First principle

The term basic concept commonly referred to on the one hand a basic concept and content to other formally the undefined concept of a theory, science, etc. The first meaning is more colloquially, the second theory of science.

The basic concept in the colloquial meaning

A fundamental concept is colloquially either a " fundamental concept "; a " basic, fundamental meaning " or a " simple, essential idea ," a "conception of something that could be built on the ", " a fundamental prerequisite ".

In contrast to the basic concept in the sense of philosophy of science is not ( primarily ) to indefiniteness or elusiveness, but in particular, a simple, basic concept of a region (which may be defined or not).

  • Example: In the coming weeks I will make you familiar with the basic concepts of chemistry.
  • Example: emanation is a " fundamental concept of Neo-Platonism ."

The basic concept in the sense of philosophy of science

A fundamental concept (also: elemental or base term ) in the sense of philosophy of science is a term that is used to define derived concepts. Basic concepts are the foundation or the base of hierarchical concept systems is provided by the conceptual existence of a discipline or a general knowledge of the area. Basic concepts that are used to build a basic discipline, are undefined basic concepts. Basic concepts of disciplines that are not fundamental disciplines themselves, can be derived with the help of basic concepts more fundamental disciplines, or even with the help of undefined basic concepts. The undefined basic concepts of a discipline are interconnected through holistic conceptual systems.

Basic concepts of the discipline of tailoring are about needle, thread, scissors or cloth. This can be derived from other disciplines as metalwork and textile manufacturing. Typical undefined basic concepts of fundamental discipline of physics are about space, time and mass.

Basic concepts for all knowledge in general are of Aristotle and was later given by Kant and called categories. In mathematics, the basic undefined terms are referred to as axiomatic basic concepts, because they are used to construct the mathematical axiom systems. Following the example of mathematics also have other disciplines - such as physics - attempting to axiomatize their field of knowledge and to introduce axiomatic basic concepts. Generally, one speaks today through the systems of concepts such as the basic sciences of physics, the science of religion, ethics, psychology, law, economics or sociology are built in the philosophy of science of undefined basic concepts.

There are in any conceptual system (theory, science) Basic concepts. This does not mean that there are "absolute basic concepts ", ie Terms that must be fundamental concept in each system. The property to be fundamental concept is thus only relatively each to a system of concepts.

In the modern theory of science are in a formal sense basic concepts elementary terms that are not defined in a science, theory, etc. yourself. In another substantive sense is the universal terms are not defined terms. The assertion of an elusiveness is something other than the practice not to define a term.

In particular, in mathematics it is debatable whether basic terms " in an axiomatic system exhaustively represented by its relations with other concepts " - Hilbert - or not - as Gottlob Frege and Godel.

In a strict scientific language applies to nominal definitions, the rule that every term is either defined or not defined to be a fundamental concept. After a widespread understanding of science is demanded in non- axiomatized sciences from an undefined basic concept a matter of course (evidence ) and / or a kind of intuition.