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Glossary of Philosophy Terms
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abduction Tweet Definition of abduction Like Definition of abduction on Facebook
  1. (rfdate, make this into proper citation) The act of abduce, abducing or abducting; a drawing apart; a carrying away. " Roget
  2. (context, physiology) The movement which separates a limb or other part from the axis, or middle line, of the body.
  3. The wrongful, and usually the forcible, carrying off of a human being.
    • the of a child
    • the of an heiress
      1. (logic) A syllogism or form of argument in which the major is evident, but the minor is only probable.
    • 2005, Ronnie Cann, Ruth Kempson, Lutz Marten, The Dynamics of Language, an Introduction, p. 256
    • : The significance of such a step is that it is not morphologically triggered: it is a step of , and what is required here is a meta-level process of reasoning.
      1. (computing) The process of inference to the best explanation; abductive reasoning.
      2. (context, education) The process used in getting students to see disciplinary regularity through the use of metaphor.
academicism Tweet Definition of academicism Like Definition of academicism on Facebook
  1. A tenet of the Academic philosophy.
  2. A mannerism or mode peculiar to an academy.
academism Tweet Definition of academism Like Definition of academism on Facebook
  1. (obsolete): The doctrines of the Academic philosophy - Baxter
acatalepsy Tweet Definition of acatalepsy Like Definition of acatalepsy on Facebook
  1. Incomprehensibility of things; the doctrine held by the ancient Skeptic philosophers, that human knowledge never amounts to certainty, but only to probability.
accident Tweet Definition of accident Like Definition of accident on Facebook
  1. Literally, a befalling; an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden, and unexpected event; chance; contingency; often, an undesigned and unforeseen occurrence of an afflictive or unfortunate character; a casualty; a mishap; as, to die by an
    • Shakespeare, Othello, I-iii:
    • : Of moving accidents by flood and field.
    • Trench:
    • : Thou cam'st not to thy place by : It is the very place God meant for thee.
      1. (grammar) A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
      2. (military) An unplanned event that results in injury (including death) or occupational illness to person(s) and/or damage to property, exclusive of injury and/or damage caused by action of an enemy or hostile force.
      3. (context, Heraldry) A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms
      4. (logic) A property or quality of a thing which is not essential to it, as whiteness in paper; an attribute
      5. (logic) A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness, softness.
      6. Any accidental property, fact, or relation; an accidental or nonessential; as, beauty is an .
    • w:J. P. Mahaffy, J. P. Mahaffy:
    • : This , as I call it, of Athens being situated some miles from the sea.
      1. (obsolete) unusual, Unusual appearance or effect - Chaucer
      2. casus; such unforeseen, extraordinary, extraneous interference as is out of the range of ordinary calculation.
accidentalism Tweet Definition of accidentalism Like Definition of accidentalism on Facebook
  1. Accidental character or effect - Ruskin
actualism Tweet Definition of actualism Like Definition of actualism on Facebook
  1. (philosophy) The belief that actuality and existence are co-extensive - i.e., that only actual things exist, that there are not, in addition to the actual, any possiblia (possible entities).
aesthetic Tweet Definition of aesthetic Like Definition of aesthetic on Facebook
  1. The study of art or beauty.
  2. That which appeals to the senses.
  1. Concerned with beauty, artistic impact, or appearance.
It works well enough, but the shabby exterior offends his sensibilities.
aesthetically Tweet Definition of aesthetically Like Definition of aesthetically on Facebook
  1. In an aesthetic manner; with a pleasing sensory effect.
aestheticism Tweet Definition of aestheticism Like Definition of aestheticism on Facebook
  1. A doctrine which holds aesthetics or beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard.
aesthetics Tweet Definition of aesthetics Like Definition of aesthetics on Facebook
  1. The study or philosophy of beauty.
affection Tweet Definition of affection Like Definition of affection on Facebook
  1. The act of affect, affecting or acting upon; the state of being affected.
  2. An attribute; a quality or property; a condition; a bodily state; as, figure, weight, etc., are affections of bodies.
  3. Bent of mind; a feeling or natural impulse or natural impulse acting upon and swaying the mind; any emotion; as, the benevolent affections, esteem, gratitude, etc.; the malevolent affections, hatred, envy, etc.; inclination; disposition; propensity; tendency.
  4. A settled good will; kind feeling; love; zealous or tender attachment
Usage note: often in the plural; formerly followed by "to", but now more generally by "for" or "toward(s)"; as, filial, social, or conjugal affections; to have an affection for or towards children
  1. (medicine) Disease; morbid symptom; malady; as, a pulmonary affection. --Dunglison.
affirmative Tweet Definition of affirmative Like Definition of affirmative on Facebook
  1. Yes; an answer that shows agreement or acceptance.
That's an Houston, the space shuttle has lost the secondary thrusters.
10-4 good buddy. That's an - the tractor trailer is in the ditch at the side of the highway.
  1. (italbrac, grammatical terminology) An answer that shows agreement or acceptance.
  1. pertaining to truth; asserting that something is
  2. pertaining to any assertion or active confirmation that favors a particular result
  3. positive
agnostic Tweet Definition of agnostic Like Definition of agnostic on Facebook
  1. A person who holds to a form of agnosticism, especially uncertainty of the existence of a deity.
  1. Of or relating to agnosticism or its adherents.
His viewpoint is summarized in his book.
  1. doubtful, Doubtful or uncertain about the existence or demonstrability of God or other deity.
She left the church when she became .
  1. (context, computing) A software component (or other entity) that is unaware or noncommittal regarding the specific nature of the components with which it interacts; polymorphism, polymorphic; modular; pluggable
The socket communications layer is with regards to its underlying transport mechanism -- it is "transport-".
agnosticism Tweet Definition of agnosticism Like Definition of agnosticism on Facebook
  1. the view that absolute truth or ultimate certainty is unattainable, especially regarding knowledge not based on experience or perceivable phenomena.
  2. the view that the existence of God or of all deity, deities is unknown, unknowable, unproven, or unprovable.
  3. doubt, uncertainty, or skepticism regarding the existence of God or of all deities.
alethiology Tweet Definition of alethiology Like Definition of alethiology on Facebook
  1. (logic) The branch of logic dealing with truth and error.
alternative Tweet Definition of alternative Like Definition of alternative on Facebook
  1. A situation which allows a choice between two or more possibilities.
  2. A choice between two or more possibilities.
  3. One of several things which can be chosen.
  1. Having more than one choice.
  2. Other.
amphiboly Tweet Definition of amphiboly Like Definition of amphiboly on Facebook
noun (amphibolies)
  1. (grammar) An ambiguous grammatical construction.
    • 1931, Adrian Coates, "Philosophy as Criticism and Point of View," Philosophy, vol. 6, no. 23, p. 339,
    • :By logical errors I mean such simple things as Equivocation, Amphiboly, and Begging the Question.
    • 1987, Jeffrey Buechner, "Radically Misinterpreting Radical Interpretation," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 45, no. 4, p. 410,
    • :The language might be fraught with word ambiguity or sentence .
analogy Tweet Definition of analogy Like Definition of analogy on Facebook
noun (analogi, es)
  1. The use of a similar example or model to explain or extrapolate from.
The birthing class instructor used a balloon and a ping-pong ball as an for the baby in the womb.
Many use the Gospels' of a mustard seed growing into a huge plant to explain faith.
analysis Tweet Definition of analysis Like Definition of analysis on Facebook
noun (countable and uncountable; plural analyses)
  1. The action of taking something apart in order to study it.
  2. (uncountable) (math) The mathematical study of functions, sequences, series, limits, derivatives and integrals.
  3. (logic) Proof by deduction from known truths.
  4. (uncountable) (chemistry) The process of breaking a substance down into its constituent parts.
  5. (countable) (chemistry) The result of this process.
analytic Tweet Definition of analytic Like Definition of analytic on Facebook
  1. of, or relating to any form of analysis, or to analytics
  2. of, or relating to division into elements or principles
  3. having the ability to analyse
  1. (logic) (of a proposition) that follows necessarily; tautologous
  2. (mathematics) of, or relating to algebra or a similar method of analysis
  3. (mathematics) being defined in terms of objects of differential calculus such as derivatives
  4. (linguistics) using multiple simple words, instead of inflection
anamnesis Tweet Definition of anamnesis Like Definition of anamnesis on Facebook
noun (anamnes, es, -)
  1. the ability to recall past events; recollection
  2. (medicine) the medical history of a patient
AND Tweet Definition of AND Like Definition of AND on Facebook
  1. (logic) Alternative form of �, the conjunction operator.
animism Tweet Definition of animism Like Definition of animism on Facebook
  1. the belief that spirits inhabit natural objects or phenomena
  2. the belief that an immaterial force animates the universe
  3. worldviews and lifeways founded on the understanding that the world is a community of living persons (most of whom are other-than-human) deserving respect, in which people learn through life how to show respect in locally appropriate ways
anschauung Tweet Definition of anschauung Like Definition of anschauung on Facebook
  1. (context, philosophy, Kantianism) Sense-perception.
antecedent Tweet Definition of antecedent Like Definition of antecedent on Facebook
  1. any thing that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing
  2. (in plural) one's ancestors
  3. (grammar) a word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun
In "The policeman asked the boy what he was doing" the phrase "the boy" is the of the pronoun "he".
  1. (logic) The conditional part of a hypothetical proposition
  1. earlier either in time or order
anthropology Tweet Definition of anthropology Like Definition of anthropology on Facebook
  1. the holistic scientific and social study of humanity
anthroposophy Tweet Definition of anthroposophy Like Definition of anthroposophy on Facebook
  1. A spiritual philosophy that maintains that anyone who "conscientiously cultivates sense-free thinking" can have insights into the spiritual world.
antilogy Tweet Definition of antilogy Like Definition of antilogy on Facebook
noun (plural antilogies)
  1. A contradiction in related terms or ideas. Usually an inconsistency in syllogisms, of a person or group supposedly of one set of ideals.
antinomy Tweet Definition of antinomy Like Definition of antinomy on Facebook
noun (antinomies)
  1. Contradiction or opposition, especially between two laws or rules.
  2. A contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable.
antithesis Tweet Definition of antithesis Like Definition of antithesis on Facebook
noun (antitheses)
  1. a proposition that is the diametric opposite of some other proposition.
apathy Tweet Definition of apathy Like Definition of apathy on Facebook
  1. Complete lack of emotion or motivation about a person, activity, or object; depression; lack of interest or enthusiasm; disinterest.
aporia Tweet Definition of aporia Like Definition of aporia on Facebook
noun (plural: aporiae)
  1. a figure of speech in which the speaker pauses rhetorically to express uncertainty or doubt as to how to proceed: How can I describe the beauty of the desert?.
  2. An insoluble contradiction in a text's meaning.
  3. Any kind of logical impasse suggested by a text or speaker.
a posteriori Tweet Definition of a posteriori Like Definition of a posteriori on Facebook
  1. (logic) Involving deduction of theories from facts.
  1. (logic) In a manner that deduces theories from facts.
appearance Tweet Definition of appearance Like Definition of appearance on Facebook
  1. The act of appearing or coming into sight; the act of becoming visible to the eye; as, his sudden appearance surprised me.
  2. A thing seen; a phenomenon; a phase; an apparition; as, an appearance in the sky.
  3. Personal presence; exhibition of the person; look; aspect; mien.
And now am come to see . . . It thy appearance answer loud report. --Milton.
  1. Semblance, or apparent likeness; external show. pl. Outward signs, or circumstances, fitted to make a particular impression or to determine the judgment as to the character of a person or a thing, an act or a state; as, appearances are against him.
There was upon the tabernacle, as it were, the appearance of fire. --Num. ix. 15.
For man looketh on the outward appearance. --1 Sam. xvi. 7.
Judge not according to the appearance. --John. vii. 24.
  1. The act of appearing in a particular place, or in society, a company, or any proceedings; a coming before the public in a particular character; as, a person makes his appearance as an historian, an artist, or an orator.
Will he now retire, After appearance, and again prolong Our expectation? --Milton.
  1. The coming into court of either of the parties; the being present in court; the coming into court of a party summoned in an action, either by himself or by his attorney, expressed by a formal entry by the proper officer to that effect; the act or proceeding by which a party proceeded against places himself before the court, and submits to its jurisdiction. --Burrill. --Bouvier. --Daniell.
a priori Tweet Definition of a priori Like Definition of a priori on Facebook
  1. (law, Latinate) Known ahead of time.
  2. (logic) Based on hypothesis rather than experiment.
a priori knowledge
  1. Self-evident, intuitively obvious
  1. (logic) Derived by logic.
Aristotelian Tweet Definition of Aristotelian Like Definition of Aristotelian on Facebook
  1. A disciple of Aristotle; see peripatetic.
  1. Of or pertaining to the philosophy taught by Aristotle, or to his followers.
asceticism Tweet Definition of asceticism Like Definition of asceticism on Facebook
  1. The principles and practices of an ascetic; extreme self-denial and austerity
atheism Tweet Definition of atheism Like Definition of atheism on Facebook
  1. Absence of belief in the existence of God or deity, gods.
  2. Disbelief in the existence of God or deity, gods.
atheist Tweet Definition of atheist Like Definition of atheist on Facebook
  1. A person who does not believe that deity, deities exist; one who lacks belief in gods.
    • 2006, Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, page 51:
    • : Atheists do not have faith; and reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist.
      1. A person who believes that no deity, deities exist; one who deny, denies the existence of all gods.
atheistic Tweet Definition of atheistic Like Definition of atheistic on Facebook
  1. of or relating to atheists or atheism
attribute Tweet Definition of attribute Like Definition of attribute on Facebook
  1. A characteristic or quality of a thing.
His finest is his kindness.
  1. (computing) The applicable option selection; a variable or a value.
This packet has its coherency set to zero.
verb (attribut, ing)
  1. (used with to before the object) To associate ownership or authorship with.
This poem is attributed to Browning.
automatism Tweet Definition of automatism Like Definition of automatism on Facebook
  1. A disassociative state where a person suffering has no control over their actions.
averroism Tweet Definition of averroism Like Definition of averroism on Facebook
  1. The tenets of the Averroists, having to do with the doctrine of monopsychism.
axiology Tweet Definition of axiology Like Definition of axiology on Facebook
noun (axiolog, ies)
  1. (context, uncountable, philosophy) The study of the origin, nature, functions, types, and interrelations of values; value theory.
    1. (countable) The particular value theory of a philosopher, school of thought, etc.
    In his , G. E. Moore maintains that "good" is the name of a simple, indefinable quality.

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