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A FORTIORI  look up translate image
Literally, with greater force; in logic, all the more reason.
A POSTERIORI  look up translate image
In epistemology, knowledge derived from, or posterior to (comes after), five sense experience. Knowledge that comes from experience.
A PRIORI  look up translate image
In epistemology, knowledge which is acquired prior to, or independently of, five sense experience.
ABSOLUTE  look up translate image
Something that is independent of, and unconditioned by, anything external to itself (non-contingent).
ABSOLUTISM  look up translate image
the position that in a particular domain of thought, all statements in that domain are either absolutely true or absolutely false: none is true for some cultures or eras while false for other cultures or eras. These statements are called absolute truths. A common reaction by those who newly criticize absolutism is the absolute truth statement: Absolute truths do not exist.
ABSTRACT IDEA  look up translate image
A general idea; that which exists in the mind rather than in the external world.
ABSURD  look up translate image
In logic, that which is irrational or contradictory.
ABSURDISM  look up translate image
philosophy stating that the efforts of man to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail because no such meaning exists (at least in relation to man). Absurdism is related to existentialism, though should not be confused with it, nor nihilism.
ACCIDENT  look up translate image
In metaphysics, a quality, property or characteristic that is not essential to the nature of a thing.
ACCIDENTALISM  look up translate image
any system of thought that denies the causal nexus and maintains that events succeed one another haphazardly or by chance (not in the mathematical but in the popular sense). In metaphysics, accidentalism denies the doctrine that everything occurs or results from a definite cause. In this connection it is synonymous with tychism (ruxi, chance), a term used by Charles Sanders Peirce for the theories that make chance an objective factor in the process of the Universe.
ACOSMISM  look up translate image
in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the prefix "a-" in Greek meaning negation; like "un-" in English), and only the infinite Unmanifest Absolute as real. This philosophy begins with the recognition that there is only one Reality, which is infinite, non-dual, blissful, etc. Yet the phenomenal reality of which we are normally aware is none of these things; it is in fact just the oppositei.e., dualistic, finite, full of suffering and pain,...(more)
ACTUALITY  look up translate image
In scholastic philosophy, the state of being something in reality (or in fact) rather than being something in potential.
AD HOC  look up translate image
Literally, to or for this; pertaining to this one particular case alone.
AD HOMINEM  look up translate image
An ad hominem argument is an argument that attacks a claim on the basis of features of the person who holds it. Two different sorts of argument are called "ad hominem arguments." One of these is a fallacious sort of argument; the other is perfectly respectable. The fallacious version is where you criticize someone's views because of logically irrelevant personal defects. For instance: His views about relationships must be false because he's a philanderer. or: His views about...(more)
AD INFINITUM  look up translate image
Going on forever (without end).
AESTHETICISM  look up translate image
another name for the Aesthetic movement, a loosely defined movement in art and literature in later 19th century Britain. Proponents of the movement held that art does not have any didactic purpose, it need only be beautiful. Life should copy Art. The main characteristics of the movement were: suggestion rather than statement, sensuality, massive use of symbols, and synaesthetic effects that is, correspondence between words, colors and music.
AESTHETICS  look up translate image
The branch of philosophy concerned with the study of beauty and art.
AGNOSTIC ATHEISM  look up translate image
the philosophical view that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Due to definitional variance, an agnostic atheist does not believe in God or gods and by extension holds true: 'the existence and nonexistence of deities is currently unknown and may be absolutely unknowable', or 'knowledge of the existence and nonexistence of deities is irrelevant or unimportant', or 'abstention from claims of knowledge of the existence and nonexistence of deities is optimal'.
AGNOSTIC THEISM  look up translate image
the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist is one who views that the truth value of claims regarding the existence of god(s) is unknown or inherently unknowable but chooses to believe in god(s) in spite of this.
AGNOSTICISM  look up translate image
The belief that one does not, or cannot, know ultimate reality (especially God).
ALTRUISM  look up translate image
The belief that everyone should be concerned for the benefit and welfare of others.
AMBIGUOUS  look up translate image
In a philosophical discussion, you should call a term "ambiguous" when and only when the expression has more than one acceptable meaning. For instance, "bank" is ambiguous (river bank, Bank of Boston). Also, sentences can be ambiguous, as in "Flying planes can be dangerous." Is it the activity of flying which is dangerous, or is it the planes which are dangerous? Or: "Every child loves a clown." Does this mean there is one lucky clown that all the children love? Or does it mean that...(more)
AMORAL  look up translate image
That which is neither moral nor immoral; outside the moral realm.
ANALYTIC  look up translate image
Term used by Immanuel Kant to describe a specific type of proposition; namely, one in which the subject is contained within the predicate. A classic example of this is the proposition, "A bachelor is an unmarried male." Since the predicate 'unmarried male' occurs within the concept of 'bachelor' (that is, part of the definition of 'bachelor' is 'unmarried male') this proposition is analytic. Almost every philosopher has held that analytic proposition must also be a priori, since they seem "true by definition". Contrast with synthetic.
ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY  look up translate image
A modern movement in philosophy (primarily in England and North America) which identifies the analysis of language as the central task of philosophy. Linguistic analysis is used as a tool to identify and resolve philosophical problems.
ANALYTIC PROPOSITION  look up translate image
According to Kant, a proposition (statement) that is true by definition; a proposition whose predicate is deducible from the subject, as in "All bachelors are unmarried men."
ANALYTICAL REDUCTIONISM  look up translate image
as used in "Is Reductionism A Good Approach In Science?" "is the underlying a priori of ontological reductionism".
ANARCHISM  look up translate image
in politics, any of a number of views and movements that advocate the elimination of rulership or government. Other than being opposed to the state, there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold. Compare and contrast libertarianism.
ANARCHO-CAPITALISM  look up translate image
a philosophy based on the idea of individual sovereignty, and a prohibition against initiatory coercion and fraud. It sees the only just basis for law as arising from private property norms and an unlimited right of contract between sovereign individuals. From this basis, anarcho-capitalism rejects the state as an unjustified monopolist and aggressor against sovereign individuals, and embraces anti-statist laissez-faire capitalism. Anarcho-capitalists would aim to protect individual liberty and property by replacing a government monopoly, which is involuntarily funded through taxation, with private, competing businesses.
ANARCHO-PRIMITIVISM  look up translate image
an anarchist critique of the origins and progress of civilization. Primitivists argue that the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, and alienation. They advocate a return to non-"civilized" ways of life through deindustrialisation, abolition of division of labour or specialization, and abandonment of technology.
ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM  look up translate image
a form of anarchism that allies itself with syndicalism, that is, with labor unions, as a force for revolutionary social change. Anarcho-syndicalists seek to replace capitalism and the state with a democratically worker-managed means of production. They seek to abolish the wage system and most forms of private property.
ANGST  look up translate image
A German term for an inner sense of despair or dread.
ANIMISM  look up translate image
"animism" has been applied to many different philosophical systems. It is used to describe Aristotle's view of the relation of soul and body held also by the stoics and scholastics. On the other hand monadology (Leibniz) has also been termed animistic. The name is most commonly applied to vitalism, which makes life, or life and mind, the directive principle in evolution and growth, holding that life is not merely mechanical but that there is a directive force that guides energy without altering...(more)
ANTECEDENT  look up translate image
In logic, the first part of a conditional statement. For examle, in the conditional statement "If it is raining, then I will take an umbrella" the phrase "it is raining" is the antecedent. Symbolically, this is represented by the term or terms before the conditional symbol; for example, in the logical statement 'X Y' the 'X' is antecedent. See also consequent.
ANTHROPOCENTRISM  look up translate image
also called Homocentrism, is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. This is similar, but not identical, to the practice of relating all that happens in the universe to the human experience. To clarify, the first position concludes that the fact of human existence is the point of universal existence; the latter merely compares all activity to that of humanity, without making any teleological conclusions.
ANTHROPOMORPHISM  look up translate image
The act of ascribing human characteristics to non-humans (especially to God).
ANTHROPOMORPHISM[1]  look up translate image
a form of personification (applying human or animal qualities to inanimate objects) and similar to prosopopoeia (adopting the persona of another person), is the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to non-human beings, objects, or natural phenomena. Animals, forces of nature, and unseen or unknown authors of chance are frequent subjects of anthropomorphosis. Two examples are the attribution of a human body or of human qualities generally to God (or the gods), and creating imaginary persons who are the embodiment of an abstraction such as Death, Lust, War, or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
ANTI-REALISM  look up translate image
any position involving either the denial of the objective reality of entities of a certain type or the insistence that we should be agnostic about their real existence. Thus, we may speak of anti-realism with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, or even thought.
ANTINOMIANISM  look up translate image
in theology is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. Antinomianism is the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation. The term has become a point of contention among opposed religious authorities. Few groups or sects explicitly call themselves "antinomian", but the charge is often levelled by some sects against competing sects.
ANTINOMY  look up translate image
A contradiction made up of a thesis and antithesis.
ANTITHESIS  look up translate image
The contrast or opposite of the thesis statement.
APOLOGETICS  look up translate image
Literally, to give a defense; in philosophy, to give rational justification for one's beliefs.
APPEALS TO AUTHORITY  look up translate image
In philosophy, there are no real authorities. It is never acceptable to support a position simply by pointing out that someone you've read holds it. You can explain why you think Philosopher X's arguments for that position are persuasive, but a mere statement that the renowned Professor X holds a certain position carries no argumentive weight.
ARCHETYPE  look up translate image
An original model, type, pattern, or paradigm.
ARISTOTELIANISM  look up translate image
Of or pertaining to the philosophy of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
ARMINIANISM  look up translate image
a school of soteriological thought in Protestant Christian theology founded by the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius. Arminianism is closely related to Calvinism (or Reformed theology), and the two systems share both history and many doctrines in common.
ASCETICISM  look up translate image
denotes a life characterised by refraining from worldly pleasures (austerity). Those who practice ascetic lifestyles often perceive their practices as virtuous and pursue them to achieve greater spirituality. In a more cynical context, ascetic may connote some form of self-mortification, ritual punishment of the body or harsh renunciation of pleasure. However, the word certainly does not necessarily imply a negative connotation.
ASCRIPTIVISM [2]  look up translate image
"The view that human beings are to be held responsible for their actions even if determinism is true."
ASSOCIATIONALISM  look up translate image
a political project where "human welfare and liberty are both best served when as many of the affairs of a society as possible are managed by voluntary and democratically self-governing associations".[3] Associationalism "gives priority to freedom in its scale of values, but it contends that such freedom can only be pursued effectively if individuals join with their fellows"[3]
ATHEISM  look up translate image
The belief that no God or gods exist in or beyond the universe (traditional usage). Sometimes defined as an absence of belief in God.
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Glossary of philosophical terms
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Created on 2012-07-19 22:29:09
Number of terms 478
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