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简明哲学术语英语词典 A BRIEF LEXICON OF PHILOSOPHICAL TERMS
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   A BRIEF LEXICON OF SOME COMMONLY USED PHILOSOPHICALTERMS IN THE PRESENT DAY
http://www.tcdsb.on.ca/external/schools/chaminade/oac-philosophy/public_html/lexicon.htm
Edited andcopyright Ó 1989 by F.F. Centore


A POSTERIORI (tocome after in time): That which follows upon or depends upon sense experience;a knowledge of things which cannot be arrived at or deduced from definitionsalone. E.g., if it is raining today I could not know that fact simply byknowing the definitions of "rain," "today," etc. I mustlearn about it by either observing it for myself or having some other observerconvey the information to me.
A PRIORI (prior toin time): That which comes before sense experience; that which does not requiresense knowledge to be known as true. Cf. "armchair" mathematicians.E.g., I know a circle is round by definition, even if I had never seen a circlein my life.
ABSTRACTION(ab-trahere; to draw out): The mental concentration on one aspect of somethingwhile ignoring other aspects; contrasted with the whole, CONCRETE thing, e.g.,sweetness—this orange; humanness-Sally. It does not necessarily entail or implythe actual division or separation of the different aspects of the thing as itexists outside of the mind.
ABSURD (ab-surdus;senseless): That which is self—contradictory, impossible, e.g., a squarecircle; hence, meaningless, ridiculous, irrational. In 20th c. phil. the termis often used by Atheistic Existentialists, such as Albert Camus and Jean-PaulSartre, to refer to the human condition, i.e., the "absurd man" mustlearn to survive, without committing suicide, in a meaningless, de trop, world,one which hasn’t come from anywhere and which is not going anywhere. The worldand humans are "surds," things without any reason for being.
ACADEMIC FREEDOM:The right to do research and teach in accordance with the standards of theinstitution you freely chose to join and by whose moral and intellectualprinciples you freely agreed to abide. Hence, IF both the individual and theleaders of the institution know what they are about in the first place,there-cannot be any-conflict between one’s personal,conscience and the school.If such should arise due to a change on the part of the teacher, in goodconscience the teacher should voluntarily leave.
AD HOMINEM (againstthe person): In logic, a pseudo—argument directed against some personalcharacteristic of the opponent rather than against the substance of theposition. E.g., Einstein couldn’t have been right; just look at the way hecombed his hair!
AESTHETICS(aisthanesthai; to perceiveby the senses): Theories concerning the nature,origins, and appreciation of the beautiful.
AGNOSTICISM(a—gnostos; unknown): In Latin, ignorance. Claiming that nothing is knownconcerning the answers to the ultimate questions of science, phil., theology,and life in general. Such knowledge is lacking now, but we may get it in thefuture. E.g., Darwin claimed that he didn’t have any certain knowledge aboutthe existence of God and human freedom.
ALIENATION (alius;other): In general, the withdrawing or removing of one thing from another; tobe left out; estranged. In 19th c. phil., the "For—Itself" losingitself to the "In—Itself," which then comes to stand over inopposition against the "For—Itself." In Hegel, The Absolute Spirit(God) becoming other in the form of the Material world which is determined andmechanistic in accordance with the Newtonian laws of nature. In Marx, the workerslosing their profits to the capitalists; their labor, which is the source ofall wealth, is alienated from themselves. In Ludwig Feuerbach and SigmundFreud, the projection of human father—figure traits into the heavens so as toproduce God; the losing of human nature, which is real, to divine nature, whichis unreal but which nevertheless, as an obsessional neurosis, stands inopposition to man. In Sartre, the human condition of the absolute, autonomous,free will (the For—Itself, non-being, nothingness) in opposition to theoppressive, inert world of physical matter (the In—Itself, being); inexplicablythe In-Itself produces the For—Itself; being recoils against itself to producethe nothingness of human consciousness; it’s me (my consciousness) against theworld (including other people).
ALTRUISM (alter;the other): Showing an unselfish love for others.
ANALOGOUS USAGE: Ingeneral, the same term has a meaning that’s partially the same and partiallydifferent in different contexts; very common in ordinary language. E.g., tallman, ta;; tree; good flatworm, good husband; true diamond, true friend, truelove; beautiful flower, beautiful building, beautiful person, etc.
ANALOGY (ana—logos;to say again): A ratio of one thing to another; a comparison; usually meaning thattwo things are the same in at least one respect even though there may bedifferences in other respects. Main types: ATTRIBUTION: The trait belongs toonly one of the things being compared but is attributed by the mind tosomething else, e.g., only a whole organism is really healthy but we can alsocall vitamin C healthy because of its relationship to health in the body.GENUS, INEQUALITY: Both a man and a dog are animals; "animal" is thegenus to which they both belong; we can compare them by pointing out thissameness. However, although they are equally animals they are not equalanimals, i.e., man is superior to dog. IMPROPER PROPORTIONALITY: Literarydevices and comparisons; "Pretty as a picture;" "The sunset wasa great pool of blood lying on the horizon;" "My love is like a red,red rose...;" etc. This sort is very important in rhetoric, poetry,persuasive speech, etc., and can add a great deal of enjoyment to our lives,but is not so useful in science, phil., and theology. PROPER PROPORTIONALITY:
The most importantin phil. Here there is a strict proportion of proportions; the individual termsof one proportion are not proportionate to the individual terms of the otherproportion, but the whole proportion between the terms on one side is proportionateto the whole proportion between the terms on the other side of therelationship. E.g., 3/6 = 5/10; the good for a flatworm is to the nature of aflatworm as the good for a human is to the nature of a human; knowledge in Godis to the essence of God as knowledge in an angel is to the essence of an angelas knowledge in a human is to the essence of a human. 3 and 5 are differentnumbers; goodness and knowledge are different in each of the cases mentioned.Yet, even though the numerators and denominators are not the same, theproportion holds. What the sets have in common is the same relationship withineach of the respective proportions. This is very important when it comes toreasoning by analogy in phil., especially in the Phil. of Being.
ANALYTIC STATEMENT:(see A Priori).
ANGST (dieAngst——German; mir 1st angst-—I am afraid; anxiety, anguish): Term popularizedby Heidegger; the human condition when Atheistic Existentialism takes hold andwe become fully aware of the meaninglessness of life. Also known as Existentialor Objectless Anxiety; state of being forlorn, lost; aimless; bored.
ANTHROPOMORPHISM(anthropos-morphos; human-shaped): Having human traits; attributing humantraits to non—humans, such as to animals or to the gods.
APPEARANCE(ad-parere; to come forward and show yourself): That which shows itself in anyway, either to the senses or to the mind. Cf. PHENOMENON (phainein; to show).
ARGUMENT (argos;white; arguere; to clarify): Words arranged in such a way so as to persuadesomebody of something; a proof; to make clear by "spelling it out;" areasoning process which goes from the truth of some given statements to thetruth of some other statement(s). Either Deductive or Inductive.
ASSUMPTION(assumere; to take up): Something taken for granted without proof.
ATHEISM (a-theos;godless): A denial of God’s existence; usually meaning the denial of theJudaeo—Christian God of the Bible.
ATOM (a-tomos;indivisible): The smallest possible unit of material reality. Atomism as aphil. of all reality was first developed by the ancient Greeks.
ATTACKING A STRAWMAN: In logic, a faulty argument which misses the main point of something andinstead of directing its rebuttal against the opponent’s true point sets up afalse point (a straw man) which it then proceeds to attack as if it were thetrue point. E.g., the traditional religious position on human nature andfreedom is that we are free but that we also have a nature (essence) which setslimits to what we are capable of doing freely (e.g., we are not free to fly byflapping our arms). Someone such as Sartre, though, claims that having apositive essence necessarily determines all of our actions so that we are notfree at all. But this is to sidestep the original position which was to beargued against.
AUTHENTICITY(authentikos; one who acts boldly, the master): In 20th c. phil., doing what,you want to do without making any excuses or giving any reasons; to be true toyourself by acting in opposition to others. Cf. Jean—Paul Sartre: "Hell isother people." Cf. his Being and Nothingness, III, 3, iii: "Theessence of the relations between consciousnesses is not the Mitsein; it isconflict."
AUTHORITY (auctor;originator): The right to direct and rule; a moral power, not based on physicalforce, although force must often be used in practice. Presupposes the freedomof those commanded; only free beings can responsibly respond to an order. E.g.,the difference between the government ordering the rain not to fall andordering citizens to pay taxes.
AUTONOMOUS (auto—nomos;self-law): In 20th c. phil., being a law unto yourself; disregarding the needsof others if you want to and not feeling guilty about it; acting without anyexternal guidelines, rules, objective measures of what’s good and bad or rightand wrong. "Doing your own thing."
AXIOM (axios;worthy): Something obvious enough to be taken for granted.
"BADFAITH": In 20th c. phil., acting in a non-authentic and non-autonomous way.
BECOMING(becuman-—Old English): Any motion or change; any process of passing from potencyto act; any condition of being different from what something was before.
BEGGING THEQUESTION: Assuming the truth of the thing to be proven; circular argument.E.g., you can tell the age of the rock strata from the fossils and we know thefossils
are of a certainage because of the rock strata in which they are found; This is an IQ test. Yesbut what is IQ? It is what the IQ test tests for. Sometimes it is called avicious circle (vitium; corrupt, vice) because of its faultiness.
BEHAVIORISM: In the20th c., philosophical Reductionism applied to the study of humans. Developedby J.B. Watson and B.F. Skinner; adopted by A.J. Ayer.
BEING (esse; tobe): That which is in any way whatsoever, whether in or out of the wind,whether actual or possible. A BEING: That which is in existence here and now inany way whatsoever.
BEING-FOR-ITSELF:Terminology derived from Hegel. In Sartre (être-pour-soi), the nihilation ofbeing within each human being; the basis for consciousness of the world andself—consciousness; that which stands out in opposition to being even though itis itself a creation of being; human nature.
BEING-IN—ITSELF:Terminology derived from Hegel. In Sartre (être-en-soi), the non-conscious,inert, dead, inexplicable, physical nature world of being; the full world; theworld without the admixture of nothingness; the world that simply is; what wewill become at death.
BEING OF REASON: InLatin: ens rationis; plural: entia rationis. Something which cannot existoutside the mind; it can have only mental existence; a logical being; a mentalconstruct, but which nevertheless has a foundation in extramental reality.E.g., negations and privations——talking about something which isn’t there;logical devices to deal with things as thought——abstractions, subjects andpredicates in propositions, genera and species, etc. It does not refer tosimply imaginative entities, e.g., a flying horse, or the numerous Hollywoodcreations. (see Intention)
CATEGORY(kata—agora; by the town square where people congregate): A more definitearrangement of things; a narrowing down of something broad and open; aclassification; putting something into a class, group, set, type, sort, etc.,as set of f from other groups, classes, etc.
CATHOLIC(kata-holos; •in with the whole): That which is universal and all—encompassing.Most usually used in The Roman Catholic Church: A universal religiousorganization with its HQ in Rome whose obligation it is to convey the messageof Christ to all parts of the world until the end of time.
CAUSE (causa): Thatupon which something else is dependent for its existence; that which in any wayinfluences the being or becoming of something; the reason for the exisence ofsomething; the principle from which something flows. Aristotle’s four maintypes of causes: MATERIAL: That out of which something is made; that which isin potency to become something else, e.g., the wood used in making a chair.AGENT or
EFFICIENT: The realthing that works on the material to wake the thing, e.g., the carpenter. Theagent cause must be a really existing thing; a possible carpenter cannot makeanything. FORMAL: The form or nature of the thing made, e.g., it’s a chairrather than a table, etc. In this case it is an artifact, and so the form isaccidental to the material. In the case of a natural entity, such as a humanbeing or an oak tree, the form would be essential. FINAL: The purpose, end,goal, or reason why the thing is made. In the case of a natural thing, theFormal Cause, once in existence, acts as an Agent Cause to produce the Finalproduct, e.g., an acorn growing into an oak tree. Thus Aristotle can treat thelast three causes as one cause in natural operations. Beware of pseudo—causes.Time, for instance, is not a cause of anything; it cannot heal any wounds orbring about the creation of a new species. How did you get from New York toToronto? It took a long time. HOW did man develop from the apes? It took a longtime.
CENSORSHIP(censere; to tax or assess costs): In common usage, always bad and incompatiblewith a free society; the unjustified suppression of public expression. But thisshould not be confused with the justified regulation of the popular media.E.g., the control of information in time of war; the suppression of hateliterature or material degrading or exploiting people, such as pornography; thecontrol of material inciting riots, violence, and sedition; copyright lawspreventing one person from stealing the work of another; laws forbidding thetelling of lies about people in public, etc. Also, in any decent societyself-censorship is necessary.
CERTITUDE (certus;cernere; to sift out, to discern): The state of being certain and settled inone’s view; a firm assent to an intelligible statement without any fear oferror. To be really firm and complete (scientific) it must include a knowledgeof the reasons why things are the way they are and could not be otherwise. Maintypes:
METAPHYSICAL,MATHEMATICAL, ABSOLUTE: There is no possibility of error, e.g., 2 plus 2 is 4,a physical whole is always greater than any one of its parts or subdivisions,the diameter of a given circle is always shorter than its circumference, aworld of physical things exists independently of the individual’s own mind,etc. PHYSICAL: The ordinary and usual laws of nature, e.g., the laws ofchemical interaction, motion, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, etc. Barringmiracles, we can bet our lives on these certitudes-—and do! MORAL, JURIDICAL:Beyond reasonable doubt; the ordinary kind in most societal interactions; allthe evidence, from many different independent sources, all points to the sameconclusion. E.g., when taking a bus downtown, it would be unreasonable to runup and down the aisle shouting that the bus was being captured by Martians. Thedenial of Moral Certitude is the most- usual basis for Hollywood spy movies,science fiction plots, adventure series, etc. The suspension of ordinary humanexpectations (i.e., being neurotic) greatly helps one’s career as a novelistand screenwriter. (see Realism)
COMMON SENSE: Ingeneral, knowing those things which are required in order to survive in a givensociety. This will vary from society to society in different parts of theworld. E.g., those living in the Arctic need to know about 14 different kindsof snow; those living in London need to know not to run out into the streetfrom between parked cars, etc. In phil., it refers to those truths known withcertainty by all normal human beings, regardless of where they live. E.g.,basic mathematics, the existence of the external world, that there’s adifference between existential questions (Is it?) and essentialistic questions(What is it?), that water runs down hill, that what goes up (a rock, an arrow,a spear, etc.) comes down, etc. These certitudes can then be used as a basisfor further philosophical and scientific reasoning.
COMMUNISM: A 19thc. utopian political phil. based upon Hegel’s doctrine of conflictingcontradictories, but reduced to a two—part disjunction in which one side is allbad and the other side all good. In theory, the 19th c. capitalists wouldconcentrate more and more power in themselves while the working class wouldbecome larger and larger and poorer and poorer. Finally a flash—point would bereached, revolution would break out, all capitalists would be destroyed, and thesociety, after a brief bloody and violent transition period, would betransformed into a new classless, stateless, godless Paradise on earth for allfuture generations. Abhors (in theory) God—Statism (Fascism, Nazism).
CONCEPT (concipere;to conceive in the womb): Something born within the mind; an IDEA, a"universal," that about which we invent languages, etc. Every idea wehave is a universal in the sense that its content or meaning is somethingcommon to many different things in the world. E.g., the word "dog" inEnglish stands for the concept of dogness, which applies to all possible dogs,whether past, present, or future. No concept can be identified with anything ofa material or physical nature, such as the word "dog," or some particularpicture or graphic image of a particular dog, etc. Since —~ philosophers workwith ideas, and since ideas are so special, they have always been of specialinterest to philosophers.
CONCLUSION(com—claudere; to close in): In logic, the end of a reasoning process; the finaloutcome of an argument. E.g., given that all people are mortal and that Sallyis a person we conclude that Sally is mortal.
CONSERVATIVE(conservare; to preserve): In general, anyone who wants to maintain the statusquo without any fundamental change or alteration. "Today’s liberals aretomorrow’ s conservatives."
CONTINGENT(com—tangere; to touch upon): That which need not be the case; something whichcould be otherwise; the accidental; something which just happens to be the case.
CONTRADICTION (contra—dicere;to speak against): In logic, the relationship between a universal propositionand a particular proposition differing in quality. E.g., All people aremortal——Some people are not mortal; No people are mortal-—Some people aremortal. In general, any statement which denies a given statement in animmediate and direct way.
COSMOLOGY(kosmos-logos; explaining the cosmos): The General Science of Nature; theattempt to explain the natural universe of changing things in some general andcomprehensive way. Common topics: Substance, change, chance, teleology, time.Cf. cosmonauts, cosmetics. Today the word is often used to mean astronomy.
CREATION EX NIHILO(creare; to make more): To create from nothing; creation strictly and properlyspeaking; possible only for a Supreme Being whose very essence is to exist.
DASEIN (there-beingin German): Term for human nature derived from Hegel and popularized byHeidegger. Humans are the locus, medium, site, etc., wherein Being becomesaware of itself. Only in humans is Being there; otherwise it would becompletely unknown and even "non—existent."
DEDUCTION(de—ducere; to lead away from): In logic, the process of starting fromsomething more universal and coming down to something more particular; commonin a priori reasoning; a desirable and strong form of reasoning because if thepremises are true we can be sure that the conclusion will be true. E.g., allcircles are round, this thing is a circle, and so this thing is round.
DEISM (deus; god):The doctrine that there indeed exists a God who created the universe and whopunishes sinners, but in a highly "rationalized" sense; after settingthings up God abandoned the world and us to the laws of nature; an absenteelandlord; there is no Revelation nor authoritative Scripture and Church. Somefamous deists: Many of the leaders of the American and French Revolutions;Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, maybe Darwin.
DETERMINISM(de—terminare; to set limits to): The doctrine that everything that happens,including apparently free decisions by humans, is really already decided byprevious, unconscious, unfree events which cause things to go one way ratherthan some other way regardless of what we think about it; fatalism; a perfectknowledge of the causes would provide us with perfect predictability (the dreamof science). Some famous determjnists: Darwin, Freud, Einstein, BertrandRussell, B.F. Skinner, A.J. Ayer.
DIALECTIC(dia-legesthai; to converse): In Plato, phil. itself; the epitome of reasoning;the process of trying to reach a conclusion by examining all possibilitiesuntil the right one is found. In phil. since the early 19th c., a collision ofcontradictories producing some third thing which synthesizes them and thenbecomes itself a part of another conflict. In Georg Regel and Karl Marx, thefusion of Something and Nothing to give Becoming; in Fascism, the conflict ofcapitalists and workers to give the State.
DIALECTICALMATERIALISM: The theoretical foundation for the Communism of Marx and Engels;the doctrine that the only reality is the material universe, but that itnecessarily progresses in a dialectical way, the results of which are variousstages of development, i.e., non—life to life to animals to man to society tovarious economic systems to socialisms to Communism; a "scientific"dialectic, in contrast to Hegel’s mystical spiritualistic process.
DISTINCTION(stigma; mark; dis—stinguere; different marks): The non—identity of one thingwith another. Main types: SEPARATION: The physical arrangement of parts outsideof parts, e.g., your pen is separate from your hand. VERBAL; Different namesfor one and the same thing, e.g., methanol, methyl alcohol, methyl hydrate,denatured alcohol, wood alcohol. LOGICAL, MENTAL, CONCEPTUAL, RATIONAL: Thedifference is only in the mind; outside the mind there is in fact no realdifferentiation, e.g., cat—mammal, dime—coin; in the extramental world everycase of cat is also a case of mammal, every dime is a coin; in reality the twoare the same; they are identical. REAL: Even though there is no separation ofparts, outside the mind one aspect is really not the other; in one and the sameunified being there is a non-identity of aspects, features, etc., e.g., yourheight and weight, the direction and velocity of a body in locomotion, theessence and existence of a being. Distinction should not be identified withseparation; although every separation is a distinction it is not the case thatevery distinction is a separation. This is very important in the Phil. of Being.
DUALISM (dualis,duo; two): Most usually in phil. the view that the body and soul (psyche, mind,consciousness, etc.) cannot be reduced one to the other; i.e., both are factorsin the explanation of human nature which possess some sort of reality of theirown. Main types: MODERATE: In’ Aristotle, the body and soul constitute a unityof one being in which the soul is the form of the substance; they can bedistinguished but not separated. Variations are possible, e.g., Thomism, inwhich the body and soul form a unity based upon the existential act of thesoul, so that it’s possible for the soul to survive the breakdown of its body.EXTREME: In Plato and Descartes, the body and soul are two separate entitieswhich do not form a unity; the soul is the real person; the body is simply amachine.
EGALITARIANISM(egalitaire; equality): An absolute equality of everyone in everything; thePrime Minister would have exactly the same rights, privileges, standard ofliving, etc., as the lowest street cleaner; males and females must be treatedin exactly the same way, whether it’s fighting in the army or having babies; adoctrine proposed by some modern revolutionaries and feminists; but quiteimpossible in practice.
EMPIRICISM(en—peiran; to try something for yourself): The doctrine that all knowledge mustcome through the senses; there are no INNATE IDEAS born within us that onlyrequire to be remembered. It is often carried to the extreme of saying that ourconcepts are only sense images or only the words we use to refer to things.
ENTITY (ens;being): Anything that exists, usually meaning as a natural unified substance.
EPICUREANISM: Anancient Greek school of phil. founded by the Athenian Epicurus. Based upon amaterialistic atomism, it taught that physical pleasures, adjusted to what canbe reasonably expected in a particular time and place, constitute man’sgreatest good and happiness. One must live unknown, avoid pain and trouble, andcalculate the pleasure and pain to be derived from a given activity, includinginterpersonal relations; produces a very conservative attitude because"rocking the boat" is sure to get you into trouble with the police."Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die" is really adistortion of this phil. The phil. of life actually practiced by most people inthe world. Defended by the Roman Lucretius about the time of Christ.
EPISTEMOLOGY(episteme-logos; true and certain knowledge explained): The study of humanknowledge; its origins, types, and dependability.
EQUALITY (aequus;on the same level): Everyone having the same basic worth and dignity beforeGod, the law, and among other people; the same opportunities for success andadvancement, though equality of results is not guaranteed. It does not meanthat anyone can do anything anyone else can do, e.g., becoming a priest.
EQUIVOCATION(aequi—vox; with equal voice): Using the same term with entirely differentmeanings. E.g., a river bank, a bank for money; Fido and Kierkegaard are bothGreat Danes. Often the basis for puns and jokes.
ESSENCE (essentia;beingness, reality): Answers to the question, What is it? The definition ofsomething. The NATURE as known. E.g., Fido and Rex are Great Danes; Sally andSam are human beings.
ETHICS (ethos;habits): The ultimate practical knowledge; how to lead the good life in thegood society; the norms of proper behavior for humans as humans, not as doingsome particular Job, e.g., Street cleaning, computer programming, being thepresident of GM, being the Pope, etc. Ethics presupposes freedom on the part ofthe beings capable of acting ethically, e.g., humans. Things such as animals,plants, and minerals, which are not free in the sense of having the potentialfor free -choice, are not held responsible for their actions in any moralsense. Main subdivisions, following the six main institutions of all humansoèieties: Phil. of Religion and Government (Political Phil.), Family,Education, Work, Recreation.
ETIOLOGY (aitia;cause): The study of the causes and origins of things.
EUDAEMONISM(eu-daimon; good demon or spirit): Living well; being attended by good fortune.In Aristotle, happiness as the ultimate result of a good life.
EVIDENCE (e-videre;clearly seen): The reasons for holding a certain view; the indicators of truth.
EVIL (yfel--OldEnglish): The privation of something that a being should have or is due to it;the deviation from an ideal. E.g., with respect to humans, not having wings isnot an evil. PHYSICAL EVIL: Starvation, blindness, being crippled; MORAL EVIL:Sin, turning away from God; SOCIAL EVIL: Being deprived of just treatment, notbeing able to receive a liberal education. Any talk of evil presupposes theexistence of objective standards or ideals.
EVOLUTION(e-volvere; to unroll): Originally, the unrolling or unfolding of DivineProvidence, which is why Charles Darwin avoided using the term. DARWINIANEVOLUTION: The creation of new species by common descent with modification vianatural selection.  He could not reconcile evil and Providence and sosought to explain species without their being specially created by God. Startingfrom one very simple living thing each new individual would vary somewhat fromall others. Those better able to survive in their given environments would goon to reproduce in larger numbers than the others (differential reproduction).In time, different looking, more complicated things would be seen, while manyothers died out. He was a firm believer in the overall progress and advancementof the biosphere. This has led to the widespread present—day attitude thatanything novel is automatically better and superior to anything old; the commonsaying, "You’re history," indicates that you are no longer of anyimportance or significance. Today, in common speech, evolution usually meanssimply a slow change, as opposed to a fast change (revolution).
EXISTENTIALISM(ex—sistere; to stand outside of its cause or source): In 20th c. phil., mainlythe view of Sartre, emphasizing the Death of God, the For—Itself vs. theIn—Itself, the autonomous will, anti—scientific determinism, anti—essences, andthe need to avoid "bad faith;" usually identified with AtheisticExistentialism after 1946.
EXTRAMENTAL: Thatwhich is outside of the mind.
FAITH (f ides,fidere; to trust, believe): To accept something as true based upon thetestimony of another; to believe based upon the word of someone who is honestand knowledgeable. It does not mean based upon no evidence at all. For normal,rational humans, so—called "blind faith" is not even possible. Mostof our life is based upon faith in others, something emphasized by the PragmatistWilliam James. So is the academic discipline of history, our legal system, etc.
FALLACY (fallere;to deceive): In logic, a faulty reasoning process; an invalid argument. E.g.,fish live in water, whales live in water, and so whales are fish; "Morepeople buy brand x than any other brand"-—if you complete the comparisonyou’ll see that the statement, although true, is trivial.
FALSIFICATIONPRINCIPLE: In early 20th c. phil., the test for whether or not one was dealingwith a scientific statement; if a statement could possibly be falsified by somesort of empirical evidence it was scientific, e.g., "There is water on themoon" can be falsified by actually searching the whole surface of the moonand finding no water. In later 20th c. phil., an attempted substitute for theVERIFICATION PRINCIPLE of the LOGICAL POSITIVISTS. Having failed to eliminatethe meaningfulness of all non—scientific propositions by use of theVerification Principle they tried to extend the earlier use of theFalsification Principle to do the job. This also failed. E.g., "Al].hydrogen is combustible" cannot be empirically verified but can befalsified; however, "All prayers to God are answered" can also befalsified, e.g., by praying for something and not getting it, and is thus ameaningful statement even though it is not taken from one of the physicalsciences.
FASCISM (fascis;bundle of rods with an axe in the middle): A 20th c. political phil. based uponHegel’s conflicting contradictories in which both the capitalists and theworkers are subsumed into a higher category, the State, which takes over theownership, control, and direction of all the major institutions and all themajor economic means of production in the society. Individuals are submerged inthe collective, which it is their destiny to serve. The State becomes God.Abhors "atheistic" Communism. Fascism should not be confused withNazism, or with old-fashioned dictatorships such as Caesar in Italy or Francoin Spain.
FORM: That whichspecifies something as being this sort of thing rather than that; what isspecial to one thing as opposed to another; what identities something. ForPlato the form of each type of thing possesses a separate and independentexistence in a separate World of Ideas. For other philosophers the form is onlyone aspect of a thing existing here and now.
FORMAL: That whichmakes something more specific; the angle from which something Is viewed orinvestigated. E.g., investigating the universe as changeable, in order to saywhat it means to change in a general way, is the formal object of the Phil. ofNature, as differentiated from a particular science such as physics which onlylooks at certain types of change. Also, being rational for human beings isformal relative to being an animal, i.e., our rationality makes us specificallyto be what we are relative to animals.
FREE CHOICE: Themore proper name for freedom in human beings. An act of the will, based upon aknowledge of the attainable options, selecting one of two or more means leadingto a known goal. E.g., assuming I judge that going out for lunch is good for mehere and now, I can direct myself to actually realize one of several differentpossibilities.
FREEDOM (fri-—OldHigh German): The absence of forced action. In much of 20th c. phil., the rightto do whatever I feel like doing and/or can get away with. More usually, thefeeling that you could have done otherwise if you wanted to. Some varieties:Freedom to refers to the potencies inherent in something, what It can do, e.g.,water is free to run if it gets over the dam. Freedom from refers to the lackof social, political, and physical restraints, e.g., if there is no law againstit I am free to go to church. Freedom for refers to the active process ofseeking out some goal to be achieved and then going for it, e.g., trying tounderstand phil. better.
FREE WILL:Generally a misnomer. In humans the will is the "rationalappetite"--the inner movement of the human mind to acquire the good andavoid the evil. Broadly speaking it would include acts of des-ire, intention,consent, choice, love, hope, joy, hate, etc. Depending upon the nature of thething (its form) its possible ways of behaving are fixed within certain limits.For humans our "soul hunger" or "spiritual appetite" is fixedon happiness. What constitutes fulfillment will differ from one type of thingto another. Fulfillment for a flatworm is not the same as for a horse, etc.Creatures are not free in this regard. Hence, to the extent that we are boundto strive, within bounds, for a fixed ultimate goal our will is not free. Onlysomeone who does not understand human freedom would want to be as free as abird. Yet we still have FREE CHOICE. Thus freedom does not mean a complete lackof determination, but SELF-DETERMINATION.
GENUS (genes; born;plural-genera): That which is common to two or more species; that which iscommon to species after the specific differences have been removed. E.g.,within the class "animal" humans are distinguished from dogs byrationality; within the class "plane closed figure" triangles aredistinguished from rectangles by having only three sides; "animal"and "plane closed figure" are the genera. What is true of the genusis true of the species but not vice versa.
GOD (Gott——German):The Supreme Being, the First Cause, the Initial Principle of everything, thePrime Mover, the Creator, the Author of Nature, the Perfect Being, the LastEnd, the Necessary Being. Many and various interpretations, includingmonotheism, polytheism, deism, pantheism, etc. In Judaeo-Christianity theproper name of God is YAHWEH, HE WHO IS, the one being whose very essence is toexist.
GOOD (guot——OldHigh German): That which is befitting and suitable to a particular type ofthing or to a particular individual thing; that which something strives for;the object desired; the natural needs (not wants) of something; the fulfillmentof a natural tendency inherent within something. E.g., having clean water todrink is good for humans. The existence of thirst points to the existence ofwater. Likewise, some philosophers argue that the existence of a desire forhappiness points to the existence of God. Some varieties: The COMNON GOOD: Thatwhich is suitable to many simultaneously; the benefits can be shared equally byeveryone. E.g., in political phil., laws protecting the right—to—life ofeveryone from natural conception to natural death guard each individual insociety against abuse by anyone else. The INDIVIDUAL GOOD: That which benefitsonly one individual; that which cannot be shared by everyone equally. As withmost key terms in phil., good" is usually used analogously; e.g., goodcake, good book, good wife, etc.
HEDONISM (hedone;sense pleasure): A theory of morality which claims that the pleasures of thesenses are sufficient for our complete happiness; in ancient Greece, defendedby the Epicureans and vigorously criticized by Plato.
HERMENETJTICS(hermeneutikos, hermeneuein; to interpret, to let the meaning show itself):Derives from Kant’s IDEALISM which claims that we can never know the Ding ansich (the thing as it really is in itself). In 20th c. phil., as fosteredbyWilhelm Dilthey and Martin Heidegger, the view that there is no Truth(compare the SOPHISTS), but that all views of reality are only interpretationsprovided by the individual and/or society. In its more extreme form it becomesDECONSTRUCTIONISM, the doctrine reminiscent of some of the ancient GreekSOPHISTS, who claimed that there is no reality at all to know (e.g., Gorgias).The text, the thing, the event, etc., to be interpreted completely disappears,to be replaced with a never-ending series of private perspectives. (seeNOMINALISM)
HYPOTHESIS(hypo-tithenai; to place underneath): A statement, usually contained withinsome broader THEORY concerning some view of reality, to be confirmed or refutedby whatever methodology is proper to that field of study. E.g., the notion thatthe weight of the air is what makes barometers go up and down can be tested bytaking the barometer to places where the air is more or less heavy.
IDEALISM (idein-tosee; idea-ism): In ordinary usage, having high standards. In modern phil., theemphasis on one’s own subjective mind as the center of everything in theuniverse; the view that first and foremost I know my own ideas best, ratherthan the things of the real outside world (see Realism). Both meanings comefrom Plato who placed True Reality in a separate World of Pure Ideas high abovethe earth. Two main variations: EPISTEMOLOGICAL IDEALISM: The doctrine that theway I conceive of something in my mind is the way it really is outside of mymind; "the rational is the real;" the movement from inside the mindto things outside the mind. E.g., by defining material things to be nothing but3D parts outside of parts, extension, equivalent to space, and then claimingthat that’s the way the universe really exists, we would have moved from themind to the world; we would have defined the essence of the world intoexistence in a certain way. This is what Rene Descartes did, and he wasfollowed in this method by later thinkers such as Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Kant,Hegel, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Sartre, and many others. ONTOLOGICALIDEALISM: The denial of any material world at all; everything is only in themind; the material universe is an unnecessary hypothesis; defended by BishopGeorge Berkeley, who also took his lead from Descartes.
IDEOLOGY: Theattempt to put a theoretical, speculative, ideal system into actual practice ina real social and political context. E.g., Communism, Fascism, Nazism,Libertarianism, etc.
INDUCTION(in—ducere; to lead in): In logic, the process of going from something lessuniversal to something more universal; the opposite of deduction; fromobserving how many different examples of something behave, we come to form adefinition of that thing which expresses the nature of the type of thing thatit is. E.g., by observing the way our own minds work we conclude that theremust be something immaterial about them; by observing that others are capableof the same sorts of activity we conclude that their minds are also immaterial;hence, all humans have immaterial minds. Sometimes induction is taken to mean amere ENUMERATIVE INDUCTION; e.g., this student in this class is wearing shoes;so is that one, and that one, etc.; hence all the students in this class arewearing shoes. This sort of induction is useless in science and phil. becausein the vast majority of significant cases we cannot get a complete enumeration(e.g., all hydrogen is combustible). There is no way, based simply upon an accumulationof sense experiences, that we can go from talking about some cases to talkingabout all cases. This gives rise to the modern PROBLEM OF INDUCTION, recognizedby but not solved by David Hume, which can never be resolved on a purelysensate basis.
IN PRINCIPLE: Tospeak abstractly; as divorced from particular cases, but not from anything of acertain sort or kind of thing. E.g., Communist leaders getting together todecide in principle that socialism doesn’t work and that it requires radicalrenovations, but not being able to agree on exactly what to do and how to goabout it. POSSIBLE IN PRINCIPLE: There is no internal contradiction withinsomething or no contradiction between different things or states of affairs,e.g., law and freedom are not mutually exclusive. It is not necessary that aparticular case actually exist, e.g., someone might claim that it is possiblein principle to construct a square with exactly the same area as a given circleeven though it has not yet actually been done.
INTELLIGENCE(intus-legere; to gather or read within): The ability to penetrate to theessence, the "what," or the definition of something; to know a meansas a means to an end; to understand something in the sense of getting insideand underneath it; the power to transcend the superficial sense experiences ofsomething. Do not confuse with mere mimicking, trial and error, training, etc.- -
INTENTION(intendere; to move towards something): In common usage, to do something orwant to do something on purpose. In phil., the IDEA of something. FIRST, DIRECT
INTENTION: Payingmental attention to the thing as it exists outside of the mind, either as aparticular thing or as an example of a type of thing, e.g., that cat I see hereand now, or that thing as an example of the species "cat." SECOND,REFLEX, LOGICAL
INTENTION: Payingmental attention to the known object as it exists in the mind; looking at theconcept itself as it functions in our process of understanding, e.g., in theproposition "All cats are mammals," "cats" is the subjectand "mammals" is the predicate. Subjects and predicates exist only inthe mind. If we intend to study outside things as thought about in the mind weare dealing with second intentions, or ideas about ideas.
INTRAMENTAL: Thatwhich is within the mind.
IRRATIONAL:Thinking which violates the basic rules of rational thought, ultimately leadingto contradictions. Should not be confused with non—rational. Only rationalbeings, such as humans, can act irrationally; flatworms don’t have such an option.The height of irrationality is to try affirming contradictory statementssimultaneously, which presupposes the ability to have concepts and framepropositions. E.g., in Hegel, claiming that Being and Non-Being, Something andNothing, are the same; in Sartre, claiming that Nothingness is the positivecore of human nature. People who engage in such irrationality usually claimthat they are driven to such an extreme in their effort to explain the facts ofexperience, such as change and freedom, within an atheistic context. However,when one runs into such a situation the first thing to suspect is that thethinker who is making outlandish claims has somehow or other gotten of f on thewrong foot. The proper thing to do in such a case is to go back to square oneand start over again, this time being sure to check and challenge your ownfirst principles.
JUDGMENT (judicare;to judge): An act of the mind in which a subject and a predicate are combinedor separated, e.g., "All men are equal;" "All men are not equal."Or an act of the mind asserting or denying the existence of something, e.g.,"Angels are;" Angels are not."
JURISPRUDENCE(juris—prudens; law-skilled): The study of how and why various legal decisionsare made; the phil. of law; a branch of the Phil. of Government, which is asubdivision of Ethics; a discussion of how the legal system can be changed forthe better. This means that the legal system is always based upon somethingmore fundamental, namely, Political Phil. and the Phil. of Human Nature. Thiswould apply even to subjects like ECOLOGY, ANIMAL RIGHTS, POLLUTION CONTROL,etc.
JUSTICE (jus;right): Rendering to each thing what is objectively due to that thing;providing to each thing what is needed to fulfill the nature of that thing.E.g., what is inferior can be used by what is superior; hence it. is just forplants to be killed and eaten by animals and for animals to be killed and eatenby humans. DISTRIBUTIVE
JUSTICE: Makingsure that the common good is served; arranging things in such a way __ thatopportunities and things are fairly distributed according to basic needs.
RETRIBUTIVEJUSTICE: Making sure that crimes do not go unpunished; making the punishmentfit the crime, e.g., it is unjust to cut of f somebody’s hand for stealing aloaf of bread or confiscating someone’s car for having a tiny amount of"hash" in the glove compartment. SOCIAL JUSTICE: The same asDistributive Justice but usually applied on an international scale.
KNOWLEDGE (knowen,kennen——German): Cognition; the internal mental process whereby we possessintentionally (see Intention) something outside of us; any union of the knowerand the known via sensation, apprehension, reasoning, etc. It’s one of thosethings you either know about through your own direct experiences or you can’tknow about at all. E.g., try giving someone born blind a knowledge of the colorred. Two important varieties: SPECULATIVE, THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE (specere,theorem; to look at):
Knowledge for itsown sake; knowing as a good for the mind; the perfection of the mind; in heregoes most of science, phil., and theology. PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE (practicus,praktikos; to do or to do over again; cf. techne, technikos; art or of art):Knowledge for the sake of something else; directed towards doing and action;the making or production of something, even if it is only some mental structurewithin the mind, e.g., setting up a syllogism, written work, mathematicalformulas. Cf. "how to do it" books: Executive training, businesspractices, accounting, engineering, medicine. Do not confuse the practical withthe useful; theoretical knowledge is just as useful, and maybe even more so,e.g., CORRECT and TRUE knowledge of nature is needed in order to have atechnology that works.
KULTURKAMPF(kultur-kampf; culture—war): In Prussia (Germany), a late 19th c. conflictbetween the government of Prince Otto von Bismarck and religious leaders overwho should control the schools and appointments to religious teaching positionsand administrative posts. This situation is bound to recur whenever the statetries to establish a state religion, either directly, as under Communism inRussia, or indirectly, as with Secular Humanism in many other nations today.
LANGUAGE (lingua;tongue): An arbitrarily invented system of physical signs and symbols, vocal orwritten, used by one person to let another person know what he wants him toknow or how he wants him to act. This would also apply to deceptions, lies, andpropaganda. BODY LANGUAGE: A not—so—arbitrary system of gestures, often done unconsciously,expressing one’s thoughts and feelings, e.g., crying. smiling, variousarrangements of head, arms, legs, etc.
LAW (log-—OldNorse): A command of reason designed to promote the common good made by theleader(s) of the community and effectively promulgated to all. GOD’S ETERNALLAW: The overall plan and purpose of all of creation. DIVINE LAW: That part ofthe Eternal Law revealed to us by God; includes direct revelation in Scripture,as well as the following: NATURAL PHYSICAL LAW: The laws of operation builtinto nature by God (i.e., Newton’s law of universal gravitation is really God’slaw). NATURAL MORAL LAW: The rules of right behavior built into human nature byGod; the natural norm of morality founded upon human reason. POSITIVE, CIVILLAW: The laws passed by civil governments in order to actually implement DivineLaw. It would include what is known of natural physical and moral law. "Ina liberal democracy the state cannot dictate morality." This does not meanthat the state lacks authoEity in moral matters (e.g., anti—discriminationlaws), but that morality is superior to the state. To say otherwise would besome form of collectivism in which there could be no such thing as inalienablerights, i.e., rights that no earthly authority can take away. We would thenhave no way of judging whether a law is good or not. Fortunately for freedom,Law is above men.
LIBERAL (liber;free): In general, anyone who wants to change the status quo in somefundamental way. In political phil., "liberalism" has undergone manychanges over the centuries. In the 18th c., it was the liberal position to sidewith the common people against the absolute power of the king; in the 19th c.,especially as fostered by John Stuart Mill, it was the individual against thepower of majority rule government and public opinion; in the 20th c., it meansusing Big Government to control Big Business and selfish individualism, usuallyvia high taxes and socialistic programs. "Today’s liberals are tomorrow’sconservatives."
LIBERAL ARTS: Forthe Greeks, the encircling or all-encompassing studies (enkyklios—paideia;circle of basic learning; pais—child). What everyone needs in order to learnanything else; necessary tools for advanced studies; what must be mastered bythe masters; the basic education for free citizens. Main branches: The methodsof rational thinking (logic); clear and effective communication (languagearts); accurate figuring (math); the two last are often called the"3R’s." LIBERAL EDUCATION: A thorough grounding in the Liberal Arts,and in science, phil., and theology. Obviously, it is both unnecessary anddangerous to educate slaves.
LIBERAL DEMOCRACY(deinos-kratia; people-rule): An 18th c. political phil., developed by JohnLocke (following Thomas Aquinas and others), based upon a system of eligiblevoters electing representatives who then pass laws for the common good basedupon Divine Law, including the Natural Moral Law; presupposes certaininalienable rights granted to humans by God, such as life, liberty, and the pursuitof happiness (Locke said the pursuit of property). The separation of state andchurch means that there should be no established or state church (as there wasin England), not the separation of state and religion. Traditional religiousvalues are absolutely essential to the continued existence of a LiberalDemocracy.
LIBERTARIANISM:Hyper-individualism; licentiousness. Based upon the erroneous 17th c. doctrineof a non—social human nature (Thomas Hobbes—-"Everyone is at war witheveryone else;" Cf. Sartre——"Hell is other people"). The ethicaldoctrine that there are no objective guidelines, divine or otherwise, forpersonal human behavior; you can do whatever you want and/or can get away with.Typical sayings: I did it way. I have an absolute right to my privacy. I can doanything with anybody I can get to agree to it. And even if they don’t agreethere’s no reason for not doing it anyways if I can get away with it. The onlysin is not getting what I want. The only crime is getting caught. This attitudeis very widespread today, so much so that many people simply refuse to hearanything else. It is fostered by NOMINALISM, REDUCTIONISM, and certain schoolsof sociology and psychology which like to talk about the "uniqueness"of each individual human as if each person belonged to a separate species. Theresult, however, is always the same, individual and social destruction via the3Ds: Drugs, Dementia, Depopulation. If we don’t see these results it’s becauseits advocates are not really practicing what they preach, but are insteadengaging in some watered down version of it involving ENLIGHTENED SELF-INTERESTand/or UTILITARIAN principles which, in effect, means denying their own basicdoctrine.
LOGIC (logos; anaccount of why it’s so): The Science of Second Intentions; the study of the waythings are thought; the various structures of rational order; what’s good andbad reasoning; the rules for making sense. If you have trouble writing well andclearly it’s very likely because you have trouble thinking straight andproperly, in which case you need a course in INTENTIONAL LOGIC. There is alsoMATHEMATICAL, SYMBOLIC, MACHINE LOGIC: A modern logic which treats thoughts asif they were things outside the mind; works by juxtaposing one thing next toanother thing, e.g., Toronto is north of New York. "(Blank) is north of(blank)" constitutes a way of arranging things relative to each other asif thoughts were concrete things outside the mind. Useful in math, which dealswith the order among quantifiable parts, but practically useless in ordinary,humanistic affairs. Important today because of our dependency upon computers,which cannot understand meanings but can only deal with quantitativearrangements such as on-off, open—closed, etc.
LOGICAL POSITIVISMor EMPIRICISM: In 20th c. phil., the doctrine, fostered in the English speakingworld by A.J. Ayer, that only statements based upon a combination of senseknowledge and logical and/or mathematical reasoning are to be taken seriouslyas suitable to reasonable and rational discourse. Nothing of an immaterial orspiritual nature can be rationally discussed; only the measurable ismeaningful; if you can’t count it, it doesn’t count; seeing is believing, etc.Meaningfulness is decided by the VERIFICATION or VERIFIABILITY PRINCIPLE, i.e.,if a statement cannot be verified via empirical measurements, at least in part,it is not worthy of any further rational consideration. This was meant to makephil. into a handmaiden of the physical sciences, and to eliminate anything of areligious nature from rational discourse. After flourishing in the 1940’s itdied out in the 1950’s, and has now been abandoned even by Ayer himself,primarily because of its inability to account for the necessary and universalnature of scientific statements, e.g., the principle of inertia, all hydrogenis combustible, every interaction between an acid and a base produces water anda salt, etc. I.e., there’s much more to science than gathering up sense dataand computers.
LOVE (lubere; toplease): To will goodness to something or someone; to appreciate and rejoice ingoodness. Do not confuse with sex, mere emotion, sentimentality, etc. True lovemakes irrevocable promises and thrives on absolute faithfulness. It means usingboth the mind and the heart; a great love, however passionate, is blind withoutknowledge; a great knowledge, however exact, is cold and dead without a burningcharity. Without a true and objective measure to guide it, a consuming passionusually turns ugly and deadly. A real personal integrity requires a harmony ofboth intellect and will. Loving yourself means appreciating what is good inyourself and wanting to see it amplified. Loving another means wanting what. isbest for the person, even if it means that you must suffer; the greater thelove the greater the willingness to suffer and even die for the other. LovingGod means appreciating God as the Highest Good and doing God’s will freely andjoyously. The four main types of human loving: Familiarity or family love("There’s no place like home."); eros -or the attraction betweencomplementary male and female sexes; friendship or a meeting of the minds,sharing the same interests and outlook on things, intellectual love("anima in amicis una"-—there is one mind among friends; "amicusest tamquam alter idem"—-a friend is like another self); and agape(agathos; the good) or religious love. The last incorporates the best featuresof the previous three, and is required for human perfection.
MATTER (mater;mother): In ordinary usage, that which has 3D extension, sensible qualities,and can be acted upon by physical forces; the passive principle which can beformed in different ways. In Aristotle, the material cause; that which is inpotency to receive some further determination. In this philosophical sensematter does not have any sensible, physical traits. The most fundamental matteris called "prime matter" by Aristotle.
MATTER—OF—FACT: In18th c. phil. as fostered by Hume, a statement based upon sense knowledge; anempirical claim which can be verified or falsified only through senseexperience. E.g., The sun is shining today here and now.
METAPHYSICS(meta-phusis; beyond the natural world): Aristotle’s theology. That subjectwhich deals with those things that exist beyond the sphere of the moon, in theheavens, which are inhabited by the heavenly orbs and the gods. The gods existwithout a material component. Here is where Real Being is found, and thus it isthe science of being being in the sense of the Separated Substances which existbeyond the realm of changing and corruptible things down here on earth. Thehighest god is the Prime Mover or the Self-Thinking Essence of Thought.
METEMPSYCHOSIS(meta—en—psyche; beyond the besouled): The transmigration of a living soul fromone body to another; common in Hinduism, Buddhism, the Pythagoreans, Plato, andmany modern New Age, neo-pagan sects.
METHODICAL DOUBT:In 17th c. phil. as fostered by Rene Descartes, the method or practice ofdoubting the existence and truth of anything which was not so absolutelycertain that doubting it was impossible. He arrived at only one such truth,namely, "I think therefore I am" (cogito ergo sum). From thisintramental position he would then move out to redesign the universe (seeIdealism).
MONISM (mon; one):The doctrine that there is one and only one Reality which incorporates intoitself everything in the universe, whether known or unknown to us. Theimpersonal form of Pantheism.
NATURAL THEOLOGY:Reasoning to the existence and attributes of God without the aid of Scriptureor Revelation.
NATURE (natus,nasci; born, to be born): That which is born, grows, and dies; hence, thechangeable, the mutable, that which undergoes generation and corruption. Alsothe inner source and cause of these changes. The form or essence of the thingviewed from the perspective of its role as the intrinsic principle of change.In more ordinary usage, the usual course and events of the physical world.
NAZISM(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche A.rbeiterpartei; NSDAP; National SocialisticGerman Workers’ Party): A 20th c. political phil. based upon Hegel’s doctrineof the State as an expression of God (see Pantheism) developing Itself inworldly affairs. The state (Hegel predicted that in the near future it would bethe Prussian state) is God marching through the world. Within the state thereis a superior race--the Aryans (arya; noble), which all other races must serveor die. The yolk or People, whose Will is personified in one great leader(Hitler), is more real than the individual, so much so that the individual hasno rights or even reality relative to The Race. Ultimately the Race istrans-national and will dominate the whole world, using the techniques ofselective killing and breeding (taking Nietzsche’s advice) so as to produce arace of Supermen who will use all others as we now use a herd of cattle. Abhors"atheistic" Communism. Should not be confused with non-racist, but noless repugnant, Fascism.
NIHILISM nihil;nothing): In 19th and 20th c. phil., as fostered by various Russian revolutionariesand Nietzsche, the view that the religions, thought patterns, and thetraditional justifications for human moral behavior used in the past are nowdead and gone forever. This is epitomized in the DEATH-OF—GOD slogan. However,the state of emptiness and nothingness is not meant as a final, enduring state,but only as a transitional period to something else, hopefully better, in thefuture. In Nietzsche, the one who is aware of this and acts accordingly is theOverman, Higher Man, or Superman (there are no Super women). What we actuallygot was Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and Libertarianism.
NOMINALISM (nomen;name): In epistemology, the doctrine that the only thing the members of a classhave in common is the class name. E.g., there is no human nature, only the nameused to cover a collection of unique individuals. This doctrine destroys allscience and human rights. Although often theoretically advocated bymaterialistically and atheistically inclined people, it cannot be acted upon inpractice.
ONTOLOGY (on-logos;study of the real): The study of what is really real.
PANTHEISM(pan—theos; all god): The doctrine that everything is God or the identificationof God with some aspect of the world, usually personified somehow. Nature isGod; God is the World—Soul, etc. The World is the one and only source of allcreativity and novelty. Some pantheists: The Stoics, Spinoza, Hegel, Goethe,Emerson, Nietzsche, Whitehead, Hans Kung, Matthew Fox, and many more 20th c.thinkers. In Judaeo—Christianity and Islam pantheism is atheism.
PANTHEISTIC ETHICS:If Nature is God then everything is natural. You have as much right tosurvival, work, and happiness as the flowers and birds, i.e., you have none_atall! Thus there can be no immorality. Even environmental polluters areultimately guiltless because all they are really doing is"programming" Nature so as to bring about certain internal changeswhich will, in the long run, produce new and wonderful things. This is thenatural progressive course of evolution, regardless of how unpleasant thingsmay momentarily appear to us within our very limited range of vision. In modernevolutionary Pantheism, quickly or slowly "God" is always developingand advancing.
PARADIGM(para—deiknynai; up against—to show): The archetype or ideal example ofsomething, usually of a theory or pattern of explanation; a clear caseillustrating something according to its inner rationality and meaning.
PARADOX (para—doxa;against common opinion): Something which sounds strange when judged againstcommonly held views, e.g., learning to use your leisure time well is hard work,heavy cream is lighter than light cream. In logic, a proposition which appearsto be both true and false simultaneously, e.g., "Every rule has anexception" (including this one?); "Everything is relative"(absolutely!); "No proposition is negative;" "You doubt that youare reading what you are now reading." Most paradoxes depend uponarbitrarily assuming some statement to be true to begin with when there isreally no need to do so.
PER ACCIDENS:Existing through another; dependent existence.
PER SE: Existingthrough itself; independent existence.
PERSON (per—sona;speak through; actor’s mask): An a