By Alain Rey; Juan C Sager
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Additional resources for Essays on terminology
This latter definition is fairly close to Kant: for the Ger man philosopher, as is well known, the concept (Begriff) is an intersection of judgements. The traditional and ancient definitions of concept in terminology are how ever convenient and useful for establishing definitions, especially as far as tech nology is concerned. But their psychological character which is realist — in the medieaval sense of the word — obviously condemns them to remaining opera tionally weak; the range of their presuppositions stretches from a pseudoAristotelian position to genuine Platonism.
On the one hand, and from a theoretical point of view, it should express the relevant features of the term, while, on the other, it should reflect those of the notion or concept; it can therefore only be applied to a pure term which is readily translatable into all languages and to a perfectly coherent and consistent terminological system in which each concept is built clearly and univocally. Such a requirement can be ex emplified by the case of mathematical or logical theories, some exceptionally co herent theoretical constructions about natural objects and the most scientific nomenclatures.
For practitio ners of applied descriptive terminology — for which in 1977 I suggested the name terminography1 — an activity comparable to lexicography, this subject may appear somewhat superfluous because practising terminographers usually consider any attempt at generalisation by reference to a theory as the source of obscurity and unnecessary complications. Without a theoretical basis, however, even an implicit one, one cannot even speak of terminology, or terminography for that matter. The relevant activities would be attributed to other well-recognised and known disciplines, namely standardisation and language planning, lexicography, nomenclature and taxon omy, document analysis and information processing, translation, systematic pedagogy (didactics), etc.