per genus et differentiam

(Lat., through genus and a difference) An Aristotelian pattern of definition that proceeds by citing a genus to which a term belongs, and then the difference that gives its species and so locates it within the genus. The classic example is the definition of humans as rational animals.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • species — Any class of individuals sharing common properties and denoted by one common noun. In biology, the class below a genus, comprising organisms capable of interbreeding. The biological name, e.g. homo sapiens consists of the name of the wider genus… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • fundamentum divisionis — (Lat., the basis of division) The principle according to which a genus is divided into species. See per genus et differentiam …   Philosophy dictionary

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