Jackson Pollock And The Definition of Definition

An afternoon at New York’s Museum of Modern Art:

‘What’s this?’ I asked the young lady, a curator-assistant, walking alongside me.

‘Oh, that!’ She said, ‘That’s Pollock. It’s painting about Painting.’

Paul Jackson Pollock [1912-1956]


It’s important to remember the presence of this fundamental inclusion: The word-concept ‘Infinity’ is part of the Infinity it is referring to. ‘The All’ is part of the All. ‘Everything’ is part of Everything. ‘The One’ is part of the One. And any reference to ‘Not-True Nothing’ is already a part of Not-True Nothing.

Here is a related Post from my files that illustrates this idea and how ignoring this self-inclusion is often the only way to make Language meaningful as we know it. 


‘Definition’ derives from the Latin: De Finito-‘to make finite’. In other words, to draw a line. to divide and to make Double. Definitions are co-dependent and have no life except in mutual relationship.

But how do I define ‘Definition’ when every definition of ‘Definition’ is itself a defined word?

All Inquiry begins with Definition. It is the center bolt of Rational Discourse. And the line limiting fraudulent bombast.

Definition can be verbal, as that provided by a Dictionary. It can be spatial, auditory, tactile; it can be explicit, implicit, smooth or crooked; static, dynamic, clear or vague.

You may not explicitly know the definitions, but are implicitly using them in any form of expression, logic or language. But there must be a boundary in order to define something. And there must be a definition, explicit or implied, in order to have a dialogue.

We’ve got ourselves a fenced space where the fence needs to be moved further and further out as we repeatedly try to fence it in. If you can’t define ‘Definition’ all Inference drawn is spurious precision. The Logic will prove whatever you want it to prove.

[In the wonder-world of the Self-Loop, the word with the most number of posted definitions the last time I checked seems to be the word ‘Set’, as in Mathematical Set, which is another word for ‘Definition’.]

So what’s the definition of ‘Love’? What’s that? You’ll tell me when you feel it? Touché!


There is a useful expression which has been used as a pointer to ‘That’ and it has a long historical trail: ‘It is just as it is; things are just as they are’. It’s a powerful block to times when you are wandering off in mental-space.

But I am seeing contemporary teachers offer definitions for it. You can’t define it; if you do, what you have defined is not it. Why? Because every definition of it itself falls under the label: ‘It is just as it is; things are just as they are’. See the Post on ‘Tautology’.