Questions tagged [philosophy]

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

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3 answers
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Can anyone simplify this quote?? Thankyou [closed]

"For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues—‘kindness’ or mercy—that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be ...
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0 answers
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Teutonic for the thing, Romance for the reflection

In the first chapter of Capital on page 126 (1990 Penguin Edition), a footnote is attached to the sentence, "The usefulness of a thing makes it a use-value." In English writers of the ...
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2 answers
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Is there a word meaning both Sentient and Sapient?

Is there a single word to describe a being that is both Sentient and Sapient, but not necessarily “Human”? (Associated example scenarios and usage at end) This word would be able to describe some ...
-2 votes
0 answers
40 views

An indefinite article before 'isms'

Is it possible to use an indefinite article before names of various philosophical theories ('isms') instead of a kind of? For example: However, the mere claim that his theory is an idealism is not ...
2 votes
3 answers
95 views

If gossip is always negative, what is the correct positive word?

With the concept in philosophy of shame in the negative, and positive, what would gossip in the positive be called? As an example: I just found out that they were dating. (A factual statement being ...
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of elliptical in this context? [closed]

...and it is this possibility, which is clearly provided for in language, that has encouraged a rival idea (8), namely that needing is always by its nature needing for a purpose - any purpose at all ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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What is meant by concrete manifestation in this passage [closed]

I needed help in comprehending the meaning of the concrete manifestations given below in the passage, and also the revelation part of the institutions According to Spencer, society is a system of ...
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2 answers
251 views

"Man is condemned to be free"

How do I comprehend the meaning of "condemned" here? As far as I searched on the Internet, I found that to condemn something means to disapprove of that thing, so does this line mean that ...
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3 votes
3 answers
109 views

Is there a word for the human tendency to be religious?

I am looking for a word that captures the Voltaire quote “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” There is the id, ego, and superego from Freud to describe the three tendencies in ...
0 votes
6 answers
443 views

"Evil always wins because it stops at nothing": A phrase or expression to reflect that sentiment

This springs from the many comments which over the years I have heard from adolescent students that appear to reflect the views of their supposedly upright and moralist parents—people who in spite ...
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

What does 'intimated' mean in the following sentence? [closed]

As we shall see, when satisfaction is invoked in Othello, and by Othello himself, what is being sought is proof and revenge, knowledge and retaliation, certainty and redress. And what is more than ...
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1 answer
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meaning of the at once in a sentence

I am translating the book Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life by Adam Phillips. It has this passage: There is, in other words, a difference between somebody saying something that makes one ...
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1 answer
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Problem remembering the exact name/word/term [duplicate]

I'm looking for a name/word for when someone asks and seeks advice for a problem but, instead of telling you the real issue or the problem, s/he attempts to seek help to make her own solution work. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
229 views

How is “account” different with “theory”, “model” or “approach”? [closed]

For example, this article about Personal Autonomy is talking about "Four More or Less Overlapping Accounts of Personal Autonomy". I understand that "account" here can be ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Looking for an ideological word (-ism) to say overgeneralize something [closed]

I am looking for a word, probably ending with -sm/ism but not necessarily that is to say because one attribute of someone or something is bad, then everything about this person or thing is bad. Is ...
3 votes
4 answers
423 views

what does it mean "I believe that fire is hot"? [closed]

I found "I believe that fire is hot" sentence in the internet. In the point of view of my country language, that kind of sentence is strange. It's just like someone say "I believe that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Word describing the feeling of being there to experience something first hand

There's a word I learned in a philosophy lecture and a YouTube video a long time ago regarding the feeling of being there to experience a thing first-hand. For example, being at the Louvre to see the ...
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

How to use the phrase "looks like"?

Does the phrase "looks like" can mean that two objects are the same? For example if I say "This car looks like John's car" and the car is indeed John's car am I lying?
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2 votes
3 answers
155 views

How to understand time through sentences?

I have a hard time understanding where someone refers to time in sentences. For example, "The manager of the team X is in Spain". There have been many managers through time for a single team....
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1 vote
2 answers
184 views

Word meaning one "half" of a dyad

I'm searching for a word that identifies one of the two "halves" of a dyad. The word "half" seems inappropriate because it suggests a whole that has been sundered. I've also considered "element," "...
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1 answer
151 views

Hitchens' quote "the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?" [closed]

To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?” I just wanted to know your opinion on what Hitchens means by this. Does he imply everyone is equal before ...
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7 answers
2k views

Word for knowing what to do and not doing it

I think most will agree it's a really common human condition: Knowing what to do and not doing it. I recently found a word that describes this condition and now have lost that word. I would ...
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1 vote
4 answers
140 views

Word for opportunism in the face of adversity

The title doesn't really describe the word I'm looking for very well. I think it is a bit hard to neatly describe it, so I'll give an example of a behavior that would be described with such a word. ...
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0 votes
2 answers
75 views

What word describes people who consciously choose to accept what is natural and not alter it

Words that come to mind are: zen-like naturalist accepting but perhaps there is a more scholarly/accurate/electric word I can publish. These people are not ignorant or unable; they are reasonably ...
-1 votes
1 answer
87 views

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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1 answer
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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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2 answers
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Please explain the meaning of "appreciation" in the enclosed 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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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
54 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
294 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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3 answers
401 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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2 votes
3 answers
125 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
939 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
212 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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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
114 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 ...
9 votes
11 answers
4k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
74 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
2k 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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2 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
152k 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
109 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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1 vote
2 answers
296 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
111 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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1 answer
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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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
217 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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1 vote
3 answers
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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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3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
68k views

"A friend to all is a friend to none" - Aristotle. What does this exactly mean?

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/...
0 votes
1 answer
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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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