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Questions tagged [terminology]

The study of terms and their use.

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How can we reason about "if P then Q" or "P only if Q" statements in propositional logic?

When you have a propositional sentence of the form P ⊃ Q  — which we might read as "if P, then Q" — how can you tell when it is true, or false, based on the truth-values of P and ...
Niel de Beaudrap's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

In Aristotle, What does it mean for something to be predicated?

I am studying Aristotle's views on substance, and in the narratives of his work, the term 'predicated' is used with great frequency, though not at all defined. In Googling the meaning of 'predicated', ...
user2901512's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
10k views

Is everyone considered a "philosopher"?

Is every person who has ever questioned what they did or what they are going to do a philosopher? Does this idea fall under philosophy in any way, or is it merely a semantic debate?
Dynamic's user avatar
  • 261
11 votes
10 answers
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Is it possible to define "the supernatural"?

From a naturalistic perspective, it is possible to argue that the supernatural not only doesn't exist, but cannot even be defined. The reasoning goes that anything which "appears" to be supernatural, ...
LightCC's user avatar
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17 votes
6 answers
42k views

What are the differences between sentience, consciousness and awareness?

Dictionary definitions such as this one often seem to use the terms sentience, awareness, and consciousness as if they are synonymous with each other. Is this really the case? If not, how do they ...
coleopterist's user avatar
10 votes
9 answers
71k views

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 one'...
James's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
60k views

What is the difference between Philosophy and Theology?

In attempting to wrap my mind around the basic vocabulary, concepts, and methods of philosophy, I find myself wondering what the difference is between a philosopher and a theologian. Theology (link ...
LightCC's user avatar
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22 votes
4 answers
24k views

What, if anything, is the difference between ethics and moral philosophy?

Are the terms 'Ethics' and 'Moral Philosophy' different in extension as terms in philosophy? Some Departments of Philosophy have courses with titles like "Introduction to Ethics" and others with ...
vanden's user avatar
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15 votes
10 answers
947 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 ...
villamejia's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
3k views

What does "physical" mean to philosophers?

A childish question (literally) - My 8 year old asked me this morning: "Dad, what does 'physical' mean?" - and I found myself at loss for an ordinary language answer. Every answer I could come up ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
5k views

When and why do we say that two things are the same?

In a preceeding question I have asked about the foundations of rational reasonning. It seems the concept of identity plays a key role. However "identity" is not observed in the real world: our mind ...
robin girard's user avatar
6 votes
9 answers
7k views

"This sentence is true". Is there a word for this class of statement?

Is there a term that means "A self referential statement which is true if (and because) it is true and false if (and because) it is false"? "This sentence is a lie" is a paradox in ...
Tim Smith's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
5k views

"pleasure" vs "happiness"

With regards to the field of philosophy, are there any notable precise definitions of "pleasure" and "happiness"? How does "pleasure" compare to "happiness" and vice-versa?
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 325
2 votes
3 answers
743 views

What's so speculative in rationalists metaphysics?

From Loux's: Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. The metaphysical theories of the rationalists, by contrast, were anything but conservative. In their hands, metaphysics results in ...
Red Banana's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
12k views

How do quantifiers work in predicate logic?

Predicate logic is somewhat like propositional logic, except that where propositional logic only works on the level of whole sentences (e.g. A = "Socrates is mortal", B = "All ...
Niel de Beaudrap's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is an existentialist?

When watching this speech by the Atari founder, he says (at 09:19): If you're a true existentialist [...] you want to have an interesting life. Thus, if someone says he or she is an existentialist,...
Michael's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is an attribute, as used in Spinoza's Ethics?

In Spinoza's Ethics, the definitions of Part 1. include a supposedly all important term: Attribute, defined by Spinoza in the following: "IV. By attribute, I mean that which the intellect ...
WillDurrant420's user avatar
11 votes
11 answers
9k views

Does philosophy belong to empirical science or formal science?

According to Wikipedia, science can be divided into empirical science (such as natural science and social science) and formal science (such as mathematics, logic, statistics). I was wondering if ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 507
7 votes
11 answers
5k views

Can you explain clearly the difference between race and ethnicity?

I have tried to look it up but most definitions usually don't make the difference crystal-clear. Many results on Google give overlapping definitions. What my understanding is is that race is rooted in ...
chanzerre's user avatar
  • 129
6 votes
4 answers
424 views

What does the term "mathematical logic" mean?

What is "mathematical logic"? Is it the logic of mathematical reasoning, or is it the claim that mathematics and logic are identical? Also, is "quantificational logic" a particular type of "...
Geremia's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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What is “limited free will”? [closed]

I have heard that humans have a limited or constrained free will, especially when biological limitations are brought up. However, Merriam-Webster dictionary says: Limited 1a: confined within limits: ...
Cannabijoy's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
3k views

Finding a clear difference between truth and fact [duplicate]

I have been starting back in school after a long hiatus. In one of my classes, a discussion of Truth began. The problem I have had is that no one seems to have a solid definition between the two. ...
James Sherwood's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

Does testability equal falsifiability?

Are these two terms exact synonyms? Or is there some subtle difference between the two? For example, David Deutsch (2011) writes: Testability is now generally accepted as the defining characteristic ...
user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
5k views

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

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 ...
Jakub Konieczny's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is 'major' about the major term in logic? [closed]

Source: p 264, A Concise Introduction to Logic (12 Ed, 2014), by Patrick J. Hurley Each of the three terms in a categorical syllogism has its own name depending on its position in the argument. ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
11k views

Philosophy is the mother of all science [closed]

Prologue Running google search: "philosophy is the mother of all science" at the time of this post yields about 114,000 results, and while this Quora post: Is philosophy the "queen of ...
Ubaid Imran's user avatar
46 votes
12 answers
5k views

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

I'm a layperson interested in the problem of free will. I recently started reading one of the popular introductory textbooks to the subject. I'm halfway through, and while the book did describe a few ...
Ram Rachum's user avatar
45 votes
6 answers
16k views

Is there a term for the belief that "if it's legal, it's moral"?

Sometimes I hear arguments that seem to appeal to the fact that something is morally permissible because it is legally permitted. For example: Abortion is moral because it's legally permitted. ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
22k 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 ...
user's user avatar
  • 457
30 votes
5 answers
4k views

What does it mean for a book or a theorist to be "post-modernist" as opposed to "modernist"?

I'd like a succinct comparison of the two "-isms", though I know this is a tall order.
unusualhabit's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
18k views

What are some methods of defining things?

In my experience, many definitions define an object/idea by merely listing it's characteristics. For example: Avocado a large, usually pear-shaped fruit having green to blackish skin, a single ...
Hugo's user avatar
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15 votes
15 answers
2k views

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Can a person know that something like "free will" must exist even though an exact definition in words, using language, cannot be provided, and in the absence of a complete theory that ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,005
10 votes
2 answers
33k 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?
user128932's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
372 views

Recursive definitions. Am I sane?

"The difference between me and a madman is the madman thinks that he is sane. I know that I am mad." ~ Salvador Dalí There are many terms defined in a recursive manner, e.g.: A person A is sane if ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
8k views

Material vs formal logic?

I would like to know how material logic differs from formal logic. From the little that I'm aware of, it is apparently the case that material logic concerns itself with the truth of the content of an ...
Five σ's user avatar
  • 1,156
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a definition for "context"?

What is the/a definition for the term 'context'? The term is used everywhere, and the dictionaries only give a description of it's meaning.Definitions for other terms such as concept, perspective, ...
slashmais's user avatar
  • 441
7 votes
3 answers
28k views

What is the meaning of "predicate" in this definition?

I have trouble understanding the article on existence in this Philosophy dictionary. Instantiation in reality, or actual being. Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate. What is the ...
saber tabatabaee yazdi's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
5k views

Absolute Truth in Mathematics

Often in philosophical discussions, the concept of absolute truth will be proposed in a metaphysical manner that supposes supreme authority and the absence of exceptions to rules regardless of context....
Tony's user avatar
  • 277
6 votes
2 answers
714 views

What does Russell mean by "term" in Principles of Mathematics?

Bertrand Russell in Principles of Mathematics defines a term as "Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition or can be counted as one." Can someone elaborate on ...
Mathmank's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Discerning among ethics, morality, principles, virtues, and etiquette

Although I have studied these terms in my own language, could anyone possibly explain them in such a way that I could differentiate between them better. I have not gotten their basic difference in a ...
nima's user avatar
  • 171
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is perfection conceivable?

It is a given that we can conceive normal things like a regular hot dog or a space shuttle. It is also a given that we can conceive perfection in things that are fully understood, like a perfect cube ...
Vinko Vrsalovic's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Term of art for ontological evasion

I am looking for a term that I would call ontological evasion (or ontlogical elision if we wish to sound more neutral) but I dont find anything like it in the standard places — IEP/SEP/wikipedia. The ...
Rushi's user avatar
  • 3,376
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

An sich and Für sich (in itself and for itself)

For use in annotating the work of an Italian poet, I wish to explain a reference to An sich and für sich: What would be a brief, straightforward, and yet accurate definition of these concepts in Hegel'...
George's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
5 answers
334 views

Is understanding possible?

Often, humans will claim to "understand" something. When pressed, they will define understanding as something like: Knowledge Conception within the mind Comprehension Awareness of meaning ...
Corbin's user avatar
  • 1,546
5 votes
1 answer
197 views

How would you define ‘existence’?

I was talking to a friend, and she said: even before the Big Bang and the origin of space and time, still something existed. That sparked the question: how would you define ‘existence’? What ...
Puzzle's user avatar
  • 281
5 votes
3 answers
789 views

How could the concept of 'evidence' be defined, and how significant is it?

What is evidence, and how much of it means that a proposition is true? Does a partial / total lack of evidence mean that a proposition should be ignored? Is the concept evidence more important to ...
James's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
9k 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 liberal ...
Resting in Shade's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
5k views

What do "universal" and "existential" mean in logic?

What's the difference between "universal" and "existential" when used in the context of wff (well-formed formulas)? We have a universal quantifier, which can be written as (x), and an existential ...
cpx's user avatar
  • 537
4 votes
2 answers
152 views

Two kinds of abstract objects - circles and sets

Both circles and sets are considered abstract objects. I can visualise a circle in my mind (can 'see it through my mind's eye') but can't visualise a set or a number. I have no picture of a set in my ...
Harshit Rajput's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
944 views

What is it called when the parts can only be understood in relation to the whole, and the whole only in relation to the parts?

I'm thinking about a circular situation where the parts can only be understood in relation to the whole, and the whole in relation to the parts. A hermeneutic circle might be one good example of this, ...
ktm5124's user avatar
  • 239