A posteriori knowledge
empirical knowledge derived from sense experience and not regarded as universal because the conditions under which it is acquired change, perceivers vary, and factual relationships change.
A priori ideas (innate ideas)
truths that are not derived from observation or experiments; characterized as being searching, deductive, and universally true, and independent of all experience.
A priori knowledge
derived from reason without reference to sense experience. Examples include "all triangles contain 180°" and "every event has a cause."
Bundle theory of the self
Humean theory that there is no fixed self but that the self is merely a"bundle of perceptions"; a self is merely a habitual way of discussing certain perceptions.
from the Greek word charakter, a word derived from charassein, " to make sharp" or "to engrave," character refers to the sum total of the person's traits, including behavior, habits, likes and dislikes, capacities, potentials and so on; a key element of aristotelian ethics and psychology, meaning the overall (generally fixed) nature or tone of a persons habits.
Cogito, ergo sum
Latin for "I think, therefore I am."
Coherence theory of truth
truth test in which new or unclear ideas are evaluated in terms of rational or logical consistency and in relation to already established truths.
Correspondence (copy or representation) theory truth
truth test that holds that an idea (or belief or thought) is true if whatever it refers to actually exists (corresponds to the fact).
individual who lives an austere, unconventional life based on cynic doctrine.
philosophy based on the belief that the very essence of civilization is corrupt and that civilization destroys individuals by making them soft and subject to the whims of fortune.
any philosophical position that divides the existence in to two completely distinct, independent, unique substances.
the viewer that knowingly consists of two distinct aspects: the knower and the known.
the triggering cause that initiates activity; the substance by which the changes brought about; close to the contemporary meaning of cause; third of Aristotle's Four Causes.
problem generated by epistemological dualism: if all knowledge comes in the form of my own ideas how can I verify the existence of anything external to them?
Empirical criterion of meaning
meaningful ideas are those that can be traced back to sense experience (impressions); beliefs that cannot be reduced to sense experience are not "ideas" at all, but meaningless utterances.
Belief that knowledge is ultimately derived from the senses (experience) and that all ideas can be traced to sense data.
from the Greek for "having its end within itself"; according to Aristotle, an inner urge that drives all things to blossom into their own unique selves; inner urge or design that governs all natural processes.
branch of philosophy that studies the nature and possibility of knowledge.
Esse est percipi
Latin for berkeley's belief that " to be is to be perceived."
Often translated as "happiness"; term Aristotle used to refer to fully realized existence; state of being fully aware, vital, alert.
that for which an activity or process takes place; the things very reason for being (raison d'être); fourth of the aristotle's Four Causes.
from the Greek word for essence (ousia), that which is matter and makes a thing what it is; can be abstracted from matter but cannot exist indepedently of matter.
The shape, or form, into which matter is changed; second of Aristotle's Four Causes.
Functionalist theory of morality
Moral position that right and wrong can be understood only in terms of their effect on anything's natural function; each kind of thing has a natural purpose (function).
from the Greek root for "pleasure"; general term for any philosophy that asserts that pleasure=good and pain=bad.
philosophy that advocates the unreflective pursuit of intense, immediate pleasure; makes no qualitative distinctions among pleasures.
The belief that although it is possible to deliberately avoid pleasure or choose pain, it is morally wrong to do so.
the belief that all decisions are based on consideration of pleasure and pain because it is psychologically impossible for human beings to do otherwise.
Belief that only ideas (mental states) exist; the material world is a fiction - it does not exist.
Reasoning pattern that proceeds from the particular to the general or from "some" to "all" and results in generalized rules or principles established with degrees of probability.
Law of contradiction
Rule of inference that says no statement can be both true and false at the same time and under the same conditions; sometimes known as the law of noncontradiction.
According to Stoic doctrine, World Reason, also referred to as Cosmic Mind, God, etc.
The material (substance) from which a thing comes, and in which change occurs; first of Aristotle's Four Causes.
materialism (or behavioralism)
Belief that everything is composed of matter (and energy) and can be explained by physical laws, that all human activity can be understood as the natural behavior of matter according to mechanical laws, and that thinking is merely a complex form of behaving: the body is a fleshy machine.
The common material stuff found in a variety of things; it has no distinct characteristics until some form is imparted to it or until the form inherent in a thing becomes actualized
The midpoint between two points; for Aristotle, moral virtue was characterized a s a mean between too little and too much.
Cartesian strategy of deliberately doubting everything it is possible to doubt in the least degree so that what remains will be known with absolute certainty.
General name for the belief that everything consists of only one, ultimate, unique substance such as matter or spirit.
Belief that reality consists of the natural world; denial of the existence of a separate supernatural order of reality; belief that nature follows orderly, discoverable laws.
An attempt to prove the existence of God either by referring to the meaning of the word God when it is understood a certain way or by referring to the purportedly unique quality of the concept of God.
Forms independently existing, nonspatial, nontemporal "somethings" known only through thought and that cannot be known through the senses.
the belief that there exist many realities or substances
According to Locke, sensible qualities that exist independent of any perceiver; shape, size, location, etc.
principle of plenitude
metaphysical principle that, given infinity, any real possibility must occur at least once.
principle of sufficient reason
Nothing happens without a reason; therefore no adequate theory or explanation can contain any brute, crude, unexplained facts.
problem of evil
If God can prevent suffering but doesn't he isn't all good, and if he chooses to but can't, he isn't all powerful.
Epidemiological position in which reason is said to be the primary source of all knowledge, superior to sense evidence.
According to Locke, subjective qualities whose existence depends on a perciever; color, sound, taste.
stressed logical and linguistic analysis of texts and arguments in order to produce a systematic statement and defense of Christian beliefs.
person who demands clear, undoubtable evidence before accepting anything as true.
individual who attempts to live according to stoic doctrine
counsels self control, detachment, and acceptance of one's fate as identified by the objective use of reason.
Blank slate. All humans are blank slates at birth. No innate ideas.
the universe manifests order and purpose that can only be the result of a conscious intelligence (God).
way of explaining things in terms of their ultimate goals; understanding things functionally in terms of the relationship of the parts to the whole.
study or science of god
form of government in which all power rests in a single individual, the tyrant.