Chapter published in:Indeterminacy in Terminology and LSP: Studies in honour of Heribert Picht
Edited by Bassey E. Antia
[Terminology and Lexicography Research and Practice 8] 2007
► pp. 93–106
Commensurability of scientific theories and indeterminacy of terminological concepts
Since a previous discussion was published 15 years ago (Leichik and Shelov 1991), other studies of terminological indeterminacy and vagueness have been carried out (cf. particularly the introduction to Bhatia et al. (2005)). Our 1991 discussion argued in favour of vague, fuzzy, “soft” terms, and suggested placing some basic types of this vagueness, fuzziness and “softness” on the scale “Determinacy vs. Indeterminacy”. The present discussion treats various term definitions and the concepts they define, with special attention being paid to the degree of indeterminacy of the definitions and of the concepts defined. Three types of fuzzy terminological definitions are described. Conceptual indeterminacy (fuzziness, softness) of the basic theoretical terms is claimed to provide commensurability of different scientific theories.
Keywords: commensurability of scientific theories, fuzzy concepts, fuzzy terms, term definitions
Published online: 09 May 2007