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Concept Clarification in the Kitchen: What is a Salad

K. P. Mohanan, Tara Mohanan

In this dialogue, MM, DD, TM, and KPM, engage in conceptual inquiry into the question, “What is a salad?” In the academic domain, the X in questions of the form, “What is X?” (e.g., “What is truth?” “What is knowledge?” “What is democracy?” “What is education?” …) is an abstract concept. But here, the strategies of conceptual inquiry are brought to bear on a seemingly unimportant concept. The participants of the dialogue illustrate the strategy by contrasting examples that come under X and examples that don’t come under X, and by looking for a definition that correctly predicts what comes under X and what does not.

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