"Definicja funkcjonalna” w socjologii religii jako błąd logiczny
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In sociological approach to religion there are commonly distinguished two sorts of definition: substantial and functional. In the article the author tries to prove a statement that a so-called “functional definition,” especially connected with Weberian perspective, essentially is not a definition, so the traditional classification is unjustifiable. The author introduces three criteria of correct definition in science: formal — definition must specify its object; epistemic — must be communicative; and investigative — must be useful to research. As it turns out, a “functional definition” collapses at the first stage, because it necessarily includes an idem per idem error. Many sociologists try to avoid the fallacy, supplementing its definition by substantial equivalences, however it is a sign of its inefficiency. Even if one skips this problem hypothetically, the others (errors of static and generality) are coming. “Functional definition” is no definition at all. It can be used as an element of description of previously defined subject only.
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