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Supererogation

Supererogation is the performance of more than is asked for; the action of doing more than duty requires. In ethics, an act is supererogatory if it is good but not morally required to be done. It refers to an act that is more than is necessary, w ...

Synderesis

Synderesis or synteresis, in scholastic moral philosophy, is the natural capacity or disposition of the practical reason to apprehend intuitively the universal first principles of human action. Reason is a single faculty, but is called differentl ...

Truthmaker theory

Truthmaker theory is "the branch of metaphysics that explores the relationships between what is true and what exists." A truthmaker for a truthbearer is that entity in virtue of which the truthbearer is true. Philosophers have speculated on the q ...

Ubermensch

The Ubermensch is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the Ubermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself. It is a work of philosophical al ...

Universalizability

The concept of universalizability was set out by the 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant as part of his work Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. It is part of the first formulation of his categorical imperative, which states that th ...

Veil of ignorance

The veil of ignorance is a method of determining the morality of issues. It asks a decision-maker to make a choice about a social or moral issue and assumes that they have enough information to know the consequences of their possible decisions fo ...

Yi (Confucianism)

Yi, literally "justice, righteousness; meaning," is an important concept in Confucianism. It involves a moral disposition to do good, and also the intuition and sensibility to do so competently. Yi resonates with Confucian philosophys orientation ...

A series and B series

In philosophy, A series and B series are two different descriptions of the temporal ordering relation among events. The two series differ principally in their use of tense to describe the temporal relation between events. The terms were introduce ...

Absolute (philosophy)

In idealist philosophy, the Absolute is "the sum of all being, actual and potential". In monistic idealism, it serves as a concept for the "unconditioned reality which is either the spiritual ground of all being or the whole of things considered ...

Absolute space and time

Absolute space and time is a concept in physics and philosophy about the properties of the universe. In physics, absolute space and time may be a preferred frame.

Abstract particulars

Individual numbers are often classified as abstract particulars because they are neither concrete objects nor universals - they are particular things which do not themselves occur in space or time. Tropes are another example of entities cited as ...

Action (philosophy)

In philosophy, an action is that which is done by an agent. In common speech, the term is often used interchangeably with the term "behaviour". However, in the philosophy of action, behavioural sciences, and the social sciences, a distinction is ...

Active intellect

The active intellect is a concept in classical and medieval philosophy. The term refers to the formal aspect of the intellect, in accordance with the theory of hylomorphism. The nature of the active intellect was the subject of intense discussion ...

Actus Essendi

Actus Essendi is a Latin expression coined by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Translated as "act of being", the expression actus essendi refers to a fundamental metaphysical principle discovered by Aquinas in his Christianizing of Aristotle. Aquinas saw th ...

Aletheia

Aletheia is truth or disclosure in philosophy. It was used in Ancient Greek philosophy and revived in the 20th century by Martin Heidegger. Aletheia is variously translated as "unclosedness", "unconcealedness", "disclosure" or "truth". The litera ...

Always already

Always already is a philosophical term regarding the perception of phenomena by the mind of an observer. The features of a phenomenon that seem to precede any perception of it are said to be "always already" present.

Analogy of the divided line

The analogy of the divided line is presented by the Greek philosopher Plato in the Republic. It is written as a dialogue between Glaucon and Socrates, in which the latter further elaborates upon the immediately preceding Analogy of the Sun at the ...

Analogy of the sun

The analogy of the sun is found in the sixth book of The Republic, written by the Greek philosopher Plato as a dialogue between Glaucon and Socrates. Upon being urged by Glaucon to define goodness, a cautious Socrates professes himself incapable ...

Balance (metaphysics)

In the metaphysical or conceptual sense, balance is used to mean a point between two opposite forces that is desirable over purely one state or the other, such as a balance between the metaphysical Law and Chaos - law by itself being overly contr ...

Best of all possible worlds

The phrase the best of all possible worlds was coined by the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Theodicee sur la bonte de Dieu, la liberte de lhomme et lorigine du mal. The claim that the actual world is the best of all ...

Body without organs

The body without organs is a concept used by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. It usually refers to the deeper reality underlying some well-formed whole constructed from fully functioning parts. At the same time, it may also describe a relations ...

Causal adequacy principle

The causal adequacy principle, or causal reality principle, is a philosophical claim made by Rene Descartes that the cause of an object must contain at least as much reality as the object itself, whether formally or eminently.

Causal closure

Physical causal closure is a metaphysical theory about the nature of causation in the physical realm with significant ramifications in the study of metaphysics and the mind. In a strongly stated version, physical causal closure says that "all phy ...

Centered world

A centered world, according to David Kellogg Lewis, consists of a possible world, an agent in that world, and a time in that world. The concept of centered worlds has epistemic as well as metaphysical uses; for the latter, the three components of ...

Clinamen

Clinamen is the Latin name Lucretius gave to the unpredictable swerve of atoms, in order to defend the atomistic doctrine of Epicurus. In modern English it has come more generally to mean an inclination or a bias.

Cogito, ergo sum

Cogito, ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition by Rene Descartes usually translated into English as I think, therefore I am ". The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reac ...

Construct (philosophy)

A construct in the philosophy of science is an ideal object, where the existence of the thing may be said to depend upon a subjects mind. This contrasts with a real object, where existence does not seem to depend on the existence of a mind. In a ...

Duration (philosophy)

Duration is a theory of time and consciousness posited by the French philosopher Henri Bergson. Bergson sought to improve upon inadequacies he perceived in the philosophy of Herbert Spencer, due, he believed, to Spencers lack of comprehension of ...

Elan vital

Elan vital is a term coined by French philosopher Henri Bergson in his 1907 book Creative Evolution, in which he addresses the question of self-organisation and spontaneous morphogenesis of things in an increasingly complex manner. Elan vital was ...

Emergence

In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own. These properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole. For example, s ...

Existence

Materialism holds that the only things that exist are matter and energy, that all things are composed of material, that all actions require energy, and that all phenomena including consciousness are the result of the interaction of matter. Dialec ...

Extension (metaphysics)

In metaphysics, extension signifies both stretching out as well as later taking up space, and most recently, spreading ones internal mental cognition into the external world. The history of thinking about extension can be traced back at least to ...

Four causes

The four causes are elements of an influential principle in Aristotelian thought whereby explanations of change or movement are classified into four fundamental types of answer to the question "why?". Aristotle wrote that "we do not have knowledg ...

Grounding (metaphysics)

Grounding is a topic in metaphysics. One thing is sometimes said to "ground" another when the first in some way accounts for the existence or properties of the second. A distinction is typically made between grounding relations and other dependen ...

Growing block universe

According to the growing block universe theory of time, the past and present exist while the future does not. The present is an objective property, to be compared with a moving spotlight. By the passage of time more of the world comes into being; ...

Identity (philosophy)

In philosophy, identity, from Latin: identitas, is the relation each thing bears only to itself. The notion of identity gives rise to many philosophical problems, including the identity of indiscernibles, and questions about change and personal i ...

Immanence

The doctrine or theory of immanence holds that the divine encompasses or is manifested in the material world. It is held by some philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence. Immanence is usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic ...

Incorporeality

Incorporeality is "the state or quality of being incorporeal or bodiless; immateriality; incorporealism." Incorporeal means "Not composed of matter; having no material existence." Incorporeality is a quality of souls, spirits, and God in many rel ...

Infinity (philosophy)

In philosophy and theology, infinity is explored in articles under headings such as the Ultimate, the Absolute, God, and Zenos paradoxes. In Greek philosophy, for example in Anaximander, the Boundless is the origin of all that is. He took the beg ...

Inherence

Inherence refers to Empedocles idea that the qualities of matter come from the relative proportions of each of the four elements entering into a thing. The idea was further developed by Plato and Aristotle.

Intention

Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.

Intrinsic and extrinsic properties (philosophy)

An intrinsic property is a property that an object or a thing has of itself, independently of other things, including its context. An extrinsic property is a property that depends on a things relationship with other things. For example, mass is a ...

Lifeworld

Lifeworld may be conceived as a universe of what is self-evident or given, a world that subjects may experience together. For Edmund Husserl, the lifeworld is the fundamental for all epistemological enquiries. The concept has its origin in biolog ...

Matter (philosophy)

Matter is the substrate from which physical existence is derived, remaining more or less constant amid changes. The word "matter" is derived from the Latin word māteria, meaning "wood", or" timber”, in the sense "material", as distinct from "mind ...

Meaning (existential)

Meaning in existentialism is descriptive ; therefore it is unlike typical, prescriptive conceptions of "the meaning of life". Due to the methods of existentialism, prescriptive or declarative statements about meaning are unjustified. The root of ...

Meinong's jungle

Meinong, an Austrian philosopher active at the turn of the 20th century, believed that since non-existent things could apparently be referred to, they must have some sort of being, which he termed sosein "being so". A unicorn and a pegasus are bo ...

Metaphysics of presence

The concept of the metaphysics of presence is an important consideration in deconstruction. Deconstructive interpretation holds that the entire history of Western philosophy with its language and traditions has emphasized the desire for immediate ...

Monad (philosophy)

Monad refers, in cosmogony, to the Supreme Being, divinity or the totality of all things. The concept was reportedly conceived by the Pythagoreans and may refer variously to a single source acting alone, or to an indivisible origin, or to both. T ...

Necessity and sufficiency

In logic and mathematics, necessity and sufficiency are terms used to describe a conditional or implicational relationship between two statements. For example, in the conditional statement: "If P then Q ", Q is necessary for P, because the truth ...

Non-physical entity

In ontology and the philosophy of mind, a non-physical entity is a spirit or being that exists outside physical reality. Their existence divides the philosophical school of physicalism from the schools of idealism and dualism; with the latter sch ...