# What Is The Definition Of "Calculus" (Not Referring Its Mathematical Connotation)?

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What is the definition of "calculus"?

I've scoured some online dictionaries, only to be stumped as no dictionaries offer me a satisfactory explanation. I'm mostly focused on the "reaching a conclusion" variant of calculus. Take Oxford Dictionary, for example:

• Calculus is defined as "A particular method or system of calculation or reasoning."

I've come across other variants such as

• national calculus (example: The terrorist attacks scrambled the national calculus ),
• political calculus* (example: The governor wakes up and looks at the political calculus, and sees if there's a need to do something)
• economic calculus (example: Political conservatives agree that an economic calculus must give way to a strategic consciousness when national or global security is at stake)

With each and every variant I come up across, I've tried to figure out the meaning of the stem form calculus. But national calculus, political calculus, and economic calculus are vague in its meaning and relation to the "reaching a conclusion" variant of calculus. What is the true underlying definition for this elusive word?

I'm mostly focused on the "reaching a conclusion" variant of calculus. Take Oxford Dictionary, for example:

• Calculus is defined as "A particular method or system of calculation or reasoning."

I wouldn't say that "reaching a conclusion" is necessarily part of the meaning of "method (or system) of reasoning".

The "particular method" referred to in the definition is found in the word that precedes 'calculus' in your examples:

national calculus: the method/system of reasoning used by the nation
political calculus: the method/system or reasoning used in politics
economic calculus: the method/system of reasoning used in economics

xbladefate25What is the true underlying definition for this elusive word?

I agree that 'calculus' does seem a bit vague at times, but I think the meaning is just as defined above. It's more of a methodology than a concrete result (conclusion).

CJ