Philosophy Glossary H - Z

    Table Of Contents

    Glossary A - G


    The body of traditional teachings of Islam beyond the teachings of the Koran that are based on the prayers and sayings of Muhammad.


    A pilgrimage to Mecca, the fifth of the so-called five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is required to make at least one visit in a lifetime to Mecca, provided the person is physically and financially capable of such a journey. The hajj has been conducted continuously every year for about 1,400 years. It is a commemoration of the sacrifice, obedience and faith of Abraham, his second wife Hagar, and their son Ishmael.

    HALLELUJAH (SEE alleluia):

    Greek term for "praise to the Lord."


    (Also spelled CHANUKA and HANUKA): Jewish festival of lights. This holiday celebrates the 2nd-century B.C.E. victory of the Macabees over the Syrians. This holiday begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which typically falls in early- or mid-December in the Gregorian calendar. The close juxtaposition of Hanukkah with the Christian celebration of Christmas gives the Jewish holiday the erroneous and unfortunate reputation of being a "Jewish alternative" to Christmas. Editors: Do not refer to this holiday as "the Jewish Christmas."


    A Hindu who worships the god Krishna. A sect of Hinduism popularized in North America and Britain with its musical chanting. Members of the group, called Hare Krishnas, are characterized by their unique tonsure and the wearing of bright saffron robes.


    Gr. hedone pleasure. Indeed, self-gratification. Essentially, this is the principle of "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" (1 Cor 15:32) - i.e. the idea that if one wants to be happy in life, then he must pursue a lifestyle of pleasure and gratification. The principle that pleasure is the sole and proper aim of human action. The earliest and most extreme version of ethical hedonism was first advocated by the Cyrenaics, (Aristippus being the founder of the school was from Cyrene), 4th cent. BCE) who claimed that the art of living consists in maximizing the enjoyment of each moment through pleasures of the senses and the intellect. In contrast, the Epicureans (Epicurus 341- 270 BCE) laid emphasis on the attainment of enduring pleasures and the avoidance of pain, stressing the role of prudence and discipline in securing the supreme good: peace of mind. Both the Cyrenaic and the Epicureans were egoistic hedonists. [Cyrenaics +, Epicureans -]. Aristippus is to Bentham as Epicurus is to Mill.


    The theory that the planets revolve around the sun. Interestingly, the theory had been forwarded as early as 250 BC by Aristarchus of Samos, the ancient Greek astronomer. However, the early Greeks (Plato, Aristotle, et al.) had influenced the geocentric theory (i.e. that the astral bodies revolve around the earth ) which would be advanced scientifically by Claudius Ptolemaeus (90-168 AD) - hence, the Ptolemaic cosmology. This geocentric theory lasted until the 16th century with the new speculations of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). The overthrow of the geocentric Ptolemaic cosmology occurred when the theories of Copernicus and Galileo became indisputably substantiated around in the 16th-17th centuries, and thus the scientific revolution began its long march. This pivotal event of heliocentrism can literally be regarded as one of the most important events in intellectual history, its effects being far-reaching and consequential.


    Hellenism , or Hellenization , is the process by which the world adopted Greek thought, culture, and language due primarily to the conquests of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). The Hellenistic period extends in history from the death of Alexander (323 BC) to about 30 BC when the Roman Empire annexed the last major Hellenic kingdom ( Egypt) in about 30 BC. Nevertheless, Hellenism survived in Roman thought and culture, and consequently, it has survived throughout the centuries in the minds of people everywhere, whether in philosophical or political traditions.


    The science or study of interpretation. Derived from the Greek word for interpret. This is often associated with biblical scholarship, especially in Christianity and Judaism. See commentary. See also Midrash. Also: a subjective method of interpretation.


    Sanskrit word meaning "lesser vehicle." Generally associated with the more conservative branch of Buddhism known as Theravada that is practiced in sects chiefly in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. This non-theistic religion teaches a way to nirvana for a limited few. Compare Mahayana.


    A name given to the period in the 1930s and 1940s (1933-1945) when Germany's ruling National Socialists, popularly known as Nazis and led by Adolf Hitler, sought to exterminate all Jews living in Europe as part of their planned conquest of civilization and purification of the race. An elaborate system of persecution of Jews and death camps set up by the Nazis that systematically murdered more than 6 million Jews was uncovered at the end of World War II. The holocaust is deemed by Jews to be the ultimate humiliation of their religion and nation and has become a symbol of their rallying for human rights and against persecution of any race or religion. A key figure in educating the public concerning the Holocaust has been writer Elie Wiesel, himself a Hungarian Jew and a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. See anti-Semitism.


    The art or study of delivering sermons or homilies. Derived from the Latin and Greek terms for discourse, especially that addressed to an assembled group. Compare commentary. Compare also hermeneutics.


    Science fiction writer who in 1954 founded the CHURCH OF Scientology, a religious body based on his 1950 book Dianetics. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in 1911 and died in 1986.


    A humanistic philosophy that grew out of the Humanistic Psychology theories of Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and several others in the 1970s. It stresses individual potential for health and happiness, rejects traditional religious categories of sin and guilt, but has been a strong ideology for so-called "New Age" religions.


    "Man is the measure of all things," proclaimed Protagoras, the Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century BC. The term humanism has had numerous connotations over the centuries, some positive, some negative. As a movement, in general, the term is usually connected to the Renaissance era (1350-1600), when certain intellectuals began to absorb the literary genius of Greece and Rome, whose writings had been preserved for the most part in Constantinople. Prior to the conquest of Constantinople by the Muslims in 1453, many Byzantine (Greek) scholars fled to Italy and brought with them the ancient texts of Greek and Roman civilization, including thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament from certain monasteries. In recent years, however, the term humanism has essentially become connected to the movement of secularism (hence, secular humanism) - i.e. those who reject religious belief in general.


    the view that everything in the natural world has a two-fold composition of matter (hyle) and form (morphe).


    A statement proposed as true or accurate before actual testing of the claim is made (logically or empirically); a theory. In science, a testable assertion - especially a generalization or lawlike assertion, e.g., Newton's law of universal gravitation which states (in part) "All bodies attract each other with a force inversely proportional to their distance." Hypotheses that survive testing come to be confirmed, whereupon they are provisionally accepted as scientific laws.


    The scientific method of testing would-be laws (hypotheses) by making predictions of particular observable events, then observing whether the events turn out as predicted. If so, the hypothesis is confirmed. If not, the hypothesis is disconfirmed, or (some would say) refuted.


    command one to do X only if you wanted Y. This conditional statement is not absolutely binding. Hypothetical means 'optional', or contingent. A command that applies, not unconditionally, but only under certain conditions, or given certain purposes. E.g., "If you want to see a good movie rent The Big Lebowski": the command, here, to rent The Big Lebowski applies only on the condition that you want to see a good movie. Similarly, the command to change your oil frequently applies only if you want your car to last; the command to look both ways before crossing only applies if you seek a safe crossing; etc. According to Kant, nonmoral commandments are all of this hypothetical sort. Compare: categorical imperative.


    A hypothetical syllogism contains at least one conditional proposition or statement, which takes the form of "if (antecedent) then (consequent)". A rule for pure, valid hypothetical syllogisms is: Any pure hypothetical syllogism is valid in which the first premise and the conclusion have the same antecedent, the second premise and the conclusion have the same consequent, and the consequent of the first premise is the same as the antecedent of the second premise. The pure form is: 1. if P then Q, 2. if Q then R; therefore, if P then R. Two other valid forms of hypothetical syllogisms are Modus Ponens (Latin for "mood that affirms") and Modus Tollens (Latin for "mood that denies").


    A universal or eternally real object, according to Plato; A synonym for the Absolute, according to Hegel; A perception in consciousness of an object, generally.


    The theory that reality is of the nature of mind or consciousness (non-material). There are many types of idealism, but objective (usu. pantheistic) idealism and subjective (usu. many minds, one Supreme Mind) idealism are the two major categories. Various philosophical theories of mind fall under this category. Essentially, idealism is the view which posits that the material realm does not exist wholly independent of the mind. Idealism does not dismiss the notion that the material realm exists; it just asserts that the material realm must be perceived by the mind - i.e. that ultimately, the material realm (concepts, ideas, things, etc.) exists in the mind. Idealism is characteristically opposed to materialism , which asserts that the material realm exists whether the mind perceives them or not. With the rise of modern science, materialism has become the ascendant theory of mind. The view that reality is fundamentally mental; that there is just one kind of substance (mind) or phenomena (thought); there is no such thing as matter; what we take to be material things are really, at bottom, mental. On Berkeley's view their esse is percipi – their being is being perceived. Compare: monism. Contrast: dualism, materialism.

    IDEALISM (IDEAL, IDEALIST ADJS.) a philosophical position is idealist if it denies that we know things as they really are, or in other words, if it denies that what we know exists in the way that we know it independently of ourselves. Idealism therefore blurs the distinction between the object of our knowledge, and the subject who knows that object: the subject, according to idealism, either wholly creates, or in some respect conditions, the object of their knowledge. Thus it is hard to be an idealist about material objects considered with respect to their shape; but hard not to be an idealist about the colours of material objects. Opposed to realism.

    Absolute Idealism:

    The doctrine that reality is entirely spiritual or mental and that every aspect of reality has its being and its character only as an aspect of the whole.


    are according to Hume, fainter copies of impressions in imagination. On Locke's conception ideas are the contents with which minds are "furnished" (as he puts it). From "simple ideas" (e.g., or red, of round, of sweet) furnished by sense-perception the mind constructs "complex ideas" (e.g, of apple). Conception being nothing but this compounding of sense-based ideas, and reasoning being nothing but transitioning between ideas thus compounded, all knowledge - Locke maintains - derives ultimately from sensory experience. See also: empiricism, impressions.


    In philosophy, identity, from Latin: identitas (“sameness”), is the relation each thing bears just to itself. The notion of identity gives rise to many philosophical problems, including the identity of indiscernibles (if x and y share all their properties, are they one and the same thing?), and questions about change and personal identity over time (what has to be the case for a person x at one time and a person y at a later time to be one and the same person?).

    [Identity Theory:Succinctly “The content of a declarative sentence is true just if it is (identical with) a fact.”-SEP]


    In a technical sense, the faculty of forming mental images – particular sensations or impressions (Hume). Opposed to the intellect, the faculty of forming general concepts. In this broad, somewhat technical sense, imagination includes veridical perception as well as imagination proper (fantasy, dreams, etc.).


    To imagine or conceive of some possibility is to form an idea of it, to entertain that possibility in your mind. When you imagine some possibility, you are not committing yourself to the claim that that possibility actually obtains or is likely to obtain.


    The leader of a Muslim mosque or group. Capitalized when used as a title for a Muslim leader; lower case when referring to one who leads prayers in a Muslim service in a mosque. See ISLAM.


    That which dwells in or is present with, such as the transcendent God is immanent in his communication and acts in the created order. Given directly in my experience. As opposed to “transcendent.” A transcendent God, for example, would be one that would not be present in my actual experience. Internal or indwelling as opposed to external or outdwelling: in particular, what is internal to the material, sensible world as opposed to what is above or beyond it, or transcendent. On pantheistic views (e.g., those of the Stoics or Spinoza) God is held to be an immanent guiding spirit in and of the sensible material world, not existing apart or beyond it. Orthodox Christian views, by contrast, hold God be transcendent. Similarly, Plato asserts the transcendence while Aristotle maintains the immanence of the Forms or essences of things.


    God would be immanent being if His existence is part of all the beings in the universe, as in pantheism, hence, God would be indwelling. The Christian God is distinct from humans, and all others in the universe, and hence is not pantheistic, which means that all is God.


    the view that form is indwelling in the matter.


    What cannot be the case, under any circumstances, is impossible. What is logically impossible is self-contradictory; inconsistent with the basic principles of logic itself ( to be both human and nonhuman, e.g., is logically impossible). It is convenient for many purposes to recognize types of impossibility weaker than strict logical impossibility. Natural or nomological impossibility is the next strongest generally recognized type: what is nomologically impossible, while it may be logically consistent, is inconsistent with the laws of nature: e.g, it's nomologically impossible (current physics tells us) for anything to travel faster than the speed of light. Practical impossibility is a weaker variety yet: what is practically impossible may be consistent with the laws of nature, but is inconsistent given the circumstances; e.g., it's nomologically possible for a human being to run a four-minute mile but it's not practically possible for most of us (given our ages, physiques, and physical conditions) to do so. Contrast: possible. See also: necessary, contingent, actual.


    are according to Hume, sensations or immediate feelings as those of pleasure and pain, what he calls Impressions of Reflection. Hume terms the direct experiential deliverances of sensation impressions; simple ideas, for Hume, are faint copies (in memory) of these sensory impressions, and complex ideas (all the rest) are compounded from these simple ideas, much as they are for Locke. See also: empiricism, ideas.


    being an alert object, complete and fixed (unrelatedness within and without) [Sartre]


    Literally, a process of appearing as flesh. The Christian doctrine that God appeared in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who is seen as the unique God-man. The Christian holiday of Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and is interpreted as the moment of God's incarnation. Capitalize when referring to the Christian doctrine exclusively.


    The theory that the universe is constituted in such a way that some events are not the inevitable consequence of antecedent (prior) events. The view that every event has a cause, except for the human will. (also called soft determinism) The view that there are events that do not have any cause; believers in absolute free will, for instance, hold that choices are not determined by any physiological or psychological causes whatever. Contrast: determinism.


    Also called particulars are single things (e.g., Socrates) as opposed to properties or kinds of things, or (humanity or humankind). The latter are universals. Individuals are typically the sorts of things named by proper names (e.g., "Socrates") whereas universals are associated with general words such as verbs (e.g., "teaches"), common nouns (e.g., "man"), and adjectives (e.g., "human").


    Also called, the inductive method, it is essentially a process of reasoning in which a general principle is inferred through observation. Contrary to a deductive argument in which the conclusion follows from the premises, in an inductive argument the conclusion generally follows from the initial observation. For example:

    Every A we have observed is a B.
    Therefore, every A is a B.
    Every crow (A) we have observed in the past 20 years is black (B).
    Therefore, it is probable that all crows (A) are black (B).

    Thus, the inductive method generally produces a hypothesis rather than an irrefutable logical conclusion as in deductive logic. Inductivism is, therefore, an inherent part of the scientific method which was developed by the philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626). With the rise of natural science, it became increasingly clear that the deductive method could only demonstrate truths which were already implied in the premises. Thus, many thinkers began to turn to the process of induction. The process of arriving at generalizations (universals) by an observation of facts (particulars). Sometimes called scientific or empirical logic. Ideally, a form of reasoning in which one moves from one or more premises to a conclusion in such a way that while the conclusion seems to have been given some justification, it is logically possible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. E.g. “Most of the philosophy majors have seen Rocks in the Throat, featuring Dawn Demosthenes... Igor Metchnikov is a philosophy major. Therefore Igor Metchnikov has seen Rocks in the Throat.” See deduction.


    uses arguments which have conclusions that go beyond the information contained in the premises. It is also called an inductive generalization. In example:
    (1) The sun rose every day in the past.
    (2) The sun rose today.
    Therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.

    The problem of induction:

    The Philosophic question of whether inductive reasoning leads to knowledge. Hume said, No! the justification of induction can only be inductive (not deductive) or induction is not made by reason. BUT he also said that we perform it and improve from it. So he was actually advocating a practical skepticism based upon common sense, wherein the inevitability of induction is accepted.


     Inferring is the psychological activity of drawing conclusions from premises. Only people can infer. So don't say: This argument infers that... What the argument does is imply or entail a conclusion. It doesn't infer it. In addition to arguments implying things, sometimes we talk about people implying things. In this usage, implying is an activity, but it's a different activity than inferring. For instance: Sarah implied that I was a fool. means that Sarah suggested that I was a fool, without explicitly saying so. But in the primary usage of these words, implying is something premises and arguments do: they imply their conclusions. And inferring is something people do. People infer by looking at the evidence and deciding what hypothesis that evidence best supports.


    A proposition that follows logically from other statements; to draw an implication. Drawing conclusions on the basis or premises or evidence. Compare: argument.

    In Fieri:



    That which is without limit, without boundaries; in time, that which is unending.


    The relation between individuals or particulars and their attributes or universals: when an individual has an attribute, the attribute is said to "inhere" in the the thing.


    ideas which are inborn, or recollected because they were already in the mind to recollect, even prior to any sense experience, and even prior to birth the ideas were in the mind. Ideas that are inborn rather than acquired through sensory experience. Socrates and Plato taught that such ideas were acquired by direct acquaintance (prior to birth) with the archetypes or Forms or according to which all things are constructed. Descartes, as well as other rationalists (in agreement with Plato) believe such "clear and distinct" innate ideas are the source of all real knowledge. Belief in innate ideas is the distinguishing feature of rationalism.


    A feature of values or valued things which is extrinsic: had by things insofar as they are not desirable or commendable in and of themselves but rather for the sake of, or as a means to, something else. Money (which gets its value from enabling us to purchase good) and medical treatment (which is valuable for the health it maintains or restores) are classic examples of extrinsic or instrumental goods. The view that holds that while scientific theories are predictively useful ways of talking, they should not be thought to provide true descriptions of reality. Perhaps the most famous avowal of instrumentalism was Copernicus' advertisement of his heliocentric hypothesis as nothing more than an aid to astronomical calculation - a predictive instrument, not purporting to be a true description of astronomical realities. Contrast scientific realism.


    The claim that scientific theories do not portray reality so that theoretical entities are not real. Scientific theories are only useful instruments for predicting what will happen.


    the possible things a word or phrase could describe. And Extension: the actual things the word or phrase does describe.


    Having, or presupposing, a use of terms that relates not to the extension (that is, the individual things that actually happen to fall under these terms in this world) but determines what could or could not fall under the term (in for example any possible world). E.g. the extension of “having a heart” and “having a kidney” is the same in this world because, in fact, all creatures that have one have the other. But the intension is not the same because a creature with one feature might not have the other. See extension.


    (Descartes) The mind and body interact, yet remain separate and distinct from each other by the mysterious function of the pineal gland. (pin-e-al) Substances interact; they oppose each other; they logically and ontologically exclude each other. The can be conceived and exist without each other. It is contradictory to say that thinking occurs but there is nothing doing the thinking. It is contradictory to say that spatial dimension exists but there is nothing that is extended or that has that dimension.


    A feature of values or valued things which has value in and of themselves rather than on account of their consequences or (more generally) their relations to anything else. Things commonly accorded intrinsic value include pleasure, knowledge, beauty, and happiness. Contrast: instrumental. See hedonism.


    springs from the light of pure reason alone (nothing can be added to intuition; it is simple)


    The faculty of knowing by mental inspection and without recourse to reason; direct knowing or awareness which is neither deductive nor inductive. Or, the product of intuitive recognition.


    SCHOOL: see Milesian School


    see Political Science but it refers to: A Jacobin, in the context of the French Revolution, was a member of the Jacobin Club (1789–1794). The Jacobin Club was the most famous political club of the French Revolution. So called from the Dominican convent, where they originally met, in the Rue St. Jacques (Latin: Jacobus), Paris. At that time, the term was popularly applied to all supporters of revolutionary opinions. In contemporary France, it refers to the concept of a centralized Republic, with power concentrated in the national government, at the expense of local or regional governments.


    Recorded in the Hebrew book of Genesis, this is the dream of Jacob of a ladder stretching to the heavens upon which the angels of God ascended and descended. The image has become a modern symbol of the link between the human and the divine and has been popularized in spiritual song.


    A 6th century B.C.E. protest against the Hinduism of India that developed into a separate religious system. Its holy text is the Acarangasutra. Jainists generally follow a path of moderation, charity, and respect for all animals and tend to stress ascetic principles.


    A doctrine of morality as the determinant of salvation closely associated with 17th and 18th century Christianity in Western Europe. Condemned by Rome as heretical in the 18th century, Jansenism had many defendants among reformers at the time. Named after Charles Jansen. Used colloquially at times as a synonym of Puritanism or any strict moral interpretation of sexual purity or an interpretation of sexuality as evil.


    A denomination loosely classified as Protestant that believes it worships God as revealed in the Holy Bible as JEHOVAH, rejecting the notion of God revealed as a Trinity. Founded in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1872 by a former Congregationalist layman, Charles Taze Russell, Jehovah's Witnesses are sometimes called Russellites. Witnesses are pacifists and do not take part in government proceedings. They refuse allegiance to any government, and often refuse medical assistance, especially in the form of blood transfusions. The denomination is organized under three legal corporations: The Watch Tower and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc., and the International Bible Students Association of England. Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their door-to-door solicitation of inquirers and their sales of Witness literature, in particular copies of The Watchtower. The Jehovah's Witnesses use only the World Version of The Holy Bible. See versions of the Bible .


    A religious order founded by Ignatius of Loyola and technically known as the Society of Jesus. Often controversial in their theological and social doctrines. Many Roman Catholic Universities in the United States are operated under the auspices of the Jesuits.


    The anointed Son of God who visited humanity through the incarnation, a literal becoming of flesh by God, according to Christian doctrine. Jesus is considered the second member of the Christian TRINITY, with the Father and the HOLY SPIRIT, who is worshipped and revered by Christians as the exclusive pathway to salvation for believers. Many Christians hold that to become one with Christ is to be born again spiritually. The life of Jesus is recorded in the GOSPELs of the HOLY BIBLE. Born of a Jewish mother, Mary, Jesus is believed by many Christians to have been conceived by the spirit of God and adopted as a son by Mary's betrothed husband, Joseph. Born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth, Jesus became an itinerant preacher and reformer of the synagogue, gathering to himself a small band of disciples who accompanied him in his proclamation of the coming of the kingdom of God. Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth is the prophesied MESSIAH. He was accused of blasphemy, tried and convicted. Romans put him to death by crucifixion. Christians believe that three days after being crucified, Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to many of his disciples. His birth is celebrated on CHRISTMAS Day, his death on Good Friday, his resurrection on EASTER. MUSLIMS revere Jesus as a prophet during a time prior to Mohammed.


    Arabic term for "holy war." Militant Muslims believe they are engaged in a holy war that pits right against wrong, justice against injustice, and Allah against Satan. They engage in jihad in order to usher in khilafa, the state that will unite all Muslims.


    The religion of the Jews as recorded in the Torah and the Hebrew books of history and the prophets. Judaism developed a monotheistic religion with a God of compassion, justice, and mercy. It traces its covenantal relationship with the living God to Abraham and through Moses, Israel, David and others to the modern Jewish religion.


    The activity of the mind that describes or interprets reality, including, but not limited to, concepts, true and false empirical evidence, and valid and invalid logical arguments.


    Japanese word for gods or spirits, especially associated with traditional Shinto ceremonies and festivals. Shinto recognizes many spirits in nature and in the family. Christianity in Japan has translated the word kami as God or Lord when used in Christian context. English-speaking people may recognize the term in the Japanese word kamikaze that describes the suicide fighter planes of World War II named for the literal "wind of the Gods."


    The Sanskrit word for fate or work. In Buddhism and Hinduism, karma, which is often capitalized, refers to a force that determines a person's life in the next existence; it is often based on highly ethical principles. Because karma is related to a person's actions, it has close affinities with the notion of vibrations.


    A statement that can be affirmed both by empirical facts and by valid logic; Sometimes a statement that by its nature can be and is affirmed by valid logic, not necessarily by empirical observation (one's own existence, for example).


    Knowledge can only be initiated by an experience (or phenomena) and that the mind is unable to know the real source or ground of experience. Kant's phenomenalism is an example of this type of skepticism. Kant maintained that the best we could do was describe the surface appearance of things (phenomena: the object of perception; that which appears; that which is perceived) because the real nature of things, the way things really are (noumena: according to Kant: that which transcends experience and all rational knowledge; but according to Plato: that which is apprehended by our reason alone, without any involvement of our senses, intuition, or other levels of apprehension; Plato was not a skeptic) is not accessible to us.


    As classically construed knowledge is justified true belief. Recent worries about the sufficiency of justification currently inspire attempts to appeal to "external relations" such as causation in justification's stead. (See my handout Knowledge as Justified True Belief for further brief discussion).

    Knowledge by acquaintance:

    see direct knowledge.

    Knowledge, direct:

    Awareness of feeling , thought, emotion, or any content of consciousness. See also awareness, intuition.


    The holy writings of Islam believed to have been revealed through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad by Allah during the month of RAMADAN. Many Muslims say the correct translation from Arabic is Qu'ran, but the style of most Western writers is Koran. See also Sunnah. See also hadith. Muhammad could not read or write, but his followers memorized the teachings and wrote them. [The AP Style Book advises following the spelling usage of a group in question.]


    A popular deity in Hinduism who represents the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. Lord Krishna is a key figure in the epic poem of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita, depicted as one who imparts wisdom that reinvigorates a life of love, selflessness, and devotion.

    My add:


    n. The expression or communication of thoughts and feelings by means of vocal sounds, and combinations of sounds, to which meaning is attributed. Syn; speech, tongue, idiom, dialect.

    To put into words-archaic. Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dict


    Often abbreviated LDS, this phrase refers to the church founded by Joseph Smith in the 18th Century and known popularly as the church of Mormon. The official name of the church is the Church of Latter-Day Saints. The words come from the book of Mormon, which Smith claimed to have discovered and translated as a modern message from God meant to augment the Christian scriptures.


    The law of non-contradiction is one of the most important principles in the realm of logic. Essentially, "two contradictory propositions cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense." For instance, Christians believe that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone, and Muslims believe that salvation is through Mohammed and Allah alone. Yet pluralists contend that both religions are true; however, the law of non-contradiction states that two contradictory statements cannot both be true at the same time. Therefore, one of the propositions must be false.

    The laws of science are various established scientific laws, or physical laws as they are sometimes called, that are considered universal and invariable facts of the physical world.


    A term derived from the Latin and Greek words referring to public service and words related to the people; thus, it is often defined as "the work or service of the people." Formally, liturgy refers to the rituals, ideas and activities including musical activities -- associated with public worship. When capitalized, the word specifically refers to a Christian rite often labeled The DIVINE LITURGY. In many Christian denominations, liturgy is a formal study for seminarians and others interested in the worship practices of the church. Many Christian denominations de-emphasize formal ritual and are labeled as "non-liturgical" churches.


    A study of the principles of thought by which one may distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning. Deductive logic argues from the general to the specific; it focuses on the correct form of an argument, deducing the validity of propositions and conclusions. Inductive logic argues from the specific to the general; it focuses on (usually) empirical evidence and/or information and the subsequent certainty or probability of the conclusion. Logic, properly applied in conjunction with sufficient evidence and/or information, should enable one to obtain knowledge of reality, truth in a given instance. Correct reasoning; The study of the principles of correct reasoning. The study of arguments and argument forms. ( logos = argument, word) The study of the most general truths - those truths which are independent of any particular subject matter.

    Add here Logical Atomism- see atomism for starters.


    A term for those 20th century philosophers who maintain that empiricism is right on purely logical (not psychological) grounds. Empiricism becomes a theory about the meaning of synthetic propositions: namely, that their meaning can be given entirely in experiential, or phenomenal terms.


    In everyday speech, people often use the word "logical" like this: "John's attitude to smoking just isn't logical," or: "Spock is incapable of emotion because he tries to be so logical." You should not speak this way in philosophical discussions. In philosophy, the word "logic" has a special technical meaning. (If you want to know what it is, you'll have to take some courses in logic.) You should say instead: John's attitude to smoking is unreasonable. Also, don't say such things as: "That was a logical point," or "That was a logical objection," or "This is a logical argument." Say instead: That was a fair or convincing point. or: That is a reasonable objection. or: This is a valid or persuasive argument.


    Positivism was a school of thought which originated in the 1920s and 1930s which essentially held that all propositions, whether metaphysical or physical, are meaningless unless they can be empirically verified (the verification principle). However, the idea was a self-refuting proposition since it could not be empirically verified itself - i.e. logical positivism, like other propositions, could not pass the test of empirical verification.


    see empiricism.


    This Greek term, meaning "word" (but much more) was first introduced into the stream of human thought by the philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (d. 475 BC). Though, Heraclitus stressed that "change" was the one constant in the universe, He also began to develop the idea that God, in a monistic sense, was the unifying principle and underlying Reason (logoV)* behind the universe ; thus, he recognized change and diversity, on the one hand, yet a coherent, unchangeable unity, on the other. "Reason" (logoV), then, was the governing principle of the universe according to Heraclitus. In later centuries, the Stoic philosophers (300 BC-150 AD) would borrow this conception from Heraclitus and integrate it into their cosmology as well.
    It is perhaps most interesting, though, that the Apostle John, writing his gospel from Ephesus (the home of the famous Heraclitus) about AD 90, uses the term "logos" in his prologue to refer to the person of Jesus Christ. In other words, we can infer from John's usage of this technical philosophical term that he was entirely aware that he was making a connection between the abstract Heraclitean conception of universal "Reason" and the true " logos " who is Jesus Christ. In sum, that which the Greek philosophers could only speculate about was actually realized in the person of Jesus Christ. The fact that the Johannine gospel was written twenty years after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 while the Jews were in exile in Hellenic lands further strengthens this argument since Greek philosophical ideas (such as "the logos") were well known by learned people everywhere. At the same time, however, it must be noted that the Apostle John drew from the idea of "dabar YHWH" (Heb. = "word of YHWH"), and brought together both the Hellenistic and Judaic ideas of "the word" into a higher unity - something which is not exclusively Greek nor Jewish, but rather, something which is an entirely new creation - something which is entirely Christian. * I assume they mean logos here.


    German priest who reformed Christianity in the 16th century by posting 95 theses (arguments) on the door of the cathedral at Worms, mostly opposing the practice of indulgences, the payment of fees for prayers aimed at effecting the salvation of souls. Luther's provincial debate became a regional and national--and eventually worldwide--revolt in the church and led to the establishment of many PROTESTANT churches throughout Europe. Luther's followers eventually established the LUTHERAN Church. A similar challenge led by a French reformer, John CALVIN, in Switzerland, brought about the Reformed Church that can be traced to modern Presbyterian and Reformed theology, often characterized as CALVINISM. Protestant Reformers also rose in France, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, and eventually in England. Luther, however, is often referred to as the "father" of the REFORMATION .


    The Athenian gardens where Aristotle founded his philosophical school in 335 BC. Even as Plato called his school The Academy , Aristotle called his school The Lyceum. It was the custom of Aristotle to teach while he walked with his students through the gardens, hence the term peripatetic (which means "to walk with")..


    a term used in relation to virtue. to display a noble generosity. Political theory. Def: Loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness or pettiness.


    Master of TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION (T.M.) who introduced the practice to the Western world in 1959 through the popular music group, The Beatles. Guitarist George Harrison became a devotee of the Maharishi at that time.


    A major branch of Buddhism that emphasizes the need to help all living things achieve liberation and venerates the enlightened one who postpones entrance into NIRVANA to aid others. See BODDHISATTVA; THERAVADA.


    occurs when ideas represent non-things.


    A philosophical term denoting that whatever exists is either composed of matter or is dependent upon matter for its composition. An atheist, for example, would consider himself a materialist. The metaphysical theory that views reality as only matter and its determinations; naturalism; physicalism. The view that all substance is material in nature; the view that all of reality is material.


    The theory that holds that matter is the only fundamental substance. Spirits or minds either do not exist or are really, at bottom, manifestations of matter. Contrast: idealism, dualism. Compare: monism.


    the position that reality consists of matter: that all existing substances (including minds) are really material. Materialism is therefore associated with realism and (in so far as matter is the basis of the order of nature) with naturalism.


    That which occupies space; that which has extension; that which can be discovered or discerned empirically, or with the senses.


    An action guiding principle or policy, e.g., the carpenter's maxim, "Measure twice, cut once." For Kant, all human actions are undertaken under the color of maxims, and the moral character of the act - whether it's right or wrong - depends on the universalizability or nonuniversalizability of the maxim under color of which it is undertaken. See categorical imperative.


    a type of average; the result of a sum of a group of numbers being divided by the number of members in the group.


    Something is meaningless if it is nonsense, like "XH$%^IE". Don't say that a claim is meaningless if all you mean is that it is false.


    An object (such as money) or activity (such as medical treatment) sought or pursued, not for its own sake, but for the sake of something else (as money is sought for the things it can buy, and medical treatment undergone for the sake of health). Contrast: end.


    The holy place of ISLAM into which non-Muslims are forbidden to enter. Located in Western Saudi Arabia, Mecca is the birthplace of MUHAMMAD and the focal point of Muslim prayers, toward which every Muslim faces and prays five times each day. At the city's center is the Great Mosque, the HARAM, which encloses the KAABA, the most sacred Islamic sanctuary and the goal of Muslim pilgrimage, called the HAJJ.


    the view that reality is matter in motion. Typically, matter is seen as bits, called atoms, and there is space (void) to facilitate the motion of the atoms. Philosophical theory that denies "action at a distance" and holds, that natural systems, including living organisms, are complex machines. Descartes famously held this to be true of all nonhuman animals but not of human minds and their freely willed actions.


    a type of average; in a group of numbers, there are as many numbers in the group that are larger as are smaller than the median.


    A meme is a term referring to a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another. The original concept proposed by Richard Dawkins.


    Typically, a seven-stick candelabra used by Jews. However, during the celebration of Hanukkah, the less-typical nine-candle menorah is used.


    The view that psychology must concern itself with abstract mental processes that are only distantly related to observed behavior. See behaviorism.

    [Melic: of or relating to song : lyric; especially : of or relating to Greek lyric poetry of the seventh and sixth centuries b.c. ...]see dithyramb.


    Mereological fallacy:


    A Hebrew term meaning "the anointed one." Often an appellation given to the anointed king who was viewed as a savior of the people. Jews await the coming of the new messiah as deliverer. For Christians, the one and final Messiah is Jesus Christ.


    The second order activity of examining the methods and concepts of ...e.g. rather than the first order question of how to behave in ethics.

    Meta means examining the methods and concepts of X (the subject). E.g. how to behave in ethics is the first order subject, but instead, the focusing on the methods or concepts being used to study behavior is the second order examination and that is the meta-analysis. Another example would be in Metaphysics: the subject itself is what is the foundation or the nature of what is, and the methods of analysis and concepts applied to this would be the meta of meta-physics.]


    is the belief in two separate, distinct substances. Descartes believed that humans had a two-fold composition, those of soul-substance (or mind) and body substance.


    Literally, "beyond physics" - in sum, metaphysics is the religio-philosophico pursuit of ultimate reality, i.e. that which underlies the unseen or noumenal realm. see noumena. Used to describe Aristotle's work by the Greek philosopher Andronicus of Rhodes (~ 70 BC) as the Greek ta meta ta physika, meaning "the things after the physics." It is generally considered to be synonymous with ontology and is concerned with the study of the nature and structure of "being," or reality. The branch of philosophy which deals with the ultimate nature or conditions of things in a sense which goes beyond the empirical study of things undertaken in natural science ('meta-physics': beyond physics). Metaphysics, therefore, contrasts with epistemology – which deals with how we know things, not with how things are – but it is harder to distinguish metaphysics from ontology.

    Metaphysics – the study of a transcendent reality that lies beyond the physical world and senses (Miller, 1993).



    Simply, this word is the Greek philosophical term for reincarnation or the transmigration of souls. If one is speaking of reincarnation in the context of Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.), then it would be more appropriate and erudite to use the phrase "the transmigration of souls. " If one is speaking of reincarnation within the context of Greek philosophy, then it would be more appropriate to use the term " metempsychosis."


    Method of doubting everything conceivably doubtful, proposed by Descartes, with the aim of discovering what - if anything - can be known indubitably, with absolute certainty. Descartes concludes that the "Archimedean point" of certainty he seeks can be found in his unshakable assurance of his own existence as a thinker. See also: cogito argument.


    The Milesian school of philosophy refers to that group of pre-Socratic philosophers who lived on the coast of what is now western Turkey (the Ionian coast). The term Milesian comes from the name of the city Miletus, about thirty miles south of the city of Ephesus. ( Miletus is where the Apostle Paul met the Ephesian elders on his journey back to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey (Acts 20:17)). Thus, it was from this region, where eventually the seven cities of Revelation would be born, that the great pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus would launch one of the greatest intellectual movements in history.


    That which knows, perceives, understands, thinks, imagines, conceives, reasons, and wills. To a materialist, mind is either synonymous with brain, or is produced by brain. To a critical realist, mind is an immaterial entity or substance with personal consciousness.


    A central problem of modern philosophy that originates with Descartes. It concerns how the mind and the body are related; especially, how they are able to causally interact as they would seem to do in perception and voluntary action. See also: dualism, idealism, materialism.


    as in modal logic. A modal is an expression (like ‘necessarily’ or ‘possibly’) that is used to qualify the truth of a judgment. Modal logic is, strictly speaking, the study of the deductive behavior of the expressions ‘it is necessary that’ and ‘it is possible that’.


    (Philosophy) The particular appearance, form, or manner in which an underlying substance, or a permanent aspect or attribute of it, is manifested. Noun: 1. a way or manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done. In Mathematics: A type of average; in a group of numbers, the mode is the number that occurs most frequently.


    a term currently much in vogue, used to refer not simply to the modern period in world or European history, i.e. roughly 1500 to the present, but to certain specific social, historical, cultural and intellectual developments which took place within that period, in particular industrialisation, urbanisation, technological development, the growth of capitalism and bourgeois society, the movement towards liberal democracy, individualism, and the advent of a new kind of awareness of history as an open-ended process of transformation. Pre-modern thus refers to characteristics of societies that have not undergone these transformations: traditional societies, as they are standardly referred to. MODERNISATION thus refers to the transition from traditional or pre-modern society to modern society. The term MODERNISM is used sometimes to refer to ideologies and philosophies that underpin, reflect, advocate or seek to justify the beliefs and social processes that constitute modernity, but it also has a narrower usage, to refer to developments in the arts and literature in the late C19 and early C20.

    [Modus a way of doing something. Mode, or Modal. Modus Ponens if p then q. p therefore q. a way of affirming by affirming. Modus Tollens if p then q; not q therefore not p a way that denies by; denying. both are in prop logic.]


    means unity or unit, and Leibniz argued in Monadology that only units can be substances. According to Leibniz, monads are the ultimate indivisible units or "true atoms" of all existence . Monads are not material: each monad is a self-activating, unique, center of "purpose" and "perception." Monads cannot interact, but are in a "preestablished harmony" with each other, by the grace of God.


    (1) The theory that all reality is one, or of one substance; that there is no qualitative difference between the stuff of the universe, the stuff of humans, or the stuff of reality. (2) One principle or nature is all that it takes to explain everything in reality. Primary monisms are idealism and materialism. (3) In epistemology, the theory that the idea and the object known are one in the cognitive act. The philosophical or religious view that ultimate reality is One. "All is One, and One is All." Monism resembles pantheism in the sense that, in pantheistic systems, "the All" (i.e. ultimate reality) is identified with God. A metaphysics, such as Spinoza's or Hegel's, which maintains that reality is composed of one fundamental kind of entity. Opposed to dualism.


    The theory that everything in the universe is composed of, or can be explained by or reduced to, one fundamental ( a type of) substance, energy, or force. In the modern era, materialists take this one thing to be matter; idealists take the one fundamental (type of) thing to be mind. Compare mechanism. Contrast: pluralism, dualism.


    one who believes that there is one kind of basic stuff or substance to the universe, from which everything is composed.


    the view that there is only one God


    evil that results from personal depravity. (murder, torture, evils caused by man upon another man)

    [Morality concern with the distinction between good and evil or right and wrong; right or good conduct. For an expanded definition> see The Definition of Philos/Definitions]


    Church built around a book of Mormon, which is named after an ancient compiler and assembler who revealed himself to Joseph Smith in a revelation. The official title of the Mormon Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of LATTER DAY SAINTS. There are other breakaway churches that call themselves Mormon. Sociologically, Mormonism is considered a branch of Christianity, but recent theological studies by Christians have distanced historic Christianity from many doctrines adhered to by Mormons.


    A building in which Muslims gather for prayer and worship. Technically, a mosque is not a "church" but architecturally and socially mosques perform a similar function as gathering places and symbols of the community of faith. Interestingly, the word mosque is rooted in the Arabic word for prostrating oneself, which is the primary form of worship and prayer for Muslims (men, at least). The tower of a mosque, known as a MINARET, is from where worshippers are called to prayer.

    [MUTATUS MUTANDIS- This Latin phrase simply means that the necessary changes in details, such as names and places, will be made but everything else will remain the same.]


    The belief that direct knowledge of God may be achieved by the human apart from both empirical experience and logical revelation; such knowledge generally is incommunicable.


    Multiple meanings attach to the term, depending on the religious background. Generally, mysticism refers to some form of direct, subjective communication with or connectedness to the divine. Those who claim such experience are referred to as mystics; almost all biographies of great religious leaders are tinged with mysticism. An extremely valuable Web site devoted to mysticism in six major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) is compiled by a Christian laywoman and former computer programmer, Deb Platt. Platt's site also contains a glossary of mysticism containing many terms not handled in this glossary.


    evil that results from natural causes (disease, deformity, natural disasters, etc.)


    The rationally knowable morality which is founded in God's will for His creatures. Moral law is not innate but deduced from experience according to Aquinas and Locke.

    [Natural Law is of two types, not just the above. The other is the natural world and humans that are in it. See Natural Law and Jus Naturale etc. In Ethics]


    Natural theology is an inference drawn from nature that there must be a God. In many cases, it is an attempt to prove the existence of God from this inference. We find this in the proofs of Thomas Aquinas (1224-74) and William Paley (1743-1805) (e.g. "Paley's Watchmaker" argument). A perfect example of natural theology can be found in Rom 1. see teleological argument. Knowledge of God that can be obtained by natural means by the exercise of reason and sense perception. Contrast: revealed theology.


    Contrasted with "supernaturalism," naturalists insist that the universe is a "closed system," i.e. there is no God who intervenes in the universe and in human affairs. Naturalists presuppose "evolution," and believe that science is the only way to come to an understanding of truth. A philosophical position that maintains that man is fully and essentially part of nature (i.e. has no 'supernatural' aspects or components) and is to be studied as such. For some naturalists, this means that human beings can be explained fully by the human sciences (psychology, sociology, political science, and history, etc). Other naturalists maintain that there is nothing about human beings which cannot be explained by the physical sciences. This stronger form of naturalism, which incorporates materialism, is also sometimes referred to as


    In a book written early in this century, Principia Ethica, G.E. Moore put forward the view that naturalism (which see) in any of its forms commits the naturalistic fallacy. Moore thought that “good” names a “non-natural” “simple” quality and is never equivalent in meaning to any combination of natural qualities. This was revealed, Moore thought, by the fact that, after listing any “natural” quality of something (pleasurable, for example), we can always raise the question “but is it good?”. The mistake (which is not universally agreed always is a mistake) of deducing conclusions about what ought to be from premises that state only what is the case; or the other way about. Moore was first to name the fallacy, but now everyone refers to a much better and characteristically ironic statement in Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature:


    (1) In logic, any statement whose denial would involve a contradiction. (2) In ontology, the quality of a being that is eternal and needs nothing else to exist or continue to exist. A sentence, proposition thought, or judgment is necessary if it is true of any possible world. Some philosophers (e.g. A.J. Ayer) maintain that the truths of logic and mathematics are necessary because they are a priori, and a priori simply because they are analytic; similarly maintaining that contingent, a posteriori, and asynthetic are equivalent. What must be the case, as opposed to the merely possible (what might be the case) and the merely actual (what is the case). On Leibniz's analysis, what's necessary is the case in all possible worlds: under this conception a statement or thought that describes such a necessary state of affairs is said to be "true in all possible worlds."


    this is a necessary condition for that if and only if that cannot be without this. (i.e. Oxygen is a necessary for fire).

    Necessary and sufficient conditions:

    These terms apply to both causal and logical explanations. Let p and q represent events, ideas, or propositions.

    1) Given any p and q, p is a sufficient condition of q if, given p, then q.

    2) Given any p and q, p is a necessary condition of q if, given -p, then -q

    In causal terms, the presence of oxygen is necessary but not a sufficient condition for fire. Oxygen plus combustibles plus strike of match would illustrate a sufficient condition for fire.

    In logical terms, since a syllogism requires both major and minor premises in order to gain the conclusion, the major and minor premises together constitute a sufficient condition for the conclusion. Each premise taken separately is a necessary condition for the conclusion. dict. of philos and religion; Reese.


    a proposition is said to be necessarily true if and only if the denial of that proposition would involve a self-contradiction.


    Natural selection + "mutations" = evolutive change. It is important here to point out that the problem of discovering the mechanism for evolutive change has been ongoing in the various fields related to biological science. The ideas that Charles Darwin first put forth in his Origin of Species in 1859 have changed markedly since their inception; nevertheless, evolutionary scientists have worked without pause in trying to discover the mechanism for evolutive change.


    A Protestant Christian theological movement of the 20th Century, specifically that associated with the systematic writings of Swiss theologian Karl Barth and several of his contemporaries. Barth's work is most fully presented in his multi-volumed Church Dogmatics. Moreso than Barth, many of his followers and contemporaries have been influenced, as was Barth, by the philosophy of existentialism and its theological implications. Thus, theologians such as Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann, and others, while not Barthians, are often, and perhaps technically in error, lumped together as neo-orthodox theologians.


    A modern movement that seeks to recover ancient traditions involving the natural world, especially those ancient tribal practices that honor and revere Mother Earth from whom all life is believed to emerge. Many Neo-Pagan revived religions elevate goddess worship to a place of prominence. The natural cycles of the Sun and the Moon become particularly important in Neo-Paganism.


    A philosophical school of thought founded by Plotinus (AD 205-270) in Alexandria, Egypt. Drawing significantly from Platonism and other schools of Greek philosophy, Neoplatonism emphasized that all "being" emanates (or "flows out") from The One, or The Good (i.e. God). Similar to Gnosticism in many respects, Neoplatonism would pose a challenge to Christianity during the early centuries of the faith. Perhaps the most influential Neoplatonist would be Porphyry (AD 232-305), who would also become a serious critic of Christianity. Interestingly, the influential church father Origen (185-254) embraced some platonic ideas similar to Neoplatonism , although these ideas would be condemned by the fifth ecumenical council (Constantinople III) in 553. see emanation.


    A term for those 20th-century philosophers who wish to revive aspects of rationalism. Specifically, maintaining mentalism, as opposed to behaviorism, in psychology, possibly insisting on innateness in learning theory and on intensional structures in a scientific description of the world.


    A modern spirituality awareness that links elements of religion with psychology and parapsychology. Generally, an eclectic and syncretistic movement that takes more of its impetus from human potential philosophies than from the world's religions. Often, but not exclusively, associated with young, spiritually rebellious, "Aquarian flower children."


    An ancient Christian statement of beliefs framed during the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and used in Christian churches to this day as a summary of Trinitarian Christian faith. The Nicene Creed has clarified several doctrines, most notable the nature of Christ as being "one substance" with God the Father -- as a defense against the Arian heresy -- and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit "who procedes from the Father and the Son", which led to a cleavage between the Western (Roman) Church and the Eastern (Orthodox) Church.


    Closely related to Soka Gakkai International, this is a form of Buddhism derived from the teaching of a 13th Century Japanese priest, Nichiren Daishonin, whose philosophy elaborates the teachings of the Buddha known as Siddhartha Gautama. Nichiren's teaching is called Lotus Sutra, which sees in all living beings the potential to attain enlightenment. Through Soka Gakkai, this form of Buddhism has become popular in the Western world.


    As a doctrine of negation, nihilism maintains that religious and moral truths are entirely irrational. It then follows, in the words of Ivan, from Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God does not exist, then everything is permitted." Nihilism is a pessimistic view of reality which results from "God is dead" thinking. In the words of Nietzsche, since there is no God, "there is no one to command, no one to obey, no one to transgress." Often, nihilists deny that life is meaningful or purposeful in any way, resulting in a sort of anarchistic worldview. As the French atheistic nihilist once said, "It matters not whether a man is a drunkard or a ruler of empires; in the end, both men will suffer the same fate" (Sartre). In the works of Franz Kafka and Albert Camus, nihilism is reduced to this sort of absurdism as well, as they explore the themes of meaningless, despair, hopelessness, and the trivial nature of life itself. A polemical term first used in the late 18c to refer to the perceived tendency of certain thinkers to deny, wittingly or unwittingly, the reality of any kind of (moral, religious, human etc.) value. : The extreme stand that human beings can never really attain certain or reliable knowledge about anything. Gorgias, another sophist (c. 525 BCE) held that nothing exists because there is no such thing as true knowledge. ( nihil means nothing in Latin)

    nirvana: The Buddhist notion of the highest state of happiness and satisfaction that results when all desire is transcended and the self is obliterated. Nirvana Day: February 13 celebration of Buddha's death by Mahayanan Buddhists. Not considered a sad day but a commemoration of Buddha's attainment of a higher state.


    From the Greek term noew (noeo = "to understand" ). Essentially, a noetic structure can be defined as "the sum total of everything that a person believes" (Nash, Faith, and Reason). Indeed, within a person's noetic structure there might be a number of erroneous beliefs; however, this matters not - the errors are also part of the person's noetic structure.


    (from Latin nomen, nominalis = name) Nominalism is the view that universals do not exist in some ideal realm - they are just names (onoma). Thus, the nominalist's position is antithetical to Plato's theory of ideas. So, the existence of a thing is to be found in the particular, and not in the universal. Thus, instead of saying, "Man" (a universal), the nominalist would say "a man" (a particular). William of Ockham (1288-1348) was a leading nominalist

    The theory that universals are not real but only class names (from Latin nomen, nominalis = name) the theory that things do not have essences, or that universals do not have an existence. Definitions and languages, in general, do not refer to things but deal with the names (terms) we attach to things. Therefore forms would have no external existence but are merely names by which we group things with similar features. [Ockham: "Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity" or Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. Also known as the principle of ontological economy. These actual words are not found in the extent works of William of Ockham (c. 1288 - 1348), an English Franciscan and anti-realist.]

    The view (held by Berkeley, among others) that general terms, such as "table," do not express or refer to general concepts, abstract ideas, or any sort of really existing universals; there are just individual words and the individual things they refer to.


    In the middle ages, someone who maintained that there were no universals above and beyond particular individual things and words (marks on paper) in particular languages. See realist. Today, we tend to call someone a nominalist whose general account of the universe tries to get along without sanctioning things that are not realized completely in our experience. Goodman is often said to be a nominalist, and Quine may be said to have such tendencies (though Quine sanctions sets).


    An operator (i.e. something which if added to one or more propositions makes a molecular proposition) is non-truth-functional if and only if the truth value of a proposition in which it appears is not wholly determined by the truth value of the subsidiary propositions on which it operates. E.g. the truth value of “It is necessary that there are nine planets” and “It is believed that there are nine planets” is not determined by the truth value of “There are nine planets.” Hence the operators “It is believed that” are non-truth-functional operators. See truth-functional.


    Pertaining to or using a standard, a norm. In philosophy affirm how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, which actions are right or wrong. Normological. the adverb? not in the dictionary.]

    [Nomological-Relating to basic physical laws or rules of reasoning.]


    From the Greek, "thing in itself," in contrast with the idea of phenomena (or phenomenal realm) , as exposited in the thought of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Noumena, or the noumenal realm have to do with those aspects of reality which cannot be experienced through the senses (e.g. the spiritual world). Kant made a sharp distinction between the noumenal realm and the phenomenal realm , essentially stating that although the spiritual world most likely exists, we cannot experience it (or know it) as we do the phenomenal realm. We can see and touch the phenomenal realm (i.e. the world of matter), but we can't see and touch the noumenal realm. That which transcends appearance


    According to Kant, that which exists objectively, as opposed to that which our perception leads us to think exists (the phenomenon, or the "thing-as-it-is-to-me" rather than the "thing-as-it-is."); an object of thought. For Kant noumena or "things-in-themselves" are realities transcending all possible thought and experience. Since the Categories of thought do not apply to things-in-themselves but only "things-for us" or phenomena, knowledge is possible only of these phenomena.


    Greek for mind (nouV). For the pre-Socratics, the term meant knowledge and reason. For Plato, the term meant " the rational part of the soul." For Aristotle it meant intellect. Variously, mind, reason, spirit, intellect. Sometimes informally as creative inspiration. [if you read Plotinus "nous" p 289 Russell, I then defined it as could be thought of as the mental sensation that the abstract world is somehow also real. This is what mysticism is, really.]


    Pertaining to things independent of or external to thought and experience. Also, that which relates to objects in reality that are supposedly the same for all experiences. Contrast: subjective.


    the view that things are infused with meaning that exist independently of consciousness and experience (Crotty, 1998:5)


    Objective idealism is the view that all reality is composed of ideas, and these ideas exist independently of any mind. An example of this type of metaphysical theory of objective idealism is that of Plato's theories of Being and Becoming and the Ideal Forms. Plato held that the material, phenomenal world (the world of appearances) is in a state of flux attempting to emulate (unsuccessfully) the Ideal Forms (the noumenal world of reality). The Forms exist independently of the consciousness. The noumenal world is the true permanent world of reality. The Forms, which are ideas, are not in any mind, not human nor God's, but exist independently of any subjective viewpoint. [IF you say ideas in the sense of- forms. IF you say forms in the sense of- patterns. IF you say patterns in the sense of-expression of energy, or at least as what we sense as an "expression" of reality, call it the quantum fields, THEN I understand what you mean by Objective realism.]


    Objective truths are true regardless of what anyone thinks. Example: The earth revolves around the sun. This was true, a believer in objective truth would say, long before anyone thought so (the earth being long uninhabited) and even despite everyone thinking otherwise for a long time (prior to Copernicus, for millennia, virtually everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth). [That is how we define it. It doesn't mean or prove that it is a "truth"]


    Artistic expression which appeals solely to prurient interests and is without redeeming artistic merit or social importance. (As defined under U. S. law.)


    Determination of particular fact based on the evidence of the senses, i.e., by way of perception.


    A principle attributed to the fourteenth century English philosopher William of Occam that states that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. Similarly, one should choose the simplest of otherwise equally warranted (e.g., empirically supported) theories; the one requiring the fewest assumptions and principles. A philosophical principle traditionally attributed to William of Ockham (1285-1349) applied in areas of philosophy and science. Literally, the principle states that "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity." Simply put, " All things being equal, the simplest explanation is the best one. "


    Rule by the rich. Compare: aristocracy. Contrast: democracy.


    A very complex rationalistic argument for the existence of God formulated by the medieval theologian and Archbishop of Canterbury, Anselm (1033-1109). For Anselm, God is simply "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Thus, the notion of God existing as such is greater than the notion of His non-existence. Therefore, he must necessarily exist. Simply stated in its traditional sense, the argument is set forth as follows (Geisler/Feinberg, Intro to Philosophy):
    Premise 1: God is by definition the most perfect Being conceivable.
    Premise 2: The most perfect Being conceivable cannot lack anything.
    Premise 3: But if God did not exist, He would lack existence.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God must exist.
    Although there have been other formulations of the argument, this form of the argument was rejected by Thomas Aquinas, Hume, and Kant. Although on the face of it, the argument seems to be quite circular, it is interesting to see that leading philosophers continue to ponder this idea that God must necessarily exist.


    The classic argument for the existence of God by demonstrating that the denial of the proposition "God exists," is self-contradictory; The argument that the essence of God demands his existence; The argument for the existence of God based on the apprehension and understanding of what exists.


    Any argument that aims to prove that God exists a priori; arguing that necessarily, "God exists" is true given what we mean by "God", or that the Divine idea, or concept, or nature, or essence includes - and hence guarantees - God's existence. Descartes version of the argument goes roughly so: God is by definition, a perfect being; it's better to exist than not to exist; therefore, necessarily, God exists.


    Ontology is that branch of philosophy that is concerned with the study of Being (existence) itself. see Being. The branch of philosophy which deals with the existence of things, with what it is to exist and with what fundamental kinds of things exist.


    the study of being as being. Ont is existence or being. [that which is] -logy is study, or word, in Greek. The connector is o.


    A controversial theological interpretive position among conservative evangelical Christians concerning whether or not God changes his mind after making prophetic utterances about the future. Did God, for example, change his mind after telling the prophet Jonah that Nineveh would be destroyed? Open Theists believe God can "change his mind" and still be considered all-knowing. Evangelical critics argue that such a position compromises God's inerrancy and thus the inerrancy of the Scriptures.


    A formal process of designating and consecrating individuals to the ministry or priesthood, especially that of Christianity. Ordination generally comes from a church body and is given to church members who have been confirmed as having received God's call from both within and without the church community. More formal ecclesiastical organizations also require extensive theological and pastoral education prior to ordination. Many Christian churches ordain deacons as well as priests or ministers. In most Christian churches, a service of ordination is a formal part of the liturgy when the ordination of an individual is publicly affirmed and proclaimed.


    A broadly used term that denotes clear doctrine or belief according to a particular religion or philosophy and implies conformity or correctness in regard to doctrinal or dogmatic statements as opposed to heresy or heterodox beliefs. The term is rooted in the Greek words for straight (ortho-) opinion (doxein). When capitalized, the term refers to any of several branches of the Eastern churches of Christianity, e.g., Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc.


    The problem of how we know that there are minds other than our own on the assumption that mental life consists, essentially, of private conscious experiences directly accessible only to oneself.


    the this; what a thing is; whatness, what it was to be; substance BUT best-called essence (fem. past part. of ti en einai [to be, in classical Greek], in the imperative).


    Derived from the Latin term for an outside person, literally, a country or rural person rather than a person of the city. In Christian Rome, pagans were often thought of as irreligious followers of many gods or as given over to sensual pleasures. Used in a religious context to apply to persons outside a particular faith, especially Christianity, much as a synonym for HEATHEN. The modern religion known as NEO-PAGANISM has adopted the label as a badge of faith in a varied form of god and worship.


    A worldview which essentially asserts that "all is in God" ; thus, just as a soul is related to the body, so too, God is related to the world - the soul fills the body as God fills the world. Perhaps the Stoic saying puts it best: "All are but parts of one stupendous whole; whose body Nature is, and God the soul." (Chrysippus). The world view that everything exists in God, but God is somehow greater than the totality of reality; that God relates to the world as a hand relates to a glove, or as a soul relates to a body. Contemporary panentheism is promoted by process theology.


    (1) The view that all of reality consists purely of mind (immaterial, spirit) with various levels of consciousness. (2) Sometimes, that reality is composed of living atoms.


    The belief that God and the universe are identical; [all is God] among modern philosophers, Spinoza is considered to be a pantheist. Among the ancients, the Stoics were the most notable exponents of pantheism. According to Stoicism, the material universe is the Body of God, and the God's spirit or soul is the Mind (or logos) guiding and governing this universal body. In effect, universal Body and indwelling Mind together comprise the divine Person.


    Literally, a worshiper of all gods or of the god in all things. Pantheism refers to the belief that all is God and God is in all, making God and the universe co-existent. By extension, one who believes this is a pantheist.


    From the Greek word paradhma (paradigma), the term paradigm was introduced into science and philosophy by Thomas Kuhn in his landmark book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). Essentially, a paradigm is simply the predominant (worldview) in the realm of human thought. For instance, today we would say that we live within an evolutionary paradigm since evolution is the predominant worldview regarding origins. As a paradigm, evolution replaced creation as the explanation for the origin of the universe. A paradigm shift occurs when cultures transform their way of thinking from one thought system to another. For instance, prior to Copernicus and Galileo (ca. 1600), most people believed that astral bodies revolved around the earth ( geocentrism); but after the Copernican Revolution (ca. 1600), it became obvious that the earth revolved around the sun ( heliocentrism) - thus, a major paradigm shift occurred from geocentrism to heliocentrism.
    We find another example in the oceanic voyages of Columbus and Magellan. Prior to the voyages of these two famous navigators, most people believed that the earth was flat; but after the voyages of Columbus and Magellan, it became obvious that the earth was spherical. Thus, the pre-1492 paradigm (that the earth was flat) shifted to a post-1492 paradigm (which posited a spherical earth). Simply put, then, a paradigm shift is a pivotal change in humanity's way of thinking regarding a particular worldview. (Pattern. Example)


    individual things are particulars.


    Individual existents (e.g., Ben Franklin): as opposed to kinds (e.g., inventor) or attributes (e.g., inventiveness), which are universals.


    Blaise Pascal (1623-62) was a famous French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher who truly sought to understand the meaning of his existence in this vast universe. Like any man of intellect, Pascal struggled with the concept of God's existence, saying, "I see too much to deny God, yet too little to be sure. " Essentially, what he meant was that he saw the evidence of God's existence in the glory of creation, yet at the same time, he perceived certain difficulties as well, such as the problem of evil. After years of contemplation, however, Pascal decided to become a Christian and follow the path of the Savior. His philosophical work, Pensees (Lit. "thoughts"), is one of the classic spiritual writings of all time. Anyway, for those suspended in agnosticism, Pascal devised the following formula, called Pascal's Wager, because ultimately it demands that one gamble (wager) his existence on one of the following propositions:
    1. If God does not exist, and I believe that He exists >>> I lose nothing. CHRISTIAN
    2. If God does not exist, and I don't believe that He exists >>> I lose nothing. ATHEIST
    3. If God exists, and I believe that He exists >>> I gain everything. CHRISTIAN
    4. If God exists, and I don't believe that He exists >>> I lose everything. ATHEIST
    Essentially, Pascal is asking the reader, "Within the context of eternity, which is the safest of the following propositions?" The only winning position is #3.

    [Pathos Gr for suffering or experience is often associated with the emotional appeal. It means emotional. Appealing to the emotions. Emotional appeals. see Aristotle's appeals elsewhere]


    A form of Christianity often associated with enthusiastic and highly emotional religious practices said to represent the movement of the Holy Spirit upon a person, especially those practices marked by speaking in tongues. Christian denominations marked by these practices are sometimes organized or labeled as Pentecostal denominations, taking their name from the Biblical day of Pentecost when the Spirit descended upon the followers of Christ.


    To detect or become aware of via the outward senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, and also (according to the usage of some) via "reflection" (Locke) or introspection.


    The process of understanding or viewing the world through the senses. Sometimes used informally of any process of investigation that gives one enough evidence to organize and/or make conclusions about the object (material or immaterial) that is the object of investigation; i.e., "I perceive [by evaluating your logical arguments] that you are a foolish man"]. Awareness of the objects of our experience.


    Sentences (or utterances) that serve more to do (than describe) something. Typically, these sentences are in the first person present noncontinuous, with a main verb that indicates a speech action. e.g. “I promise to come to your party” as opposed to the non-performative (or descriptive) “he promises...,” or “I kick him.” Performatives are important because they make us realize that many declarative sentences are not so much true or false as they are actions which are well or badly done (orders, appointments, christenings, exorcisms, rulings, sentences, etc.)


    In the Greek, the word "peripatetic" means "walking with." This was the method of teaching that Aristotle used - i.e., "walking with" his students in the gardens as he taught them and they questioned him. Hence, the term "peripatetic" is used to describe the followers of Aristotle.


    A self-conscious and self-determining being (whether material or immaterial). A person's existence may not be self-determined, but as an existent person, that person is self-determining.


    In the thought of Kant, the phenomenal realm is the world of matter - i.e. the world which we can experience through our senses. It is thus distinguished with the noumenal realm. see noumena, noumenal realm.


    . Phenomena is that which appears. The phenomenalist says that substance and causality are no more than bundles of perception. Therefore there is no rational knowledge beyond what is disclosed by the phenomena of perceptions. Mind is no more than a bundle of perceptions.


    (Husserl) Begins with a precise inspection of one’s own consciousness, and particularly intellectual, processes. In this introspection, all assumptions about the wider and external causes and consequences of these internal processes have to be excluded or bracketed. Husserl insisted that this was an a priori investigation of the essences or meanings common to the thoughts of different minds. A philosophic movement that originated around the turn of the century on the Continent (see Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations for example). This movement - like Russell, G. E. Moore, and the analytic movement generally - insisted on divorcing philosophy from (empirical) psychology, thus avoiding something labeled psychologism. The phenomenologists insisted that philosophers could directly study the pure phenomenon of thought (intensional objects) by a bracketing technique which avoided any commitments about empirical psychology.


    An object of sense experience; that which one experiences, even if one's experience is inaccurate (see noumenon). For Kant, phenomena are "things for us" - things-as-thought-and-experienced. Phenomena contrast with noumena - the "things in themselves" - which transcend our thought and conception.


    The view that immediate experience (sensations, thoughts, etc.) is all there might be to reality. B. Russell for example often took the phenominalist view that talk about the “external” world of objects is more properly understood as talk about a series of experiences or potentialities of experience. [Phenomenalism?]


    In Plato's Republic, he speculated that the ideal form of government would be ruled by a fusion of wisdom ( philosophers) and power ( military strength) - thus, the idea of philosopher kings. He wrote, "Unless philosophers rule as kings . . . or those who are now called kings and princes become genuine and adequate philosophers . . . there will be no respite from evil for humanity."


    ( philo = love; sophia = widsom) Literally "love of wisdom": the discipline that contemplates and seeks to critically illumine the ultimate grounds of being, knowledge, and value.

    [Philology : the study of language in written historical sources, a combo of literary studies, history and linguistics. Classical philology is the study of greek and classical latin originating in Renaissance Humanism but then the study of other languages European and non European.]


    see materialism


    Agreement with the views of Plato, especially with his assertion of the real existence of the "ideas" or "Forms". See realism (Platonic).


    (What Bentham called the principle of utility) an action is right if and only if the action produces a greater balance of pleasure over pain, or at least as much pleasure as pain than any other action the agent could have performed. Pleasure is the principle of right action.


    The idea that reality is not reducible to one or two ultimate substances or principles; contrary to dualism and monism. The theory that reality is composed or can be explained in terms of two or more fundamental (types of) substance, energy, or force. In the modern era, Cartesian dualism represents the most notable pluralist hypothesis. Among the ancients, the pluralism of Pythagoras and Democritus is usually contrasted to the monism of the Milesians (Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander) and Eleatics (Parmenides, Miletus, Zeno).


    one who believes that there is more than one basic stuff, or many substances in the universe, from which everything is composed.


    the view that there are many gods


    Generally, the view that philosophy and science are one, exhaust genuine knowledge, and provide the only available key to rational social action. Varieties of positivism flourished on the Continent during the nineteenth century, some stressing political activity. The Vienna Circle (1920’s) consisted of physicists, philosophers, and logicians, and propounded a logical positivism, or logical empiricism (which see). Carnap, among others, came from this group.

    [Positivism Written by Herbert Feigl EB…..positivism, in philosophy, generally, any system that confines itself to the data of experience and excludes a priori or metaphysical speculations. More narrowly, the term designates the thought of the French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798–1857)…..As a philosophical ideology and movement, positivism first assumed its distinctive features in the work of Comte, who also named and systematized the science of sociology. It then developed through several stages known by various names, such as empiriocriticism, logical positivism, and logical empiricism, and finally, in the mid-20th century, flowed into the already existing tradition known as analytic philosophy (also called linguistic philosophy)……. it claims to be concerned only with positive facts.]


    What might be the case, as opposed to what's necessary (what must be the case) and what's actual (what really is the case).


    A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one's own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal. Postmodernism is "post" because it denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody - a characteristic of the so-called "modern" mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philosopher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism "cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself."



    means the source of movement or change, which is in another thing than the thing moved. (also potentiality- in contrast to actuality- the domain of actual facts, or the achievement of a things' full potential.)


    used to refer to the aspect of philosophy which deals with the question of how we should act. Moral and political philosophy are the principal forms of practical philosophy. Contrasts with theoretical.


     true statements have "cash value" or work.


    The characterization, for a natural or artificial, language or relationships between sentences, the world, and the situation of speaker and hearer. Pragmatics is particularly concerned with indexical words such as “I,” “Here,” “That,” “She,” “Now,” which are sensitive to the context of utterance or statement.


    A distinctly American philosophical movement founded by Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) and expounded upon by William James (1842-1910) and John Dewey (1859-1952). Essentially, pragmatism asserts that truth is to be determined by its practical implications. In other words, if a certain proposition, etc. has practical meaning or produces practical results, then the proposition is determined to be true. The weakness of pragmatism was quickly uncovered and attacked by the British atheist Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) who asserted that pragmatism was tantamount to "blind obscurantism." The idea that philosophical truth (usually ethics, sometimes aesthetics) is determined by the practical outcome or result of ideas.


    A logic that includes the simpler propositional logic plus individual variables (x, y, z, etc.), individual constants ( a, b, c, etc. - these are the same as proper names), predicate variables (P, Q, R, S, etc) these range over monadic, or “one-place”, predicates like “is red”, “jumps,” etc., dyadic, or “two-place”, predicates like “is the sister of,” “is the square root of,” and so on with three, four, etc. place predicates, and the universal and existential quantifiers. For example, (x) [Px] means “For every x, Px” or “For every x, P is true of X” (note that “(x)” means “for every x....”-this is the universal quantifier. similarly, (x) [Px Qx] means “For every x, if Px, then Qx” or “All Ps are Qs.” The existential quantifier - Ex - means “For some x”, as for example Ex [Px] means “For some x, Px” or “There exists an x such that P is true of it.” Predicate logic is often developed with the additional of a relational constant, identity (=). Predicate logic is a first-order logic in that there is quantification over individuals but not over predicates.


    the attribution of a property to a subject.


    This solution, to the mind-body problem, was proposed by the German philosopher, Leibniz and is also called parallelism (or parallel functioning). Leibniz wrote Monadology and Discourse on Metaphysics (to name only 2). Mind and body do not interact. God has established a harmony between mind and body. Mental states and bodily states correspond at every moment due to this preestablished harmony.


    a statement that provides reasons, grounds, or supports the conclusion to follow. The statement asserted in support of the conclusion of an argument.


    The view, in ethics that all ethical arguments tacitly involve an appeal to some prescriptive premise. Hence, so it is claimed, any moral judgment includes some element of “telling someone how they should act”. E.g., to say that something is good is not to describe it but to commend it (to someone). [see expressivism, projectivism, quasi-realism.]


    Simply, those Greek philosophers who preceded Socrates. Although none of their works have survived through scribal transmission, some of their writings can be reconstructed, and their philosophical positions can be inferred from later philosophers (e.g. Plato, the Stoics) who quoted them and wrote extensively about their musings. The greatest achievement of the pre-Socratic philosophers is that they challenged the existing Greek polytheistic system, and their ideas eventually led to the collapse of the Olympian pantheon. see Milesian school.


    Initial assumptions upon which all thought is based. Presuppositions are often difficult to observe or prove because they stand prior to proof and become the standard by which other ideas or arguments are tested. A presupposition may be fundamental to all inquiry ("I exist") or simply agreed upon by the parties to a discussion without prior proof ("For the purposes of this debate, let us assume . . . . "). Simply, "an assumption."


    (LT: at first sight) Prima facie evidence is such that, if not latter contradicted or in some way explained, is sufficient to sustain one's claim.


    are about the primary qualities of an object, and are about qualities of matter such as form, extension, motion, number, and so on. Therefore, primary qualities are objective in nature.


    Qualities such as shape, extension, duration, etc. which are perceived by several senses and which are thought to be more or less as much a part of the world as of our perception of it. As opposed to secondary qualities such as color, texture, pitch, odor, etc. which are perceived by particular senses and which are though (by people making the distinction) to correspond to anything outside sensation, being an essentially subjective reaction.


    Dating back to Aristotle, this basic logical principle or "law of thought" holds that a statement cannot simultaneously be both true and false or that nothing can at once both have an attribute, like redness, and lack it.


    the behavior of things in the future will be like the behavior of things in the past (most likely).


    Descartes’ arguments (see Cartesian Doubt) eventually led many philosophers (especially Logical empiricists) to adopt phenomenalism and solipsism. Wittgenstein argued (against this) that such a view amounts to a belief in an essentially-private language (the language in which the phenominalist-solipsism philosopher states what he know, that is, the contents of his purely private experience). And Wittgenstein argues that a purely private language is really impossible (language is essentially objectual and social in nature.)


    if something has not one of the attributes which a thing might naturally have, even if this thing itself would not naturally have it; e.g. a plant is said to be 'deprived' of eyes.


    A term used specifically in inductive logic; the truth of propositions must be expressed in degrees of probability.

    [Projectivism- It is a commonplace that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but all the same we usefully talk of the beauty of things and people as if they are identifiable real properties which they possess. Projectivism denotes any view which sees us as similarly projecting upon the world what are in fact modifications of our own minds. The term is often associated with the view of sensations and particularly secondary qualities found in writers such as Hobbes (De Corpore, 1655) and Condillac (Traité des sensations, 1754). According to this view, sensations are displaced from their rightful place in the mind when we think of the world as coloured or noisy. Other examples of the idea involve things other than sensations and do not involve literal displacement. One is that all contingency is a projection of our ignorance (Spinoza); another is that the causal order of events is a projection of our own mental confidences in the way they follow from one another (Hume). But the most common application of the idea is in ethics and aesthetics, where many writers have held that talk of the value or beauty of things is a projection of the attitudes we take towards them and the pleasure we take in them.

    It is natural to associate projectivism with the idea that we make some kind of mistake in talking and thinking as if the world contained the various features we describe it as having, when in reality it does not. But the view that we make no mistake, but simply adopt efficient linguistic expression for necessary ways of thinking, is also held. See also error theory, expressivism, quasi-realism.]


    A worker or wage laborer under capitalism. Contrast: bourgeois. See: communism.

    [propaedeutic: preparatory study or instruction — propaedeutic adjective Origin of PROPAEDEUTIC Greek propaideuein to teach beforehand, from pro- before + paideuein to teach, from paid-, pais child — more at pro-, few First Known Use: 1798]


    The view that proper names simply stand for, or denote, individuals without describing them in any way by philosophers such as J. S. Mill, Russell, and S. Kripke. The contrary view is that proper names are equivalent to (or have the same meaning as ) a definite description or a cluster of definite descriptions: il.e. that “Aristotle was a student of Plato” is equivalent to “The teacher of Alexander was a student of Plato”, or in the cluster version “The individual who was most of the following - teacher of Alexander, born in Stagira, wrote the Metaphysics, etc., was a student of Plato”. Proper names, as understood in Mill or Russell’s manner are sometimes also called “logically proper names” or “rigid designators.”


    Roughly , an attribute, characteristic, feature, trait, or aspect. Camb Dict of P.- In J. P. Moreland, "an entity; redness, hardness, wisdom, triangularity, or painfulness. A property has at least four characteristics which distinguish it from a substance" . . . . A property is universal, immutable, can be had by more than one object, and does not have causal power ( Scaling the Secular City, 79).


    One who speaks for God. Popularly, the word has come to mean one able to foretell future events, but this traditionally has not been the role of the prophet; rather, the prophet has been one who speaks the divine words calling the faithful to repentance and righteousness. More specifically (and when capitalized), the term refers to those who speak for the God of Jews and Christians in the Scriptures, especially of the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament.


    That which is affirmed or denied by a statement; the separate statements that together form a deductive syllogism (argument form). A proposition is something that you could hold, or believe, or put forward as a claim. It's capable of being true or false. It's expressed in language by a complete sentence. A concept is usually expressed in language by a noun phrase, not by a sentence. So, we have "the concept of electricity," and "The proposition that Socrates was a philosopher."


    Also called sentence logic and the sentential calculus. Such a logic concerns elementary propositions - p, q, r, s, etc. - respecting which the only assumption is that they should individually be either true or false and operators that form complex propositions when joined with appropriate numbers of elementary propositions. The operators include conjunction (&) hence ’p and q’; disjunction (v), hence ’p or q’; negation (-), hence ’-p’; conditional (-> ), hence ’If p then q’; and equivalence ( =), hence ’p is equivalent to q’. This logic is concerned with determining which complex propositions are logical truths or tautologies; this effectively determines what are valid arguments because such can always be treated as complex propositions in which the premisses of the argument appear as the antecedent and the conclusion as the consequence. This logic, as opposed to first, or higher, order predicate logic is complete and decidable.


    A term to describe the process of trying to convince and initiate another into one's faith; to seek converts to one's religious beliefs. This is a back-formation from the Latin and Greek term used to describe an alien resident of a country or culture and by extension one who is taught or influenced into adopting the practices and beliefs of the surrounding culture or nation.


    See Reformation. See also COUNTER-REFORMATION: A period of the 16th century during which great changes were demanded in the Christian Church that was overseen from Rome. Led by church thinkers and leaders such as Martin Luther in Germany, John Calvin in Switzerland, and others in Europe and later in England, a movement that demanded changes in doctrine and practice that led to new churches made up of the protesters or "protestants." The changes resulted in Christian churches that became known as Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, Anglican, Anabaptist and others who challenged the hierarchy, doctrine and sacramental leadership of the church at Rome.


    A movement of church leaders who resisted or protested the leadership and doctrine of the church in Rome and developed denominations independent of the papal authority located in Italy.


    (1) the thesis that all individuals do in fact seek their own interests at all times. There is no purely unselfish act. (2) The theory that all human actions are consciously or unconsciously motivated by a desire for one's own well-being and satisfactions; it only appears that one acts for the benefit of others.


    In ethics and psychology, the view that in fact all human beings act solely in their individual self-interest (so far as they calculate correctly as to what this is). This view - particularly in the ethical tradition established by Hobbes - is often combined, or confused, with the view, which is labeled “ethical egoism” that all human being ought (whether they do or don’t) each to act in their individual self-interest.

    [Pyrrhonism-“nothing can be known for certain.” two traditions. One followed by Diogenes Laertus and Hume; a refusal to trust the senses. The other Montaigne that of avoiding unnecessary speculation. That is known as the healthy skepticism.

    Pyrrhic Victory- King Pyrrhus defeated Romans twice (Pyrrhic War) but at great cost and said one more battle would by their (his) end.]

    [Qua, or as. in the capacity or character of] ----this is used in academic circles. see viz.


    The informal but acceptable name applied to the RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS. An Englishman, George Fox, claimed a religious experience in the 1640s that led him to the "Inner Light" and began a movement that objected to the accepted Anglican emphasis on ritual liturgy. In an English court, Fox was dubbed a "quaker" because of his agitation. Quakers meet weekly but recognize no rank of clergy.

    Qualia defined:

    L. for "what sort" or what kind'. [In short, qualia is the qualitative character of experience.]

    A term used to describe the subjective quality of conscious experience. Or, the introspectively accessible, phenomenal aspects of our mental lives.

    [Quasi-realism- Term coined by the English philosopher Simon Blackburn (1944- ) to identify a position holding that an expressivist or projectivist account of ethics can explain and make legitimate sense of the realist-sounding discourse within which we promote and debate moral views. This is in opposition to writers who think that if projectivism is correct then our ordinary ways of thinking in terms of a moral truth, or of knowledge, or the independence of ethical facts from our subjective sentiments, must all be in error, reflecting a mistaken realist metaphysics. The quasi-realist seeks to earn our right to talk in these terms on the slender, projective basis. The possibility of quasi-realism complicates the methodology of realist/anti-realist debates in many areas.]


    Muslim holy month during which all believers fast between dawn and darkness. Ramadan signifies the time during which it is believed Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Muhammad in MECCA and gave him the teachings of the Koran (Quran). Because Islam follows a lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan shifts each year when reckoned by Western calendars.


    respecting logical principles of validity and consistency and answering to the evidence of experience.


    In essence, rationalism was a philosophical theory of knowledge that thrived especially as a movement in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its greatest proponents being Renes Descartes (1596-1650), Benedict Spinoza (1632-77), and Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716). As a movement, rationalism was characterized by its confidence in reason, and intuition in particular, to know reality independently from sense experience. Thus, rationalism was the polar opposite of empiricism which asserted that knowledge could only be derived through sense experience. see Empiricism. In the nineteenth and twentieth century, the term rationalism has somewhat become synonymous with reason (i.e. scientific reason), over and against all systems of faith. The theory that reason is the source of all knowledge independent of empirical (sense) perceptions. The continental European philosophical tradition beginning in the C17 and concluding in the late C18, which regards knowledge in general as derived from and dependent on the employment of reason independently of sense experience. Opposed to empiricism.


    Specifically, continental philosopher of the 17th-18th century such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz. These philosophers tended to believe that science abounds in pure, a priori, necessary, rational truths that may be discovered through introspective, rational analysis of concepts or ideas that derive more from innate principles of human though than from our actual sensory experience. See empiricist, neorationalist, neo-empiricist.


    in philosophical usage this term refers to ; it is therefore an umbrella-term, species of which are . It has come to replace the term reason, which is historically earlier and which means much the same, except for the connotation of a distinct faculty of mind, as in the notion of a psychological opposition of Reason and Passion.


    the theory that universals such as Forms, must exist only within the objects in the external world, as opposed to the realm of Ideas or Forms. [Aristotle] Also: (1) That which refers epistemologically to the fact that the object known is independent of the knowing mind. (2) Ontologically it denotes that universals exist external to our minds; (3) Any belief that reality is extra-mental. (“Realism-a view of a reality ontologically independent of conception, perception, etc. Objects have certain properties regardless of any thought to the contrary. Critical realism-a view that certain types of sense data accurately represent a mind-independent reality while other types do not. A key example is the primary/secondary quality distinction. Modal realism-the view most notably put forth by David Lewis that possible worlds are as real as the actual world. Moral realism-the conjunction of the following three claims: 1) moral judgments express beliefs, 2) these beliefs are either true or false, and 3) therefore objective moral values exist. It contrasts with expressivist or non-cognitivist theories of moral judgment, error theories of moral judgments, fictionalist theories of moral judgment, and constructivist or relativist theories of the nature of moral facts. Naïve realism, direct realism, or common sense realism-the common view of the world including the claims that it is as it is perceived, that objects have the properties attributed to them, and that they maintain these properties when not being perceived. Platonic realism-A belief in the existence of universals as articulated by Plato. Platonic realism is often called Plato's theory of Forms. Anti-realism – rejects the view that there are knowable mind-independent facts, objects, or properties (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999). Critical realism – like scientific realism, except it raises its claims within the social sciences (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999). see also critical realism under Critica ....Hyper-realism- Possible worlds are just as real as the actual one we live in. [Lewis] Platonic realism: View that affirms the existence of universals. Extreme or Platonic realism holds that universals ("forms" or "ideas") exist independently of both particular things and human minds. Moderate or Aristotelian realism holds that universals only exist as inhering in, or being instantiated by, particulars. Also see conceptualism. Contrast: Nominalism. Scientific realism – the view that the subject matter of scientific research and scientific theory exists independently of our knowledge of it, and that the goal of scientific research is to describe and explain both observable and unobservable aspects of the world. Scientific realism holds that there are knowable, mind-independent facts, objects, or properties (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999). SCIENTIFIC REALISM, the position that all of reality, human existence included, is susceptible to scientific explanation. In ethics and politics, the view that ethical judgments are descriptive and objective when properly made: that ethical terms could be replaced by obviously descriptive terms, as utilitarianism replaces “good” by “tending to produce the greatest possible balance of pleasure over pain for all sentient beings.” Also: Scientific Realism includes claims that scientific theories aim to correctly depict both observable and unobservable reality, and that, in general, means believing what it says about all of reality. From glossary of P of Science.” Wikipedia, Gloss of Philos oct 2014.


    adj. A philosophical position is realist if it maintains that we know things as they really are, or in other words if it maintains that what we know exists in the way that we know it independently of ourselves. Realism, therefore, draws a distinction between the object of our knowledge, and the subject who knows that object: the subject, according to realism, neither creates nor conditions the object of their knowledge. Thus it is hard not to be a realist about material objects considered with respect to their shape, but hard to be a realist about the colours of material objects. Opposed to idealism. Also: REALIST: Generally, someone who claims that various sorts of things that are not realized completely in our (sensory) experience are real. The things in question might be, e.g.: numbers, infinite constructions, material objects, theoretical entities (atoms, the unconscious mind, etc.) and so on. During the middle ages, “realist” specifically meant someone who maintained that there are universals who maintained that there are universals (e.g. “horsiness” “humanity”) corresponding to words such as “horse” and “human” and not just individual things. See nominalist.

    [Realist-anti-realist debate: The standard opposition between those who affirm, and those who deny, the real existence of some kind of thing, or some kind of fact or state of affairs. Almost any area of discourse may be the focus of this dispute: the external world, the past and future, other minds, mathematical objects, possibilities, universals, and moral or aesthetic properties are examples. A realist about a subject-matter S may hold (i) that the kinds of thing described by S exist; (ii) that their existence is independent of us, or not an artefact of our minds, or our language or conceptual scheme; (iii) that the statements we make in S are not reducible to other kinds of statement, revealing them to be about some different subject-matter; (iv) that the statements we make in S have truth conditions, being straightforward descriptions of aspects of the world and made true or false by facts in the world; (v) that we are able to attain truths about S, and that it is appropriate fully to believe things we claim in S. Different oppositions focus on one or another of these claims. Eliminativists think the S discourse should be rejected. Sceptics either deny (i) or deny our right to affirm it. Idealists and conceptualists deny (ii), reductionists deny (iii), while instrumentalists and projectivists deny (iv). Constructive empiricists deny (v). Other combinations are possible, and in many areas, there is little consensus on the exact way a realist/antirealist dispute should be constructed. One reaction is that realism attempts to ‘look over its own shoulder’, i.e. that it believes that as well as making or refraining from making statements in S, we can fruitfully mount a philosophical gloss on what we are doing as we make such statements, and philosophers of a verificationist tendency have been suspicious of the possibility of this kind of metaphysical theorizing: if they are right, the debate vanishes, and that it does so is the claim of minimalism. The issue of the method by which a genuine realism can be distinguished is therefore critical.

    One influential suggestion, associated with Dummett, is borrowed from the intuitionistic critique of classical mathematics and suggests that the unrestricted use of the principle of bivalence is the trademark of realism. However, this has to overcome counterexamples both ways: although Aquinas was a moral realist, he held that moral reality was not sufficiently structured to make true or false every moral claim, while Kant believed that we could use the law of bivalence happily in mathematics precisely because it was only our own construction. Realism can itself be subdivided: Kant, for example, combines empirical realism (within the phenomenal world the realist says the right things—surrounding objects really exist and are independent of us and our mental states) with transcendental idealism (the phenomenal world as a whole reflects the structure imposed on it by the activity of our minds as they render it intelligible to us). In modern philosophy the orthodox opposition to realism has been from philosophers such as Goodman impressed by the extent to which we perceive the world through conceptual and linguistic lenses of our own making.]


    Everything that exists; "the whole show"; God and everything created by God, including relationships, concepts, ideas, persons, material and immaterial substances. The whole of actual being. [N.B. that definition contrasts significantly from this one> “Reality That which there is. The question of how much of it there is forms the dispute between realists and anti-realist. Does it include numbers, possibilities, the future, the past, other minds, colors, tastes, the external world, mind as well as matter, or matter as well as experience>” Oxford Dict. of Philos. S. Blackburn sec edit. P309. ]


    (1) The final or ultimate cause as opposed to prior or subsequent causes; (2) the ability to know things without reliance on empirical evidence; (3) the ability to make inferences, develop and judge arguments, and discover explanations. Reason is the use of logical faculties to arrive at truth.


    The power of grasping concepts and drawing inferences.


    Latin for "reduction to absurdity." In a philosophical debate, for instance, one can "reduce his opponent's argument to the absurd" by allowing the conclusions of his opponent to reach the extent of their implications.


    “a number of related, contentious theories that hold, very roughly, that the nature of complex things can always be reduced to (be explained by) simpler or more fundamental things. This is said of objects, phenomena, explanations, theories, and meanings. In short, it is philosophical materialism taken to its logical consequences. Ontological reductionism-the idea that everything that exists is made from a small number of basic substances that behave in regular ways. Compare to monism. Methodological reductionism-the idea that explanations of things, such as scientific explanations, ought to be continually reduced to the very simplest entities possible (but no simpler). Occam's Razor forms the basis of this type of reductionism. Theoretical reductionism-the idea that older theories or explanations are not generally replaced outright by new ones, but that new theories are refinements or reductions of the old theory in greater detail. Scientific reductionism-any of the above ideas as they relate to science or the idea that all phenomena can be reduced to scientific explanations. Linguistic reductionism-the idea that everything can be described in a language with a limited number of core concepts, and combinations of those concepts. (See Basic English and the constructed language Toki Pona). Greedy reductionism-this term was coined by Daniel Dennett to condemn those forms of reductionism that try to explain too much with too little. Analytical reductionism-as used in "Is Reductionism A Good Approach In Science?" "is the underlying a priori of ontological reductionism". Relationalism-a philosophy that holds that space and time are basic entities ontologically on a par with matter and radiation.” Wikipedia Gloss of Philos oct 2014.


    According to Locke: the inner perception by which minds are aware of their own thoughts. See apperception.


    A 16th-century revolution in the Christian church sparked by Martin Luther's posting of his 95 Theses on the cathedral door at Wittenburg, Germany, issuing a challenge to debate issues such as the selling of indulgences by the church in Rome. Luther's action sparked a movement that came to be Protestantism in Europe and led to the establishment of several denominational churches subscribing to doctrines at odds with the Roman church. Sometimes referred to as the Protestant Reformation.


    Refuting a claim is showing it to be false-typically by producing reasons that make it clear that it's false. Until you produce reasons, you may deny or reject the claim, but you won't have refuted it. In addition, don't say: Berkeley refutes Locke's claim that there are material objects. unless you think that Berkeley has succeeded in demonstrating that Locke's claim is false. If Berkeley has refuted Locke, then Locke must be wrong. You can't write: " Berkeley refuted Locke's claim, but in fact Locke was right." If you doubt whether Berkeley's criticisms of Locke are successful, you should say instead: Berkeley denies Locke's claim that... or: Berkeley argues against Locke's claim that...or: Berkeley rejects Locke's claim that...or: Berkeley tries to refute Locke's claim that...Similarly, you should not say that Locke has proven some claim, or shown that something is the case, unless you think that Locke's arguments for his claim are successful. If Locke has proven a claim, then the claim must be true. If you doubt whether Locke's arguments for a claim are successful, then you should say instead: Locke argues that...or: Locke defends the claim that...or: Locke tries to prove that...or something of that sort.


    To Reify is to treat as a thing. Glock OR "Improperly treating something as if it were an object. In the political thought of Lukacs and other Marxists, reification often involves trying to turn human beings into marketable commodities. The philosophical reification of abstract concepts is commonly called hypostasization."]

    [Relativism: basic def- A property is relative when its occurrence or value varies with some other factor.]


    In ethics, relativism is the opposite of absolutism. Whereas absolutism insists that there are universal ethical standards that are inflexible and absolute, relativism asserts that ethical mores vary from era to era, culture to culture, situation to situation. For instance, an absolutist would condemn China's forced-abortion policy, while a relativist would say that in a culture of one billion human beings, such a policy is acceptable and even beneficial for the whole of Chinese society. Relativists find their moral justification in the ethical philosophy of utilitarianism which asserts that "That which promotes the greatest happiness is right." see absolutism, utilitarianism. The view that one's knowledge or understanding is always limited to one's situation; nothing can be known objectively, but only subjectively. The position that there is no rationality or truth independently of (cultural, historical, theoretical) context, this context being in some sense arbitrary or conventional. Opposed to relativism are all forms of realism and indeed any position which maintains that we are capable of achieving objectivity which .


    in the Protagorean sense, relativism is a theory about the relativity of knowledge and the relativity of sense perception. Often referred to as homo mensura (man is the measure in Latin). Therefore it would be erroneous to say that one person is right (has the truth) and another person is wrong (does not have the truth) about sense perception. Truth does not exist independently of a perceiver and his assertion that something is true.

    [relativism- Belief that human judgments are always conditioned by the specific social environment of a particular person, time, or place. Cognitive relativists hold that there can be no universal knowledge of the world, but only diverse interpretations of it. Moral relativists hold that there are no universal standards of moral value, but only the cultural norms of particular societies.]


    Freudian mechanism by which unacceptable wishes and thoughts are banished from conscious awareness but continue to unconsciously and, thence, find expression in dreams and slips of the tongue, and sometimes in compulsive behavior, obsessive thoughts, and other forms of psychopathology. Herbert Marcuse distinguishes necessary repression (without which civilization could not exist) from surplus repression (which serves to maintain unnecessary forms of economic and political control and oppression). Compare: sublimation.


    Truths about God that can only be revealed by supernatural means and cannot be discovered by the unaided exercise of reason and perception. Compare: natural theology.


    The idea that God has revealed Himself through nature and the human conscious (this is called natural revelation), and more specifically through the Holy Scriptures and the Incarnation (this is called special revelation).


    A theological term describing the action of God's unveiling in word and deed; a communication of God's nature and character. Christians consider the Bible to embody the revelation of God, and more technically consider Jesus of Nazareth to be the revelation of God in human form.

    [Res cogitans-mind, Res externa-matter. Nature has tworealms, these]


    The Hindu book of mantras, the first and oldest of all the Vedas (Sanskrit writings of wisdom) upon which all that follow are based. Fundamentally a book of hymns, the Rig Veda is dated by scholars to about 1500 B.C. and by Hindu holy men to about 4000 B.C. Considered the oldest writing of Indo-European language and of Sanskrit.


    A sweeping movement in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century which affected political, philosophical, and artistic thought throughout Western Europe. Romanticism served to counter the rationalism and empiricism which dominated the Enlightenment, and it attempted to place the focus on the potentialities of the individual. Romanticism especially emphasized the innate beauty of man, the power of the imagination, hence its expression through various artistic forms. Movement in European thought, literature and art, originating in Germany, France and Britain in the late C18, and extending to the mid-C19, characterised by its opposition to the Enlightenment's reverence of reason and formal rules of artistic and literary production, in favour of a more organic, individualistic and expressive conception of art and human nature. Artistic movement and philosophy of art opposed to neoclassicism and valuing subjective honesty or sincerity of emotional expression above adherence to formal constraints and objective standards of beauty or artistic correctness.


    Roughly, the view that sentences in which phrases of the form the-so-and-so appear can be reduced to more revealing logical forms in which “the” disappears and in which there is no longer any temptation to think that such phrases are like proper names (which see). E.g. “The present king of France is bald” becomes “There exists something which is presently kind of France and there is no other individual who is such and that individual is bald.” Russell’s theory has been called a paradigm of philosophy.


    (from sanskrit, sat meaning being, experience, truth, righteousness and graha meaning force.) Gandhi introduced this term as truth-force, the positive side of the strategy of non-violence.


    late medieval (C12-14) tradition of philosophical speculation to which St Thomas Aquinas belongs, characterized by a fusion of Christian theology with Aristotelian philosophy.


    A general scientific hypothesis that is true or (more weakly understood) well-confirmed or established. On realist conceptions the laws of science are generally regarded as expressing the causal laws according to which all occurs, or by which all is governed. See cause, determinism.


    View that holds that reality really is as science describes it or as science ultimately would describe it at the ideal end-point of inquiry. Contrast: instrumentalism.


    A logically closely interconnected set of scientific laws.


    The elevation of science to the position of being the sole source of knowledge on any subject; the "religion" of the empiricist.


    (secondary) is a cause which is dependent of another. The finite cause needs God to support and sustain its existence.


    are about the qualities of an object such as color, tastes, sound, odors, and the like. These secondary qualities are not in the material substance; they are in the mind or they are the way in which the object affects the mind or the knower, and they vary from person to person. Therefore, secondary qualities are subjective in nature.


    The science of meaning. The characterization, for a natural or artificial, language of relations between sentences such as sameness in meaning, semantic consequences (i.e. that if one sentence is true, such and so others must be true), and relationships between sentences and the world (truth). Characterizations of meaning and meaningfulness come under this heading. See pragmatics and syntactics.


    is the study of meaning-making, the philosophical theory of signs and symbols. See signs. gdc


    what we experience directly - such as shapes, colors, and smells – in perceptual experience. Roughly identifiable, with Locke's "simple ideas" and Hume's "impressions". For Kant, these are the "matter" of perception for which time and space are the a priori forms. Among contemporary philosophers, sensations (or their distinctive "felt" properties) are commonly called "qualia." Among the presumed contents of the mind, sensations (being concrete & particular) stand in contrast to (abstract & general, or universal) concepts: compare the experience of seeing red to the idea of redness.


    Metaphorically, "the doors of perception" (Wm. Blake): the input channels by which the mind is affected by the external world. Following Aristotle, traditionally, there are said to be five: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. See perceive.


    Historically, this group was once known as Millerites. Orthodox Christian in almost every area of doctrine, Seventh Day Adventists insist that Saturday is the sabbath and therefore worship on that day rather than on Sunday. Headquarters for the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists is in Silver Spring, Maryland. Among the denomination's outstanding institutions are the Loma Linda University and Medical Center in California and Andrews University in Michigan. The group also operates a seminary at Takoma Park in Washington, DC. Traditionally premillenialistin eschatology, Seventh-Day Adventists hold to some doctrines considered heterodox; for example, the notion that all who die fall into a "soul sleep" where they remain until the second coming of Jesus Christ. According to the group's Web site (, there are approximately nine million members of this church worldwide.


    An ancient, indigenous religion of Japan that emphasizes nature, harmony and personal cleanliness and lacks any formal doctrine or theology. Often Shinto absorbs parts of BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, or even CHRISTIANITY. Most Japanese consider themselves both Buddhist and Shinto (and many mix in CONFUCIANISM). In Japan, Shinto is known as kami-no-michi, translated as "the road of the divine" or "the way of the gods." In 1868, Japan underwent the Meiji Restoration and the emperor regained power from the shoguns, or regional warlords. At that time, Shinto was declared the official religion of Japan, and the emperor was regarded as a divine descendant of the sun goddess AMATERASU. In 1945, following the defeat of Japan in WWII, the emperor renounced his divine status, but Shinto has continued to exert a strong influence on everyday life in Japan. Shinto's basic beliefs are summarized in its AFFIRMATIONS.


    One of the three major deities of Hinduism, Shiva represents the energy of the ultimate and is usually depicted surrounded by fire and exposing many arms. Shiva is associated with both the forces of creation (often symbolized by the human phallus) and the forces of destruction. See Brahma and VISHNU.


    The given and family names of the Nepalese founder of Buddhism in the 5th or 6th century. The original Buddha, or enlightened one, according to Buddhists. A popular and famous fictionalized biography of the Buddha was written by the German novelist Hermann Hesse and given the title Siddhartha.


    In semiotics, a sign is something that can be interpreted as having a meaning, which is something other than itself, and which is therefore able to communicate information to the one interpreting or decoding the sign. Signs can work through any of the senses, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory or taste, and their meaning can be intentional such as a word uttered with a specific meaning or unintentional such as a symptom being a sign of a particular medical condition.


    have no other ideas contained within them, and like atoms cannot be created nor destroyed; and are ideas such as yellow, hot, sweet.

    Simplicity- In philosophy of science simplicity is thought to be of value but why this maybe so is not easy to prove.


    adv in Latin. (originally chiefly in Scots Law)  and in philosophy it refers to: Simply, absolutely; without any qualification or condition. also, of its own nature. unqualifiedly. unconditionally. I find it is a legal term meaning "Simple. In a direct or summary manner; without condition; summarily; per se."Nozick uses this word. Grayling uses it. Ross uses in in Aristotle.]


    see relativism, absolutism, utilitarianism.


    The view that something is not or cannot be known; the attitude of questioning and testing one thing, some things, or all things. The position that nothing can be known; that no claim to knowledge can be justified; that everything is doubtful; that there are no facts available to us. Skepticism is sometimes spoken of as a position within epistemology, and sometimes in opposition to it, i.e. as setting the problem for epistemology to solve. Skepticism may be restricted rather than 'global': a thinker may be described as a 'moral skeptic', meaning that they deny the existence of any facts in the context of morality while accepting the existence of facts of other kinds (e.g. in science and mathematics).


    The philosophic theory that no knowledge can be attained either in general or (more commonly) with regard to specific categories of presumed knowledge –e.g., Hume's skepticism about our knowledge of presumed necessary connections between things we judge to be causally related. The view that all knowledge is beyond reasonable proof. Skepticism ranges from a complete doubt of everything to a tentative doubt in a process of reaching certainty.


    View marked by its rejection of the objectivity of truth, generally, and of scientific truth in particular. Constructivists hold that scientific laws, descriptions, and even observations are social constructs - products or projections of human cultures or communities. As such, they are thoroughly theory-laden and vary between cultures. Consequently, scientific truth is neither objective nor universal. Contrast: objective truth. Compare theory-laden, theory-neutral.


    Implied covenant between individuals by which each foregoes certain freedoms (to prey on others) in exchange for certain rights (not to be preyed on) which social contract theorists (most notably Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean Jaycees Rousseau) propose the legitimacy of government derives. Contrast: anarchism.


    The agreement of a group of people to establish social organizations and regulations for the preservation of basic freedoms and rights.


    The crux of the dialectic method is that the teacher should through patient questioning bring the pupil to some true conclusion, without the teacher's telling the pupil that the conclusion is true. Note how Socrates demonstrates to Euthyphro that he is not certain what impiety is, but this still does not deter Euthyphro from prosecuting his own father for impiety. Is it good because it is loved by the gods, or is it good because the gods love it? But Socrates demonstrates that to be truly good, a thing must be good in and of itself. It is for this reason, its goodness, that the gods love it, they do not make it good by their mere love of the thing. But hasn't Euthyphro committed an act of impiety by prosecuting his father without proper knowledge of what piety means? There is real danger to being mistaken. Socrates is so skeptical of the world, in order that he might not be mistaken in his knowledge about the world.


    (or indeterminism) the theory that some events do not have a cause, or are free (undetermined).


    The belief of utter self-centeredness - that the only reality is "myself"; all objects, persons, ideas, and concepts are only my mental constructs. The position that nothing exists (or: can be known by me to exist) outside my own mind; a solipsist will therefore deny the (knowable) existence of minds other than her own.


    The sophists were itinerant professional teachers and intellectuals who frequented Athens and other Greek cities in the second half of the fifth century B.C.E. e.g Protagoras. That "Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not".


    The human condition of natural freedoms and rights prior to the imposition of social organization and regulation (or social contract). It is a state, therefore, that may be thought of as either an alleged historical fact or an hypothetical claim about what would be or would have been the case, given certain conditions that may or may not have occurred.


    A philosophical movement founded in Athens around 300 BC by Zeno of Citium (ca. 334-262 BC). The Stoics took their name from the Painted Colonnade (stoa = porch), from where Zeno delivered his lectures. The Apostle Paul stumbled across some Stoic philosophers (and Epicureans) while he traveled through Athens (cf. Acts 17:18) sometime around AD 50-53. Stoicism found its definitive formulation under Chrysippus (280-207 BC), and was largely derived from Heraclitus (ca. 535-474 BC) and his concept of the Logos - i.e. that "Reason" (Logos) was the governing and ordering principle behind the universe.
    In a sense, the Stoics were panentheists, according to the words of Chyrsippus, "All are but parts of one stupendous whole; whose body Nature is, and God the soul." Thus, since Reason (Logos) was the underlying principle behind the universe, it was man's goal to align himself with Reason (Logos), and thus live accordingly, which would lead to a life of strict virtue.
    Finally, the Stoics believed in Fate as the explanation of all things. Accordingly, when viewed from a cosmic perspective, all things happen for the best and in accord with Reason (Logos). Thus, it is the Stoic's purpose to recognize that the circumstances in life are inevitable (because they are determined by Fate); so, one must be optimistic since all things have been deemed for the best in accord with Reason (Logos). Also, it should be said that the Stoics had a strict moral system (although differing with Christian ethics at times); nevertheless, the Stoics kept lists of virtues and vices, much like the virtue/vice lists in the Pauline writings.



    (1) The knowledge or belief that a subject holds; (2) The experience of a subject; (3) The belief that everything that exists, exists only in the subject's mind; (4) The belief that nothing can be known objectively, but only subjectively; (5) Informally, a perception, opinion, or belief that betrays a personal bias or prejudice.


    The theory that ethical judgments such as "good" means "I approve" of certain actions. Moral values are based on feelings, thoughts, and desires which have no objective reference in the world.


    The view that reality is our experience of things. "To be is to be perceived" ( Esse est percipi) according to Bishop George Berkeley (1685- 1753), an Irish philosopher of Irish descent. Berkeley wrote several works, but the most important is Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713), which was his third work completed when he was 28. Berkeley meant by esse est percipi that nothing but minds and ideas exist. To say that an idea exists means, according to him, that it is being perceived by some mind. For ideas, Esse est percipi: to be is to be perceived. Mind themselves, however, are not similarly dependent for their existence on being perceived. Minds are perceivers. To give Berkeley's full meaning we must say: To be is to be perceived (ideas) or to be a perceiver. All that is real is a conscious mind or some perception or idea held by such a mind. How, Berkeley asks, could we speak of anything that was other than an idea or mind? The mind exists as it is thought in the mind of God. Berkeley was also known for holding the position that there is no material substance, hence Berkeley is also, and prefers to be, called an immaterialist.


    Pertaining to thinking and experiencing or to things as thought and experienced. Contrast: objective.


    Moral theory that holds that what's good or bad or right or wrong varies from individual to individual depending on what each individual believes to be, good or bad or right or wrong. See ethical relativism. Compare cultural relativism.


    the redirection, according to Freud, of antisocial sexual and aggressive impulses into socially constructive [or more generally, other] activity. Compare: repression.


    In most philosophy, the primary nature of what is real; that which possesses attributes, qualities, properties; the essence that makes something what it is, and nothing else (both descriptively and numerically). In J. P. Moreland, "an entity like an apple, my dog Fido, a carbon atom, a leaf, or an angel. Substances contrast with properties[ substantia in Latin: that which underlies, or upholds something] according to Descartes- Substance is that which can be conceived alone by itself without needing something else in terms of which it is known, and without depending on something else for its existence; a thing which can exist independently (i.e. a stone, me). This would effectively leave only one true substance, God substance. Technically (for Leibniz, Spinoza, Descartes, et. al.) – a self-subsistent entity or thing, not depending on anything (except, possibly God) for its existence: also, the ultimate bearer of attributes or properties. In a somewhat looser sense (closer to Aristotle's) "substance" is used to refer to the individuals which are the bearers of attributes or havers of properties as opposed to the attributes or properties – universals – that they have or which inhere in them.. [A real thing, that which has properties?] [Objective tends to relate it to the mind, I think.]


    this is a sufficient condition for that if and only if this by itself is enough to guarantee that. (i.e. five nickels are sufficient for twenty-five cents).


    Principle formulated by Leibniz according to which, for whatever is the case, there is a sufficient reason why it is the case. Closely akin to this is the Law of Universal Causation, according to which every event has a cause. See also: Determinism.

    Sui Generis:

    L term for unique.


    The largest branch of ISLAM that comprises about 85 percent of all Muslims. Sunni Islam began shortly after the death of MUHAMMAD, when followers fought over who should lead the faith. Islam divided into two major branches at that point, the larger Sunni and the smaller Shi'ah, or SHIITE branch.


    A dependency relation held to obtain between sets of properties. A supervenes on B, e.g. the mental on physical. The supervenient is dependent on the subvenient properties but not the reverse. ]


    All assumptions or conclusions are questioned until they pass the test of critical analysis. Socrates practiced this type of skepticism by insisting that we answer our own questions.


    An argument – usually deductive – having two premises and a single conclusion.


    The blending together of different philosophical or religious views. The New Age Movement, for instance, is an example of a syncretistic worldview where many different religions are integrated in various imaginative ways.


    The characterization, for an artificial, or natural, language, of what constitutes a well-formed sentence, or, to put it another way, a grammatical sentence, or a sentence of the language. It is usually assumed that a well-formed, or grammatical, sentence need not be meaningful. See semantics.


    The combination of parts or elements so as to form a whole; most common as the form of philosophy that a thesis (statement) and a thesis contrary to the first thesis (antithesis) can be related by the mind in such a way that a new thesis (synthesis) advances the mind's knowledge or perception of reality.


    a contingent judgment; such judgments can be contradicted. Synthetical judgments have predicates which contain information which goes beyond the information contained in the subject concept. (The cat is on the mat)


    A sentence, proposition, thought, or judgment is synthetic if it is neither logically (analytically) true, or false; generally, synthetic claims are said to be empirical in that they are discovered through experiment and observation, and in that “a bare conception of the subject” will not make it immediately obvious that the predicate appllies to it. Having factual or empirical content; i.e. not being true or false by definition. Contrast term: analytic.


    Popular abbreviation and shorthand for TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION.


    Latin for "a blank tablet." This phrase was used by John Locke (1632-1704) as he set forth his empirical theory of knowledge to indicate the state of the human mind at birth. Essentially, he contended that human beings are not born with any prior knowledge or disposition; thus, their minds could only be influenced by sense experience. See Empiricism.


    (Latin for clean tablet) Called blank slate, or white paper (by Locke), it is the condition of the mind at birth, prior to sense experience.


    The consent and support of social organizations and regulations by virtue of an individual's continued participation in them.


    An analytic proposition that is necessarily true or self-evident, but which gives no useful information, i.e., "It will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow." In logic, a tautology is a proposition that is already true by definition, not because of any logical deduction. Usually, it is a non-sensical statement. For instance, "All triangles have three sides" is an inherently true proposition, but it doesn't tell us anything new. A non-atomic, or molecular, proposition that is true no matter what the assignment of truth value to the atomic propositions that it contains. Example: “p or not-p”. This molecular proposition is true whether we assign “p” the value true or the value false.


    (1) Having to do with results, goals, ends, purposes. (2) As a view about finite reality, it is that finite reality is being guided by something (Someone) outside of that finite reality toward a purpose or goal. (3) As a view of ethics, it is that an act can be declared moral or immoral on the basis of what it accomplishes or what its goal or purpose was. tel is end in greek.


    Many thinkers since the time of ancient Greece have set forth some type of argument from design, attempting to show that the presence of order and purpose in the world naturally implies the existence of a Supreme Being. One of the most popular forms of the argument was set forth by the Anglican clergyman William Paley (1743-1805). Essentially, Paley formulated his argument according to the following syllogism. This famous argument is called "Paley's Watchmaker."
    A watch shows that is was put together for an intelligent purpose - to keep time.
    The world shows an even greater evidence of design than a watch
    Therefore, if a watch calls for a watchmaker, then the world demands an even greater intelligent designer - i.e. God.

    Although logically convincing, the teleological argument was attacked by David Hume (1711-76) in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, and more specifically, Paley was attacked by later atheistic/evolutionary thinkers. After Darwin's theory of natural selection and its subsequent modifications, it was believed that evolution became the mechanism that brought about order and apparent design in the natural world. Thus, it seemed that the teleological argument was dead.
    In recent years, however, the problems facing evolution, along with new discoveries regarding the extreme complexity of the universe (on the galactic as well as the microbiological plane) have revived the teleological argument. Today, perhaps the strongest form of the argument can be found in the DNA molecule and origin of life discussion. From this, many theists infer a Designer, while evolutionists charge theists with appealing to the "God of the gaps" form of logic. see God of the gaps.


    End-based ethical systems or what is called consequentialism. An action's worth is determined by the consequences. ( telos means end) [teleo -goal + logical] A teleological ethics is one that claims that it is the consequences (or goals-fostered-by) of actions that determine their moral worth. Mill’s utilitarianism (“act so as to achieve the greatest possible balance of pleasure over pain for all sentient creation”) is considered a typical example. See deontological.


    order which is grounded on and which can be explained in terms of ends or purposes of things. Sometimes teleological relations are contrasted with causal relations, and sometimes they are regarded as a species of causal relation. In any case, teleological relations are distinct from bare physical causal relations: teleological relations can be expressed in the form 'A in order that B' or 'A for the sake of B'. The study of the end or purpose of the universe. Purpose or direction


    end or purpose in classical Greek.


    Something either is or it is not. (The middle position is excluded, namely the impossibility of something both being and not being simultaneously.)


    Something is what it is.


    Nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. Remember Parmenides' phrasing of the law of non-contradiction? ("What is and cannot not be; and what is not and can not be.").


    that for every fact (or reason) there is a reason why it is so and not otherwise.


    The belief in a personal Creator God who is distinct from what has been created (transcendent), but who is immanent (engaged with) all creation. Theism is the belief in one god, derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition. In a broad sense, it is generally associated with Christianity ( Christian theism ); in a particular sense, both Judaism and Islam are forms of theism as well. The term, however, is mostly used in a philosophic or apologetic context to indicate Christian monotheism. Sometimes, though, the term is used to distinguish monotheism from atheism, pantheism, polytheism, panentheism, etc.


    arguments for the existence of God, or one who believes in God (through faith, or reason)


    An argument used to show that the evidence of evil in the world is consistent with belief in a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all good. In the Greek, " justification of God," a theodicy is a theological or philosophical attempt to answer the question, "How could an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God have permitted such evil and human suffering to be part of His creation?" - essentially, the question is concerned with the "Problem of Evil." Certainly, there is no doubt that this has been one of the most difficult questions for theists to answer, and although conventional theistic defenses have been put forth for centuries, many seem to fall short of satisfying the query. [Ivan in the Brothers Karamazov has powerful arguments]


    The study of God within any given religion.


    used to refer to the aspect of philosophy which deals with questions of knowledge and truth divorced from questions of how we should act. Contrasts with practical.

    Theorems: In mathematics, a theorem is a statement proven on the basis of previously accepted or established statements. In mathematical logic, theorems are modeled as formulas that can be derived according to the derivation rules of a fixed formal system. In formal settings, an essential property of theorems is that they are derivable using a fixed set of inference rules and axioms without any additional assumptions.

    Theory: Broadly speaking we can say that a theory is some kind of belief or claim that (supposedly) explains, asserts, or consolidates some class of claims


    The property of observations varying with, or depending upon, the theoretical commitments of the observer. Insofar as observations are theory-laden, your beliefs - as shaped by the theory or paradigm you accept - determine what you observe, so that partisans of different theories (or paradigms) will observe differently.


    The property of observations being uninfluenced by the theoretical commitments of the observer. Insofar as observations are theory-neutral, your beliefs - as shaped by the theory (or paradigm) you accept - do not color what you observe, so that partisans of different theories (or paradigms) all observe alike.


    "It is the belief in a transcendent world of eternal and absolute beings, corresponding to every kind of thing that there is, and causing in particular things their essential nature."


    The theory that the "fundamental ideas or principles are built right into the mind itself and require only to be developed and brought to maturity." Because Plato held that the source of our knowledge is innate idea, Plato was a rationalist.


    Plato suggests that we are already born in possession of knowledge of which we are not conscious of but will readily recollect ( recollectus in Latin) if carefully prompted.

    My add:

    Thinking-v.i. To bring the intellectual faculties into play. To use the mind for arriving at conclusions, making decisions, drawing inferences etc. to perform any mental operation; to reason. Syn cogitate, muse, imagine, suppose, expect, fancy, guess. Websters New Universal Unabridged Dictionary.


    The Charles River and my idea of the Charles River are two very different things. One of them (the river) has existed since before I was born. The other (my idea of the river) has only existed since I first heard about the Charles River. Nevertheless, people often confuse thoughts with things. Don't write like this: Descartes realizes that even if all things are false, still he is thinking about those things, and if he is thinking about them he must exist. You should instead say something like this: Descartes realizes that even if all his thoughts or beliefs are false, thinking falsely is still a form of thinking, and if he is thinking at all then he must exist.


    The Law in JUDAISM, specifically, the written law comprised of the five books of MOSES, which are also the first five books of the HOLY BIBLE revered by Christians. See also TALMUD, MISHNAH and GEMARA.


    The traditional notion of liberalism has been challenged in this century, and new meanings have been applied to it. The result is that the term today is ambiguous, and everyone applying the label must specify exactly what they mean. Traditional liberalism gives primacy to the individual and his rights, where prior primacy was given to the state.


    Traditional logic was first developed by Aristotle and systematized (somewhat differently) by the medieval school persons. It was thought to be all there was to logic by most until the end of the nineteenth century (until G. Frege, for example, came out with a version of modern logi8c in his Concept-Writing (Begriffsschrift). The assumption of traditional logic was that all propositions (sentences) are of a subject - predicate form (strictly, SUBJECT TERM + COPULA + PREDICATE TERM: for example, fist + are + backboned mammals). This exclusive emphasis on the subject-predicate form is though misleading, and the undrlying cause of mistaken metaphysics by many modern logicians (vice versa for some recent critics of modern logic). Traditional logic is concerned with immediate and mediate inferences between (subject - predicate) propositons, Immediate inference is from one (premiss) to one (conclusion) with the two terms of the premiss both appearing in the conclusion. Mediate inference involves more premises with the use of “mediating”, or middle, terms that do not appear in the conclusion. The syllogism, the primary study of traditional logic, is an argument in which the premises connect the subject and predicate of the conclusion by means of a middle term.


    That which is "beyond" or "other than" something else; such as God is transcendent in relation to the created world; some ideas are beyond human comprehension or are transcendent; some experiences are beyond human experience, or are transcendent experiences. Going beyond any possible experience as opposed to immanent. Surpassing or apart from sensible or material reality. For Kant, what is beyond the realm of either outer (perceptive) or inner (apperceptive) experience. In some religious views (on orthodox Christian views, e.g.) God is held to be transcendent (beyond the world). On other pantheistic views (e.g., those of the Stoics or Spinoza) God is held to be an immanent guiding spirit in and of the sensible material world, not existing apart or beyond it. Similarly, Plato asserts the transcendence while Aristotle maintains the immanence of the Forms or essences of things.


    The view that reality is idea, but the true reality (things in themselves) transcends the world of appearance


    According to theists, God exists beyond and independent of the world, or is beyond experience. Pertaining to the necessary conditions of the possibility of understanding or experience (Kant). Relating to the grounds of possible experience E.g. Kant thought that most of our pure rational knowledge is synthetic or priori, or transcendental. Thus Kant believed that geometry expresses the pure form of our intuitive faculty for experienceing things visually as in space: this faculty sets the rules for what can be a possible experience of vision.


    Reincarnation. see metempsychosis.


    A central doctrine of Christianity, derived from the New Testament but not explicitly taught there. The formulation of God as three persons -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- united in one godhead. The exact formulation of this doctrine has been the focus of key Christian councils, and its precise definition was


    Varying definitions usually have something to do with how a proposition, statement, or belief corresponds to reality; usu. that which is "true" is an accurate observation, belief, judgment, concept, idea about reality (material or immaterial). A property of statements, thoughts, or judgments. According to correspondence theories, a statement (e.g.) is true if it corresponds to the facts, and false if it doesn't. (See Universals, below, for further explanation.). According to coherence theories, the truth of thoughts (e.g.) consists in their coherence with other thoughts.

    truth , the small letter truth, primarily called that because although humans know much about the whole universe, it's laws of physics, and everything inclusive up to human consciousness, we cannot, nor ever will, know it completely and the secondary "truth" is that it tends to be relative to each and every human. There are no absolute Truths but there are relative truths. -gdc

    [Truth apt- A sentence is truth-apt if there is some context in which it could be uttered (with its present meaning) and express a true or false proposition. Sentences that are not apt for truth include questions and commands, and, more controversially, paradoxical sentences of the form of the Liar (‘this sentence is false’); or sentences (‘you will not smoke’) whose apparent function is to make an assertion, but which may instead be regarded as expressing prescriptions or attitudes, rather than being in the business of aiming at truth or falsehood. See expressivism, prescriptivism.]


    As distinguished by Leibniz, these truths could have been otherwise since their denials are possible and noncontradictory: such truths hold only contingently (as a matter of fact), so knowledge of them requires observation or empirical evidence for its certification. Contrast: truth of reason.


    As distinguished by Leibniz, these are truths which cannot be false because their denials would be contradictory and impossible: such truths hold of necessity and can be known to be true by the exercise of reason alone. Contrast: truth of fact.


    This subject could also be called semantics. The correspondence theory of truth insists on the common sense view that that makes a sentence true is its correspondence to something external to language (usually), some state of affairs. The coherence theory emphasizes that truth involves above all a coherence between some sentence we’re considering and the rest of our beliefs (rest of the sentences that we hold).


    An operator in a logical language (see sentence logic) is said to be truth functional if and only if the truth value of a proposition in which it appears is wholly determined by the truth value of the subsidiary propositions on which it operates. E.g. the truth value of p & q is wholly determined once we know the truth value of p and the truth value of q; hence the operator, &, is truth functional. see non-truth-functional.


    Truths of fact are contingent and truths of reason are necessary. Truths of fact are statements that are not necessarily true since they may be denied without contradiction, they just might be true of something about something in this world, or might be true of something in a particular possible world. Statements that are only true about some objects in the universe and not true of all objects in the universe.


    Truths of reason are not true by definition. They are true everywhere, in every possible world, and to the externally real world, they do apply descriptively. No power, not even God’s can change these truths. An example is the law of noncontradiction, etc.


    A test proposed by computer pioneer Alan Turing that would take conversational fluency as a sufficient test for computer intelligence. See consciousness objection, other minds.


    That which is common to all members of a class. The property predicated of all the individuals of a certain sort or class. Pertaining to all, especially all times, all places, and all things.


    A universal is a general concept, or the idea of a thing, whereas a particular is literally the thing-in-itself. For instance, there is a man named Dave. Man is the universal; Dave is the particular. The particular (Dave) belongs to the category of universal (Man). Or, let's say that there is a rose. The specific rose flower itself is the particular, while the idea of flowers is the universal. Thus, the particular (rose) belongs to the category of the universal (flowers).


    The properties or attributes expressed (or kinds denoted) by abstract or general words or predicates in speech (or concepts in thought). Just as the words (or concepts) apply to many things, properties corresponding to the words (or concepts) inhere in many individuals; in just those same individuals to which the word (or concept) can be truly applied. The relation between the universal corresponding to the word and the things to which the word is applied in speech (or the concept in thought) is supposed to explain the truth of that application. If the universal the word expresses does belong to the thing to which the word is applied then the application (an assertion, or affirmative judgment) is true; if the universal does not belong to the thing, then the application is false. "Grass is green" is true because grass has the property of being green; "Grass is carnivorous" is false because grass hasn't the property of being carnivorous; etc. See nominalism and realism above.


    Having the same basic meaning in all instances of the use of a word; The specific and unambiguous meaning of a word in a particular context.


    Perhaps the most widely held ethical doctrine in the Western world today, utilitarianism had its forerunners throughout philosophical history, but it came into concrete form during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-73) said it best: "Utility or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness, is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure." A moral theory originally advanced by Jeremy Bentham according to which the moral character of an act - whether it's good or bad or right or wrong - is entirely determined by its consequences, and likening moral reasoning to economic calculation Utilitarians maintain the right course of action is always the one that has the most beneficial or least detrimental consequences overall, for all affected. Bentham's hedonistic brand of utilitarianism identifies the benefits in question with pleasure and the costs with pain. John Stuart Mill speaks, instead, of "happiness": according to Mill's greatest happiness principle, our moral aim should be "the greatest happiness for the greatest number." Contemporary utilitarians, like Peter Singer, are more apt to speak of the benefits to be counted as "preference satisfactions" or "interest satisfactions," counting the corresponding dissatisfactions as costs. Rule utilitarians hold that utilitarian calculation should be used to make rules rather than directly applied to evaluate actions.


    For utilitarians, the measure of the moral character of an act or (or for Rule utilitarians a rule), of whether it's good (or right) or bad (or wrong). The utility of an act (or rule) equals the sum of its beneficial consequences minus the sum of its detrimental consequences: the principle of utility says whatever course of action (or rule) has the most utility - the best overall benefit-cost outcome - is the morally right choice.


    Philosophers call a term "vague" when there's no sharp borderline between cases where the term applies and cases where it doesn't apply. So, for instance, it's a vague matter how few hairs on your head makes you bald, or how many dollars in your bank account makes you rich, or how many grains of sand it takes to make a heap. "Vague" does not mean "ambiguous." Nor does it mean "unclear" or "difficult to understand." Consider the following sentence: The point of this essay is to prove that human beings never perceive material objects themselves, but only the a priori interface between a phenomenal object and its conceptual content. This doesn't mean anything. It's just a bunch of words I put together in a way that doesn't make any clear sense. You can call such prose "opaque," or "difficult to understand," or "gibberish." Don't call it "vague."


    In logic, the term used to indicate that the conclusion follows deductively and necessarily from the propositions of an argument, although the conclusion may not be true. A property of arguments: being such that the truth of the premises guarantees or necessitates the truth of the conclusion.


    Testability; specifically used to refer to that which can be tested empirically (by the senses); often associated with the "scientific" method; often said to be one of the essential elements in adequately testing the truth or reality of a statement or substance.


    According to the school of logical positivism (ca. 1920), the verification principle serves as the criterion of whether or not a statement is meaningful. Simply, any proposition which is not subject to empirical verification is meaningless. Thus, to make statements about God is to utter nonsense since God is not subject to empirical verification. However, the problem with the verification principle, a problem which was conceded by the logical positivists themselves, is that the verification principle itself cannot be empirically verified. Thus, it is self-refuting. see logical positivism.

    Verification principle – the view that a proposition can be true either by definition or by empirical verification (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1999).

    [Viz. to wit. 1) abbrev of videlicet. viz or "namely", or "in other words". A term used in a text to advise the reader that
    what follows provides more detail about the preceding statement. From Latin for, to wit ... or this one 2) Definition of viz. adverb chiefly British namely; in other words (used to introduce a gloss or explanation):the first music-reproducing media, viz. the music box and the player piano Origin: abbreviation of videlicet, z being a medieval Latin symbol for -et. used in academic circles, see qua.]


    An undesirable or despicable personality trait, such as cruelty, or cowardice. According to Aristotle vices are either of excess or defect: e.g., cowardice is not facing up to danger enough (a vice of defect); rashness is facing up to danger too much (a vice of excess); while courage, the intermediate virtue, is facing up to danger appropriately, at the right time, in the right place, for the right reasons.


    A desirable or admirable personality trait, such as kindness, or courage. According to Aristotle, every virtue is a mean between two vices: kindness a mean between cruelty and softness; courage a mean between cowardice and rashness; etc.


    The theological theory that God is and/or promotes what he is and/or does because God wills it to be so, i.e., The Islamic God determines what are good acts and what are evil acts by his arbitrary will, not because good (as opposed to evil) is intrinsic to God's nature; also, the ontological theory that identifies "cosmic energy" with will (from the philosopher Schopenhauer).


    An unofficial religion derived from the ancestor worship and polytheism of primitive West Africa that emphasizes sorcery, spells and conjuring spirits of the dead. Voodoo also practices a syncretistic version of some Roman Catholic Christian rituals. Voodoo is principally practiced in the modern world on the Caribbean island of Haiti, and flourishes despite formal and informal opposition.


    The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), who had a tremendous impact on the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), believed that the fundamental instinct of man was the "will to live." Nietzsche, however, believed that even more fundamental than this "will to live" was the "will to power." "This world," wrote Nietzsche, "is the Will to Power - and nothing else! And you yourselves too are this Will to Power - and nothing else!"
    Although on the surface, Nietzsche seems to be asserting a barbaric principle of "victory to the strongest," this is not what he is saying (he has been grossly misinterpreted and exploited here). What Nietzsche is insisting upon is a psychological principle that at the base of human behavior is an instinct or desire ( Will) to extend its influence or power, or to further its ability, for its own interests. For one person, conquest and excellence might reflect this will to power; for another person, submission or a glorious death might reflect this will to power (e.g. the power of martyrdom); for another person, self-discipline or self-mastery might reflect this will to power - so, the inference that Nietzsche's will to power is associated only with conquest or apparent greatness is a false inference. Nietzsche's concept of the will to power must be understood within the context of his existential idea that the human being strives to "Become . . .," rather than simply "to be." At the same time, however, Nietzsche's idea of the will to power would be fully attained when a human being reached the level of Ubermensch (i.e. Superman, Overman, hyperanthropos).


    A formal term describing spiritual disciplines followed for centuries by Hindus and Buddhists to attain higher consciousness and liberation from ignorance, suffering, and rebirth with the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will. More broadly, it refers to any system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being and is practiced by many in the West as a form of physical training. The emphasis on physical exercises is derived from a version known as hatha yoga.

    [Zeitgeist: The spirit of the times. "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age." Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political ...]


    A sect of Mahayanan Buddhism that teaches enlightenment through meditation on a non-rational koan that results in direct intuition. Zen greatly influenced social and political life in Japan after the 14th century, especially the work of Matsuo Basho, the 15th century artist considered Japan's foremost practitioner of haiku. It has grown popular in the West largely through the writings of D.T. Suzuki.


    Humanoid beings that behave like us and may share our functional organizations and even, perhaps, our neurophysiological makeups, but without qualetative conscious experiences.


    Zoroaster is the 6th century B.C.E. founder of Zoroastrianism and traditionally recognized author of the Avesta, the holy scriptures of this ancient religion. Zoroaster taught there is a war occurring between the spirits of good (ahuras) and the spirits of evil (daevas or divs) that will result in the ultimate triumph of the supreme spirit of good, the Ahura Mazdah. Zoroastrianism almost disappeared when 7th Century Persia fell to Islam. It is still practiced in some parts of Iran and India. The ancient Iranian name for Zoroaster is ZARATHUSTRA.

    *Continental philos and Analytic philos defined here by Mel Thompson in Teach Youself Philosophy.


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