Philosophical Terms


Metaphysics | Cosmology | Epistemology | Ethics | Aesthetics
Philosophy: The discipline that attempts to present a systematic and complete view of all reality: Love of Wisdom
Metaphysics:
  • Metaphysics: The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of ultimate reality, substance of being and the first principles (laws) in accordance to which all things act.
  • Ontology: Of the essential characteristics of being. The study of the order and structure of reality. The study which attempts to describe the nature of ultimate being (The One, The Absolute, The Perfect Eternal Form). This terms can be used interchangibly with metaphysics.
  • Teleology: The study of phenomina exhibiting order, design, ends, purpose, tendencies, aims, directions, and how they are achived in a process of development.
  • Entelechy: The realization of form-giving cause as contrasted to potential existance. An immanent agency held by some to regulate or direct the vital processes of an organism.
  • Mechanism: The theory that al phenomena (antural, biological, psychological) are physical and can be explained in terms of material changes (mater in motion). The theory that all phenomena can be explained in terms of the principles by which machines (Mechanical Systems) are explained without recourse to intelligence as an operating cause or principle.
  • Cosmology/Cosmogony:
  • Cosmology: A theory of the origination of the universe. The study of the universe as a rational and orderly system.
  • Monism: The theory that all things in the universe are derived from one single ultimate substance (Matter or SPirit).
  • Dualism: The theory that all things in the universe are derived from two independent seperate irreducible unique realms.
  • Pessimism:The view that all things are ordered for or tend toward the worst. The belief that the world is essentially evil and will remain so despite human effort. The antithesis of Meliorism.
  • Nihilism: The skeptical denial of all that is regarded as real.
  • Materialism: The belief taht nothing exists but matter in motion. The belief that mind exists but is caused by material changes. aThe belief that matter and the universe do not in any way posess characteristics of mind such as purpose, awareness, intelligence or direction. Everychange ahs material cause.
  • Idealism: The theory that the universe is an embodyment of a mind. Reality is dependent upon a mind and its activity. Plato - The true, absolute reality is the realm of the perfect, timeless, unchanging forms.
  • Solipsism: The belief that mothing else exists other than ones self. All things are the creations of one's consciousness. Other things do not have independent existance.
  • Determinism: The view that every event has a cause. The belief that all things in the universe are governed by or operate in accordance with casual law. Everything in the universe is absolutely dependent upon and necessitated by causes.
  • Indertiminism: The theory that some events do not have causes, and thusly cannot be predicted.
  • Free Will: The belief that, given again the same conditions, humans can will to do otherwise than what they did so. The idea that alternate courses of action are open to one at any time and that the future is not fated.
  • Epistemology:
  • Epistemology: The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of knowledge and its source. A theory of knowledge.
  • Induction: Reasoning from a part of a whole, from particular instances of smething to a general statement.
  • Deduction: Reasoning from general truth to a particular instance. The process of inference from premises in which a necessarily true conclusion is arrived at by rules of logic. (Sherlock Holmes)
  • Reason: The intellect. The capacity to abstract, comprehend, relate, reflect, notice similarities and differences, ect. Reason is regarded as distinct from faith, revelation, intuition, emotion, feeling, and sentiment.
  • Empiricism: The theory that all knowledge is derived by experience.
  • Rationalism: The theory that knowledge is derived by pure reason. The mind is capeable of knowing some truths without priot experience.
  • Mysticism: The belief that ultimate truth about reality cannot be derived by either reason or rationalism but by a non-rational mystical intuition.
  • Subjectivism: The theory that all knowledge has its source and validity in the knowers' subjective mental states.
  • Objectivism: The theory that the world exists in itself independently of and external to our comprehension of it.
  • Skepticism: A state of doubting. Skepticism ranges from complete total disbelief to tentative doubt in a process or reaching certanty.
  • A Priori: Prior to and independent of sense experience.
  • A Posteriori: That which follows after sense experience.
  • Phenomenalism: Knowledge is limited to what can be percieved in consciousness about the external world and what can be percieved by introspection about our mental activities and states. Reality is the totality of all possible conscious experience.
  • Absolutism: The view that there is only one unchanging and correct objective explanation of reality.
  • Reletavism: The view that truth is identical to what is percieved byt the perciever and consequently truth does not exist indepentently of the perciever.
  • Sensationalism: All knowledge has its sourse in sensations. All knowledge can be reduced to sensations.
  • Ethics:
  • Ethics: That branch of philosophy that deals with the analysis of consepts such as ought, should, duty, right, wrong, obligation, moral rules, ect.
  • Utilitarianism: The theory that states that one should so act as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number. The belief that an act is morally right if it brings about a greater balance of good over evil thatn any other action that could have been taken.
  • Hedonism (Egoistic): the theory that all human actions should be motivated by the desire to secure sone's own pleasure and avoid pain even if the good of other has to be sacrificed.
  • Hedonism: The doctrine that pleasure is the highest good. It is an intristic good. The ethical worth of an action is determined by whether or not it produces pleasure.
  • Axiology: The analysis of values to determine meaning characteristics, origins, types, criteria, and epistemological status.
  • Nihilism:The belief that moral values cannot be justified in any way by reason, God, intuition, or any other means. Moral values are worthless, meaningless, and irrational
  • Aesthetics:
  • Aesthetics: That branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and related consepts such as the sublime, ugly, and humerous. Analysis of the values, tastes, attitudes, and standards by which we judge things that are created by man or found in nature which we call beautiful.
  • Intristic: Inherent in and of itself.
  • Extristic: Esternal and unessential to the thing itself.
  • Eclecticism: Choosing ideas (consepts, beliefs, doctrines) from a variety of systems of thought in the process of construction one's own system. Antitheses of integrity.
  • Dialectic: The art of gaining better knowledge on a topic by exchanging reasoned voews and arguments. Other contexts realting to dialectic include Plato, Heracleitius, Hegel, Socrates, Zeno, and Kant.

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