DR - Dictionary of Religion, Harper Collins 1995
WE - Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, Random House 1996
WI - The World of Ideas: A dictionary of important theories, concepts, beliefs,
and thinkers. Chris Rohmann, Ballantine, 1999.
SW, # - Sophie's World, page number
Philosopher: Lover of Wisdom
Philosophical project:* Determined by the questions the philosopher is
Philosophical system: An attempt to construct a philosophy from the ground
up which finds explanations for all the
Transcendent:* Divine attribute, existing above and
independently of the material world. (DR)
Immanent:* Divine attribute, present in the cosmos but not existing apart from
Fate: Idea that there is an inevitable necessity that controls everything.
Predestination: God chooses in advance those who will be saved either through
foreknowledge that they will
respond grace, or without
foreknowledge and response to grace is effected by God. Grace: Divine gifts
which human salvation would be
Purpose: The reason something is exists or is done; the desired results.
Free will: Affirmation of the power of human choice to affect an individual's
Determinism: See fate and free will. (DR) Also see definition below.
Metaphysics:* The branch of philosophy [philosophical project] that
treats of first principles [the larger questions
beyond and supporting physical
Epistemology*: The study of knowledge. Asks what knowledge is and
how we can know what we know. One of five
classical fields of philosophical inquiry,
along with aesthetics, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. (WI)
Archetypes:* The original pattern or model from which all things of the
same kind are copied or on which they are
based. (WE) [archetypal,
archetypical, forms, ideas]
Rationalist:* (Rationalism) Someone who believes that human reason is the primary
source of our knowledge of the
world. (SW, 34)
(Empiricism) An empiricist will derive all knowledge of the world from
what our senses tell us. (SW, 262)
Continental Rationalist:* Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz
British Empiricists:* Locke, Hume, and Berkeley
Cosmological:* Everything that is caused must have a first cause.
Ontology*: A branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence
or being as such. (WE)
Ontological:* God exists because we can conceive of God
*The design inherent in creation implies a designer.
Atheist:* Denies the existence of superhuman beings, of any form of
transcendent order or meaning in the universe. (DR)
Deist:* Believes God is the creator of the universe but does not
thereafter exert control over creation. (DR)
Theist:* Believes in the existence of one or more divine beings
[Usually associated with the divine being intimately
involved in the world.] (DR)
Monotheism:* Belief that there is only one God. Associated with
Semitic religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam - and
a linear, historical view of the
Polytheism:* Belief that there are many gods. Associated with
Indo-European religions - Greek and Roman,
Buddhism, Hinduism - and a cyclical view of the
Paradigm: An example serving as a model or pattern. (WE) For
example, Newtonian mechanistic physics served
as a pattern for, or paradigm of, a Western worldview of
a clockwork universe with no place for God to act.
Often the word paradigm is substituted for the worldview, so that
the idea of a clockwork universe became the
paradigm of Western thought for several hundred years until overshadowed by
the paradigm of quantum physics.
Feudalism: Economy during the Middle Ages, based on barter, powerful
land-owning nobles and very poor peasants
Hellenism: The successors of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle - a period of
about 800 years from the death of Aristotle to
the fall of the Roman Empire in 400 ce.
Extension:* One of two forms of substance - the property of a body by
which it occupies space (WE) i.e. length, weight,
duration, mass, etc.
Matter: The substance of which any physical object consist. (WE)
(Enlightening, isn't it?)
Materialism:* The doctrine that only matter exist (WI). The world
and all that is in it operates as a machine.
Determinism:* Applied primarily to physical laws - there is an
unalterable chain of events in which each event is
preceded, or caused by another. Laplace (a French
physicist) speculated that a sufficient intelligence, knowing
the laws of
physics and the speed and position of every particle in the
universe, would be able to predict its
entire future. (WI)
Monism: The belief that the world consists of only one substance -
such as atoms, spirit, etc.
Dualism: The belief that the world consist of two substance - mind/soul
and body/matter - associated strongly with Descartes
Mathematics: The language in which many believe the book of nature to be
Primary qualities:* The qualities of objects with extension - weight,
motion, number, etc. - that the senses can
reproduce objectively (SW-364).
Secondary qualities: * Qualities produced only by the effect of the outer
reality on our senses - color, smell, taste,
sound. Cannot determine that they are inherent in the things
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