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In the below example sentences, "self-defining" doesn't seem to have consistent meaning. (But I'm not sure about that.) In a case (1 &3), it seems to mean "important, conspicuous," and in another (2&4), I'm not sure.

Can you help me?

1. All famous scientists publish great papers, right? That’s sort of self-defining. But if you look at their offspring, their children or their students, you can find that a surprisingly large number of them don’t train well.

2. As mentioned above, "under the table" is illegal. That's self-defining. Picture the image of someone slipping you money "under a table". Not real legal and above board, right?

3. She doesn't care what others think of her — anyway, she doesn't have to — and she works on her own terms. That's self-defining and success.

4. The 'past' has already happened. That's self-defining. This 'past' no longer exists and could only be transient. Even transience cannot adequately define 'past'. A raindrop that hits the ground is destroyed in a 'transient' 'past' moment.
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Stenka25In the below example sentences, "self-defining" doesn't seem to have consistent meaning.
The third one is different. There it means 'defining oneself', i.e., making your own way in life, not allowing others to define who you are.

The other three all show more or less the same usage of 'self-defining', namely, 'self-evident', not needing any proof other than the meanings of the words. The idea is that two things are the same by their very definition.

Here are the claims being made:

1. famous scientist = a scientist who publishes great papers (almost by definition)

2. under the table = illegal (by definition)

4. the past = what has already happened (by definition)

CJ
Comments  
Stenka25
In the below example sentences, "self-defining" doesn't seem to have consistent meaning. (But I'm not sure about that.) In a case (1 &3), it seems to mean "important, conspicuous," and in another (2&4), I'm not sure.

Can you help me?

1. All famous scientists publish great papers, right? That’s sort of self-defining. But if you look at their offspring, their children or their students, you can find that a surprisingly large number of them don’t train well.

2. As mentioned above, "under the table" is illegal. That's self-defining. Picture the image of someone slipping you money "under a table". Not real legal and above board, right?

3. She doesn't care what others think of her — anyway, she doesn't have to — and she works on her own terms. That's self-defining and success.

4. The 'past' has already happened. That's self-defining. This 'past' no longer exists and could only be transient. Even transience cannot adequately define 'past'. A raindrop that hits the ground is destroyed in a 'transient' 'past' moment.

1) Self-defining is rather circular. Empirically, it can't be proven because it creates the definition for itself.

Sort of a "can't be wrong" kind of way.

If I tell you that I am wonderful, and you have no other source of information to validate or invalidate that statement, it is self-defining.

2) The self-defining in this instance is a phrase that is also a literal definition of the actions.

3) This self-defining is talking about self-defining in a positive way. A "you create/make your own future" kind of way.

4) Pretty much the same as 2, but more in depth.

Transent means lasting only for a short time and past would indicate a period of time that is infinately (forever previously) "testable".

In a sense, they contradict, since the raindrop can't be measured as a "past" because it evapotates, leaving no traces.
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thanks, Non sequitur .

Thanks, CJ, as always.