Nelson Goodman

Henry Nelson Goodman (7 August 1906 – 25 November 1998) was an American philosopher, known for his work on counterfactuals, mereology, the problem of induction, irrealism, and aesthetics.

Nelson Goodman
Nelson Goodman
Born
Henry Nelson Goodman

August 7, 1906
DiedNovember 25, 1998 (aged 92)
Needham, Massachusetts
Alma materHarvard University
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic
Nominalism[1]
Main interests
Logic, induction, counterfactuals, mereology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, philosophy of language
Notable ideas
New riddle of induction, Goodman–Leonard calculus of individuals,[1] counterfactual conditional, languages of art

Life and career

Goodman was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, the son of Sarah Elizabeth (née Woodbury) and Henry Lewis Goodman.[3] He was of Jewish origins.[4] He graduated from Harvard University, A.B., magna cum laude (1928). During the 1930s, he ran an art gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, while studying for a Harvard Ph.D. in philosophy, which he completed in 1941.[5] His experience as an art dealer helps explain his later turn towards aesthetics, where he became better known than in logic and analytic philosophy. During World War II, he served as a psychologist in the US Army.[6]

He taught at the University of Pennsylvania, 1946–1964, where his students included Noam Chomsky, Sydney Morgenbesser, Stephen Stich, and Hilary Putnam. He was a research fellow at the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies from 1962 to 1963 and was a professor at several universities from 1964 to 1967, before being appointed Professor of Philosophy at Harvard in 1968.

In 1967, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he was the founding director of Harvard Project Zero, a basic research project in artistic cognition and artistic education. He remained the director for four years and served as an informal adviser for many years thereafter.[7]

Goodman died in Needham, Massachusetts.

Philosophical work

Induction and "grue"

In his book Fact, Fiction, and Forecast, Goodman introduced the "new riddle of induction", so-called by analogy with Hume's classical problem of induction. He accepted Hume's observation that inductive reasoning (i.e. inferring from past experience about events in the future) was based solely on human habit and regularities to which our day-to-day existence has accustomed us. Goodman argued, however, that Hume overlooked the fact that some regularities establish habits (a given piece of copper conducting electricity increases the credibility of statements asserting that other pieces of copper conduct electricity) while some do not (the fact that a given man in a room is a third son does not increase the credibility of statements asserting that other men in this room are third sons). How then can we differentiate between regularities or hypotheses that construe law-like statements from those that are contingent or based upon accidental generality?

Hempel's confirmation theory argued that the solution is to differentiate between hypotheses, which apply to all things of a certain class, and evidence statements, which apply to only one thing. Goodman's famous counterargument was to introduce the predicate grue, which applies to all things examined before a certain time t just in case they are green, but also to other things just in case they are blue and not examined before time t. If we examine emeralds before time t and find that emerald a is green, emerald b is green, and so forth, each will confirm the hypothesis that all emeralds are green. However, emeralds a, b, c,..etc. also confirm the hypothesis that all emeralds are grue. Thus, before time t, the apparently law-like statements "All emeralds are green" and "All emeralds are grue" are equally well confirmed by observation, but obviously "All emeralds are grue" is not a law-like statement.

Goodman's example showed that the difficulty in determining what constitutes law-like statements is far greater than previously thought, and that once again we find ourselves facing the initial dilemma that "anything can confirm anything".

Nominalism and mereology

Goodman, along with Stanislaw Lesniewski, is the founder of the contemporary variant of nominalism, which argues that philosophy, logic, and mathematics should dispense with set theory. Goodman's nominalism was driven purely by ontological considerations. After a long and difficult 1947 paper coauthored with W. V. O. Quine, Goodman ceased to trouble himself with finding a way to reconstruct mathematics while dispensing with set theory – discredited as sole foundations of mathematics as of 1913 (Russell and Whitehead, in Principia Mathematica).

The program of David Hilbert to reconstruct it from logical axioms was proven futile in 1936 by Gödel. Because of this and other failures of seemingly fruitful lines of research, Quine soon came to believe that such a reconstruction was impossible, but Goodman's Penn colleague Richard Milton Martin argued otherwise, writing a number of papers suggesting ways forward.

According to Thomas Tymoczko's afterword in New directions in the philosophy of mathematics, Quine had "urged that we abandon ad hoc devices distinguishing mathematics from science and just accept the resulting assimilation", putting the "key burden on the theories (networks of sentences) that we accept, not on the individual sentences whose significance can change dramatically depending on their theoretical context." In so doing, Tymoczko claimed, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science were merged into quasi-empiricism: the emphasis of mathematical practice as effectively part of the scientific method, an emphasis on method over result.

The Goodman–Leonard (1940) calculus of individuals is the starting point for the American variant of mereology. While the exposition in Goodman and Leonard invoked a bit of naive set theory, the variant of the calculus of individuals that grounds Goodman's 1951 The Structure of Appearance, a revision and extension of his Ph.D. thesis, makes no mention of the notion of set (while his Ph.D. thesis still did).[8] Simons (1987) and Casati and Varzi (1999) show that the calculus of individuals can be grounded in either a bit of set theory, or monadic predicates, schematically employed. Mereology is accordingly "ontologically neutral" and retains some of Quine's pragmatism (which Tymoczko in 1998 carefully qualified as American Pragmatism).

Bibliography

Click here for information about translations of Goodman's books.

  • "The Calculus of Individuals and Its Uses" (with Henry S. Leonard), Journal of Symbolic Logic 5 (1940): 45-55.
  • A Study of Qualities. Diss. Harvard U., 1941. Reprinted 1990, by Garland (New York), as part of its Harvard dissertations in Philosophy Series.
  • A Query on Confirmation, The Journal of Philosophy (1946): Vol.43, No.14, p. 383-385.
  • Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism , co-authored with W.V.O. Quine, Journal of Symbolic Logic, 12 (1947): 105-122, Reprinted in Nelson Goodman, Problems and Projects (Bobbs-Merrill, 1972): 173-198.
  • The Structure of Appearance. Harvard UP, 1951. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966. 3rd ed. Boston: Reidel, 1977.
  • Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1955. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. 3rd. ed. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973. 4th ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1983.
  • Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1976. Based on his 1960-61 John Locke lectures.
  • Problems and Projects. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972. Currently unavailable.
  • Basic Abilities Required for Understanding and Creation in the Arts: Final Report (with David Perkins, Howard Gardner, and the assistance of Jeanne Bamberger et al.) Cambridge: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education: Project No. 9-0283, Grant No. OEG-0-9-310283-3721 (010), 1972.
  • Ways of Worldmaking. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1978. ISBN 0915144522 Paperback ISBN 0915144514
  • Of Mind and Other Matters. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1984.
  • Reconceptions in Philosophy and other Arts and Sciences (with Catherine Elgin). Indianapolis: Hackett; London: Routledge, 1988. Paperback Edition, London: Routledge, Indianapolis: Hackett, 1990.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Nelson Goodman: The Calculus of Individuals in its different versions
  2. ^ Hunter, Bruce, 2016 "Clarence Irving Lewis" in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  3. ^ John K. Roth, Christina J. Moose, Rowena Wildin (eds.), World Philosophers and Their Works: Freud, Sigmund – Oakeshott, Michael, Salem Press, 2000, p. 735.
  4. ^ Daniel Cohnitz & Marcus Rossberg, Nelson Goodman, Routledge (2014), p. 6
  5. ^ "Goodman Dies". Harvard University Gazette. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  6. ^ Gardner, Howard. 2000. Project Zero: Nelson Goodman's Legacy in Arts Education. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (58)3, pp. 245–249.
  7. ^ Gardner, H., and Perkins, D. "The Mark of Zero: Project Zero’s Identity Revealed." HGSE Alumni Bulletin, December 1994, 39(1), 2–6.
  8. ^ Cohnitz and Rossberg (2003), ch. 5

References

  • Casati, R., and Varzi, A., 1999. Parts and Places: the structures of spatial representation. MIT Press.
  • Cohnitz, Daniel, and Rossberg, Marcus, 2003. Nelson Goodman. Chesham: Acumen & Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Gardner, H., and Perkins, D. "The Mark of Zero: Project Zero’s Identity Revealed." HGSE Alumni Bulletin, December 1994 39(1), 2–6.
  • Shottenkirk, Dena, 2009. Nominalism and Its Aftermath: The Philosophy of Nelson Goodman. Synthese Library, Vol. 343. Springer, ISBN 978-1-4020-9930-4.
  • Simons, Peter, 1987. Parts: A Study in Ontology. Oxford Univ. Press.

External links

Catherine Elgin

Catherine Z. Elgin (born 1948) is a philosopher working in epistemology and the philosophies of art and science. She holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University where she studied with Nelson Goodman and is currently a professor of philosophy of education at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She is well known for her several joint works with philosopher Nelson Goodman.

Color phi phenomenon

The color phi phenomenon is a perceptual illusion described by psychologists Paul Kolers and Michael von Grünau in which a disembodied perception of motion is produced by a succession of still images. The color phi phenomenon is a more complex variation of the phi phenomenon. Kolers and von Grünau originally investigated the phenomenon in response to a question posed by the philosopher Nelson Goodman, who asked what the effect of the color change would have on the phi phenomenon.

The classic color phi phenomenon experiment involves a viewer or audience watching a screen, upon which the experimenter projects two images in succession. The first image depicts a blue dot at the top of the frame. The second image depicts a red dot on the bottom of the frame. The images may be shown quickly, in rapid succession, or each frame may be given several seconds of viewing time. Once both images have been projected, the experimenter asks the viewer or audience to describe what they saw.

At certain combinations of spacing and timing of the two images, a viewer will report a sensation of motion in the space between the two dots. The first spot will begin to appear to be moving, and will then "change color abruptly in the middle of its illusory path".

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast is a book by Nelson Goodman in which he explores some problems regarding scientific law and counterfactual conditionals and presents his New Riddle of Induction. Hilary Putnam described the book as "one of the few books that every serious student of philosophy in our time has to have read." According to Jerry Fodor, "it changed, probably permanently, the way we think about the problem of induction, and hence about a constellation of related problems like learning and the nature of rational decision." Noam Chomsky and Hilary Putnam attended some of the lectures on which the book is based as undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania leading to a lifelong debate between the two over the matter of whether the problems presented in the book imply that there must be an innate ordering of hypotheses.

Grue

Grue may refer to:

Grue (monster), a predator invented by Jack Vance and featured in the Zork series

Grue and bleen, portmanteau words formed from green and blue, coined by Nelson Goodman to illustrate his new riddle of induction

Grue, a linguistic and translation concept (see Blue–green distinction in language)

Grue, Norway, a municipality

Crane (bird), a gruiform

Grue (Freedom City), an alien race in the role-playing game Mutants and Masterminds

Isle-aux-Grues, an island in Quebec, Canada

Grues, Vendée, a commune in France

Grue (river), a river in north-west Italy

Grue (surname), notable people with the surname Grue

Grue, an influential science fiction fanzine published by Dean Grennell

An early form of Nutraloaf, a food served in prison, known as "grue" to prisoners in the Arkansas penal system as described in the 1978 Hutto v. Finney decision

A pen name used by cartoonist Johnny Gruelle

Grue/Brian Laborn, a supervillain in the web novel Worm

Hierarchical epistemology

Hierarchical epistemology is a theory of knowledge which posits that beings have different access to reality depending on their ontological rank.

Howard Gardner

Howard Earl Gardner (born July 11, 1943) is an American developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He is currently the senior director of Harvard Project Zero, and since 1995, he has been the co-director of The Good Project.Gardner has written hundreds of research articles and thirty books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, as outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Index of analytic philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in analytic philosophy.

A. C. Grayling

A.P. Martinich

Abstract particulars

Actualism

Alfred Jules Ayer

Analysis

Analytic-synthetic distinction

Analytic philosophy

Analytic reasoning

Arda Denkel

Arthur Danto

Australian Realism

Avrum Stroll

Begriffsschrift

Berlin Circle

Bernard Williams

Bertrand Russell

Brainstorms

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

C. D. Broad

Cahiers pour l'Analyse

Carl Gustav Hempel

Ramsey sentence

Charles Sanders Peirce

Chinese room

Cognitive synonymy

Contemporary Pragmatism

Contrast theory of meaning

Cooperative principle

Cora Diamond

Daniel Dennett

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

David Braine (philosopher)

David Kellogg Lewis

Depiction

Descriptivist theory of names

Dialectica

Direct reference theory

Doctrine of internal relations

Donald Davidson (philosopher)

Doxastic logic

Elbow Room (book)

Elliott Sober

Erkenntnis

Ernst Mach

Eternal statement

F. C. S. Schiller

Family resemblance

Felicity conditions

Form of life (philosophy)

Frank P. Ramsey

Freedom Evolves

Friedrich Waismann

G. E. M. Anscombe

George Edward Moore

Gilbert Ryle

Gottlob Frege

Gricean maxims

Gustav Bergmann

Hans Hahn

Hans Reichenbach

Hans Sluga

Harvey Brown (philosopher)

Herbert Feigl

Holism

Hypothetico-deductive model

Indeterminacy of translation

Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Isaiah Berlin

J. L. Austin

Jeff Malpas

Jerry Fodor

John Hick

John Rawls

John Searle

John Wisdom

Jules Vuillemin

Karl Menger

Kit Fine

Kurt Grelling

Kwasi Wiredu

Language, Truth, and Logic

Logical atomism

Logical form

Logical positivism

Lorenzo Peña

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Mark Addis

Mark Sacks

Max Black

Mental representation

Metaphor in philosophy

Michael Dummett

Michael Tye (philosopher)

Modal realism

Moritz Schlick

Naming and Necessity

Nelson Goodman

Neurophilosophy

Nonsense

Norman Malcolm

Oets Kolk Bouwsma

Olaf Helmer

Olga Hahn-Neurath

On Certainty

On Denoting

Ordinary language philosophy

Original proof of Gödel's completeness theorem

Ostensive definition

Otto Neurath

P. F. Strawson

Paradox of analysis

Paul Churchland

Paul Grice

Per Martin-Löf

Peter Hacker

Peter Simons

Philipp Frank

Philippa Foot

Philosophical analysis

Philosophical Investigations

Philosophy of engineering

Philosophy of technology

Pieranna Garavaso

Postanalytic philosophy

Preintuitionism

Principia Ethica

Principia Mathematica

Private language argument

Process philosophy

Radical translation

Richard von Mises

Robert Audi

Rose Rand

Round square copula

Rudolf Carnap

Rupert Read

Ryle's regress

Speech act

Stephen Laurence

Susan Stebbing

The Bounds of Sense

The Logic of Scientific Discovery

The Mind's I

Theodore Drange

Þorsteinn Gylfason

Tore Nordenstam

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Two Dogmas of Empiricism

UCLA Department of Philosophy

Use–mention distinction

Verification theory

Verificationism

Victor Kraft

Vienna Circle

Wilfrid Sellars

Willard Van Orman Quine

William James Lectures

William L. Rowe

William W. Tait

Wolfgang Stegmüller

Word and Object

Zeno Vendler

Irrealism

Irrealism has two main meanings:

Irrealism (philosophy) in philosophy; the common name for a position first advanced by Nelson Goodman in Ways of Worldmaking.

Irrealism (the arts) in the arts and critical theory refers to both a style that features an estrangement from our generally accepted sense of reality, and a critical theory that interprets other works in this manner.

Irrealism (philosophy)

Irrealism is a philosophical position first advanced by Nelson Goodman in "Ways of Worldmaking", encompassing epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

Israel Scheffler

Israel Scheffler (November 25, 1923 – February 16, 2014) was an American philosopher of science and of education. He held B.A. and M.A. degrees in psychology from Brooklyn College, an M.H.L. and a D.H.L.(hon.) from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He defended his doctoral thesis, "On quotation", at the University of Pennsylvania in 1952, where he studied with Nelson Goodman and began teaching that year at Harvard University, where he spent his career. He retired in 1992.

His main interests lay in the philosophical interpretation of language, symbolism, science and education. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a founding member of the National Academy of Education and a past president of both the Philosophy of Science Association and the Charles S. Peirce Society.

Languages of Art

Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols is a book by the American philosopher Nelson Goodman. It is considered one of the most important works of 20th century aesthetics in the analytic tradition. Originally published in 1968, it was revised in 1976. Goodman continued to refine and update these theories in essay form for the rest of his career.

List of Jewish American philosophers

This is a list of famous Jewish American philosophers.

For other famous Jewish Americans, see Lists of Jewish Americans.

Peter Achinstein, philosopher of science

Mortimer Adler, philosopher (converted to Episcopalianism in 1984 and then to Catholicism in 2000)

Paul Benacerraf, philosopher

Max Black, analytic philosopher

Joseph Blau, philosopher

Ned Block, philosopher of mind

Allan Bloom, political philosopher

George Boolos, logician

Justus Buchler

Judith Butler

Stanley Cavell, philosopher

Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and activist

Morris Raphael Cohen, philosopher

Norman Daniels, political philosopher

Arthur Danto, philosophy of aesthetics

Hubert Dreyfus, critic of cognitivism

Ronald Dworkin, legal philosopher

Irwin Edman

Paul Edwards

Jonathan Epstein, philosopher

Marvin Farber, philosopher, phenomenology

Solomon Feferman, logician

Herbert Feigl, philosopher of science

Stanley Fish, literary theorist

Jerry Fodor, philosopher of mind

Philipp Frank, logical positivist

Tamar Szabo Gendler, philosopher of mind

Eugene Gendlin, philosopher of the implicit

Bernard Gert, ethicist

Alvin Goldman, epistemology, Goldman's barn example

Nelson Goodman, philosopher, metaphysical relativism, new riddle of induction

Paul Gottfried, political philosopher

Sam Harris, philosopher, author, neuroscientist

Sidney Hook, philosopher

Hans Jonas, philosopher

Walter Kaufmann, philosopher

Saul Kripke, logician

Thomas S. Kuhn, philosopher of science

Abraham Low, critic of psychoanalysis

Ruth Barcan Marcus, logician

Joseph Margolis, philosopher, pragmatism

Sidney Morgenbesser, philosopher

Ernest Nagel, philosopher of science

Thomas Nagel, philosophy of mind

Robert Nozick, libertarianism

Martha Nussbaum, ethics

Richard Popkin, philosopher

Hilary Putnam, philosopher, functionalism

Ayn Rand, founder of the Objectivist philosophy (a refugee from communist Russia)

Murray Rothbard, political philosopher

Daniel Rynhold, philosopher of religion

Michael Sandel, communitarianism

Menachem Mendel Schneerson, religious philosopher

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, queer theorist

Susanna Siegel, philosopher of mind

Joseph Soloveitchik, religious philosopher

Leo Strauss, political philosopher

Alfred Tarski, logician, mathematician, philosopher

Judith Jarvis Thomson, moral philosopher

Michael Walzer, philosopher

Jack Russell Weinstein, philosopher

Dan Wikler, ethicist

Harry Austryn Wolfson, philosopher

Edith Wyschogrod, philosopher

Stephen Yablo, philosopher

List of epistemologists

This is a list of epistemologists, that is, people who theorize about the nature of knowledge, belief formation and the nature of justification.

N-universes

The n-universes are a conceptual tool introduced by philosopher Paul Franceschi. They consist of simplified models of universes which are reduced to their essential components, in order to facilitate the associated reasoning. In the study of thought experiments related to paradoxes and philosophical problems, the situations are generally complex and likely to give birth to multiple variations. Making use of Occam's razor, modeling in the n-universes makes it possible to reduce such situations to their essential elements and to limit accordingly the complexity of the relevant study.

The n-universes were introduced in Franceschi (2001), in the context of the study of Goodman's paradox and were also used for the analysis of the thought experiments and paradoxes related to the Doomsday argument. In the typology of n-universes, it is worth distinguishing:

- according to whether they comprise constant-criteria or/and variable-criteria (space, time, color, shape, temperature, etc.)

- according to whether they comprise one or more objects

- according to whether a given criterion is or not with demultiplication

- according to whether the objects are in relation one-one or many-one with a given criterion

The n-universes proceed of a double inspiration: on the one hand, as a system of criteria, that of Nelson Goodman and on the other hand, at the ontological level, that of the Canadian philosopher John Leslie. The n-universes also propose to extend the properties of probability spaces classically used in probability theory (Franceschi 2006).

New riddle of induction

Grue and bleen are examples of logical predicates coined by Nelson Goodman in Fact, Fiction, and Forecast to illustrate the "new riddle of induction" – a successor to Hume's original problem. These predicates are unusual because their application is time-dependent; many have tried to solve the new riddle on those terms, but Hilary Putnam and others have argued such time-dependency depends on the language adopted, and in some languages it is equally true for natural-sounding predicates such as "green." For Goodman they illustrate the problem of projectible predicates and ultimately, which empirical generalizations are law-like and which are not.

Goodman's construction and use of grue and bleen illustrates how philosophers use simple examples in conceptual analysis.

Project Zero (disambiguation)

Project Zero is the name of a team of security analysts (hackers) employed by Google to find zero-day exploits.

Project Zero may also refer to:

The experimental software development community in which new versions of WebSphere sMash are incubated

Fatal Frame, the video game series known as Project Zero in Europe

Fatal Frame (video game), the first video game in the series known as Project Zero in Europe

AgustaWestland Project Zero, a VTOL technology demonstrator aircraft

Project Zero, a Harvard project to study and improve education, initiated 1967 by Nelson Goodman

Reflective equilibrium

Reflective equilibrium is a state of balance or coherence among a set of beliefs arrived at by a process of deliberative mutual adjustment among general principles and particular judgments. Although he did not use the term, philosopher Nelson Goodman introduced the method of reflective equilibrium as an approach to justifying the principles of inductive logic. The term 'reflective equilibrium' was coined by John Rawls and popularized in his A Theory of Justice as a method for arriving at the content of the principles of justice.

Dietmar Hübner has pointed out that there are many interpretations of reflective equilibrium that deviate from Rawls' method in ways that reduce the cogency of the idea. Among these misinterpretations, according to Hübner, are definitions of reflective equilibrium as "(a) balancing theoretical accounts against intuitive convictions; (b) balancing general principles against particular judgements; (c) balancing opposite ethical conceptions or divergent moral statements".

Steve Goodman

Steven Benjamin Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984) was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago. He wrote the song "City of New Orleans," which was recorded by Arlo Guthrie and many others including Joan Baez, John Denver, The Highwaymen, and Judy Collins; in 1985, it received a Grammy award for best country song, as performed by Willie Nelson. Goodman had a small but dedicated group of fans for his albums and concerts during his lifetime, and is generally considered a musician's musician. His most frequently sung song is the Chicago Cubs anthem, Go Cubs Go. Goodman died of leukemia in September 1984.

Stipulative definition

A stipulative definition is a type of definition in which a new or currently-existing term is given a new specific meaning for the purposes of argument or discussion in a given context. When the term already exists, this definition may, but does not necessarily, contradict the dictionary (lexical) definition of the term. Because of this, a stipulative definition cannot be "correct" or "incorrect"; it can only differ from other definitions, but it can be useful for its intended purpose.For example, in the riddle of induction by Nelson Goodman, "grue" was stipulated to be "a property of an object that makes it appear green if observed before some future time t, and blue if observed afterward". "Grue" has no meaning in standard English; therefore, Goodman created the new term and gave it a stipulative definition.

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