aesthetics1) As an epistemological concept, aesthetics refers to sense and sensibility (e.g. Plato's use of aisthesis (aesqhsis), Kant's use of Aesthetic) which goes back the Greek meaning of sense, feeling and sensory experience or sensory knowledge. 2) In the 19th Century, aesthetics as a special branch of philosophy was established for the first time to signify the inquiry of beauty and then, that of arts. Currently at the end of the 20th century, aesthetics means the inquiry of value (excluding moral values), the nature of arts and music: Can he beauty in nature be investigated in aesthetics? What is aesthetic value? How can we experience aesthetic experience?
analyticAnalytic is an epistemological concept. It is one of the two kinds of knowledge (thus truth) in distinction from synthetic knowledge. Until Kant, distinction between analytic and synthetic was understood as synonymous with that of a priori and a posteriori. By taking the transcendental approach and elucidating the difference, Kant was able to stipulate the question of "synthetic knowledge a priori." Analytic and synthetic have totally different criteria of truth. There have been considered two criteria for analytic truth: The one is that a knowledge or a proposition is true if and only if the meaning of the predicate already included in that of the subject. The second one says that a knowledge or a proposition is true if and only if its negation implies a contradiction. In either case, truth is considered to be not related to the form of a knowledge or proposition, but is related to the meaning of that knowledge or the proposition.
analysis1) Analysis is a methodological term which characterizes the procedure of dividing parts and elements of the whole in order to comprehend the whole by means of these elements or parts. Analysis may further signify an interpretation of data by means of a hypothesis or a theory such that the data are to be meaningful to that hypothesis or theory. 2) In phenomenology, analysis also is used, but in a totally different way. Since the principle of phenomenology rejects any reductionism (in the above case of analysis, this is a procedure in which we reduce the whole to its elements or parts), the concept of analysis in the above sense cannot be used or applied as it stands. However, not only Husserl, but also other phenomenologists use "analysis." What does this mean? A phenomenologist investigate a phenomenon as the fact and as it actually is, whereby instead of dividing it into its elements, he would separate and distinguish the very phenomenon from the neighboring phenomena step by step so that ultimately both the phenomenologist and the reader (listener) is able to intuitively grasp that phenomenon as such. In this senses, analysis is the procedure prior to phenomenological intuition and the guide by the phenomenologist to arrive at the phenomenological intuition.
apperceptionApperception is an epistemological concept. 1) Apperception is according to Leibniz a clearer, more distinct perception, while to Leibniz, perception is subconscious feeling or cognition which is not articulated at all. 2) Kant used the term as the human cognitive faculty of synthesis (a part of reason) which unifies the subject and predicate so that a judgement is made possible.
a prioria priori is an epistemological concept, which indicates its origin and the nature of the knowledge. 1) In the Ancient Greek, a priori means knowledge obtained from the cause. 2) In the Contemporary use, a priori characterizes the knowledge which is not only independent of experience but also precedes it in such a way that a priori knowledge is the condition of the possibility of knowledge in general. 3) By implication, a priori also means rational knowledge, which is universally and necessary true. See Kant. The opposite of a priori is a posteriori.
a posterioriA posteriori is an epistemological concept, which indicates its origin and the nature of the knowledge. 1) In the Ancient Greek, a posteriori means knowledge obtained from the effect, and not from the cause. 2) in the Contemporary European philosophy, a posteriori signifies the knowledge originated from experience, therefore, a posteriori knowledge must be confirmed its truth by experience and is not universally and necessary true.
attributeAttribute is an ontological concept and refers to the essential characteristics of a substance, without which such a substance cannot exit. In case of Descartes, the attribute of matter which is a substance is extension, to extend or to occupy a certain place, while the attribute of mind is thinking or an activity of consciousness. Descartes did not commit himself to whether or not God has more than one attribute (Spinoza said that at least two knowable to the human-being) but he showed several indication that God, being infinite, perfect, is spiritual, and can not be material (otherwise God is identical with the infinite space, but according to the traditional theological understanding, God as creator must transcendent from His own creatures (=universe and entities in the universe).Unlike Aristotle who considered that God is the primary cause or uncaused cause of the universe in the sense of formal and efficient cause, Christian philosophers in Western philosophy including Descartes considers that God is a Mind, an infinite, perfect spiritual Substance, which fulfills best the meaning of substance ( since the substance as God does not depend on anything else than Himself, it signifies the absolute independence of all things).
beingBeing is an ontological concept. Being has been ambiguously understood since Parmenides. In the one sense, being signifies that which is (ens, Seiendes). In this sense, being is synonymous with what is real. This is what Plato called ontós on. On the other hand, being is act of being (esse, Sein). This has been so deliberately. However, due to this ambiguity, as Heidegger calls it, the history of Western philosophy is the history of forgetting being (Sein). We have been dealt with entities instead of being itself. Heidegger raised the question about being (not entities), which he calls the fundamental ontology. The most familiar entity is the human-being and Heidegger stars with the understanding of being by the human-being, as it is his/her own being. Through his phenomenological analysis, the being of the human-being is being toward death. Existence is thus synonymous with being in the sense of the act of being or Sein.
capitalismCapitalism refers to an economic form of society. Capitalism became one of the central concepts of Karl Marx and his contemporay social philosophers in the second half of the 19th century. By Marx, capitalism was elevated to the ontological structure of society. According to Marx, any sociedty and its cultural phenomena are determined (causally detemined) by the economic condiions, the means of production and the means of exchange. Thus, Marx contended that any class is determined by these economic conditions. Thus concept of class is no longer a sociological concept, but an ontolo-economical concept. Peior to capitalism, social structurres were not so clearly distinct into two classes, but the society after the French Revolution finally consisted of two classes, the one is called bourgeoisie, the class of which possesses the means of production, the other is called proletariat, the class of which does not own the means of production and was forced to sell their own labor as commodity, where Marx saw the self-alienation of the human-being from itself. Capitalism is an irreconcilable struggle between these two class and due to the dialectical, necessay progress, the proletariat would destroy the bourgeoisie and would liberate themselves from this economic oppression and the society necessary transits to communism. Capitalism is, according to Marx, a necessary stage prior to communism.
category1) Category goes back to Aristotle and its original meaning was the predicable (based on his inquiry of logic) or most fundamental characteristics of being (which comes from kategoreomai). Categories are the most universal, most fundamental predicates of all predicates. Categories constitute the basis and conditions of a substance, namely they describe the ways in which a substance is. In this sense, categories are understood more ontologically. It is thus quite natural that Aristotle dealt with categories in Metaphysics. On the other hand, Aristotle dealt with categories in his logical manuscripts. Therefore, they can be logical (thus epistemological in that categories are conditions and the ways of knowing in which the most fundamental truth is asserted). Aristotle enumerated 10 categories, sometimes 8 categories (substance=what (a tree, a tiger), quality=how (color, sweat, elastic), quantity=how many (one, three, fifty), relation=related to something), time=when (2:30 p.m.), place=where (at the university, in New York), situation =how(to lie, to stand), possession=to have (wearing a T-shirt, having a knife in the hand), action (to hit), passion (to suffer a los) ...). Aristotle realized that he uses "substance" ambiguously, the substance as a concrete particular thing such as a tree, a computer, on the one hand, and the substance as the category which is a universal concept which is the name for the particular, concrete individual entities. Aristotle calls the former primary substance, and the latter secondary substance. 2) In contrast, Kant uses category as an epistemological concept. And he called the concept of understanding category in distinction from the concept of reason (immortality of the soul, freedom and God). The category is the way in which the subject and the predicate is synthesized in a given proposition. There are four groups, quality, quantity, relation, and modality, and each group has three different categories. Traditionally, Kant is supposed to have been most exerted in the deductions of these categories from the forms of judgement (cognition), as Kant considered Aristotle's categories are not logical, nor systematic.
causalityCaausality in the contemporary Western philosophy refers to mechanical causality or the efficient cause in Aristotle's distinction of four causes. It is considered the most fundamental, necessary relationship between two events in the universe, between the one temporally preceeding (=acause), the other temporally followig the former (effect), both of which seem to happen necessarily. Besides the Ancient Greek search for the principle of the universe, which Aristotle equated with cause, mechanical cause and effect relationship was universalized in the Middle Ages as evidenced in the statement, "ex nihilo nihil fit." (Nothing comes out of nothing) and was somewhat "upgraded" to a ontological concept particularly in consideration of God as the uncaued cause, although Aristotle used the same so-called cosmological argument for the existence of his god, whereby causality remained as mechanical or efficent causality. Hume questioned the univeral, necessary validity of efficent causality, i.e., the objectivity of causal relationship. From Descartes to Hume, the central question of metaphysics had been about substance, while by Hume, causality suddenly appeared the central, crucial metaphysical question. According to Hume, causality may exist independent of our consciousness, and yet it can be unknown to us. Thus, it is considered sufficiently explained by means of psychology (contiguity of ideas and psychological assoication). Kant inherited this spiritual situation and the challenge of re-establlishing the objectivity of causality as one of his central philosophical tasks.
cause1) Cause is an ontological cocept. Historically, Aristotle was supposed to be the first one who used the term aitia (cause). Interestingly Arisotle used cause as synonymous with the principle (archance
changeChange is a modern translation of kinhsis which comprises locomotion, generation and corruption and all other metamorphosis. Heracleitus was well known for his insight into the reality the nature of which is constant flux (panta 'rh).
chaos (both in the east and the west.)
classClass refers primarly to a social group which occupies a certain hierarchical stratification of the given society. Karl Marx changed the meaning of class as rather an economic ontological concept. Class may be distinguished by the basic structure of the human existence, the means of production and the means of exchange.
consciousnessThe most celebrated articulation may be found in Franz Brentano, which is an Austrian philosopher and psychologist and the teacher of Edmund Husserl. Brentano distinguished physical phenomenon and psychic phenomenon, as the former reveals itself in itself, while the latter always has the structure of referring to something else as "...of something else." This structure Brentano named intentionality. The phenomenon with intentionality is called psychic phenomenon, while the phenomenon which reveals itself by itself in nature is called natural phenomenon. Consciousness is the totality which comprises all the phenomena with intentionality. It is an activity to relate itself to its object, whether it is cognitive, emotive or volitional. In the past, consciousness was considered as the subject and as a spiritual substance. This substantiality of consciousness as ego or self came from the self-identity of consciousness and is the center and cause of any conscious activities by the introduction of mechanical causality into consciousness. The grave error was committed by Descartes in this sense of introducing mechanical cauality into conscousness. It is about the time to exclude mechanical causality from consciousness and is the time in which we are to liberate ourselves from the concept of substance in understanding reality (consciousness in particular). It is further necessary to phenomenologically analyze and describe consciousness and conscious phenomena as they actually are. Despite many attempts by Husserl, Scheler and others, there remain many questions unanswered.
contigencyContingency is the nature of that which happens accidentally. See 1) of accident.
deductionDeduction is a logical procedure in which premisses necessarily imply its conclusion. This deffinition validates indirect proof, namely assuming the negation of the conclusion as one of the premisses, it derives a contradiction among the premisses and demonstrates the validity of the orginal deductive arguement.
Dasein, human existence
determinism1) By determinism, we refer to the ontological world-view by which any occurrence of every event in the universe is mechanically (efficient)-causally, therefore, necessarily determined. The determinist construes that "nothing comes out nothing." means that any event including the human-being is necessarily determined by mechanical causality, so there is no freedom of will in reality. 2) Determinism may also mean a teleological causal determinism. Once we recognize the value of an action and accomplishment clearlly, then it is inevitable for us to will and act accordingly. Socratic position, knowledge implies action, can be also an example of this idea. However, teleological causal determination does not insist that all my actions are determined by certain values, unlike efficient causal determinism.
dialecticDialectic was 1) an epistemological, methodological concept. As a procedure of searching wisdom, dialectic primarily created by supposedly by Zeno of Elea (a student of Parmenides), or/and some sophists and developed by Socrates and completed by Socrates. In this sense, dialectic is a positive (logical, methodological) approach by the discourse between two minds starting with a tentative conception of definiendum and critically examined to arrive at the ultimate, most appropriate description of the nature of definiendum. 2) Dialectic is extensively applied by Plato to disclose his thought in his Dialogues. Although it is used in the same sense as that of Socrates and yet, dialectic was process of searching reality by means of logos. In this sense, it is used by reason, and yet the ultimate object of knowledge cannot be grasped by the dialectic by Plato, but a kind of intellectual intuition. In this sense, dialectic is the second highest method to approach reality, but not the highest, which is intuition of reason. 3) In Aristotle, dialectic is inferior to deduction or syllogism and was understood almost synonymously with induction, as Aristotle said that Socrates was its founder. 4) In Kant's transcendental philosophy, dialectic is less positively understood as signifying the faulty logic or erroneous argument for ontology based on no solid foundation and justifiable basis. 5) Dialectic became the most important principle of ontology in German Idealism. Hegel called this dialectic also the principle of logic or the principle of reality in dynamic development, thus Hegel even sometimes identified dialectic with the act of contradiction. (continue)
doubtDoubt became the central theme of philosophy and one of the most important methodological concepts in the contemporary Western philosophy, since René Descartes' philosophy in his search for the absolutely indubitable foundation of all knowledge as mathesis universalis for all the scientific pursuits. When Descartes began to philosophize, he realized that what has been transmitted may not always be true. In order to distinguish the truth and he falsehood (or to search for the absolutely indubitable truth), Descartes devised and employed the universal doubt. Namely he doubted everything including those which he himself considered true such as God, mathematics, physics, etc., then Descartes discovered that the only thing he cannot doubt is the fact that he is doubting. Otherwise, the act of doubt itself is eliminated. Therefore, Descartes came to an awareness that as long as I am consciously active or am conscious of something, this something as the object of consciousness may be false, the act of consciousness itself cannot be doubted. Thus, Descartes came to an intuition that cogito, ergo sum. (I think, therefore I am.) The universal doubt is also called methodological doubt which was not initiated by a particular, concrete problem and its uncertainty. On the contrary, it is executed by an artificial act of a philosopher such that everything is put to question. By so doing, a philosopher is freed from his previously known ideas and concepts and begins to search for truth itself. In distinction to this, Peirce articulated a live doubt, which is initiated by a concrete event in a concrete particular situation. The act of doubting makes our all actions in withholding. (Incomplete)
empirical1) Empirical is an epistemological term, which signifies something either related to or originated from sense, sense organs and/or sense experience. 2) In a wider sense, it also signifies something related to experience or of experience in general. Therefore, this is an adjective form of experience.
empiricismEmpiricism is an epistemological doctrine which purports that there is no knowledge which does not derive from experience. In other words, this doctrine tires to understand the nature of knowledge not in terms of its "validity," but by means of its origin in sense and experience. It is contrasted to rationalism.
entity or ensThat which exists, something which exists (including the human-being). See being.
epistemologyA word created by combing the Greek epistémé and logos. Epistémé means knowledge. Epistemology signifies the inquiry into knowledge, in which truth, falsehood, and the criterion of truth, the nature of knowledge, distinction between analytic and synthetic knowledge, a priori and a posteriori knowledge, necessary and contingent knowledge, etc., are to be elucidated. As its approach, there are empiricism, rationalism, skepticism. Kant's definition of transcendental is also considered as epistemological, although it serves the ontology of nature, too, at the same time.
essenceEssence derives from the Latin essentia (This noun was made from esse="be" in English), which further is a translation of the Greek eidos (eidos=form) or ousia (oursia). The latter of which also signified substance in Aristotle's philosophy, which means quite different. Essence means the inevitable characteristics which make a certain thing (a substance) that thing. Essence is thus considered as universal characteristic or nature of a thing, while existence in its opposition, is considered as an act of being or existing. Through introduction of St. Anselm's ontological argument of God raised a serious question of whether the divine existence is a part of God's perfection, thus one of God's essence. This challenge was made by St; Anselm's contemporary, Gaunilo, but at that time, nobody paid attention to the serous consequence of his philosophical quesition, until later the problem was raised again by Kant against the ontological argument for the existence of God.
ethicsEthics is a philosophical discipline to inquire into the nature of morally good, and the criterion of morally right action as well as nature of virtue. Aristotle used this conception for the first time and designated by this discipline the inquiry into the virtues or the human characters which are conducive to the maintenance and development of a city state (polis). In this sense, ethics was considered as a portion of political science or political philosophy. As soon as the polis, the foundation of morality , was destroyed by Alexander the Great, and people started wondering what makes one morally good, and further what makes one happy as an individual. This is the beginning of the new meaning of ethics. In terms of the question of the criterion for a morally right action, there are two irreconcilable positions: one is called utilitarianism, which considers the outcome of one's action must be the criterion, while the other viewpoint is called deontology, according to which a moral action is right, regardless of its consequences, as long as it is performed from the moral imperative or pure ought. In this case, as shown above, the criterion of a right action has nothing to do with morality, but is essentially concerned with the knowledge of what is to be done and the action which is purely motivated from the moral ought and nothing else. The representative of this position is Kant,while the former is generally represented by Bentham and by Mill in a much modified form. As to the nature of morally good, here are also two distinct positions in which the nature of good is philosophically understood. One considers the good is related to pleasure, the sensuous pleasure, because it is more in its intensity, and this was represented by hedonists (Epicuros, Bentham).Since this position tries to reduce the nature of good to pleasure or pain, it is often called naturalistic. The other considers the good either should be known by a priori intuition more primordially than the mere object and natural characters. This point of view is represented by Max Scheler, a phenomenologist. In this view point, value is totally different from thingness and can be known by a different kind of cognitive act of a priori feeling and preference. This point of view was called intuitionism by G.E. Moore. Kant's approach is totally against Hedonistic reductionism, but is not necessarily considered as intuitionism, for Kant considers the nature of good is not an object of our cognitive act, but it is determined by the accord of an action with moral law or principle, which Kant called categorical imperative.
existenceExistence means the act of being, the concrete way of being, thus reality of being. In most positive sense and today dominantly, it refers to the existence of the human-being. Thus existence often is abbreviation of the human existence. In the human existence, the human-being is determined by the human essence, namely by what the humankind is, but it is discovered by itself as already existing there. By means of this being there (Da of Dasein), the human existence is in the (mundane) world and his being is called the being in the world. In this being, the being of the rest of the entities in the world reveals itself as implement, being ready at hand. This implementality or instrumentality is the being of an entity in the world and is given to the human-being as useful prior to the way in which being is understood as substantiality. In human existence, it is contended that its existence precedes its essence. In other words, a person cannot primarily defined by the humanity as such, but rather is determined how that person actually is. This is the basis of the existentialism.
existentialismExistentialism refers to Jean-Paul Sartre's philosophy of existence. In English, we apply this term to many philosophical thoughts such as those of Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, etc., but no one would like to call oneself an existentialist except Sartre. Post World War II, many so-called pseudo-intellectuals in France gathered at café in Paris with long hair, talked about the meaningless of human existence, etc. , It was a mere fashion among French intellectuals (just like to be a communist) and disappeared rapidly in the late 60's.
existential philosophy Existential philosophy or philosophy of existence is a philosophical approach which centers in its inquiry the concrete human-being in its existence in Europe since the end of the 19th century. All the philosophy of existence contends that each human-being cannot be understood by its essence. On the contrary, existence precedes essence in the human-being. Only by means of one's existence, a human-being can become the theme and the object of genuine understanding. The distinction of authentic and unauthentic was introduced in terms of human existence. Kierkegaard, Dostoefsky, and Nietzsche are often considered forerunners of philosophy of existence. 1930S by his opus, Being and Time, Martin Heidegger made the concept of existence (as the human existence) in his fundamental ontology and initiated this movement. Jaspers followed him already before the second world war. After World War II, JeanPaul Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gabriel Marcel,Bollnow as well as Kafka and Camus,, etc. developed each unique philosophy of existence of their own and has been in contrast to logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of language in Anglo-American philosophies of the first half of the 20th century.
experienceExperience is an epistemological concept and it has been considered the way of knowing through sensory givenness in the history of Western philosophy. Experience became the dominant epistemological concept, when the British empiricists (Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume) tried to understand the nature of knowledge and learning by means of the origin of knowledge. Empiricists maintained that all knowledge derives from experience, and experience ultimately derives from sense perception. While sense perception refers to a particular, concrete individual impression though senses, experience is normally understood wider and refers to knowledge obtained by many sensory perceptions in general. However, since phenomenology entered the stage of philosophical inquiry, experience obtained a different meaning. It is no longer signifying knowledge obtained from sense perception, but experience has been used to indicate an immediate knowledge against knowledge obtained mediately through inference or generalization. It imply means intuition, which is directly given to the act of knowing. Thus, there are a priori intuition and a posteriori intuition. The latter signifies the knowledge derives from sense perception,while the former does not depend upon sense perception.
extension1) Extension is a logical term, which refers to the reference of a concept. 2) Extension is an ontological concept, which refers, according to Descartes (Locke, Kant) to the attribute of space. Space itself as a substance cannot be recognized by human reason, but its attribute "extension" is known to us. In other words, the attribute "extension" is the essential characteristic of a certain substance "space" and this itself is not known, but is known to us only through its attribute.
fallacyFallacy means an erroneous logical inference. There are formal fallacy and informal fallacy. The former signifies incorrect deduction, while the latter comprises quite a few semantic fallacies such as argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad misericordiam, petitio principii, fallacies of ambiguities, etc.
fasting of the mind
feelingFeeling (Fühlen in German) is 1) in general understood a mere sensation of an external thing (seeing, smelling, taste and touching), which is synonymous with the German Gefühl, 2) signifies the human faculty of recognizing value (Max Scheler), 3) is the human faculty of sensing emotion such as anger, joy, sorrow, pleasure, pain, fulfillment of a desire. In this sense, once again feeling is supposed to be closely related to our senses.
Finite describes the limited
freedom1) Freedom usually means to be untied from any previous constraint. In this sense, we often use freedom as the freedom of action (liberation from the state that your hands are tied, or you are in prison). In this sense, freedom is synonymous with liberation (in fact, in the Romans language, libérté and libération have the same root). We may call this meaning of freedom a negative one, 2) while there is another meaning which is positive. It is freedom to..., Namely an act of autonomous choice.It is towards future. In this positive sense, freedom is often used as freedom of will. Will is considered here the act of choice between or among alternative actions and will is said free, when it is not constraint from any preceding conditions, but perfectly autonomous, we would call will free. Since Renaissance, natural sciences made an enormous progress by applying the method of quantification to nature. As a consequence, nature including the humanbeing as a kind of animal is supposed to be totally determined by mechanical causality. The causal determinism is wrong in its metaphysics that mechanical causality is the only and sole principle governing the universe. Should this causal determination is universally valid in nature, there is no room for the human-being's freedom of will. The modern natural sciences has been based on the ontological assumption that nature is free from value and purpose and is simply understood as quantified cause and effect relationship. The question of autonomy and freedom of will is a matter of value, and not matter of mechanical structure of nature. Therefore, in this sense, Kant was right to assign the mechanical causality to the phenomenal world of nature, while morality and teleological causality (value determination) were applied to the noumenon, the world of things in themselves. However, the assumption of natural sciences like Galileo Galilei) nature consists of mere quantifiable relationships is a methodological procedure in order to recognize what a scientist looks for. Nature itself cannot be understood by mechanical causality. This is a convenient principle by which we are able to organize and order the mundane, practical world. Therefore, in these two aspects, the problem of freedom versus causal determinism is a pseudo-problem or a matter of merely verbal dispute.
GodGod is an ontological concept, which in the history of Western philosophy refers to the absolutely perfect, infinite (finite in Ancient Greek philosophy) being, the cause of all beings and creator of this universe and keeps creating all the beings. (Incomplete)
hermeneuticsHermeneutics was "invented" by Schleiermacher, a German theologian and philosopher in the 19th century, was first a philological discipline in conjunction with the reading and interpreting the Bibles. At the turning of this century, Dilthey, a cultural, social philosopher, made hermeneutics a philosophical discipline which inquires into problems of interpretation in general. Any knowledge understands "something" as "something else." (Examples: When someone reads the word, Jesus, then the expression Jesus is understood a son of a carpenter in Nazareth and Mary and is Christ, the savior of humankind, if the reader is a Christian. An archeologist picks up a piece of flint and says, "This is an arrowhead of the indians 2,000 years ago.) Questions have been raised how this something is related to something else and How to solve a circularity in interpretation in that this "something" must be known before this is construed as "something else." Thus, it is a crucial question in philosophical pursuit how we can overcome this circularity? Martin Heidegger developed the so-called Fundamental Ontology and attempted to inquire into the normal, everyday understanding of being by a European person as the starting point to approach to the very question of being. He called his phenomenological approach in the explication of the human understanding of being hermeneutics. Heidegger's student, Gadamar developed a general theory of interpretation (in his Truth and Method). Riceour followed Gadamar and further developed hermeneutics in philosophy and human sciences.
humanismHumanism was primarily the spiritual, paedagogical movement in Renaissance. It considered the Ancient Greek and Roman educational ideal (paideia) also the paedagogical ideal of its time. Humanitas is a Latin translation of paideia, the educational ideal of the Ancient Greece and Rome. It consisted of studying Greek, Latin, classical writings both in Greek and Latin, mathematics and philosophy. In the old sense of humanism, too, the human-being and its education was the center of the concern. Thus later,humanism was "diluted" to signify the spiritual movement or attitude or principle in which the human-being is centered. Humanistic education and its curriculum was conceived by Wilhelm von Humboldt in establishing the University of Berlin in the 19th century.
idealismIdealism is an ontological standpoint, where any and every real thing is ideal, i.e., mental or spiritual (or a matter of consciousness), while all the material things are nothing but either its production, its manifestation, or its epiphenomenon. Idealism comprises Descartes, Leibniz and Berkeley and the German Idealism (Fichte, Schelling and Hegel). Schelling philosophy in his later years can no longer be classified as idealism. The opposite of idealism is materialism.
InductionInduction is often called empirical generalization. It is a logical procedure to start with a set of statements about individual matter and its characteristics and to obtain the conclusion which asserts a universal relationship between the individual and that characteristics.
inferenceInference is not a psychological process, but it refers to logical procedure. In our way of knowing, the knowledge immediately given is far limited, so that the human-being (and perhaps other animals) attempts to obtain knowledge not yet known on the basis of what is already known. There are two kinds of logical inference, the other is called deduction, the other is called induction or empirical generalization. Inference represents an argument in which the conclusion is drawn from the premisses: The conclusion is not known or less known, while the premisses in comparison to the conclusion are better known or are more easily acceptable as true. Deduction necessarily implies the conclusion from the premisses, thus, when correct, deduction is called valid. Contrary to this, induction or empirical generalization starts with a set of premisses which assert individually a certain relationship between an object and its characteristics. On the basis of these premisses, a conclusion which universally asserts its relationship is drawn. Since one counter example makes induction incorrect, we are not allowed to talk about validity and invalidity, but to call induction sound or unsound instead.
infiniteThere have been two kinds of infinity; the one is limitless or endless, the other, something which is beyond finitude, perfection in its positive meaning. In the Ancient Greek, the infinite (apeironðwithout any characterisitc) was considered the principle of being without any characteristics by Anaximander. Since then, apeiron also implies without a definition (peras), the Ancient Greek considered the infinite to be imperfect, incomplete because the infinite signified endless (being without the completion or purpose), while the other positive meaning of infinity implies perfection and completeness.
intellectIntellect is an epistemological concept. It is understood as the highest act and faculty of reason in the wider sense, thus in this sense intellect has been considered the highest human cognitive faculty. Besides intellect, reason and understanding are distinguished in reason in the wider sense. While understanding is the faculty of judgement (cognition), reason in the narrower sense is the faculty of logical inference. Intellect is thus considered as the highest faculty of human knowledge which immediately recognizes its superior object of reason. The Greek term "nous" was translated into the Latin, "intellectus," which signified the rational seeing, whose object is, according to Plato for example, the idea of good, the idea of beauty, etc. Since inference (whether it is deduction or induction) is mediated, thus indirect, intellect is the rational act of grasping its object immediately. Thus, intellect refers to faculty and act of the rational cognition, intellectual intuition refers rather to the object which is recognized by intellect as knowledge. See intellectual intuition.
intellectual intuitionIntellectual intuition means the immediate cognition of an object by reason. Kant was the first philosopher who used intellectual intuition. Kant believed that intellectual intuition is not allowed to the human knowledge, while sensory intuition (=perception) and its forms, a priori intuitions of space and time, are possible to the human cognition. His student, Fichte considered intellectual intuition was the highest human faculty and cognition. Husserl's phenomenological intuition may also be considered intellectual intuition.
intuitionIntuition is an epistemological concept and refers to the kind of cognition or knowledge which grasped its object immediately (without any mediation). Strictly speaking, intuition in this sense is intellectual intuition, although sensory perception is also considered a kind of intuition which is mediated by the sense organ. Perception is immediate awareness of the unity of an object (this (rose))with its concept (rose). If intuitive knowledge may be reformulated in the form of judgement, knowledge obtained by inference (either deduction or induction) can never called intuition, but is knowledge by means of medium, thus it is mediated knowledge.
intentionalityIntentionality is the fundamental characteristic of the psychic phenomena (in distinction from physical phenomena) and that of consciousness in general. It is expressed as (conscious) of (something). There is no consciousness without intending outside of itself and referring to something else. The entire problem of Husserl's philosophy is centered around the question of intentionality.
knowledgeKnowledge is an epistemological concept and refers to
linguisticsLinguistics is an inquiry into language. It became very important a scientific discipline after Saussure. Since often language (logos) is considered the genuine, only medium by which our thinking may operate. At the end of the 19th century and the fist half of the 20th century, philosophical inquiry into language became one of the most important disciplines which have been traditionally neglected. French structurism and neo-Nietzschean philosophy once again returns to Saussure as the new approach.
logicLogic is not a psychological process, but a procedure of inference in thought. It comprises both deductive logic and inductive logic, and sometimes dialectic, and the theory of probability. The function of logic is 1) an investigation into specifying the criteria of validity of an argument (logical inference, more often signifies deduction) and its method, 2) investigation into the nature of consistency, 3) study of axiomatization of a scientific thoery, 4) as Kant used, logic is investigation into the tanscendental principles. 4) Logic also means dialectic. Dialectic meant a) dialelogical positivism
logosThe Greek term, logos, has various meanings. The original meaning is "word." However, the word is once pronounced or written, what is signified by word can be examined by any one and can be confirmed or disconfirmed in its meaning. Thus, logos is the first foundation for the search of objective knowledge, and not subjective opinion. Such an objective knowledge must signify the principle (arch) of all things at the same time. Further logos signifies that which cannot be known by senses, but can only known by the human cognitive faculty of reason. Thus logos further meant reason. In the Greek philosophy, logos is often synonymously used with intellect or nous (nous), the non-empirical act of seeing, intellectual intuition. Logos was contrasted to myth or m os. While logos is accessible to any one who wants to know and is verifiable by himself/herself, thus indicates knowledge which is universal, myth is the spoken words or written words, which can only be known to the speaker or writer of it and cannot be known universally by means of any one person's inquiry. Myth is therefore, very private and requires the mediator to communicate its content. In this sense, Thales, the first Greek philosopher, was considered the first philosopher, who tried to profess logos and not mythos, although both may be related to materialismThe ontological approach which recognizes only matter as the ultimate being or reality. Thus, in materialism, it is necessary to explain (i.e., reduce) non-physical phenomena by (to) physical phenomena. Mind, for example, is an epiphenomenon of matter. Feuerbach, the author of The Essence of Christianity, attempted to construe God and religious phenomena by means of data of the human-being. This reductionism of religious phenomena to human phenomena may also be considered a materialism. Thus according to him, philosophical anthropology (which is the philosophy of human-being) must become theology. Karl Marx's case, dialectic materialism distinguishes the super structure and the basic structure among phenomena of reality and considered the latter, the basic structure, the most fundamental in terms of ontology and epistemology. This basic structure purports the economical conditions of the human-being, I.e., the nature of the means of production and the nature of the means of (economic) exchange. In this sense, his ontology is considered as materialism. Capitalism is according to Marx a stage of the dialectical development in the basic structure of human existence, which necessarily anticipates socialism and then communism.
meaningA term signifies two distinct "objects." They are meanings in the wider sense, and are called, extension, denotation, reference, and intention, connotation, meaning. The former signifies a concrete, particular object which can be an example of what something means. E.g. This pine tree, the light that Diogenes carried around to search for the person who possessed wisdom, my computer (PowerMac 7500/8/1/4CDRom) which I am using to write this,etc. The latter means that by which we comprehend sign, symbol, word and sentence. This further determines the scope of a given set in which its extension or denotation finds itself. Frege distinguished between sense and meaning. For example, what the morning star signifies is different from what the evening star signifies. They have different meanings, while their sense is one and the same.
mentalMental derives as an adjective from the Latin "mens." This is about an ontological concept of mind or the soul or spirit (spiritus). Therefore, "mental" is used synonymous with "spiritual."In the past, mind or soul is considered a substance (which exists by itself and does not need anything else for its existence). However, the concept of substance has been most misleading and erroneous concepts in the Western philosophy. Today, it refers to phenomena of consciousness.
metaphysicsThe study of questions the about super-natural. Ontology is often used as synonymous. However, the origin of the term goes back not to Aristotle himself, but to his manuscripts. The first editor of his manuscripts for lectures discovered a pile of manuscripts dealing with such questions as God, causality, principle of being, categories, etc. Since then, metaphysics has been considered the discipline which investigates not only being and its kinds, but also such super-sensory matter as causes, principle, form and matter, potency and actuality, categories, etc. In the negative sense (particularly in the common-sense use of today), metaphysics is a system of knowledge which does not correspond to or is not confirmed with real beings, but it is considered a product of speculative (unfounded, imaginary) thinking.
methodMethod originally meant the way or the road in Greek. It signifies the way in which a certain question is to be raised and investigated. Method is often used synonymously with approach. Method has not be thematically investigated until perhaps Bacon, Galileo and Descartes in Western philosophy. In the narrow sense of philosophical method signifies either deduction or induction.
methodology An philosophical inquiry into the method. It intends to investigate the nature, kinds and meaning of method in a given science.
mindMind, spirit and soul are often distinguished particularly by Christian theologians, but traditionally in philosophy they have been used synonymously with each other. It has been often considered a substance in distiinction from a material substance.
myth or mythosIn philosophy, myth (muqos) was contrasted to logos (l goÁsee Logos). Myth is the story which was experienced and narrated by one person and the truth or falsehood of its content cannot be confirmed or tested by other people. Normally, myth refers to the story of the origin (archnatural rightsNatural rights are human rights which are given as innate rights by God and are unalienable right rooted in the human nature. They are equality, freedom, life and the right for private property or/and the pursuit of happiness (The Declaration of Independence). In the state of nature, every one enjoys one's natural rights, but insisting one's own rights, there arise conflicts among people in the group. Thus, the state changes into the state of war. However, humanbeings realized the futility of war and makes a contract among themselves to deliver the governing body of a given society a partial natural rights. This is called social contract theory. Originally, in the Ancient Rome, this thought was created in order to justify the government. Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise of Government and Rousseau's arguments are well known.
necessityNecessity characterizes a modality and when applied to an occurrence of an event, it signifies that it cannot otherwise happen. This definition is negative, but there is no positive definition of necessity is available until today.
nominalismRefer to realism 1).
nomos and physis
noumenonNoumenon is Kant's philosophical terminology. It is sometimes called thing in itself. It refers to the reality which behind phenomenon. Phenomenon is only knowable to us, while as the ground of phenomenon, noumenon is unknown to us, in articular because the human-being does not possess intellectual intuition, but sensory intuition and formal intuitions which are space and time. The latter is related to senses and yet it is in itself a priori , the condition of possibility of sense experience. In the world of thing itself or noumenon, being known to us, this reality is the reality of morality, in which freedom of will is basic.
ontologyOntology was created by combing the Greek on (being) and logos. It was normally used as synonymous with metaphysics. It is the inquiry into being. See metaphysics.
obligationobligation is an ethical term, which means what is morally right (the correct action among the alternatives) and thus one ought to do.
oughtOught is the moral necessity to do the morally right action. Unlike the necessity of mechanical causality in nature, the necessity of ought challenges our freedom of will and when will chooses a right action (see above), this choice is considered necessity, because once we know which action is the morally right among its alternative, it is inevitable for us to choose it. It is concerned about the teleological causality.
perception1) in its wider sense, perciptio or percipiere, the Latin, was used synonymously with intuitive knowing, the kind of knowledge which is given without any mediation (unlike the case of logical inference), 2) In the narrower sense, perception signifies sense perception. It is an intuition, an immediate knowledge obtained through our sense. In a sense, the sensation is mediated by sense organs, but in the case of sight, which Plato called the most sacred, highest sense, an object of sight is given to us rather immediately and all other sensations are so considered likewise. 3) In Leibniz used the term perception in a unique way and referred by it a confused, indistinct lower apperception. See apperception.
phenomenology Phenomenology refers to the basic attitude to do philosophy, namely to return to fact itself and attempts to describe it so that reality is revealed as it actually is. Edmund Husserl was considered the founder of phenomenological movement. Other contemporaries were influenced by Husserl and made a circle in Göttingen and in Munich. Among those philosophers, Max Scheler, Moritz Geiger, (to be continued)
phenomenonPhenomenon is something which appears. There are three kinds of phenomenon. 1) Phenomenon means an appearance in the sense that something itself does not appear, but reveals itself as an appearance. Kant's use of phenomenon is used in this sense. That which apears is called thing in itself or noumenon. 2) Phenomenon is something unsubsttantial and yet experienced as an appearance, like mirage or some kind of the illusory or hallucinatory. It is far from what we consider real and yet it is not quite nothing. 3) Phenomenon is what we understand a phenomenon in the phenomenological sense. From the phemenological point of view, a phenomenon is real in itself and nothing "stands behind" any phenomenon. Phenomenology thus intends to approach reality (phenomenon) as it reveals itself as it is.
propositionProposition is synonymous with statement, which signifies the meaning of a sentence whether it is voiced or written.
realism1) Realism was spoken in the context of the Medieval controversies on the universal. In sense, realism is not contrasted to idealism, but to nominalism, which asserts that there exists no universal, but a mere voice or name to refer to particular concrete individual things. Realism asserts on the contrary the existence of the universal as an entity and the name of a universal refers to the real entity. Besides these two position as the existence of the universal, there is a position called constructionism, which asserts that the concept of universal does not refer to a universal entity as real, but the universal as an entity is created by the human mind. This viewpoint is a kind of the synthesis or compromise between nominalism and realism. 2) Realism is supposed to be primarily the opposite of idealism, and is an epistemological concept. However, it is hardly used in philosophical discussion. Realism is rather used in aesthetics and signifies the representation of the object which is painted or sculpted.
realityThe concept of ontology or metaphysics. 1) It is the characteristic (mode?) of being and signifies or exist. It is in opposite to non-existence or unreal. This reality cannot be confused with an attribute of a substance (as the Medieval philosophers did. See before about Descartes). It is often used as synonymous with being or genuine being. When we have knowledge of something which is real, then our knowledge is said to be true. 2) In the Middle Ages, realitas (reality) was used also in the sense of degree of perfection. This was possible because reality or being is considered as one of the attributes of a substance. In this sense, it is not to just exist. On the contrary, reality was one of the many essential characteristics (attributes) of being. Even in the PostRenaissance time, Descartes, who wanted to shed off all the influences of the Medieval Times, still used reality in the sense of perfection. When Descartes discussed the distinction between realitas formalis (formal reality) and realitas objectiva (objective reality) for his argument of the existence of God in Meditations, the formal reality was the perfection of being about God (outside of and independent of our consciousness), while the objective reality signified the perfection of being about the idea of God. In this ambiguity, St. Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God could make senses, while Kant flatly criticized the ontological argument as non-sense, because reality is nothing to do with perfection as an attribute of a substance, but for a substance to just exist. And it is not an attribute of something including God.
reasonReason is the principle both in epistemology and ontology in Western philosophy. Reason is the most important and most fundamental concept in the history of Western philosophy. Epistemologically, it signifies the highest cognitive faculty which is often distinguished from senses which is inferior. Epistemologicai use of reason comprises understanding as the faculty of judgment and reason as the faculty of inference. Reason is often used synonymously with intellect in epistemology. Otologically, reason signifies the principle of separation in reality in the Ancient Greek philosophy. Reason in the sense of Latin "ratio" is the measure (metron) of reality. In the contemporary Western philosophy, reason was ambiguously used by Spinoza, and in Leibniz, reason is understood as the principle of being, the reason of necessity is the principle of necessary being, while the principle of sufficient reason is the principle of accidental or contingent being. In Hegel's philosophy, reason obtained the highest significance as the Absolute spirit. It is the principle which develops itself in the process of history and actualizes itself in its process.
right (morally)Moral right is an action when it is the best and the most correct action among alternatives, although all of them may be considered morally good.
scienceScience is a translation of the Latin scientia, which is a translation of episthmh (the Greek term knowledge). It originially simply meant knowledge (=true information about reality). Later, scientia was understood pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, as a pursuit of knowledge, philosophy is also considered once one of the sciences. Since Renaissance, science signifies a system of knowledge particularly related to the understanding of nature. In this sense, science excludes philosophy. Indeed, for a quite sometime, philosophy was used synonymously with philosophy. In this sense, all natural sciences are called natural philosophies, while all human sciences are called moral philosophy.
semanticsSemantics is the theory and inquiry into the meaning. In logical positivism and philosophy of science, semantics is considered as inferior to formal structure of logic and language, but later Carnap had to recognize the significance of semantics since truth is discovered as incapable of formalization and belongs to semantics. In 1960's, Chomsky's invention of general semantics obtained universal acknowledgement and is still very influential in Linguistics.
senseSense refers to the organ or faculty of cognition, which is traditionally considered inferior to reason. Sense organs are sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. In Plato, they are origin of erroneous knowledge called opinion and will never allow us to recognize the genuine reality, the world of ideas as long as we are imprisoned in our body. Even the British Empiricism of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, senses are origins of our knowledge and yet their knowledge is highly probable and does not equaled with the rational knowledge of mathematics. The rehabilitation of senses occurs in Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a French phenomenologist.
SocratesGreek philosopher (470-339 B.C.) provided the foundation and the direction of Plato's philosophy. At his early age, he was influenced by Anaxagoras, but later he was more concerned (under the influence of sophists) about the soul, virtues, essence of thing, and the society. Socrates fought against sophists and their approaches and tried to demonstrate
soulSoul is synonymous with spirit and mind in philosophy. See mind.
spiritSpirit is used synonymously with soul and mind in philosophy. See mind.
spiritualismSpiritualism is an ontological approach in which spirit alone is the ultimate reality and everything else (material things) must be explained by Spirit. Almost always spiritualism is used synonymously with idealism.
statementStatement is synonymous with proposition and it is the meaning of a sentence.
substanceSubstance is an ontological concept or concept in metaphysics. The first use of the term (ousia) was found in Plato, which simply means something authentically real (ontws on).This conception was prepared already in Socrates and according to this approach, it signifies that which becomes a predicate and does not become a subject of a proposition. Aristotle modified and used this concept of substance extensively in order to develop his own metaphysics. To Plato what really exists is the idea of beauty, the idea of good, the idea of truth, etc., which are universal, eternally unchanging and serve as the ideal and principle for concretely good, beautiful, true things to be beautiful, good, true, etc. Thus, as Socrates sought, Plato sought as an idea (genuine being) which fullfils the Socratlic approach to dialectically searching ousia, that which becomes the predicate (universal) of a proposition and does not become the subject (a particular, concrete individual). On the other hand, to Aristotle, substance was defined and understood as that which becomes the subject of a proposition and does not become the predicate. By this official definition, substance meant further genuine being which exists by itself and does not need anything else for its existence.(a color or beauty cannot be a substance, while a tree or a desk is.) This definition was succeeded by Descartes to signify three substances, God as the infinite substance (totally independent being), mind and matter as finite substances which are independent being except being only in need of God as for its existence. A substance, including God, which may be unique and universal at the same time, is understood by its attribute (=its essential characteristics) and the substance itself cannot be directly known (at least to the human-being). The rest of the uses of substance may derive from these basic meanings. At the beginning of the European Contemporary philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz (Monad) and Locke, Berkeley), substance played the decisive role in metaphysics and was dealt with as the central thematic question. Hume came along and destroyed the ontological basis of substance and made it the central ontological question. Kant's transcendental philosophy is considered the answer to this challenge created by Hume.
thing in itselfThing in itself is synonymous with noumenon. See noumenon.
thinking1) Thinking in the wider sense refers to any activity of consciousness. Descartes' spiritual subtance has as its attribute thinking. When Descartes said, "cogito, ergo sum." (I think therefore I am), this cogito is to think in this sense. 2) In the narrower sense, it is a cognitive faculty of judgment, in this sense, thinking is synonymous with understanding.
transcendental1) Kant's terminology. According to Kant, knowledge is called transcendental that is not the mere direct knowledge of an object, but is related to the way of knowing, as long as it is a priori. This means that it is transcendental knowledge that is concerned about the a priori conditions of possibility of knowledge, whereby this possibility is presupposed. It is an answer to the question of how a priori knowledge of nature is possible at all. Kant asserted that we do not possess the direct access to this transcendental knowledge, in other words, we do not have intellectual intuition, but the transcendental knowledge must be logically inferred from the existence and possibility of a priori synthetic knowledge as its foundation. Fichte used transcendental to signify the philosophical discipline which deals with the foundation of everything, I.e., the ontological as well as epistemological foundation. Thus , transcendental is considered by Fichte the ethical inquiry. 2) Husserl adopted the basic meaning of Kant's transcendental and yet he did not consider mere formal elements of the condition for knowledge to be possible, but also transcendental knowledge is grasped by intuition. This intuition is not empirical, but a prior and is called phenomenological intuition.
truthTruth is an epistemological concept and also determined semantically and not formally. Truth is an attribute of knowledge. An information known to consciousness is said true if and only if that information matches "fact." This relationship of matching between information and "fact" may be variously construed. The contention which asserts that it is true when an idea corresponds with "fact" is called the correspondence theory of truth. Truth may not be matching with "fact" individually and mutually independently. On the contrary, true knowledge must be true in relationship to the total system and when truth of knowledge is sought in the coherence of its system as a whole, it is called the coherent theory. There is the distinction between the analytic and the synthetic truth, which had been long considered as the absolute and universal. Recently, however, it is discovered that the distinction between the analytic and the synthetic truth is relative to the given linguistic system in which a certain definition is included or not. This discovery leads us to understand that truth is indeed presupposes a system in which such a true knowledge occurs. Thus, a simple correspondence does not sufficient disclose the nature of truth. Heidegger on the other hand, contends that truth is an uncoveredness, disclosure and relevance of "being." He tried to show that the Greek "alheia" came from "a-lhhntos" (un-covered).
understandingUnderstanding is an epistemological concept and the human faculty of recognizing truth of a knowledge in form of judgement. Understanding is rational and is indeed a part of cognitive reason or reason itself in the wider sense. A mere sense perception (a red rose) alone does not really produce knowledge, while the judgment (This rose is red or this is a red rose) is the act of unifying and its unity of the subject (a particular) and the predicate (a universal). Until the 19th century in the West, knowledge had been considered to be reformulated into a judgment. Thus epistemological question is often understood as the logical , thus linguistic question.
universalUniversal is the way of applicability to every case, while its opposite, particular, is applicable to one and specific case.
willIt is an ethical concept and is distinguished as one of the faculty of consciousness, which deliberate, choose and initiate a certain action. Traditionally, will is considered a part of function of reason. However, Schopenhauer for the first time in the history of Western philosophy conceived will as an irrational, non-rational drive, which may be found not only in the human-being, but in everything and called the primordial will as the world will. Nietzsche follows this conception of will of Schopenhauer. In order to exercise will as a human faculty of deliberation, choice and initiating an action, freedom of will as well as freedom of action are presupposed. Otherwise, will in this sense is indeed meaningless or non-sense (in case of Schopenhauer, this does not have to be). Therefore, will is often discussed in conjunction with the freedom of will and is the basis for ethical inquiry.
virtueVirtue was originally meant (both Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) human capability or ability to do thing with excellence. Later, it also signified to moral ability or character which are conditions for good moral act. They are, according to Greek philosophy, truth, temperance, courage and justice.
wonderThe process by which one can attain the most basic philosophical approach or attitude in which Thales, for the first time in the history of Western philosophy, was able to liberate himself from all preconceived, learned common-sense knowledge, and to philosophically investigate. See doubt and phenomenological reduction.