PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS: A TO Z

An annotated, encyclopedic philosophical dictionary or philosophical lexicon — an endless work-in-progress, forever open to critical examination, revision, and updating. Series courtesy of Robert Hanna, Ph.D.

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Introduction
All human thinking proceeds by means of concepts.

Definitions:

A Posteriori - A Priori
A Posteriori – A Priori: 1. A posteriori. Either (i) rational human sensible representation (including perception, imagination, memory, and anticipation), belief, judgment, or knowledge, or
Abstract (used as an adjective):
Abstract (used as an adjective): an entity that’s not uniquely located in space or time, and doesn’t literally belong to any mental or physical causal processes.
Analytic Philosophy
Analytic philosophy: prior to 1950, the tradition of late 19th century and early 20th-century Anglo-European philosophy presents and defines itself as essentially distinct from and opposed to all forms of idealistic philosophy, especially Immanuel Kant’s transcendental idealism...
Analytic-Synthetic
Analytic-Synthetic*: The categorical distinction between (i) necessary truth in virtue of conceptual and/or logical content, such that this content is always taken together with some things in the verdically apparent or manifestly real world beyond conceptual and/or ...
Anarchism
Anarchism: the political doctrine according to which (i) the State is rationally unjustified and immoral because it inherently involves both (ia) coercion, including violence, to compel people to heed and obey the laws issued by its government, and also (ib) authoritarianism, which says ...
Animal
Animal: any organism with an innately specified capacity for sentience.
Artificial intelligence, aka AI (strong thesis)
Artificial intelligence, aka AI (strong thesis): the two-part thesis which says (i) that rational human intelligence can be explanatorily and ontologically reduced to Turing-computable algorithms and the operations of digital computers ...
Artificial intelligence, aka AI (weak thesis)
Artificial intelligence, aka AI (weak thesis): it’s technologically possible either (i) to exactly reproduce (aka simulate) or (ii) to operationally/isomorphically represent, at least some of the actual performances of rational human intelligence on a Turing-machine.
Cartesian Dualism
Cartesian Dualism: The thesis that fundamentally mental substances, events, facts, properties, or states, are mutually irreducible to and mutually independent of fundamentally physical substances, events, facts, properties, or states, in the sense that each kind has only ...
Cognition
Cognition: the human or non-human animal conscious mental representation of something or another; human or non-human animal intentionality.
Consciousness
Consciousness: 1. ‘What-it-is-like-to-be’, for a suitably complex living organism, i.e., for an animal (Nagel, 1979). 2. The innately specified basic capacity or power of an animal for ...
Continental Philosophy
The term “Continental philosophy” is a catch-all quasi-geographical term, coming into common usage around 1980, for every kind of philosophy that’s excluded or rejected (and often ridiculed) by the post-classical Analytic tradition, typically associated with, for example ...
Dignity
Dignity: the absolute, non-denumerably infinite, intrinsic, and objective value of persons, especially human persons, by virtue of their possessing a unified set of basic innate cognitive, affective (aka caring-oriented, aka emotional), and ...
Distributive Social Justice
Distributive social justice: the set of moral, social-institutional, and/or political principles, processes, and structures that determine the distribution of benefits and burdens in capitalist, liberal, democratic nation-States. (John Rawls)
Epistemology
Epistemology: 1. the theory of knowledge; 2. standardly, narrowly, and inadequately, the theory of the justification of rational human (true) belief and of replies to skepticism about knowledge-claims and/or justification; 3. non-standardly, broadly, and adequately, the theory of human or ...
Ethics
Ethics: 1. human ideals, standards, and values. 2. the philosophical study of human ideals, standards, and values.
Free Agency
Free agency: the conjunction of free will and practical agency, which in turn means (i) that you can choose and do what you want to, or refrain from ...
Gödel’s incompleteness theorems
Gödel’s two incompleteness theorems (Gödel, 1967) say (i) that all ‘Principia Mathematica’-style systems of mathematical logic based on the Peano axioms ...
Intentionality
Intentionality: 1. the human or non-human animal conscious mental representation of something or another; 2. the “aboutness” of the mental; 3. human or non-human animal cognition; 4. the basic innate capacity or power of an animal subject with other basic innate capacities
Intentional Action
Things that human or non-human animal subjects with capacities for consciousness, emotion, intentionality directedness to targets of all kinds.
Knowledge
Knowledge: sufficiently justified true belief, in the larger context of human or non-human animal cognition or intentionality.
Meaning of life, the
The Meaning of Life: the ideal and ultimate purpose or value of a finite, unique, rational human animal life, taken as a unified whole that runs continuously from the emergence of that animal’s consciousness to their death.
Mind
Mind: (i) the global dynamic intrinsic structure of a suitably complex living organism, i.e., of an animal, (ii) that’s necessarily and completely embodied in that animal, such that mental and ...
Morality
Morality: the principles or strict rules of rational human conduct.
Objective (used as an adjective or as an adverb):
Objective (used as an adjective or as an adverb): anything that’s (i) not mind-dependent in any way that inherently deceives human cognition or undermines human cognitive access to manifest reality or truth, (ii) non-idiosyncratic, and ...
Supervenience, Strong
Supervenience, Strong: 1. Where A and B are things, facts, events, or properties, B strongly supervenes on A if and only if (i) necessarily A is a sufficient condition for B (upwards necessitation), and ...
Supervenience, Strong Logical
Supervenience, Strong Logical: Where A and B are things, facts, events, or properties, B strongly logically supervenes on A if and only if (i) the strong supevenience relation holds between them, and ...
Supervenience, Strong Natural or Nomological
Supervenience, Strong Natural or Nomological: Where A and B are things, facts, events, or properties, B strongly logically supervenes on A if and only if (i) the strong supevenience relation holds between them, and ...
Supervenience, Weak
Supervenience, Weak: Where A and B are things, facts, events, or properties, B strongly supervenes on A if and only if nothing will vary in its B-features without also correspondingly varying in its A-features, or ...
Turing machines
Turing machines: abstract or real-world machines that operate by digitally computing the values of recursive functions.