Plato pointing upward, toward absolutes and ideals.  Aristotle, with fingers spread wide and toward earth, meaning he emphasized particulars.


a posteriori Immanuel Kant - empirical....This represents knowledge which we have after a sense experience. The new knowledge we have is based upon our old experiences and now, new experiences.

Note this is an empiricist emphasis.
a priori Immanuel Kant - pure.... This represents knowledge which we had before we had a sense experience. If the knowledge precedes the sense experience, then we can conclude the sense experience did not CAUSE the knowledge. This sounds obvious, but with philosophers you just can't take anything for granted.

Note this is a rationalist emphasis.

i.e. A is A

Note Any analytic proposition is a priori
aesthetics The study of beauty and art.
Agnosticism But if this be so, for a man to urge, as an escape from this article of belief, that he has no means of a scientific knowledge of the unseen or of the future, is irrelevant. His difference from Christians lies not in the fact that he has no knowledge of these things, but that he does not believe the authority on which they are stated. He may prefer to call himself an agnostic; but his real name is an older one - he is an infidel; that is to say, an unbeliever. The word infidel, perhaps, carries an unpleasant significance. Perhaps it is right that it should. It is, and it ought to be, an unpleasant thing for a man to have to say plainly that he does not believe in Jesus Christ.
[ - Thomas Huxley]
analytic knowledge Immanuel Kant - Relation of Ideas..... Logically true. Almost by definition, the relationships make them true. They are not only independent of sense experience, but David Hume felt they were irrelevant for the real world.

i.e. Barking dogs bark
i.e. A is A

If dogs do in deed bark, then they are barking dogs. If A is A then A is also A.

There is a law of logic here. The law of non contradiction. For either of the examples given to be false, then I would have an untrue statement. It would be false. So, we KNOW this to be true because it cannot be otherwise.

NOTE: Barking dogs bark does not tell us dogs exist nor help us verify reality in any way. The statement by itself is simply true because to be otherwise would be a contradiction.
Atheism Claims there is no god and claim to be godless. Have set themselves up as their own god.
Cognitive meaning The truth / falsity status of a claim.
contingent Depends on something outside itself for its existence. This is said to be true for all things.
Copernican revolution Immanuel Kant - meditation plus sensation..... Those vague ideas we have which categorize an experience are "a priori categories of understanding" which mold and shape the sensation to form the simple idea.

i.e. Space and Time

What had been Simple Ideas with John Locke are now experiences. The former experiences portion of the equation was well on it's way out of existence and completely gone with David Hume who called this portion phenomenalism.

God is the only explanation for the apparent order, purpose, unity, harmony, beauty in the world.
Ontological Argument
Argument from the idea.
  • Things exist.
  • It is possible for those things to not exist.
  • Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    • Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence which is illogical.
  • There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    • Because an infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause which means there is no cause of existence.
    • Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  • Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  • The uncaused cause must be God.
deductive Given a set of facts or assumptions which are supposed to be true, deductive reasoning is the mental process to extend these facts into new conclusions using logic. "Top Down" or from the more general to the more specific.
Deitism The belief in god who created all, but now is set aside and is irrelevant
Dualism Time-honored philosophical position which is exemplified by:
  • Pre-Socratics' appearance/reality distinction
  • Plato's forms/world distinction
  • Hume's fact/value distinction
  • Kant's empirical phenomena/transcendental noumena distinction
  • Heidegger's being/time distinction
  • Russell's existence/subsistence distinction
  • Descartes mind/matter distinction
Egocentric Predicament Locke worked out his model so well that he eventually worked himself into a box. Remember how Plato recognized some of the failings in his philosophy (connecting forms with the object) without having answers? Locke seems to have developed "The Egocentric Predicament". This situation happened because if all we know are Simple or Complex Ideas which are results of a experience / mind combination, then how can we validate what the world is like? At no time in the Locke model can we fully understand or isolate an experience without mind getting involved in this. If you can't isolate an experience as experience or object ONLY, then it is distorted. How much so? By what standard would you propose to set up your measurement? Plato and Aristotle, through forms, gave us a way out of the box. St. Thomas with the Universal Essence also provided a way out of the box. So, when Locke slams the forms and Universal Essence as he does, he also slams the door on his only way out of the box.
Eidologica Argument God must exist because we have an idea of a perfection. Perfection was put into our mind somehow.
Emotivism "X is good" is emotional appeal & holds no truth (none verifiable). Not a value claim but a psychological claim. It is not cognitively meaningful.
En soi "in itself"
epistemology The study of knowledge
Ethical absolutism Ethical objectivism The view that moral values are independent of human opinion and have a common or universal application.
Ethical relativism Ethical subjectivism The denial of any absolute or objective moral values, and the affirmation of the individual (person, community, culture, etc.) as the source of morality.
ethics The study of moral value, right, and wrong.
existential Philosophy based upon our sense experience and reality.
Existential meaning Existential meaning The importance or relevance that something holds.
Experience which is outside-in philosophy
Empiricist such as Aristotle or Aquinas
Sense experience
Define nonnomental world
Reality as it is in itself
Define phenomenal World
Reality as it appears to us through experience
First Person The mind/body persona. This includes our experiences and the abstract mind aspect. Consciousness of who we are is also involved in the First Person. The mind / body dualism problem is considered to be the First Person.
God / god God is "I Am". There is no other. When I use "god", I am allowing for other's beliefs of SOMETHING. Some disrespect here is intended... :)
Herotheism There are many gods you can worship. Pick one. Any one. :)
inductive Beginning with specific observations and measurable criteria, inductive reasoning detects patterns and make some sort of hypotheses and finally, one or more theories. Called "Bottom Up", it works from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories.
Kalam Cosmological Argument Based mostly on medieval Arabic philosophy with some Judeo-Christian influences. This is a pure rational or logical reasoning. If, at this moment, the world began an infinite number of years ago, can you count backwards to find when the world began? No. It is logically impossible to find the beginning of an infinite series.
logic The principles of right reasoning.
Logical Positivism Says its language is meaningless.
Metaphysical The study of theory of reality; or targeted to refer to transcendent reality (what is beyond experience). It literally means "after the physics". Hey, this is just the sort of stuff Hume and Kant causality can't be taken to context with God. Kant and Hume say we must stay grounded in the existential world. Sometimes when we think of the mind, as something beyond the physical brain, or something which transcends the brain.
metaphysics The study of reality.
Matters of Fact David Hume - synthetic knowledge....Our sense experiences merged with our reflections which tell us something about our world. These items are not logical truths like the analytic knowledge elements.
Monotheism One God.
Mysterium tremendum An experience where you seem to encounter God or some expression of God.
Mysticism (classical) The pursuit of a transcendent, universal experience with the Absolute Reality.
Natural Revelation Existential.
Nihilism Meaning "nothingism" from Latin term nihil "nothing". A true Nihilistic denies or rejects all values and meanings. This would be the ultimate skeptic.
Occasionalism Espoused by Clauberg, de la Forge and Malebranche, occasionalism entails the contention that everything is devoid of causal efficacy and that God is the only truly causal agent. So, for example, placing your hand on a hot stove is does not cause pain, but is rather an occasion for God to cause the mental state of pain. So, not only mind/body interactions, but all causal interactions become the work of God.
Ontologica Argument Can you go anywhere there is no concept of God? This would not be a Universal ? if there was no God.
parallelism The view that the mental and physical realms co-occur but are not causally connected. i.e. occasionalism and preestablished harmony.
Pantheism The farce force be with you.
Polytheism Many gods
Postmodern Previously, philosophy was a study seeking the truth. Since the days of Plato we've been attempting to define the Universal Truths by which we can all agree and to determine how we can know these are Universal Truths (Systematic Philosophy).

In the Postmodern world, philosophy takes on a new meaning (like all changes in philosophy, new men on the scene mean we need NEW TERMS! :). We now have an Edifying Philosophy, which "aims at continuing a conversation rather than at discovering truth."
" the end, the postmodernworld is merely an arena of dueling texts."

Pour soi "for itself"
Preestablished harmony This doctrine was formulated by Leibniz and is basically Cartesian interactionist dualism without the interaction. Thus, rather than causal interaction, God has provided setup in which the mental and physical are synchronized so as to provide this appearance. However, it should be noted that Leibniz himself was not a dualist: for him there were no physical substances, these were just appearances. Nevertheless, this position is often considered a possible dualistic solution to the mind-body problem.
Reality Form + Matter (Aristotle)
Reason , which is an inside-out philosophy
Rationalism, such as Plato or Descartes
Rationalism of Plato
Reason comprises the essential nature of the human being
We can know by reason alone
Plato's view of Reality
World of being <above>
World of becoming <below>
Whatever knowledge we have in this world is possible because it is innate (inborn) in us.
Theory of Innate ideas.
Rationalism of Descartes
Greatly influenced by the certainty of mathematics
Two operatives of the intellect
1) Intuition - Fundamental and irreducible truths
2) Deduction - More truths deduced from intuition
A commentary version -- Chomsky
Philosophical Linguist attempts to see what we say
Transformation Grammar
Innate elements we are born with
We cannot understand what Plato meant today so it should be, what is important to us today
How do the philosophies change if we just apply to today?
Relation of Ideas David Hume - Analytic..... Logically true. Almost by definition, the relationships make them true. They are not only independent of sense experience, but David Hume felt they were irrelevant for the real world.
Revealed Revelation Takes a leap of faith.
Scientific Reasoning The study of how the physical brain works. It tries to look at the existentials of the mind / brain dualism.
Self-refuting Proposition A statement about itself which would be false. For example, "This sentence is false."
synthetic knowledge Immanuel Kant - Matters of fact..... Our sense experiences merged with our reflections which tell us something about our world. These items are not logical truths like the analytic knowledge elements.

i.e. A is B

We already knew from above A is A. Big deal. True, but we learned nothing from this. Now we learn A is B. We now know one more thing about A than we did before. If we happen to already know something about B then we have learned a great deal.
Teleological Interpretation Questioning or theories on what the original design or purpose was.
Teleology The study of design or purpose.
Theism The study of God.
Theodicy The Justification of God / god.
Third Person In this view the mind works exactly as it should, in accordance with physics. There is nothing so special, but just complexity which may exceed our futile minds. When the Third Person is accepted there is no mind / body dualism to deal with.
Thomism St. Thomas Aquinas' philosophy, adapted by the Roman Catholic as their official philosophy in 1879. St. Thomas (1224-1274)
Trinitarian Monotheist There are three Gods in our God. The trinity.
value-theory The study of value.
water shed principle Denominations split over a small concept on differences. Taken to their natural consequences, the drip divides into two separate smaller drips and slide down two sides of the shed -- or -- the denominations grow wider and wider apart.

Plato pointing upward, toward absolutes and ideals.  Aristotle, with fingers spread wide and toward earth, meaning he emphasized particulars.