RM: What is your view of definitions?
A recurring question, always worth some thought, so I added my earlier comment to a long-running series on my blog concerned with Definition and Determination.
Those two concepts are closely related, almost synonyms in their etymologies, both of them having to do with setting bounds on variation. And that brings to mind, a cybernetic mind at least, the overarching concept of constraint, which figures heavily in information theory, systems theory, and engineering applications of both.
As it happens, I have been working for as long as I can remember on a project now flying under the banner of “Inquiry Driven Systems” and in the early 90s I returned to grad school in a systems engineering program as a way of focusing more resolutely on the systems aspects of that project.
Here’s a budget of excerpts on Definition and Determination I collected around that time, mostly from C.S. Peirce, since his pragmatic paradigm for thinking about information, inquiry, logic, and signs forms the platform for my efforts, plus a few bits from sources before and after him.
cc: Ontolog Forum