correlative of truthness when analyzing a theory-concept is..."informativeness."  What informativeness is...the analysis of "truck" or "elephant" now moves into deconstructing same into essential components (a type of set theory, btw).  Thus, further analytic statements are expected to confirm "truck" or "elephant," but provide a new angle ("informativeness" therefore = the basic concept kept within each informative analytic statement, yet a new perspective).

    Examples:  The elephant has a trunk, four legs, a tail.  Very informative.  The elephant has big ears, tusks, and a tail.  Likewise.  The elephant has thick skin, four legs, and a tail.  Wow.  Informative!

    Informativeness is thus iffy; how many ways may Romeo say to Juliet that he loves her (let her count the ways)?  The metric is love, and the ways may be informative.  However, for many concepts, the truth of the concept is not so many-splendored:  The female philosopher brings her philosopher boyfriend to the dress shop, and asks "Does this dress make me look fat?"  He has only truth re concept, and says "Yes."  He may elaborate on how the garment dresses her backside, her waist, etc., and the basic "theory" is analyzed with several informative subset statements.  However, if he says, "The dress makes you look fatter," that has changed the set, moved the goalposts, and this is called incorrect intersubjectivity, iff the original set is "All dresses that make me look fat."

    At a more granular level, for all x, x is y iff x is y.  Thus, a normal elephant is a normal elephant if and only if it has tusks, four legs, a tail, and so on, until the analysis is so specific (no pun intended) that dna of elephants vs other members of its clade demarcates that x is y iff x is y.  Thus such analysis arrives at early Wittgenstein's "Tractatus" where a brick = a brick and nothing else--a kind of project to certitude which is so analytic that is highly correct or true, and highly uninformative.

    At that juncture, many philosophers have "jumped ship" and declared that analytic philosophy--the basis of philosophic definition of informativeness--is irreal.  Quine was among the first to take this latter position.

  • 8 months ago

    To inform the reader with evidence to support of the premise and not burden with reader with finding it himself.

  • 8 months ago

    I'd think that would be in your textbook.

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