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philosophical word1

Terms

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Deontology
in ethics, the theory that emphasizes obligations as primary
Summum bonum
in ethics, the Ultimate Good of human existence, that is, the final good toward which all our endeavors should be directed
Nominalism
the position that only particular entities are real and that universals represent detectable likeness among particulars
Subjective
that which refers to the knower; that which exists in the consciousness but not apart from it
Idealism
in metaphysics, the position that reality is nonmaterial; in epistemology, the view that we all know are our ideas
reflective equilibrium
a term used by Nelson Goodman and John Rawls for a two-way reconciliation between judgments and principles. Judgments about individual cases are guided by principles, but principles can be modified in light of judgments. Equilibrium is reached when principles and judgments fit one another without further alteration. An equilibrium is always liable to be upset by new cases, but that is also true, although less transparently so, if one tries to determine principles by other procedures.
Soul
the immaterial entity that is identified with consciousness, mind, or personality
Determinism
the view that everything that happens is caused
Dualism
the view that reality is composed of two different substances, so that neither one can be related to the other, thus: spirit/matter, mind/body, good/evil
Validity
refers to an argument whose conclusion follws by logical necessity
Innate ideas
ideas that are inborn or naturally born
Formula of Humanity (Kant)
Act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as a means only
Instrumental value
the worth that something has because of its use
Ethical relativism
the position that moral principles vary from individual to indivdual, from culture to culture; it denies the existence of universal, objective moral principles
Hedonistic calculus
a series of calculations used to evaluate the particular ends, either pleasures or avoidance of pains, that human seek
Subjective idealism
the view that all we ever know are our own ideas
Induction
logical reasoning to probable conclusions
Absolute
whatever is absolute would be underived, complete, perfect, unconditioned, and unchangeable in any way
Skepticism
the view that either doubts all assumptions until proved or claims that no knowledge is possible
Tenacity
establishing one's beliefs thorugh one's parents and/or one's environment
Substance
in metaphysics, an entity that can have properties indicated of it but cannot itself be a predicate of any object
Rationalism
the theory of knowledge that holds the ultimate source of knowledge is reason
Agnosticism
the view that God's existence can be neither proved nor disproved
Indeterminism
the view that some individual choices are not caused by earlier events
Atheism
denial of theism; it does not believe in a Supreme Being who created and cares for people, but it does not necessarily deny the existence of nontheistic gods
Leap of faith
an expression used by Kierkegaard to refer to the unquestioned existence of God
Cosmology
the study of the way by which the world unfolds and evolves
Social humanism
the political philosophy of John Dewey, which holds that every mature human being must be allowed to participate in the formation of the values that regulate living of people together
Contingent
something that may be and also may not be
Relativism
the view that one's moral views are conditioned by factors such as acculturation and personal bias
Forms
a metaphysical term used by Plato to refer to nonmaterial, eternal, and changeless entities that constitute reality; examples of Plato's Forms are beauty, justice, man, and so on
Method of science (Peirce)
this method involves the sound reasoning and painstaking observation that is used in any science to establish the nature of the real; Peirce argues that the scientific method is the only one of the four approaches that can distinguish the true from the false and this alone can settle disagreements in belief
Ethical egoism
the belief that all people ought to seek their own interests
Materialism
the metaphysical view that holds that only physical entities are real or exist
memes
they replicate by memory and imitation (mimesis); includes tunes, ideas, fashions and techniques; they require, as teh environment in which they can replicate, a collection of minds, that is, brains that have the powers of imitation and memory; these brains are themselves the products of evolution by gene selection
Naturalism
the worldview that holds that there is but a single order of reality, that of matter-in-motion
Polytheism
belief in many Gods
Predestination
the view that every aspect of our lives has been divinely determined from the beginning of time
Social philosophy
the application of moral principles to the problems of freedom, equality, and justice
Intrinsic value
the inherent worth that something has
Theology
the study of God, including religious doctrines
Omniscient
all-knowing
Method of tenacity (Peirce)
fixing one's beliefs according to envirionment or personal relationships
Secondary qualities
according to Locke, qualities that we impose on an object: colour, smell, texture, and so on
Inference
an argument using induction or deduction
Truth
the approximation of thought to reality
Metaethics
the study of the meanings of ethical words and of the sentences in which they appear
Essence
the qualities without which any particular object/event would not exist or would be a distinctly different kind of object/event. The qualities necessary for anything to be what it is
the problem of evil
The epistemic question posed by evil is whether the world contains undesirable states of affairs that provide the basis for an argument that makes it unreasonable for anyone to believe in the existence of God.
Empiricism
the view that knowledge has its origins in and derives all of its content from experience
Hypothetical imperative
a command that is useful to attain some end
Predeterminism
the belief that events (either some or all) throughout eternity have been foreordained by some supernatural power (usually God)
Omnipresent
being everywhere at once
Dialectical method
a method used by Socrates, Hegel, and Marx, of asking questions and critically analyzing answers as a way to arrive at propositions that can be accepted as true
Nihilism
the view that nothing has value
Predicate
that which is affirmed or denied of a subject or substance
Bourgeoisie
those who own the means of production
Instinctive
natural
Coherence theory
the view contending that truth is a property of a related group of consistent statements
Existentialism
the philosophy that argues that we create our own essence through free action
Utilitarianism
the view that each of us should seek the greatest good for the greatest number of people
Solipsism
the doctrine that only "I" exists
Soft determinism
attempts to reconcile freedom and responsibility with determinism
Analytic
in epistemology, a particular kind of statement in which the predicate merely spells our what the subject implies, for example, "a bachelor is an unmarried man,"
Morals
a person's principles concerning what is right or wrong
Emotivism
the metaethical position that ethical statements fundamentally express emotions
Correspondence theory
the view contending that truth is an agreement between the proposition and a fact
A priori
concerns knowledge that is gained prior to experience
Normative ethics
the area of ethics that makes judgements about obligation and value
Sense data
images or sense impressions
Rational
based on or appealing to reason
Formula of Autonomy (Kant)
the idea of the will of every rational being as a universally legislative will
Method of intuition (Peirce)
those who follow this method arrive at thier beliefs independent of experience, that is, by intuition
Denotation
defining a term by providing examples
Ethics
the area of philosophy that analyzes the good and right thing to do
Fatalism
the view that events are fixed, usually by a divine being
Deism
the view that God, having created the universe, remains apart from it and administers it through natural laws
Axiom
a proposition regarded as self-evident or true
Formula of Universal Law of Nature (Kant)
act as if teh mazim of the action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature
Realism
the view that to be real is to exist apart from perception
onotological agrument
an attempt at proving the existence of God by stating that God exists because our conception of Him exists and nothing greater than God can be conceived of.
Tautology
a proposition that is true because of the meanings of its word
Hedonism
in ethics, the doctrine that pleasure is the ultimate goal of life that does and should determine our behaviour
Laissez-faire
in economics, the act of governement noninterference
A posteriori
concerns knowledge gianed through experience
Pragmatism
the philosophy that rejects all first principles and tests truth through workability
Universal
that which is predictive of many particular entities; thus "human" is a universal, because it is predictive of individual humans
Aesthetics
the area of philosophy that studies beauty, especially in the arts
Fascism
an organic view of the state in which the supreme value is placed on the state rather than on the individual
Intuition
a source of knowledge that does not rely immediately on the senses or reason by on direct awareness
Deduction
logical reasoning to necessary conclusions
Method of authority (Peirce)
fixing one's beliefs according to a person, an institution, or a state; one blieves that what this authority states is true
Totalitarianism
the political view that the state is of paramount importance
Proposition
a true or false statement
Free will
the view that human acts are not completely determined
Monotheism
the belief in a single God
Analogy
when one reasons by analogy, one concludes that because two or more entitles share one aspect, they share another as well
Egoism
an ethical theory that contends that we act morally when we act for our own interests
Communitarianism
a critique of classical social and political liberalism, stressing the central importance of the community group over the autonomous individual in the formulation of political and economic rights and obligations
Logic
teh branch of philosophy that studies the methods and principles of correct reasoning
Synthetic
a statement in which the subject term does not contain the predicate
Pantheism
teh belief that everything is God
Proletariat
the worker or the members of the working class
Categorical imperative
Immanuel Kant's ethical standard: so act as if the maxim by which you act were to become a universal law
Catharsis
Aristotole's doctrine that states that tragedy provokes emotions of pity and fear to the extent that they are purged from the individual, who takes pleasure in that purgation
dilectical monism
is an ontological position which holds that reality is ultimately a unified whole, distinguishing itself from plain monism by asserting that this whole necessarily expresses itself in dualistic terms. For the dialectical monist, the essential unity is that of complementary polarities which, while opposed in the realm of experience and perception, are co-substantial in a transcendent sense.
Libertarianism
teh metaphysical view that humans have free will in spite of any past events; this is the theory of Sartre and Richard Taylor
Epistemology
the area of philosophy that investigates the nature, sources, limitations, and validity of knowledge
Creationism
the theory that life orginated through an act of the Creator; it strongly criticizes the theory of evolution
Compatibilism
another name for soft determinism
Omnipotent
all-powerful
Psychological egoism
the belief that individuals always seek their own interests
Law of contradiction
a law of logic that states that a proposition and its negation cannot both be true at the same time
Teleology
the theory that deliberate, purposive activity, rather than mere chance, is involved in some process
varificationism philosophy,
epistemic theories of truth are attempts to analyse the notion of truth in terms of epistemic notions such as "belief", "acceptance", "verification", "justification", "perspective" and so on

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