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Questions tagged [philosophy]

For questions about jargon and other aspects of the English language specific to philosophy as a discipline.

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Can someone elaborate the following sentence for me, specially the bold part?

Reactions to German Idealism, especially those of the neo-Kantians, logical positivists and Bertrand Russell, were also instrumental in the founding of analytic philosophy, which today reveals and ...
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1answer
38 views

What does the word “reading” mean in the following sentence?

What does the word "reading" mean in the following sentence? The book is not necessary reading, therefore, for those who already feel the full force of the modern demand for rationality, and are ...
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40 views

Can you help me in understanding the bold part of the text?

Philosophy involves the mind turning upon itself and becoming explicitly aware of the modes of its own action, which will have been in operation for some time before their philosophical ...
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What does it mean “and lies would cease to be effective” in the following sentence?

Kant offers telling the truth as an example of a perfect duty, because if lying were universalized then no one would ever expect anyone to be truthful, and lies would cease to be effective.
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23 views

Please explain the meaning of “appreciation” in the below sentence

Reactions to German Idealism, especially those of the neo-Kantians, logical positivists and Bertrand Russell, were also instrumental in the founding of analytic philosophy, which today reveals and ...
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1answer
64 views

Difference between “Being Of” and “Being About”

I am trying to understand the difference between Being of something and Being about something. I've been reading about the difference between Think of and Think about, but I'm still not sure how it ...
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2answers
41 views

“Extreme” consequences of argument

I am trying to say that an argument (a philosophical reasoning for what it's worth) is not taken to its extreme consequences, in the sense that it is not brought and explored to its logical deepest ...
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1answer
51 views

Subject-matter of x, subject of x, object of x

Please help me understand the difference in meaning an nuance between the following phrases: Subject-matter of x (e.g. subject-matter of a book) Subject of x (e.g. subject of a discussion) Object of ...
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3answers
166 views

What does this sentence mean from Socrates? [closed]

His mind has a soil deep and fertile, out of which spring his prudent counsels. The whole sentence I don't understand. What does mind have soil deep and fertile mean? Mean stupid? or smart? or idea?...
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3answers
70 views

What noun applies to all things transformed by human hands

As opposed to naturally occurring or unintentionally produced by human activity. It would include commodities, products, merchandise, parts, materials, etc. Specifically a thing that has any work ...
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1answer
423 views

What is the difference between Anti-national and Anti-nationalist? When is one used over the other?

Merriam-Webster dictionary shows slightly different definitions of both the terms. However, Urban-dictionary shows the definition of Anti-nationalist similar to anti-national in Merriam-Webster ...
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3answers
151 views

Usage of a commonly accepted proverb to disregard someone's opinion

I am looking for a term (or a sentence) that would describe a figure of speech where one individual use a commonly accepted proverb (or thick concept or other) in order to disregard someone's opinion ...
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1answer
356 views

Elegant synonym for subject matter of a discipline [closed]

I am writing an essay on critical thinking. I am trying to find a word that allows me to separate the subject matter of a scientific discipline (i.e. chemistry, geology, etc.) from the underlying ...
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2answers
91 views

Words for the scalability and lack thereof of object properties

All the objects are red, so the group is red. All the objects are small, but the group is not small. Color is ___, while size is ___ . I'm trying to remember the words for this distinction ...
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9answers
2k views

Is there a word for an unjustified true belief?

Typically knowledge is formulated as justified, true, belief. Is there a word for an unjustified, true, belief? Edit: Lets say for a moment that you think that all Asians are martial artists. This is ...
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1answer
65 views

Should I use “philosophy” as a noun to describe my world view? [closed]

I do this often. I use the word "philosophy" to indicate I am talking about the way I think. I use it to indicate my own personal beliefs and conclusions about the world. It is in a sense a disclaimer ...
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1answer
742 views

What does this quote mean; “There's never a lie because there is never a truth”? [closed]

Here is the quote by Lenny Bruce in its full context : Let me tell you the truth. The truth is "what is". If "what is" is, you have to sleep eight, ten hours a day, that is the truth. A lie ...
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3answers
97 views

A word denoting the status of concepts that are based on the property of “extension” such as “size”, “shape” and “length”

It's in a philosophical context. It is evident that without extension, things can't have size, shape or length. Now I want to use a word that describes these latter concepts in term of their ...
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4answers
79k views

What do you call one who believes in a higher power but doesn't call it “God”? [closed]

What do you call a person who believes in a higher power but doesn't call that higher power "God"? Someone who respects every religion as a subject of study, or a valid belief system, but does not ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the name for this dichotomy between rapid feedback vs whole-system in thinking/problem solving styles?

One critique of problem bottom up problem solving was offered by Rich Hickey - who called this guard-rail [problem-solving]. The idea that you can take a piece of the puzzle and keep failing and ...
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2answers
175 views

The way to understand the first paragraph in the Introduction of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature

I don't really understand some sentences in the Introduction of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, here they are: Nothing is more usual and more natural for those, who pretend to discover ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the name/terminology for these two types of knowledge?

Here the commentator writes: I think there are two interpretations and @dewster probably wants to refer to only one of them: Knowledge that is implicitly contained in larger objects or ...
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1answer
57 views

Lexo-philosophical possibilities of the 'in'finite

Can anybody think of a word meaning infinite that isn't a combination of a negative prefix or suffix and a word meaning some sort of bound, such as limitless, endless, or unlimited? I haven't been ...
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1answer
121 views

“The dark oxen that turn the millstones of the world” [closed]

I'm trying to make sense of a Terence McKenna quote, here with more context: You know, you have to get a job, your first love is not your last love, slowly this pristine shining belief in ...
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3answers
932 views

Word For Horribly Complicated For No Reason? [closed]

I've noticed that some people really love to overcomplicate things to seem intellectually superior. For instance, say I somehow dropped a pile of clothes on the ground. They'd then ask me: "When would ...
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2answers
4k views

Are there any words without a meaning?

From Geoffrey Hunter's Metalogic, p.5: ... a thing is an English word only if it has meaning. It got me thinking: is this really so? Is it possible for there to be an English word that is ...
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43 views

Terminology: Philosophy tests with “thought experiments.” Linguistics tests with what?

What is the term, if any, for the type of test done in linguistics to check if a proposed description of a language “rule” is actually valid? An example of this type of test is done by Geoffrey ...
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4answers
24k views

“A friend to all is a friend to none” - Aristotle. What does this exactly mean? [closed]

Why shouldn't a person be friendly to everyone? Is "being friendly" and "being a friend" being differentiated here? Also, I consider a person as one's friend only if that person doesn't betray his/...
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1answer
74 views

How do you parse 'by this which is said'? (1654 UK)

Preface: I first encountered the following on p 83, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof Sharon Kaye (MA PhD in Philosophy, U. Toronto). I already tried, but do not see a modern ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “Who necessarily do not exist” or “who do not exist necessarily”?

This is from the English version of the book "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco. Brother William was arguing that the non-Christian people should also be given the right to rule. Here are some ...
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0answers
223 views

A word that means/defines to live a philosophical life[style]?

So this is a continuation of sorts to a thread I started a while ago about *a word that means/defines The Converse of Philosophy... * The question is... If the etymology of bio- is [Greek bio-, comb....
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2answers
101 views

Is there a name for this kind of reactionary argument?

This question is framed in a technical example but can apply to any area. I am looking for a word to describe a certain type of argument that a colleague is making to justify a software change which ...
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5answers
911 views

The Converse of Philosophy

The etymology of philosophy is "love of wisdom" (simplified)... So what would the word be that defines the converse of "love of wisdom"? Since it is not definitively established what the converse of ...
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1answer
333 views

How do you use ressentiment in a sentence?

I'm talking about the philosophical term, developed by Nietzsche and other philosophers. I think this is an important word, because it describes a particular form or hatred or ill will that we ...
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7answers
636 views

A word for the basic concept of the literary inadequacies to describe intangible feelings, thoughts or emotions

I know this is extremely convoluted but it has been bugging me all night. I remember learning of the word (or phrase) in something similar to a "Word porn" post. I remember it was a very strange ...
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1answer
306 views

What does “Tartuffism” mean? [closed]

In the book of Nietzsche called "On the Genealogy of Morals" there is this sentence: Let us speak out this new demand: we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values is for the first ...
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2answers
681 views

What can we say about this excerpt from “Utilitarianism” from a grammatical aspect?

“If, then, it is asserted that there is a comprehensive formula, including all things which are in themselves good, and that whatever else is good, is not so as an end, but as a mean, the formula may ...
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1answer
227 views

Context and meaning of “ cloak myself in the mantle of Voltaire …”?

This is from an old story about a publisher backing off from publishing a book after having made an initial contract with the author, because of some of the latter's controversial views. Chris ...
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2answers
836 views

Name for someone who believes that sciences is more than just descriptive

Some people believe that science can answer the 'why?' rather than just 'how can I visualize/model/interpret this?'. It's the attribution of a 'super natural' quality to science as is currently quite ...
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3answers
189 views

What is the word for an arbitrary simple example, typically used with proofs?

Typical usage is with math, or philosophy, proofs. Also typically the simple example disproves the theory, but is of a arbitrarily contrived nature and not something that would naturally arise. Is ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there a better term than “fighting spirit” here?

I want to say "he has no fighting spirit anymore" to describe the psychology that might be involved in scenarios when someone has behaviours like this: Hungry, but not to the point of overly weak, ...
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2answers
121 views

Could 'heresy' be an accusation at those who follow the philosophy of Heraclitus? [closed]

The wisdom of the world Tertullian (c160-240)pp-5&6 in Documents of the Christian Church 2nd edition by Henry Betterson:....any assertion about the God of fire,then Heraclitus comes in. Heretics ...
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1answer
666 views

What does 'IN' mean: 'IN your own person or IN the person of any other'?

Source: Prof Michael Sandel, Justice: ..., Episode 06: "MIND YOUR MOTIVE" 47:30 and here Kant distinguishes between persons on the one hand, and things on the other. 47:38: Rational beings are ...
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1answer
73 views

Does 'whose workmanship they are' violate parallelism? (1690 UK)

Source: Sec 6, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690, by John Locke ...for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign ...
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5answers
6k views

Single word: “for its own sake”

I seem to vaguely remember a term that means something like "for its own sake," so that it might be used in a sentence like this: "I contend that bread is good not only for the taste or the health ...
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1answer
111 views

Type of spurious reasoning which ignores other effects of a counterfactual

Consider a male athlete who is a reasonably skilled 100 metres sprinter, with a best time around 10.3 seconds. Probably not enough to make a career in track and field, but faster than the women's 100 ...
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3answers
586 views

Word to describe ideology of unfettered belief in rational self-interest

I'm looking for a word that captures the ideology of believing everything can be traced back to rational self-interest. I know that this is a form of weak altruism, and that many ideas of economic ...
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2answers
1k views

A word that means the study of the human in relation to the animal and vice versa

I am looking for a word/adjective that can fit to describe the human and the animal in relation to each other. A word like 'zoology'does not quite work, because it means the study of animals ...
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1answer
274 views

What does the presence of the perfect tense reveal about us? [closed]

Other languages might say 'the floor is clean' or 'the cat is hungry'. An English speaker might say this, or we might equally choose to say 'the floor has been cleaned' or 'the cat hasn't been fed'. [...
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3answers
1k views

Why is the word “being” used as a suffix with “human”?

Why is the word being used as a suffix with human, as in human being, instead of creature? Please answer philosophically.