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Formal Formulations



Because Form is treated as a dialectic of Substance , we can expect any attempt at a formal definition of Form to be rather vague and indistinct. In fact, The Homeless Mathematician will argue that it is a categorical mistake to attempt any definition of Form . This is because any definition is an instance of Reasoning by Analysis . As such, Form is beyond the scope of what may be defined in a comprehensive manner.

The key to a deep understanding of Form is the use of Reasoning by Analogy , as presented in The Paradigm of Form and Substance.

Further, the word Form is rather unusual in that it may be used as either a noun, an intransitive verb, or a transitive verb. This duality of grammatical usage is in conformity to The Canonical Form of Distinction, as detailed in the treatment of Non-Numerical Arithemetic. Specifically, Form may be treat as specifying either intent or content.

The kind reader is invited to study a dictionary definition of Form to determine the veracity of these claims by The Homeless Mathematician.




  1. a. The shape and structure of an object. b. The body or outward appearance of a person or an animal considered separately from the face or head; figure.
  2. a. The essence of something. b. The mode in which a thing exists, acts, or manifests itself; kind: a form of animal life; a form of blackmail.
  3. a. Procedure as determined or governed by regulation or custom. b. A fixed order of words or procedures, as for use in a ceremony; a formula.
  4. A document with blanks for the insertion of details or information: insurance forms.
  5. a. Manners or conduct as governed by etiquette, decorum, or custom. b. Behavior according to a fixed or accepted standard: Tardiness is considered bad form. c. Performance considered with regard to acknowledged criteria: a good jump shooter having an unusual form.
  6. a. Proven ability to perform: a musician at the top of her form. b. Fitness, as of an athlete or animal, with regard to health or training. c. The past performance of a racehorse. d. A racing form.
  7. a. Method of arrangement or manner of coordinating elements in literary or musical composition or in organized discourse: presented my ideas in outline form; a treatise in the form of a dialogue. b. A particular type or example of such arrangement: The essay is a literary form. c. The design, structure, or pattern of a work of art: symphonic form.
  8. a. A mold for the setting of concrete. b. A model of the human figure or part of it used for displaying clothes. c. A proportioned model that may be adjusted for fitting clothes.
  9. A grade in a British secondary school or in some American private schools: the sixth form.
  10. a. A linguistic form. b. The external aspect of words with regard to their inflections, pronunciation, or spelling: verb forms.
  11. a. Chiefly British. A long seat; a bench. b. The resting place of a hare.
  12. Botany. A subdivision of a variety usually differing in one trivial characteristic, such as flower color.

formed, form·ing, forms verb, transitive

  1. a. To give form to; shape: form clay into figures. b. To develop in the mind; conceive: form an opinion.
  2. a. To shape or mold (dough, for example) into a particular form. b. To arrange oneself in: Holding out his arms, the cheerleader formed a T. The acrobats formed a pyramid. c. To organize or arrange: The environmentalists formed their own party. d. To fashion, train, or develop by instruction or precept: form a child's mind.
  3. To come to have; develop or acquire: form a habit.
  4. To constitute or compose a usually basic element, part, or characteristic of.
  5. a. To produce (a tense, for example) by assuming an inflection: form the pluperfect. b. To make (a word) by derivation or composition.
  6. To put in order; arrange.

verb, intransitive

  1. To become formed or shaped.
  2. To come into being by taking form; arise.
  3. To assume a specified form, shape, or pattern.
[Middle English forme, from Latin forma.]

Synonyms: form, figure, shape, configuration, contour, profile.

These nouns refer to the external outline of a thing.

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Updated 95/11/04 .