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In this type of question, context is everything, and so it's hard to give an unequivocal answer. That being said: I'd in general have no trouble with someone, in a Ph.D. defense, article, whatever, giving their own definition of a concept, as long as they demonstrated an awareness of what the more standard definitions are, and articulated why it is ...


In other countries, the viva-voce is called "defense" for a reason. The onus is on you to defend your use of the definition, in particular, if it deviates from the industry standard.


The format and nature of the oral examination vary enormously by country. RoboKaren's description of an oral examination would be very unusual in the UK (where it is customary for the supervisor to not be present, except maybe at the very end when the examiners deliver their verdict). To answer your question: you should be candid about the weaknesses in your ...

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