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The following definition for an Analytical Philosopher is called in a text a "honorific definition".

a philosopher who tries to argue in support of their claims (source)

What does a "honorific definition" mean?

closed as off-topic by cobaltduck, Canis Lupus, Glorfindel, NVZ, Chenmunka Mar 28 '17 at 8:44

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  • I suspect the entire answer is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorifics_(linguistics) – cobaltduck Mar 22 '17 at 18:53
  • If you are asking how, from literal or metaphorical meaning within the English language, does honorific apply to analytical philosophy, you will need to provide more context. Where did you find this definition? Where and in what context did you see the term used? Your question has already received a close vote for not providing enough information in the form of your own research. – Canis Lupus Mar 22 '17 at 19:24
  • You've provided the definition of the phrase - presumably, that's what the phrase means in that context. I don't really see how honorific definition equates to any philosopher, though. – Lawrence Mar 22 '17 at 22:33
  • Some tips from the FAQ: How do I ask a good question? – Lawrence Mar 22 '17 at 22:34
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What is art? Why do we say that the Mona Lisa or the works of Salvador Dali are art, but that a young child's colouring in is not? Can we even say this?

Some philosophers, including Danto and Dickie, have attempted to define rules and criteria that identify whether a particular piece is, or is not, a work of art. They have a classificatory approach to determining what art is. Others say art cannot be defined. When we say that Michelangelo's statue of David is art we are honouring it. There are no criteria, it is just that the consensus is it is worthy of respect as a work of art. Art cannot be defined, it can only be recognised and honoured. "Art" is an honorific title.

Analytical Philosophy is an approach to philosophy which considers things logically and almost mathematically. Many philosophers, including Bertrand Russell, are recognised as Analytical Philosophers. The question under discussion in OPs source is whether there is a meaningful definition of an Analytical Philosopher. Can we define an Analytic Philosopher in the way that Danto and Dickie say we can define a work of art? (Hey - this is what philosopher's do!)

In the OPs source Glock is quoted as saying that to use the "honorific" definition (Glock's quotes round honorific ) that "an analytic philosopher is a philosopher who argues in support of their claims" is too wide, since what philosopher does not? It is not really a classificatory definition, a set of rules that can determine whether a particular philosopher is, or is not, an Analytical Philosopher. It is basically saying that this definition is an "honorary" definition in that it is not giving real criteria, it is simply allowing us to recognise and honour an Analytical Philosopher, in the way we recognise and honour a work of art. (The honour part, as opposed to the recognise part, may be wistful thinking.) So an "honorific definition" is not really a definition at all, it is more like saying we recognise something when we see it, but cannot precisely define what it is. Glock seems to have disagreed with this idea.

Democratic is sometimes considered an honorific since it is applied to the United States, the Peoples' Republic of China , the Commonwealth Realms and many other countries. Can we define a democracy, or do we just know one when we see it?

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