The study of terms and their use.

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Looking for specific term to describe those ideas which are commonly held without proper justification or questioning

These ideas might be true/false, but people just assume them. An example would be: you need some kind of money/currency for a civilization to be functional.
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49 views

Are there any comprehensive undergrad level philosophy books about definitions?

Although I believe that I now have some vague idea about what the fundamental subject matter of philosophy presumably concerns, I (nevertheless) still occasionally come across philosophical writings ...
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96 views

Difference between implication/conditional and logical entailment?

What is the difference between the implication/conditional truth function and the notion of logical entailment? My naive understanding as a computer programmer is that the conditional is a function ...
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0answers
52 views

What is thinking the universe is made up called? [closed]

There is a theory in which a person thinks that everything he sees and everything he knows is made up in his head. He is the only one that thinks and the others are just fragments of his imagination. ...
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48 views

Is there a consistent definition of free will? [duplicate]

See also: What is a mathematical description of free will? Is free will reconcilable with a purely physical world? What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or non-determinism? ...
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236 views

Tarski's truth definition

I am a Math student currently taking my Master's Degree, and last semester I took a course on Mathematical Logic (an introductory one). One of the subjects we covered there was (of course!) Tarski's ...
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2answers
93 views

About existence and related terminology

Is there a difference between when a person says 'I exists.', compared to the same person saying ' I'm existing.'? Is the person saying at the one time 'I exist.' saying he exists at a certain moment ...
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60 views

What is the word for… human thinking / imagination / understanding is limited by human experience

(Forgive my lack of accurate wording, English is not my first language, in addition I'm not a philosophy expert.) I cannot recall the word I have seen once, describing a theory where human ...
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41 views

About Supervenience and how it is used

What is supervenience and is there controversy over its definition? Does it have to do with the list of qualities of two 'things' being compared?
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82 views

A philosophy where technology is forsaken and nature embraced

There is a particular philosophy that I am trying to find the proper word to describe. An exemple of this philosophy is from a short story I once read (From Jack London's short story "To Build a ...
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8answers
362 views

How is “time” defined in modern philosophy?

We know the definition of "time" of Augustine of Hippo: "If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not" (Conf.). What is time? Philosophically, what can be ...
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1answer
186 views

What is the difference between intension and intention?

What is the difference between intention and intension? If one intends to do something is this intent part of the concept of intension?
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1answer
56 views

If A: P implies Q and B: Q implies P, then A is the *what* of B?

I have two propositions A: P implies Q B: Q implies P is A then the converse of B, or is there a term that is more exact?
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112 views

Is it possible to gain a lot without losing much?

This might be part of a more general question about the concept of gain and loss. If it is, please refer me to that. My question is: Is it possible to say that we always lose as much as we gain? ...
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2answers
283 views

What is the difference between Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism?

Based on the definitions given by Wikipedia , Rule Utilitarianism and Act Utilitarianism both seems to imply the same meaning Rule Utilitarianism Action is right as it conforms to a rule that ...
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4answers
278 views

How do the meanings of *to exist*, *to be*, and *real* differ?

What definition of to exist, of to be, and of real preponderates contemporary philosophy? How do the terms differ from one another?
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1answer
71 views

What is a 'Brain State?'

I was recently reading on this, but found that a complete definition was vague. What does a brain state mean? Thanks!
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84 views

When it's stated that human beings are equal, what kind of equality is usually implied?

I was reading an essay where the author seems to define equality among people as mathematical equality. Of course, this seemed to be overly simplistic so I wanted to look for a better definition. I ...
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2answers
80 views

Does entelechy have a contrary?

As I understand it, entelechy is a term that is associated with Aristotle who used it in the sense of the actualisation or complete realisation of an entity's potential. As far as we know, was ...
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1answer
35 views

Nomenclatural/Semantic Question in re: Semiotics

I just had a quick nomenclatural/semantic question regarding the usage of the term "semiotics". Thought this would be a good place to ask it, so here I am. Anyways, my question has to do with using ...
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1answer
42 views

Looking for an epistemology term

I have tried googling for the term but didn't find it. It's an -ism that refers to the fact that you can only know truth or have knowledge within your own experience. It's different then moral ...
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1answer
100 views

How does Hannah Arendt define “freedom?”

Looking at this: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/ By freedom Arendt does not mean the ability to choose among a set of possible >alternatives (the freedom of choice so dear to the ...
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7answers
240 views

What is ethics really about? (the goal or the means)

I have always assumed, perhaps naively, that the basic goal of ethics is to provide judgements of possible outcomes of one's actions, and thus also advice on the way one should act. I just realised ...
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3answers
102 views

Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us?

Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us? Do our senses (for space and time) fool us into this notion all the way into the need for discretizing abstractions themselves, e.g. An ...
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1answer
53 views

What is the philosophical parlance for saying: “Why (should I) care?”

What is the philosophical parlance for saying: "Why (should I) care?", in which I'll loosely define "care" as an inclination towards one action over another. p.s. what are proper tags for this ...
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2answers
40 views

Is Aristotle referring to both Posterior Analytics and Prior Analytics when referring to simply “Analytics”?

In Book I, Part 2 of Aristotle's Rhetoric, Aristotle writes: With regard to the persuasion achieved by proof or apparent proof: just as in dialectic there is induction on the one hand and ...
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42 views

A fallacy for unjustified blame

Is there a name or definition for the following fallacy (if you can even call it that): Peter decides that the team will use Product A. While using Product A, the team encounters problems. ...
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117 views

Is a pile of ants a, more or less, intelligent being?

Due to the definition of life an ant colony acts and reacts like a life form. There is even a "Ant colony optimization" Example Algorithm... Does this mean that the whole pile of ants, not its ...
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115 views

What fallacy/fallacies are present when a person discredits another person's arguments, by claiming they are not arguing for their own position?

Example: Person A argues that skipping breakfast has no effect on a person likelihood to gain weight. Person B takes the position opposite that breakfast in fact curves hunger and chances of putting ...
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1answer
60 views

Term for argument by extremes. Is it the same as straw man argument?

What is the correct term for the following logical fallacy? Speaker 1: I believe that increasing X by 5% would be a good thing. Speaker 2: By your logic, increasing X by 5000% would be a 1000x ...
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581 views

What is the difference between an 'idea' and a 'concept'?

What is the difference between an 'idea' and a 'concept'? Has a distinction between the two terms been settled and accepted by most modern philosophers?
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254 views

Truth for logicians, mathematicians, and philosophers

How does the logician define truth? What is the precise definition of truth for mathematicians? How does a philosopher define truth? What are the similarities and differences between these ...
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3answers
104 views

Can anything really be called complex?

What makes something complex? If someones mind can, in reasonable time, understand something considered complex, is it no longer complex? If it's the brain changing in presence of a complex object, ...
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3answers
270 views

Positive vs. Normative--Is falsification required?

I have some confusion on positive vs. normative. I am under the impression that a positive claim is a claim regarding a state of reality, while a normative claim is one of a value judgment on ...
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5answers
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What exactly do 'objective' and 'subjective' mean in contemporary philosophy?

I'm pretty new to philosophy and I just have a quick question in regards to about how people use the terms 'objective' and 'subjective'. Does objective value mean anything that is independent of ...
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123 views

How do I understand “Begging the question” in philosophical context?

I understand the fallacy of begging the question's definition. but I can't see why this fallacy's name should be "begging the question." According to the Macmillan's English dictionary, "to beg the ...
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394 views

Interpret Bayesian probability as frequentist probability?

It is usually said that the Bayesian probability is a subjective concept, quantifying one's degree of belief in something, while the frequentist probability is the the fraction of certain outcomes ...
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4k views

What's the difference between a 'duty' and 'obligation'?

Background I enrolled in a class, The Philosophy of Human Rights. The authors of the course readings never use 'duty' and 'obligation' interchangeably, so I suspect that the terms may have distinct ...
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113 views

Is there a term for the logical arguing of what *should* be done, as opposed to what is true?

I'm trying to explain to someone that an appeal to consequences is a fallacy in formal logic, but is appropriate when you're discussing policy, for instance, or more generally, when choosing between ...
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1answer
71 views

Concerning the meaning of “ontological category”

There are nominalists concerning abstract objects, i. e. they think that only concrete things exist. (Assuming the abstract/concrete distinction is exhaustive) Is it inconsistent with such a ...
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1answer
93 views

Fallacy naming the current year/century

Assuming you were in a debate and your opponent posited the argument: "Of course we should do X, its (year)!" or "its the (number) century!" or the somewhat related "we aren't living in (time ...
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340 views

What does “obtain” mean in philosophy jargon?

I keep running into this term "obtain" being used in what I suspect is specialized way, but I can't seem to find a definition for it. Here are two examples: From the fact that the first state of ...
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106 views

What is the name for this “endless definition” problem?

Say I am trying to define "apple", I define it in terms of a specific way by which atoms, molecules, and ions are organized. Then I'd have to define those atoms, molecules and ions, and I do so in ...
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195 views

Is contemporary advertising a form of Rhetorics?

The definition that Aristotle gives of Rhetoric makes me think that it could also include contemporary advertising. The definition of Rhetoric is the following: Rhetoric may be defined as the ...
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284 views

What does it mean for an axiom to be logical?

I have recently been hearing the phrase logical axiom being thrown around in reference to the philosophy of mathematics and I'm having a hard time understanding what one might mean when they are using ...
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143 views

What “driving forces” have being introduced for human kind during history?

AMAIK: Freud cites libido as the driving force of human being (the underlying part of id) Nietzsche introduced Will to power as the driving force behind human actions And here, pain & pleasure ...
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181 views

How can I write something about science? [closed]

I want to analyse science from a epistemological point of view focused on cybernetics. For that I first need to know what is science, there are several possibilities*: There is one single ...
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3answers
209 views

Is there a conceptual definition of “success”?

The term success if often found in modern western culture. Without further thinking, success in its most common context is related to either an increase in wealth or social status. But the notion of ...
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4answers
138 views

Is Morality an end in itself or a means to a higher end, and if the latter, what is the higher end?

If morality is nothing more than an evolutionary by-product, i.e. a tool developed for the purpose of prolonging one's existence and/or facilitating reproduction, it seems to make little sense to ...
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161 views

When/How does an issue become “Philosophical” in nature?

I find this site very interesting, because the questions and answers span such a wide range of issues. However, I often struggle to see how some of the matters discussed fit into the category of ...