Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Providing introductory instruction.
  • n. Preparatory instruction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Providing preparatory or introductory teaching.
  • n. Such a course of instruction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or conveying, preliminary instruction; introductory to any art or science; instructing beforehand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to propædeutics, or the introduction to any art or science; relating to preliminary instruction: instructing beforehand.
  • n. A branch of knowledge introductory to a particular art or science; a subject to be mastered as a preliminary to some other subject.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a course that provides an introduction to an art or science (or to more advanced study generally)
  • adj. preceding and preparing for something

Etymologies

From Greek propaideuein, to teach beforehand : pro-, before; see pro-2 + paideuein, to teach (from pais, paid-, child; see pedo-2).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek προπαιδεύω (propaideuō, "to give preparatory instruction"), from πρό (pro, "before") + παιδεύω (paideuō, "to teach"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Descartes 'famous rules are per - haps best described as propaedeutic, or even as prophylactic, injunctions.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • The philosophy of pure reason is either propaedeutic, that is, an inquiry into the powers of reason in regard to pure a priori cognition, and is termed critical philosophy; or it is, secondly, the system of pure reason -- a science containing the systematic presentation of the whole body of philosophical knowledge, true as well as illusory, given by pure reason -- and is called metaphysic.

    The Critique of Pure Reason

  • I suggest not only because it has become a living language, but because it has great propaedeutic values as well.

    Web Translations » Blog Archive » Language learning: how much is too much?

  • From Magical to Analogical Thinking: The System of Corrospondences Though Shankara's path of jnana yoga ultimately rejects the idea that the self has dimensions or a location, it does recognize the propaedeutic and metaphoric role such conceptions play within the Vedanta system of meditation-devotion upasana.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • In fact, by adopting this starting point in Sehdinge, Hering would have recognized the methodological primacy of phenomenology over the other sciences and its propaedeutic status in the study of the essential properties or attributes (space, intensity, brightness, etc.) of sense phenomena.

    On A Trans-Atlantic Flight

  • Now, it is conceivable that Hume encountered these texts, and recognized their propaedeutic value, only after completing his Treatise; but this bare possibility (the letter was written two years before its publication) is absolutely ruled out in the case of Bayle, if not of the other texts Hume names, by Hume's so-called early memoranda and especially by the use

    This, About The Man I Met Out Here In Nearly Nowhere

  • A deliberation is a weighing-up, as a propaedeutic to action.

    Søren Kierkegaard

  • There is nothing better than mathematics as propaedeutic for literary criticism.

    The Concept of the Aesthetic

  • Four schools in Britain have introduced this neutral international language, in order to test its propaedeutic values.

    Talking in New Tongues -- How Easy is It?

  • I feel a bit out of my depth here, but I hope you will allow me to mention the propaedeutic values of Esperanto.

    Syriac, Aramaic, and Mandaic: Learn One Language, Three Dialects, For The Price Of Five Alphabets

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  • n. a course that provides and introduction to an art or science (or to more advanced study generally)
    adj. preceding and preparing for something; "preparatory steps"

    March 12, 2007