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Intension of a term are the meanings associated with a it by the way and manner it is referred to, as opposed to the meaning resulting from the extension of the term in the respective context.

For example, the terms “morning star” and “evening star” both have the same extension (namely the planet Venus), but different intensions, namely that they describe the appearance of Venus in the morning and evening skies respectively.


Other names

  • Connotations
  • Opaque context

Note: the term “intension” should not be confused with the (nearly) homophone “intention”, which means as much as “by purpose”. It also has nothing to do with “intense”, meaning “strong” or “severe”.


In the broadest sense are intensions of a term those associated meanings that are added by the way and manner in which the term refers to it’s extension.

This includes, as in the example above, the con­no­ta­tions that are asso­ci­ated with the term (e.g “evening” with “even­ing star”), but also con­text­ual infor­mation (as in “masked man” versus “your own father”).

Disregarding this the intensional level of meanings of a term can result in logical errors ( inten­sional fallacy).

See also

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Ad Hominem Info is a project to explain and categorize the most common systematic fallacies and fallacies. On this page, you will find a background article that briefly explains an important logical concept, which may be needed to better understand another article in this area.
For more information, please see the main category “logic

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