Philosophical terms dictionary The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence. It is often used as an alternate term for "God " or "the Divine ", especially, but by no means exclusively, by those who feel that the term "God" lends itself too easily to anthropomorphic presumptions. The concept of The Absolute may or may not (depending on one's specific doctrine) possess discrete will , intelligence , awareness or even a personal nature. It contrasts with finite things, considered individually, and known collectively as the relative . Agnosticism (Greek : α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge; after Gnosticism ) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology , afterlife or the existence of deities , ghosts , or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently impossible to prove or disprove. It is often put forth as a middle ground between theism and atheism , though it is not a religious declaration in itself. Agnosticism does not preclude religious belief; that is to say, an agnostic must be a theist or an atheist, but can be 'agnostically' so. Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and/or non-religious people, using 'agnostic' in the sense of 'noncommittal'. [dubious – discuss ] However, this can be misleading given the existence of agnostic theists , who identify themselves as both agnostics in the original sense and followers of a particular religion. Some authors assert that it is possible to be both an atheist and an agnostic and some nontheists self-identify as agnostic atheists . Philosophers and thinkers who have written about agnosticism include Thomas Henry Huxley , Albert Einstein , Robert G. Ingersoll , and Bertrand Russell . Religious scholars who wrote about agnosticism are Peter Kreeft , Blaise Pascal and Joseph Ratzinger , later elected as Pope Benedict XVI . Analysis (from Greek ἀνάλυσις, "a breaking up") is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle , though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development. As a formal concept, the method has variously been ascribed to Ibn al-Haytham , René Descartes (Discourse on the Method ) and Galileo Galilei . It has also been ascribed to Isaac Newton, in the form of a practical method of physical discovery (which he did not name or formally describe). Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. In a narrower sense, analogy is an inference or an argument from one particular to another particular, as opposed to deduction , induction , and abduction , where at least one of the premises or the conclusion is general. The word analogy can also refer to the relation between the
The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence. It is often used as an alternate term for "God" or "the Divine", especially, but by no means exclusively, by those who feel that the term "God" lends itself too easily to anthropomorphic presumptions. The concept of The Absolute may or may not (depending on one's specific doctrine) possess discrete will, intelligence, awareness or even a personal nature. It contrasts with
finite things, considered individually, and known collectively as the relative. Agnosticism (Greek: α- a-, without + γνώσις gnōsis, knowledge; after Gnosticism) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of deities, ghosts, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently impossible to prove or disprove. It is often put forth as a middle ground between theism and atheism, though it is not a religious declaration in itself. Agnosticism does not preclude religious belief; that is to say, an agnostic must be a theist or an atheist, but can be 'agnostically' so. Demographic research services normally list agnostics in the same category as atheists and/or non-religious people, using 'agnostic' in the sense of 'noncommittal'.[dubious – discuss] However, this can be misleading given the existence of agnostic theists, who identify themselves as both agnostics in the original sense and followers of a particular religion. Some authors assert that it is possible to be both an atheist and an agnostic and some nontheists self-identify as agnostic atheists. Philosophers and thinkers who have written about agnosticism include Thomas Henry Huxley, Albert Einstein, Robert G. Ingersoll, and Bertrand Russell. Religious scholars who wrote about agnosticism are Peter Kreeft, Blaise Pascal and Joseph Ratzinger, later elected as Pope Benedict XVI. Analysis (from Greek ἀνάλυσις, "a breaking up") is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle, though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development. As a formal concept, the method has variously been ascribed to Ibn al-Haytham, René Descartes (Discourse on the Method) and Galileo Galilei. It has also been ascribed to Isaac Newton, in the form of a practical method of physical discovery (which he did not name or formally describe). Analogy is both the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target), and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process. In a narrower sense, analogy is an inference or an argument from one particular to another particular, as opposed to deduction, induction, and abduction, where at least one of the premises or the conclusion is general. The word analogy can also refer to the relation between the
source and the target themselves, which is often, though not necessarily, a similarity, as in the biological notion of analogy. Antinomy (Greek αντι-, against, plus νομος, law) literally means the mutual incompatibility, real or apparent, of two laws. It is a term used in logic and epistemology. The term acquired a special significance in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, who used it to describe the equally rational but contradictory results of applying to the universe of pure thought the categories or criteria of reason proper to the universe of sensible perception or experience (phenomena). Empirical reason cannot here play the role of establishing rational truths because it goes beyond possible experience and is applied to the sphere of that which transcends it. Anthropology (/ˌænθ ɹəˈ pɒlədʒi/, from Greek ἄνθρωπος, anthrōpos, "human"; and -λογία, -logia)  is the study of the man and the humanity in its totality. Anthropology has origins in the natural sciences, and the humanities. In Great Britain it was originally divided into physical anthropology and cultural anthropology, which itself was divided into archaeology, technology, ethnology (the comparative study of different peoples, focusing on material culture, language, religion and other social institutions) and sociology (the comparative study of social phenomena). In the United States anthropology traditionally has been comprised of four fields: physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and cultural anthropology. Today, in Britain, Archaeology and Sociology are generally taught as separate subjects, and ethnology was renamed social anthropology and emerged as the leading focus of anthropology. Anthropology in other countries generally follows one or both of these models Anthropomorphism is the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, natural and supernatural phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. Subjects for anthropomorphism commonly include animals and plants depicted as creatures with human motivation able to reason and converse, forces of nature such as winds or the sun, components in games, unseen or unknown sources of chance, etc. Almost anything can be subject to anthropomorphism. The term derives from a combination of the Greek ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos), "human" and μορφή (morphē), "shape" or "form". Anthropocentrism (from Greek: άνθρωπος, anthropos, "human being"; and κέντρον, kentron, "center") is the belief that humans must be considered at the center of, and above any other aspect of, reality. This concept is sometimes known as humanocentrism or human supremacy. Apologists are authors, writers, editors of scientific logs or academic journals, and leaders known for taking on the points in arguments, conflicts or positions that are
either placed under popular scrutinies or viewed under persecutory examinations. The term comes from the Greek word apologia (απολογία), meaning a speaking in defence. Aporia (Ancient Greek: ἀπορία: impasse; lack of resources; puzzlement; embarrassment ) denotes, in philosophy, a philosophical puzzle or state of puzzlement, and, in rhetoric, a rhetorically useful expression of doubt In the ancient Greek philosophy, arche (ἀρχή) is the beginning or the first principle of the world. The idea of an arche was first philosophized by Thales of Miletus, who claimed that the first principle of all things is water. His theory was supported by the observation of moisture throughout the world and coincided with his theory that the earth floated on water. Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the assertion that there are no deities, or the rejection of theism. It is also defined more broadly as an absence of belief in deities, or nontheism. Many self-described atheists are skeptical of all supernatural beings and cite a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Others argue for atheism on philosophical, social or historical grounds. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere; and some religions, such as Jainism and Buddhism, do not require belief in a personal god. Atman may refer to a concept in several Indian religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism:
· Atman (Hinduism) · Atman (Buddhism)
The atom is a basic unit of matter consisting of a dense, central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons (except in the case of Hydrogen-1, which is the only stable isotope with no neutron). The electrons of an atom are bound to the nucleus by the electromagnetic force. Likewise, a group of atoms can remain bound to each other, forming a molecule. An atom containing an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral, otherwise it has a positive or negative charge and is an ion. An atom is classified according to the number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus: the number of protons determines the chemical element, and the number of neutrons determine the isotope of the element. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices considered by most to be a religion and is based on the teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as "The Buddha" (the Awakened One), who was born in what is today Nepal.He
lived and taught in the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent and likely died around 400 BCE. Buddhists recognize him as an awakened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering by understanding the true nature of phenomena, thereby escaping the cycle of suffering and rebirth (saṃsāra), that is, achieving Nirvana. Among the methods various schools of Buddhism apply towards this goal are: ethical conduct and altruistic behaviour, devotional practices, ceremonies and the invocation of bodhisattvas, renunciation of worldly matters, meditation, physical exercises, study, and the cultivation of wisdom. Brahmin (Brāhmaṇa, ) is the class of educators, law makers, scholars and preachers of Dharma in Hinduism. It is said to occupy the highest position among the four varnas of Hinduism. The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brāhmana (Brāhman also refers to a sanskrit word Brahma- meaning 'knowledge', Brahman (noun form) who possesses the 'knowledge.' Brahmins are also called Vipra "learned",or Dvija "twice-born". Faith is the confident belief in the truth of or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. It is also used for a belief, characteristically without proof. Informal usage of the word "faith" can be quite broad, and may be used standardly in place of "trust", "belief", or "hope". For example, the word "faith" can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general. As with "trust", faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes. The English word faith is dated from 1200–50, from the Latin fidem, or fidēs, meaning trust, akin to fīdere to trust. Faith is often used in a religious context, as in theology, where it almost universally refers to a trusting belief in a transcendent reality, or else in a Supreme Being and said being's role in the order of transcendent, spiritual things. In Christianity it derives from the Greek pistis or root word peitho, meaning to trust, to have confidence, faithfulness, reliable, to assure. In the Jewish scriptures it refers to how God acts toward His people and how they are to respond to him: Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is
a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions
a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining
Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the "vital spark," "energy" or "élan vital," which some equate with the "soul." Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease was the result of some imbalance in the vital energies which distinguish living from non-living matter. In the Western tradition founded by Hippocrates, these vital forces were associated with the four temperaments and
humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana. Vitalistic thinking has also been identified in the naive biological theories of children. Voluntaryism the philosophical position that the only legitimate interactions between and among people are those freely assented to by all parties concerned Will or willpower, is a philosophical concept that is defined in several different ways Hedonism is a type of philosophy for that the pleasure is an ultimate importance and the most important pursuit for the man. The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" (ήδονισμός hēdonismos from ήδονή hēdonē "pleasure", a cognate of English sweet + suffix ισμός ismos "ism"). A genius is an individual who successfully applies a previously unknown technique in the production of a work of art, science or calculation, or who masters and personalizes a known technique. A genius typically possesses great intelligence or remarkable abilities in a specific subject, or shows an exceptional natural capacity of intellect and/or ability, especially in the production of creative and original work, something that has never been seen or evaluated previously. Traits often associated with genius include strong individuality, imagination, uniqueness, and innovative drive. The term may be applied to someone who is considered gifted in many subjects or in one subject. A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις) consists either of a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or of a reasoned proposal predicting a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena. The term derives from the Greek, hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose." The scientific method requires that one can test a scientific hypothesis. Scientists generally base such hypotheses on previous observations or on extensions of scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously in common and informal usage, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A Hypothesis is never to be stated as a question, but always as a statement with an explanation following it. It is not to be a question because it states what he/she thinks or believes will occur. The term gnosiology (μελέτη της γνώσης) is derived from the Greek words gnosis ('knowledge', γνώση) and logos ('word' or 'discourse', λόγος). Linguistically, one might compare it to epistemology, which is derived from the Greek words episteme ('knowledge') and logos (idea). As a philosophical concept, gnosiology broadly means the theory of knowledge, which in ancient Greek philosophy was perceived as a combination of sensory perception and intellect and then made into memory.
Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality, without resorting to the supernatural or alleged divine authority from religious texts. It is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems. Humanism can be considered as a process by which truth and morality is sought through human investigation and as such views on morals can change when new knowledge and information is discovered. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on belief without reason, the supernatural, or texts of allegedly divine origin. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial. Darwinism is a term used for various movements or concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or evolution, including ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin. The meaning of Darwinism has changed over time, and varies depending on who is using the term. Deduction can refer to one of the following usages:
· Deductive reasoning, inference in which the conclusion is of no greater generality than the premises
Deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty"; and -λογία, -logia) is an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of intentions or motives behind action such as respect for rights, duties, or principles, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions. It is sometimes described as "duty" or "obligation" based ethics, because deontologists believe that ethical rules "bind you to your duty". The term 'deontological' was first used in this way in 1930, in C. D. Broad's book, Five Types of Ethical Theory. Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. With numerous historical debates, many varieties and philosophical positions on the subject of determinism exist from traditions throughout the world.
Dialectic (also called dialectics or the dialectical method) is a method of argument, which has been central to both Eastern and Western philosophy since ancient times. The word "dialectic" originates in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato's Socratic dialogues. Dialectic is rooted in the ordinary practice of a dialogue between two people, each of whom holds different ideas and wishes to persuade the other. The presupposition of a dialectical argument is that the participants share at least some meanings and principles of inference in common, even if they do not agree. Different forms of dialectical reason have emerged in the East and in the West, as well as during different eras of history (see below). Among the major forms of dialectic reason are Hindu, Buddhist, Socratic, Medieval, Hegelian, Marxist, and Talmudic. A dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. It is also a literary form in which two or more parties engage in a discussion. Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted or diverged from. The term derives from Greek δόγμα "that which seems to one, opinion or belief" and that from δοκέω (dokeo), "to think, to suppose, to imagine". The plural is either dogmas or dogmata , from Greek δόγματα. The English word "spirit" comes from the Latin "spiritus" (breath). The term is commonly used to refer to a supernatural being which is transcendent and therefore metaphysical in nature. For many people, however, spirit, like soul, is a natural part of a being, and is identified with mind, or consciousness, or the brain In many religions and parts of philosophy, the soul is the immaterial part of a person. It is usually thought to consist of one's thoughts and personality, and can be synonymous with the spirit, mind or self. In theology, the soul is often believed to live on after the person’s death, and some religions posit that God creates souls. In some cultures, non-human living things, and sometimes inanimate objects are said to have souls, a belief known as animism. The terms soul and spirit are often used interchangeably, although the former may be viewed as a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person than the latter. The words soul and psyche can also be treated synonymously, although psyche has relatively more physical connotations, whereas soul is connected more closely to metaphysics and religion. Heuristic (hyu-ˈris -tik) is an adjective for methods that help in problem solving, in turn leading to learning and discovery. These methods in most cases employ experimentation and trial-and-error techniques. A heuristic method is particularly
used to rapidly come to a solution that is reasonably close to the best possible answer, or 'optimal solution'. Heuristics are "rules of thumb", educated guesses, intuitive judgments or simply common sense. In the scientific kumquat inquiry, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, "to try out") is a method of investigating causal relationships among variables. An experiment is a cornerstone of the empirical approach to acquiring data about the world and is used in both natural sciences and social sciences. An experiment can be used to help solve practical problems and to support or negate theoretical assumptions. In philosophy, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which asserts that knowledge arises from experience. Empiricism is one of several competing views about how we know "things," part of the branch of philosophy called epistemology, or "theory of knowledge". Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas (except in so far as these might be inferred from empirical reasoning, as in the case of genetic predisposition). In the philosophy of science, empiricism emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature Aesthetics or esthetics (also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature." Aesthetics is a subdiscipline of axiology, a branch of philosophy, and is closely associated with the philosophy of art. Aesthetics studies new ways of seeing and of perceiving the world. Ethics is the major branch of philosophy that encompasses proper conduct and good living. It is significantly broader than the common conception of ethics as the analyzing of right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct. Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as the foremost social mediator in relations between people. Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual." Idealization is the process by which scientific models assume facts about the phenomenon being modeled that are certainly false. Often these assumptions are
used to make models easier to understand or solve. Many times idealizations do not harm the predictive accuracy of the model for one reason or another. Most debates surrounding the usefulness of a particular model often are about the appropriateness of different idealizations. Idealism is the philosophical theory which maintains that the ultimate nature of reality is based on mind or ideas. It holds that the so-called external or "real world" is inseparable from mind, consciousness, or perception. In the philosophy of perception, idealism is contrasted with realism in which the external world is said to have a so-called absolute existence prior to, and independent of, knowledge and consciousness. Epistemological idealists (such as Kant), it is claimed, might insist that the only things which can be directly known for certain are just ideas. In the philosophy of mind, idealism is contrasted with materialism in which the ultimate nature of reality is based on physical substances. Idealism and materialism are both theories of monism as opposed to dualism and pluralism. An ideology is a set of aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society. The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change in society through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought (as opposed to mere ideation) applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. As commonly used, individual refers to a person or to any specific object in a collection. In the 15th century and earlier, and also today within the fields of statistics and metaphysics, individual means "indivisible", typically describing any numerically singular thing, but sometimes meaning "a person." (q.v. "The problem of proper names"). From the seventeenth century on, individual indicates separateness, as in individualism. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom. However, most psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence.
Intuition has many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning "ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning", and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power, including:
· Intuition is the philosophical method of Henri Bergson. · Intuition (philosophy) · In psychology, intuition may mean:
· Intuition (knowledge) - understanding without apparent effort, quick and ready insight seemingly independent of previous experiences or empirical knowledge.
· Intuition is one of the four axes of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, opposite sensing.
Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eironeía, meaning hypocrisy, deception, or feigned ignorance) is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does and what one means or what is generally understood. Irony is a mode of expression that calls attention to the character's knowledge and that of the audience. There is some argument about what qualifies as ironic, but all senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is said and what is meant; or between an understanding of reality, or an expectation of a reality, and what actually happens. The term Socratic irony, coined by Aristotle, refers to the Socratic Method, and is not irony in the modern sense of the word. Meanings for the word truth extend from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular. The term has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree, and various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims, both today and throughout history. Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate") is difficult to define. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions. However, the word "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses:
· excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities · an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends
upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning · the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an
institution, organization or group. Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals. Liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Within liberalism, there are various streams of thought which compete over the use of the term "liberal" and may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for constitutional liberalism, which encompasses support for: freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, an individual's right to private property, and a transparent system of government. All liberals, as well as some adherents of other political ideologies, support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law. Logic is the study of the principles of valid demonstration and inference. Logic is a branch of philosophy, a part of the classical trivium. The word derives from Greek λογική (logike), fem. of λογικός (logikos), "possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative", from λόγος logos, "word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle".[ Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism holds at its core a critical analysis of capitalism and a theory of social change. The powerful and innovative methods of analysis introduced by Marx have been very influential in a broad range of disciplines. In the 21st century, we find a theoretical presence of Marxist approaches in the western academic fields of anthropology, media studies, theater, history, Sociological theory, education, economics, literary criticism, aesthetics, and philosophy. The philosophy of materialism holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is matter, and is considered a form of physicalism. Fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions; therefore, matter is the only substance. As a theory, materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism. In common usage, matter is anything that has both mass and volume (takes up space). A more rigorous definition is used in science: matter is what atoms and molecules are made of. Matter is commonly said to exist in four states (or phases): solid, liquid, gas and plasma; other phases, such as Bose–Einstein condensates, also exist. In everyday human environments, matter is closely related to (and in
many contexts equivalent to) mass. Metaphysics investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. Cosmology and ontology are traditional branches of metaphysics. It is concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of being and the world. Someone who studies metaphysics can be called either a "metaphysician" or a "metaphysicist." The word derives from the Greek words μετά (metá) (meaning "beyond" or "after") and φυσικά (physiká) (meaning "physical"), "physical" referring to those works on matter by Aristotle in antiquity. The prefix meta- ("beyond") was attached to the chapters in Aristotle's work that physically followed after the chapters on "physics", in posthumously edited collections. Aristotle himself did not call these works Metaphysics. Aristotle called some of the subjects treated there "first philosophy." A model is a pattern, plan, representation (especially in miniature), or description designed to show the main object or workings of an object, system, or concept Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes both a set of cultural tendencies and an array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The term encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world. Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry, where this is not to be expected. Thus, some philosophers may hold that the Universe is really just one thing, despite its many appearances and diversities; or theology may support the view that there is one God, with many manifestations in different religions. In theology, monotheism (from Greek μόνος "only" and θεός "god") is the belief that only one god exists. The concept of "monotheism" tends to be dominated by the concept of God in the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and the Platonic concept of God as put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. As an example of the latter, at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the plodding and
determined tortoise wins a race against the much-faster yet extremely arrogant hare, the moral is "slow and steady wins the race". The use of stock characters is a means of conveying the moral of the story by eliminating complexity of personality and so spelling out the issues arising in the interplay between the characters, enabling the writer to make clear the message. With more rounded characters, such as those typically found in Shakespeare's plays, the moral may be more nuanced but no less present, and the writer may point it up in other ways (see, for example, the Prologue to Romeo and Juliet.) Naturalism (as distinct from Naturalist, Nature and Natural) refer to various topics within philosophy and science, environmental movements, and other areas.In philosophy and science, naturalism may refer to:
· Naturalism (philosophy), any of several philosophical stances wherein all phenomena or hypotheses commonly labeled as supernatural, are either false or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses
In sramanic thought, Nirvana (Sanskrit: , Nirvāṇa; Pali: , Nibbāna;
Prakrit: ) is the state of being free from both suffering and the cycle of rebirth. It is an important concept in Buddhism and Jainism. Ontology in philosophy (from the Greek ὦν, genitive ὄντος: of being <part. of εἶναι: to be> and -λογία: science, study, theory) is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences. Description is one of four rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse), along with exposition, argumentation, and narration. Each of the rhetorical modes is present in a variety of forms and each has its own purpose and conventions. Pantheism (Greek: πάν (pan) = all and θεός (theos) = God, literally "all God" -ism) is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God. In pantheism the Universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that God is better understood as an abstract principle representing natural law, existence, and the Universe (the sum total of all that is, was, and shall be) than an anthropomorphic entity. The word paradigm (Greek:παράδειγμα (paradigma), composite from para- and the verb δείχνυμι "to show", as a whole -roughly- meaning "example") (IPA: /ˈpær əda ɪm/) has been used in linguistics and science to describe distinct concepts.
Patristics or Patrology is the study of early Christian writers, known as the Church Fathers. The names derive from the Latin pater (father). The period is generally considered to run from the end of New Testament times (around 100 AD) until around the 8th century. Personalism is the school of thought that consists of three main principles, and which can broadly be qualified as species of Humanism :
Only persons are real (in the ontological sense), Only persons have value, and Only persons have free will.
Polytheism is the belief in or worship of multiple deities, such as gods and goddesses. These are usually assembled into a pantheon, along with their own mythologies and rituals. Many religions, both historical and contemporary, have a belief in polytheism, such as Hinduism, Buddhism,Shinto, Ancient Greek Polytheism, Chinese folk religion, Neopagan faiths and Anglo-Saxon paganism. A policy is typically described as a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). However, the term may also be used to denote what is actually done, even though it is unplanned. The term may apply to government, private sector organizations and groups, and individuals. Presidential executive orders, corporate privacy policies, and parliamentary rules of order are all examples of policy. Policy differs from rules or law. While law can compel or prohibit behaviors (e.g. a law requiring the payment of taxes on income) policy merely guides actions toward those that are most likely to achieve a desired outcome. Postmodernism literally means 'after the modernist movement'. While "modern" itself refers to something "related to the present", the movement of modernism and the following reaction of postmodernism are defined by a set of perspectives. It is used in critical theory to refer to a point of departure for works of literature, drama, architecture, cinema and design, as well as in marketing and business and the interpretation of history, law and culture in the late 20th century. In philosophy and models of scientific inquiry, postpositivism (also called postempiricism) is a metatheoretical stance following positivism. Postpositivists believe that human knowledge is not based on unchallengeable, rock-solid foundations; rather it is conjectural. But they think we do have real grounds, or warrants, for asserting these beliefs or conjectures, although these warrants can be modified or withdrawn in the light of further investigation.
Pragmatism is the philosophy of considering practical consequences or real effects to be vital components of meaning and truth. Pragmatism is generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. It came to fruition in the early twentieth-century philosophies of William James and John Dewey and, in a more unorthodox manner, in the works of George Santayana. Other important aspects of pragmatism include anti-Cartesianism, radical empiricism, instrumentalism, anti-realism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, a denial of the fact-value distinction, a high regard for science, and fallibilism. Pragmatism is the philosophy of considering practical consequences or real effects to be vital components of meaning and truth. Pragmatism is generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. It came to fruition in the early twentieth-century philosophies of William James and John Dewey and, in a more unorthodox manner, in the works of George Santayana. Other important aspects of pragmatism include anti-Cartesianism, radical empiricism, instrumentalism, anti-realism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, a denial of the fact-value distinction, a high regard for science, and fallibilism. Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and his followers, which is devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior. It has three applications:
a method of investigation of the mind; a systematized set of theories about human behavior; and a method of treatment of psychological or emotional illness.
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey 286). In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke 263). Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the radical position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge" (Audi 771). Given a pre-modern understanding of reason, "rationalism" is identical to philosophy, the Socratic life of inquiry, or the zetetic interpretation of authority (open to the underlying or essential cause of things as they appear to our sense of certainty). In recent decades, Leo Strauss sought to revive Classical Political Rationalism as a discipline that understands the task of reasoning, not as foundational, but as maieutic.
Rationality as a term is related to the idea of reason, a word which following Webster's may be derived as much from older terms referring to thinking itself as from giving an account or an explanation. This lends the term a dual aspect. One aspect associates it with comprehension, intelligence, or inference, particularly when an inference is drawn in ordered ways (thus a syllogism is a rational argument in this sense). The other part associates rationality with explanation, understanding or justification, particularly if it provides a ground or a motive. 'Irrational', therefore, is defined as that which is not endowed with reason or understanding.In philosophy, rationality and reason are the key methods used to analyze the data gathered through systematically gathered observations. Understanding (also called intellection) is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as, person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object. An understanding is the limit of a conceptualization. To understand something is to have conceptualised it to a given measure. In ordinary usage, skepticism or scepticism (Greek: 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to:
· (a) an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;
· (b) the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain; or
· (c) the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).
In philosophy, skepticism refers more specifically to any one of several propositions. These include propositions about:
· (a) an inquiry, · (b) a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and
continual testing, · (c) the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values, · (d) the limitations of knowledge, · (e) a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment.
Sophism can mean two very different things: In the modern definition, a sophism is a confusing or illogical argument used for deceiving someone. In Ancient Greece, the sophists were a group of teachers of philosophy and rhetoric. The term sophism originated from Greek sophistēs, meaning "wise-ist", one who "does" wisdom, one who makes a business out of wisdom (sophós means "wise man").
The term synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύνθεσις σύν "with" and θέσις "placing") is used in many fields, usually to mean a process which combines together two or more pre-existing elements resulting in the formation of something new. The verb would be to synthesize meaning to make or form a synthesis. Synthesis may refer to:
· Philosophy, the end result of a dialectic as in thesis, antithesis, synthesis Sociology is a branch of the social sciences that uses systematic methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop and refine a body of knowledge about human social structure and activity, and to apply such knowledge to the pursuit of social welfare. Its subject matter ranges from the micro level of face-to-face interaction to the macro level of societies at large. Stoicism was a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early third century B.C. The stoics considered passionate emotions to be the result of errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not have such emotions. Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how they behaved. Later Roman Stoics, such as Seneca and Epictetus, emphasized that because "virtue is sufficient for happiness," a sage was immune to misfortune. This belief is similar to the meaning of the phrase 'stoic calm', though the phrase does not include the "radical ethical" Stoic views that only a sage can be considered truly free, and that all moral corruptions are equally vicious. Structuralism is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze a specific field (for instance, mythology) as a complex system of interrelated parts. It began in linguistics with the work of Ferdinand de Saussure. But many French intellectuals perceived it to have a wider application, and the model was soon modified and applied to other fields, such as anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary theory and architecture. This ushered in the dawn of structuralism as not just a method, but also an intellectual movement that came to take existentialism's pedestal in 1960s France Scholastica (c. 480 - February 10, 547) is a Catholic saint. Born in Italy, she was the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia. St. Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nun and leader of a community for women at Plombariola, about five miles from Benedict's abbey at
Monte Cassino. We do not know what rule this community followed, although it seems most likely it was the Rule of St. Benedict. Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age (some tellings of her story indicate that she preceded Benedict in godliness, and he came to holiness after she did). The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues. A society is a group of humans characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive culture and/or institutions. More broadly, a society is an economic, social and industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied multitude of people. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society may be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons, a nation state, such as Bhutan, or a broader cultural group, such as a Western society. Theology is the study of the existence or attributes of a god or gods, or more generally the study of religion or spirituality. It is sometimes contrasted with religious studies: theology is understood as the study of religion from an internal perspective (e.g., a perspective of commitment to that religion), and religious studies as the study of religion from an external (e.g., a secular) perspective. Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument (philosophical, ethnographic, historical, and others) to help understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote any of myriad religious topics. It might be undertaken to help the theologian. The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. Definitively speaking, a theory is a unifying principle that explains a body of facts and the laws based on them. In other words, it is an explanation to a set of observations. Additionally, in contrast with a theorem the statement of the theory is generally accepted only in some tentative fashion as opposed to regarding it as having been conclusively established. This may merely indicate, as it does in the sciences, that the theory was arrived at using potentially faulty inferences (scientific induction) as opposed to the necessary inferences used in mathematical proofs. In these cases the term theory does not suggest a low confidence in the claim and many uses of the term in the sciences require just the opposite. Technology is a broad concept that deals with an animal species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects an animal species' ability to control and adapt to its environment. Technology is a term with origins in the Greek "technologia", "τεχνολογία" — "techne", "τέχνη" ("craft") and "logia", "λογία" ("saying"). However, a strict definition is elusive; "technology" can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. The term can either be applied generally or to
specific areas: examples include "construction technology", "medical technology", or "state-of-the-art technology". Totemism (derived from the root -oode- in the Ojibwe language, which referred to something kinship-related, c.f. odoodem, "his totem") is a religious belief that is frequently associated with shamanistic religions. The totem is usually an animal or other naturalistic figure that spiritually represents a group of related people such as a clan. Utopia is a name for an ideal community or society, taken from the title of a book written in 1516 by Sir Thomas More describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean, possessing a seemingly perfect socio-politico-legal system. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempted to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. "Utopia" is sometimes used pejoratively, in reference to an unrealistic ideal that is impossible to achieve, and has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia. The word comes from Greek: οὐ, "not", and τόπος, "place", indicating that More was utilizing the concept as allegory and did not consider such an ideal place to be realistically possible. It is worth noting that the homophone Eutopia, derived from the Greek εὖ, "good" or "well", and τόπος, "place", signifies a double meaning that was almost certainly intended. Despite this, most modern usage of the term "Utopia" assumes the later meaning, that of a place of perfection rather than nonexistence. A fetish (from the French fétiche; which comes from the Portuguese feitiço; and this in turn from Latin facticius, "artificial" and facere, "to make") is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. Fideism is a school of thought which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means "faith-ism." Fundamentalism refers to a belief in, and strict adherence to a set of basic principles (often religious in nature), a reaction to perceived doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life Chaos (derived from the Ancient Greek Χάος, Chaos) typically refers to unpredictability, and is the antithesis of cosmos. The word χάος did not mean "disorder" in classical-period ancient Greece. It meant "the primal emptiness, space" (see Chaos (mythology)). Chaos is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root ghn or ghen meaning "gape, be wide open": compare "chasm" (from Ancient
Greek χάσμα, a cleft, slit or gap), and Anglo-Saxon gānian ("yawn"), geanian, ginian ("gape wide"); see also Old Norse Ginnungagap. A civilization is a society or culture group normally defined as a complex society characterized by the practice of agriculture and settlement in towns and cities. Compared with other cultures, members of a civilization are organized into a diverse division of labor and an intricate social hierarchy. Time is a component of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects. Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining time in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars. The earliest recorded African philosophy of time was expounded by the ancient Egyptian thinker Ptahhotep (c. 2650–2600 BC), who said: "Do not lessen the time of following desire, for the wasting of time is an abomination to the spirit." The Vedas, the earliest texts on Indian philosophy and Hindu philosophy dating back to the late 2nd millennium BC, describe ancient Hindu cosmology, in which the universe goes through repeated cycles of creation, destruction and rebirth, with each cycle lasting 4,320,000 years. Ancient Greek philosophers, including Parmenides and Heraclitus, wrote essays on the nature of time. Honour or Honor (see spelling differences), (from the Latin word honos, honoris) is the evaluation of a person's trustworthiness and social status based on that individual's espousals and actions. Honour is deemed exactly what determines a person's character: whether or not the person reflects honesty, respect, integrity, or fairness. Accordingly, individuals are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions, code of honour, and that of the society at large. Honour can be analysed as a relativistic concept, i.e., conflicts between individuals and even cultures arising as a consequence of material circumstance and ambition, rather than fundamental differences in principle. Alternatively, it can be viewed as nativist — that honour is as real to the human condition as love, and likewise derives from the formative personal bonds that establish one's personal dignity and character. Dr Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness." This sort of honour derives from the perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity Senses are the physiological methods of perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology (or cognitive science), and philosophy of perception. The nervous system has a specific sensory system, or