a philosophy glossary

Note: Headwords in bold and italics are personal definitions.


absurdism – the philosophical position that everything is without meaning and irrational.

a priori – 1. (of reasoning) deductive; proceeding from causes to effects (opp. a posteriori). 2. (of concepts, knowledge, etc.) logically independent of experience; not derived from experience (opp. empirical). (Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary)

a posteriori – (of reasoning) inductive, empirical; proceeding from effects to causes (opp. a priori). (Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary)

body-object – a sentient object.

concept –

conceptualism – the position that universals are concepts dependent upon thought.

deduction – reasoning from a general premise to a particular conclusion.

discretion – the condition of space and objects being discrete and complete things. Nothing is is both space and object.

empiricism – the position that experience, and not reason, is the basis of our knowledge of the world.

epistemology – the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods and validation. (Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary)

essence – something which defines an object independent of the existence of it.

existence – the object as a thing.

existentialism – a philosophical position in which everything is meaningless and with without intrinsic reason, where one has complete freedom of choice and must take absolute responsibility for their actions.

form – perfect conceptual universal “ideal” of a thing.

free will – the ability to choose one’s own actions [within a limited set of choices].

idea – (see form)

idealism – “the position that ideas, not objects, are the basis of reality; the opposite of realism and materialism.” (Rohmann, 2000)

induction – reasoning from the particular instance to a general conclusion.

innate ideas – “Ideas or knowledge in the mind prior to and independent of sense experience.” (Flew and Priest)

materialism – “as most commonly understood in philosophy, the term denotes the doctrine that whatever exists is either matter, or entirely dependent on matter for its existence.” (Flew and Priest)

metaphysics of presence – the privileging of an unproblematic meaning to a form in a sign when, in reality, a sign’s meaning is dependent on all other signs in the system for its definition.

nihilism – “the position that ere are no philosophical standards, that knowledge is impossible or at least worthless, that all action, all thought, all ethical, and metaphysical conjecture is baseless and empty.” (Rohmann). “The rejection of all traditional values, authority, and institutions. The term was coined in 1862 by Ivan Turgenev in his novel Fathers and Sons, and was adopted by the nihilists, a group of Russian radicals of the period.” (Crofton)

nominalism – the general terms of things are the only thing of commonality among categorised objects.

noumena – “things-in-themselves”.

object – a thing “in” space. Space and objects (space/object) are one “system”. One infers the other.

object-self – the sentient object from which we know the world.

ontology – the philosophical study of the nature of what exists and how they exist.

perception – processed sense data, as well as feed back from perception (concepts).

phenomena – “things-as-they-appear”.

philosophy – the use of reason and argument in seeking truth and knowledge of reality, especially of the causes and nature of things and of the principles governing existence, the material universe, perception of physical phenomena, and human behaviour. (Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary)

physicalism – there is only the physical world.

process philosophy – the position that reality is a constantly unfolding and advancing process or change.

rationalism – the position that reason, and not experience, is the basis of our knowledge of reality.

realism – (1) the position that things, not ideas, are the basis of reality; the opposite of idealism. (2) (old usage) the position that universals define objects.

representation – thing to which we have no direct access, only through the senses do we have knowledge of it.

sensation – unprocessed sense data.

self-body-object – the body-object from which one has physical perception of the world.

space – the absence of an object but is filled with quantum quark-gluon energy field.

space/object – without time, space/object is a static state. Staticity (that is, space/object without time) is a concept and does not exist or is “pure”.

space/object-time or world – the entire existing world which consists of space, object and time. There is discretion of space, object and objects. “Pure” or abstract discretion is termed space/object. This dynamic discretion is termed space/object-time.

state – the idea that something is static or unchanging is a mental concept without factual basis.

supervenience – the occurrence at one level relies upon the another level.

thing – of objects or space.

thing-object – a non-sentient object.

time – the dynamic change in the configuration of space/object.

trace – the nature of a sign which will always be haunted by what is absent from it. ‘Man’ will always traces of ‘woman’ and vice versa.

transcendental idealism – the position that both reason and experience are necessary in order to understand the world.

truth – of objects and events (ontological truth). Of logic (logical truth).

type-token distinction – “bicycle” is the general concept or type of a two-wheeled human-powered vehicle. “My bicycle” is a specific instance of the concept or token, namely the bicycle I own. A type is not a natural concept but is derived or generalised from perceived token instances.

will – that which gives us access to a self as an object.

world – see space/object-time.