Dictionary of Atheism
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Abd: (Islam) Slave. Common in names, e.g., Abdullah-slave of god

Abduction: Abductive syllogisms are of the following form:

All beans from this bag are white
These beans are white.
Therefore, these beans are from this bag.

This inference results in an explanation of the observation in the second premise. This form of reasoning is logically unsound (as the beans may be from a different source).

Absolute zero: The theoretical temperature at which substances possess no thermal energy, equal to −273.15°C, or −459.67°F

Exercise: Which is the highest possible temperature?

Abu: (Islam) Father of. Common in names, e.g., Abu Hamid

Ad hominem as logical fallacy

A traditional, regular (fallacious) ad hominem argument was identified by Aristotle in his “On Sophistical Refutations” and has the basic form:

Regular Ad Hominem

  1. A makes claim B;
  2. There is something objectionable about A,
  3. Therefore claim B is false.

An inverted (fallacious) ad hominem argument was only identified as such more recently. Traditionally it would have been considered only an appeal to authority fallacy which it also is. The inversion can be seen as, and called as such when, an implication to "appeal to authority-lacking" regarding the opponent is obvious.

Stated as such it is a better reflection of the bind the fallacy monger finds himself in, in presenting this fallacy, especially when self-referencing credentials as a critical point to an argument and, particularly when the claim is, to his own authority or, authority for its own sake. It has the basic form:

Inverted Ad Hominem

  1. A makes claim B;
  2. There is something desirable about A,
  3. Therefore claim B is true.

The first statement is called a 'factual claim' and is the pivot point of much debate. The last statement is referred to as an 'inferential claim' and represents the reasoning process.

Akl: (Islam) Reason; intelligence

Alpha Particle: A Helium nucleus consisting of two protons and two neutrons, generally seen as a decay product from a heavy radioactive nucleus.

Altruism: In the first sense, Altruism is the practice of charity - being particularly helpful to other people with little view to being rewarded for one's efforts.

In the second sense, Altruism is also the doctrine that says one ought to act, or refrain from acting, so that positive benefit or good is bestowed on other people, if necessary to the exclusion of one's own interests.

Altruism can also refer to:

  1. Being helpful to other people with little or no interest in being rewarded for one's efforts. (The colloquial definition)
  2. Actions that benefit others with a net detrimental or neutral effect on the actor, regardless of the actor's own psychology, motivation, or the cause of her actions.

Amir, Emir: (Islam) A ruler, a commander, a chief, a nobleman.

Analytic knowledge: We recommend following use of language: Knowledge is synthetic, not analytic. See Analytic truths

Analytic statement is a statement whose correctness (old language: truth value, true or false) depends on nothing more than the meanings of the words the statement contains. See Analytic truths

Example: Alphabet: 0, 1, x, a, b, c.

Variable x is a sequence of bits, for example 1010011

Other variables are a, b and c


Axiom 1: a + 0 = 0 + a = 0 (null element)

Axiom 2: a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c (associability)

Axiom 3: a + b = b + a (commutability)


Rule 1: x0 + 1 = x1 (example 1110 + 1 = 1111)

Rule 2: x1 + 1 = x00 (example 111 + 1 = 1100)

Theorem: 2 + 2 = 4 or 10 + 10 = 100

Proof: 10 + 10 = 10 + (1 + 1) = (10 + 1) + 1 = 11 + 1 = 100

Exercise: Find which axioms and which rules we used. Which axioms we did not use?

See article Axiomatic arithmetic’s

Analytic truths: In logic and mathematics: Analytic truths are those sentences that are logically entailed from defining axioms. We do not recommend the use of the word “truth”. We will recommend “derivable” or “correct”.

In ordinary languages: "true by definition." Example: Kant's semantic example is "all bodies are extended" — it is part of the concept of a body that it is extended. We recommend: true by definition = derivable from definitions or correct by definition

Anarchism: fundamental opposition to the State. As a general principle, anarchism advocates a society from which the coercive elements have been removed.

Anarchism, collective anarchism (anarcho-syndicalism): Collectivism laid the emphasis on communist distribution and local and communal association

Anarchism, individual anarchism: liberal anarchism

Anarchism, mutual: Mutual aid is as important an aspect (Peter Kropotkin)

Anarchism, religious: Anarchism based on religion, for example Leo Tolstoy

Anarcho-capitalism = stateless capitalism. A form of the individual anarchism

Anarcho-communism: stateless communism. A form of the collective anarchism

Anarcho-socialism: stateless socialism. A form of the collective anarchism

Anecdotal evidence is evidence stemming from a single, often unreliable source which is used in an argument as if it had been scientifically or statistically proven. The person using anecdotal evidence may or may not be aware of the fact that, by doing so, they are generalizing.

For example, someone who is not a physician or other kind of expert might argue that eating crushed garlic and drinking one glass of red wine per day will prolong your life, just because their own neighbour indulged in that habit and died aged 90. It becomes clear that in this case any form of inductive reasoning lacks a broad empirical basis.

Similarly, a politician might publicly demand better teacher training facilities just because their own son or daughter happens to have a spectacularly incompetent teacher.

Annihilation: A process in which a particle and its anti- particle meet and convert spontaneously into photons. It is the inverse of pair production.

Anti-atheism: Theism

Antiparticle: A particle having the same mass as a given fundamental particle, but whose other properties, while having the same magnitude, may be of opposite sign, e.g., electrical charge in the case of the electron and positron, magnetic moment in the case of the neutron and antineutron. On collision a particle and its antiparticle may mutually annihilate with the emission of radiation.

Antiparticles: Each particle has a partner called an antiparticle. Some properties of the antiparticle will be identical in magnitude but opposite in sign to the particle it is paired with.

Examples of such properties are electric charge in the case of the electron and positron, and magnetic moment in the case of the neutron and antineutron. Strangeness and charm are two other properties among many that can vary in sign.

When a particle or its antiparticle meets, these properties cancel out in a process called annihilation. The annihilation process between protons and antiprotons are the collisions that take place in the middle of the Tevatron particle detector experiments during colliding beams.

Antiprotons: Antiparticle to the proton. It is a strongly interacting baryon carrying unit negative charge. It has mass of 938 mev and carries spin 1/2.

Anti-relativity: To see material click here

Antireligion is
  1. A proposition on all religions: All religions contain much of false propositions and
  2. a set of norms: People who are antireligious may see religions as wrong, dangerous, destructive, divisive, foolish, or absurd. This opposition may be confined to just organized religions or cults like, or may be more general to include all forms of belief and superstition.

An example of an antireligious organization is the Society of the Godless.

Notable antireligious people:

Anthropocentric: Literally, centring in man. A term which may be used in connection with extreme humanism, viewing the world in terms only of human experience

Appeal to motive is a pattern of argument which consists in challenging a thesis by calling into question the motives of its proposer. It can be considered as a special case of the ad hominem circumstantial argument. As such, this type of argument may be a logical fallacy.


  1. "That website recommended nVidia's graphics chip over ATI's. But they also display nVidia advertising on their site, so they were probably biased in their review." The thesis in this case is the website's evaluation of the relative merits of the two chips.
  2. "The only reason why she got the part in that movie is because her husband is the director." In this case, the thesis is less clear, but could be an assertion that the husband made in regard to his wife's acting ability.
  3. "The referee comes from the same place as (a sports team), so his refereeing was obviously biased towards them." In this case, the thesis consists of the referee's rulings.

A common occurrence in appeals to motive is that only the possibility of a motive (however small) is shown, without showing the motive actually existed. Indeed, it is often assumed that the mere possibility of motive is evidence enough.

Appeal to novelty (also called argumentum ad novitam) is a logical fallacy in which someone claims that his or her idea or proposal is correct or superior because it is new and modern.


"Hover cars are the wave of the future! You should invest all your money in Hover car stocks." (Hover cars may be futuristic, but that does not necessarily make them a sound financial investment.)

"This computer was made in 2003; therefore it is far superior to that computer made in 2001." (Although computer speed is increasing, one should consider actual specifications rather than mere date-of-construction.)

Appeal to tradition, also known as appeal to common practice or argumentum ad antiquitam is a very common logical fallacy in which someone proclaims his or her accuracy by noting that "this is how it's always been done." Essentially: "This is right because we've always done it this way."

The assumption behind this argument is that whatever reason led to the old methods of thinking is still valid today. If circumstances have changed, this may be a false assumption.


  1. "Our society has always ridden horses. It would be foolish to start driving cars." (rebuttal: we want to travel further and horses are no longer adequate for traveling such great distances)
  2. "Your invention is a bad idea because it has no historical precedent." (rebuttal: the fact that something has not been previously attempted does not guarantee it will ultimately fail)
  3. "These rules were written 100 years ago and we have always followed them. Therefore, there is no need to change them." (rebuttal: the society in which the rules were written have changed, and thus are no longer applicable)

Apologetics: (Gr. apologetikos, fit for a defence) the discipline which deals with a defence of a position or body of doctrines. Traditional Christian theology gave over to Christian Apologetics (or, simply Apologetics) the task of defending the faith. As such the discipline was also called "Evidences of the Christian Religion." Each particular faith, however, developed its own particular type of apologetics.

A posteriori truth is a truth that is arrived at by observing the reality. An a posteriori argument involves gathering evidence from experience and reasoning from that evidence. For example, the fact that John has blonde hair would be a truth that we can know based on a posteriori reasoning. The fact that heat is molecular motion would be another such fact. Many think that all substantive facts about the reality are a posteriori, and that all arguments for substantive facts must be a posteriori arguments.

A priori: (Kant) a term applied to all judgments and principles whose validity is independent of all impressions of sense. Whatever is pure a priori is unmixed with anything empirical. In Kant's doctrine, all the necessary conditions of experience (i.e., forms and categories) are a priori. Whatever is a priori must possess universal and necessary validity. Sometimes used loosely to designate anything non-empirical, or something which can be known by reason alone

A priori truth is one that can be arrived at without any observations of the world. A priori reasoning relies only on logical connections between ideas. For example, the fact that all bachelors are unmarried is an a priori truth because being unmarried is in the definition of the idea of a bachelor. In order to determine that this claim is correct you do not need to go out into the world and survey all bachelors. Rather, so long as you understand the meaning of the words involved, you know that the claim is true. Hume thinks that all a priori truths are such that the predicate ('unmarried') is in the definition of the subject ('bachelors').

We recommend following use of language: Do not use words “a priori truth”. Say “correct by definition” or “derivable from axioms”.

Archetype: (Gr. arche, first; and typos, form) the original pattern of forms of which actual things are copies. (Platonic)

Argument: An argument is a connected series of statements or propositions, some of which are intended to provide support, justification or evidence for the truth of another statement or proposition. Arguments consist of one or more premises and a conclusion. The premises are those statements that are taken to provide the support or evidence; the conclusion is that which the premises allegedly support.

Argumentum a fortiori: An argument from analogy which shows that the proposition advanced is more admissible than one previously conceded by an opponent.

Argumentum ad baculum: An argument deriving its strength from appeal to human timidity or fears; it may contain, implicitly or explicitly, a threat.

Argumentum ad hominem: An irrelevant or malicious appeal to personal circumstances; it consists in diverting an argument from sound facts and reasons to the personality of one's opponent, competitor or critic.

Argumentum ad ignorantiam: An argument purporting to demonstrate a point or to persuade people, which avails itself of facts and reasons the falsity or inadequacy of which is not readily discerned; a misleading argument used in reliance on people's ignorance.

Argumentum ad judicium: Reasoning grounded on the common sense of mankind and the judgment of the people.

Argumentum ad misericordiam: An argument attempting to prove a point or to win a decision by appeal to pity and related emotions.

Argumentum ad populum: An argument attempting to sway popular feeling or to win people's support by appealing to their sentimental weaknesses; it may avail itself of patriotism, group interests and loyalties, and customary preferences, rather than of facts and reasons.

Argumentum ad rem: An argument to the point -- distinguished from such evasions as argumentum ad hominem (q.v.), etc.

Argumentum ad verecundiam: An argument availing itself of human respect for great men, ancient customs, recognized institutions, and authority in general, in order to strengthen one's point or to produce an illusion of proof.

Argumentum ex concesso: An inference founded on a proposition which an opponent has already admitted.

Arithmetic, axiomatic: See Axiomatic arithmetic’s

Arithmetic mean: The simple average.

Associative law: Any law of the form,

x o (y o z) = (x o y) o z,

where o is a dyadic operation (function) and x o y is the result of applying the operation to x and y (the value of the function for the arguments x and y). Instead of the sign of equality, there may also appear the sign of the biconditional (in the propositional calculus), or of other relations having properties similar to equality in the discipline in question.

Atheism, definition of atheism: There is no god or gods. Atheism is a proposition: “There is no god or gods.” A proposition can be only true or false. Atheism is a fact. Atheism is not an opinion.

Atheism: Arguments for atheism.

See http://www.infidels.org/library

Atheist, definition of atheist: A person, who thinks that atheism, is true.

Atom: A particle of matter indivisible by chemical means. It is the fundamental building block of the chemical elements. The elements, such as iron, lead, and sulphur, differ from each other because they contain different kinds of atoms.

Authoritarian Personality:

  1. excessive conformity
  2. submissiveness to authority
  3. intolerance
  4. insecurity
  5. superstition
  6. ridged, stereotyped thought patterns

Authoritarianism: That theory of knowledge which maintains that the truth of any proposition is determined by the fact of its having been asserted by certain esteemed individual or group of individuals.

Authority: Appeal to authority is a type of false argument in logic. It is one method of obtaining propositional knowledge and is often a logical fallacy. Some examples of appeals to authority:

  1. Referring to the philosophical beliefs of Aristotle. "If Aristotle said it was so, it is so".
  2. Quotes from religious books such as the Bible. "The Bible says X, therefore X is the right thing".
  3. Claiming that some crime is morally wrong because it is illegal. "It's against the law for stores to be open on weekends, therefore it's wrong for them to do so".
  4. Referencing scientific research published in a peer reviewed journal. "Science (in the form of an article in a prestigious journal) says X, therefore X is so".
  5. Believing what one is told by one's teacher. "My teacher said so, therefore it must be right."

Autonomy of ethics: Ethics is not a part of, and cannot be derived from, either metaphysics or any of the natural or social sciences.

Axiological ethics: Any ethics which makes the theory of obligation entirely dependent on the theory of value, by making the determination of the rightness of an action wholly dependent on a consideration of the value or goodness of something, e.g. the action itself, its motive, or its consequences, actual or probable. Opposed to deontological ethics

Axiology: (Gr. axios, of like value, worthy, and logos, account, reason, theory). Modern term for theory of value (the desired, preferred, good), investigation of its nature, criteria, and metaphysical status

Axiom Axioms are implicit definitions of the concepts. See Axiomatic arithmetic’s

Axiomatic method: That method of constructing a deductive system consisting of deducing by specified rules all statements of the system save a given few from those given few, which are regarded as axioms of the system.

Axiom of Choice: The Axiom of Choice states that for every set of mutually disjoint nonempty sets there exists a set that has exactly one member common with each of these sets.

Axioms, geometry: The geometrical axioms are therefore neither synthetic a priori intuitions nor experimental facts. They are conventions. Our choice among all possible conventions is guided by experimental facts; but it remains free . . . In other words, the axioms of geometry . . . are only definitions in disguise. (Henri Poincare)

Axioms of geometry, Hilbert: See


Exercise: Suppose that our space is a sphere. Points are all the points inside of the sphere. Lines are all open line segments with two limit points on the surface of the sphere. A plane is all the points inside of the sphere of the plane determined by three points inside of the sphere. Which of the axioms of the Hilbert’s geometry are true in this system?


Baryon: A collective term for all strongly interacting particles with masses greater than or equal to the mass of the proton. Examples are the proton, neutron, and hyperons.

Basic Sentences, Protocol Sentences:
Sentences formulating the result of observations or perceptions or other experiences, furnishing the basis for empirical verification or confirmation (see Verification). Some philosophers take sentences concerning observable properties of physical things as basic sentences; others take sentences concerning sense-data or perceptions. The sentences of the latter kind are regarded by some philosophers as completely verifiable, while others believe that all factual sentences can be confirmed only to some degree.

BCE: BCE stands for "Before the common era." It is eventually expected to replace BC, which means "Before Christ." BC and BCE are also identical in value. Most theologians and religious historians believe that the approximate birth date of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus) was in the fall, sometime between 7 and 4 BCE, although we have seen estimates as late as 4 CE and as early as the second century BCE. Many atheists think that there was no Jesus.

Behaviourism: The school of psychology which abandons the concepts of mind and consciousness, and restricts both animal and human psychology to the study of behaviour. The impetus to behaviourism was given by the Russian physiologist, Pavlov, who through his investigation of the salivary reflex in dogs developed the concept of the conditioned reflex. See Conditioned Reflex.

The founder of American behaviourism is J.B. Watson, who formulated a program for psychology excluding all reference to consciousness and confining itself to behavioural responses. (Behaviour: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology, 1914) Thinking and emotion are interpreted as implicit behaviour: the former is implicit or subvocal speech; the latter implicit visceral reactions. A distinction has been drawn between methodological and dogmatic behaviourism.


  1. Conviction or acceptance that certain things are true or real.
  2. Faith, especially religious faith. (But some religious people insist that faith is not belief!)
  3. One may believe that a certain proposition is true. One believes in something in at least two different senses: (1) believe that it exists ("I believe in elephants but not in fairies."); (2) believe that something is good, where existence is not in question ("I believe wholeheartedly in jogging.")
  4. To believe on is to have or experience a trust relationship with an alleged supernatural entity. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." -Acts 31:16. To believe with no clause or phrase following is mindless, but the term is sometimes used that way.

Belief, appeal to belief is committed when an argument infers the truth (or plausibility) of a proposition merely from the fact that it is widely believed. The fallacy is most commonly found in arguments over ethics:

  1. Most Americans hold that the Vietnam War was morally indefensible. Therefore, the Vietnam War was morally indefensible.
  2. Southern segregationists didn't see anything wrong with what they were doing. Therefore, it must not have been wrong. (or: Therefore, it wasn't wrong to them.)

The fallacy is much more rarely committed in matters of positive science, since relatively few people would fail to see the fallacy in arguments such as:

Just about everyone in Ptolemy's day was convinced that the Sun travelled around the Earth. Therefore, the Sun travelled around the Earth in Ptolemy's day.

There are a few exceptions to this rule--specifically, it is likely to be committed when trying to convince a person that certain widely unpopular beliefs are false. For example:

Throughout history, most people have believed in some sort of God. Therefore, you should also believe in God.

It's worth noting that the argument from belief is closely related to certain other logical fallacies that involve confusion between justification and widespread belief amongst a given group of people.

If the group whose beliefs are appealed to is a group of putative experts, then the argument from belief takes on the form of an appeal to authority; if the group whose beliefs are appealed to is a group of respected elders or the members of one's community over a long period of time, then the argument from belief takes on the form of an appeal to tradition.

Further, as with appeals to authority or to tradition, there are some limited circumstances in which an argument from belief may not be a fallacy. For example, when the subject being considered are the results of democratic processes, points of etiquette, or other matters of social convention, arguments of the following form may be valid:

  1. Most people in Russia think that it is polite for men to kiss each other in greeting. Therefore, it is polite for men to kiss each other in greeting in Russia.
  2. Nearly all Americans think that you should drive on the right side of the road. Therefore, you should drive on the right side of the road in the United States.

Biconditional: The sentential connective ↔, "if and only if."

Bida: (Islam) An innovation in Muslim belief or practice; the converse of sunna, the alleged practice of the prophet.

Bijection: A map which is bijective, in other words every member of the range corresponds to exactly one member of the domain, and vice versa. A transformation which is one-to-one and ontoBrahma: (Skr.) The creator or creative principle of the universe, main figure of the Hindu trinity (see Trimurti).

Blasphemy: Mockery of or obscene reference to an entity that is worshipped. All blasphemy laws violate human rights for free speech and liberty of belief.

Boson: An integral spin particle to which Bose-Einstein statistics apply. Such particles do not follow the Pauli Exclusion Principle. Photons, pions, alpha particles, and nuclei of even mass numbers are examples of bosons.

Bourgeoisie: (Fr.) the class of urban, commercial, banking, manufacturing and shipping entrepreneurs which, at the close of the middle ages was strong enough, by virtue of its command of developing techniques, to challenge the economic power of the predominantly rural and agricultural (manorial) feudal nobility, and to supplant the latter in point of economic and social leadership.

Brahma: (Skr.) The creator or creative principle of the universe, main figure of the Hindu trinity (see Trimurti).

Burden of proof: "Burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this".

For example, if a person says "The Chinese government is plotting to poison our water supply" it is that person's burden of proof to prove this plot is actually occurring. If he can provide evidence that shows that the plot exists, then it becomes the sceptic’s burden of proof to disprove the claim with facts of his own.

Buddhism: The multifarious forms, philosophic, religious, ethical and sociological, which the teachings of Gautama Buddha have produced. They centre around the main doctrine of the catvari arya-satyani, the four noble truths, the last of which enables one in eight stages to reach nirvana: Right views, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

In the absence of contemporary records of Buddha and Buddhist teachings, much value was formerly attached to the palm leaf manuscripts in Pali, a Sanskrit dialect; but recently a good deal of weight has been given also the Buddhist tradition in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. Buddhism split into Mahayanist and Hinayanist, each of which, but particularly the former, blossomed into a variety of teachings and practices.

The main philosophic schools are the Madhyamaka or Sunyavada, Yogacara, Sautrantika, and Vaibhasika. The basic assumptions in philosophy are a causal nexus in nature and man, of which the law of karma is but a specific application; the impermanence of things, and the illusory notion of substance and soul. Man is viewed realistically as a conglomeration of bodily forms (rupa), sensations (vedana), ideas (sanjna), latent karma (sanskaras), and consciousness (vijnana).

The basic assumptions in ethics are the universality of suffering and the belief in a remedy. Each one may become a Buddha, an enlightened one. Also in art and aesthetics Buddhism has contributed much throughout the Far East.

Buddhism: Differences between Hinduism and Buddhism The Buddha never preached that there was no god, here merely demonstrated the futility of searching for one. He gave the Hindus an analogy of a man who loved a woman, but did not know which woman. When they said that the man was a fool he asked them, "Are you not the same? You say that this God your father or grandfather never saw, and now you are quarrelling upon a thing which neither you nor your ancestors ever knew and you are trying to cut each other's throats about it".

Buddha is not denying that god may exist; only that one should concentrate upon that which one does know or can know. The fact that Buddha did not claim there was a god was used to deny the existence of god by later Buddhists.

They also had support from the view of the ever-changing world; they claimed that no god could exist because he would cease to be a god. Later cosmologies developed within Buddhism allow for the existence of gods and devils, but those creatures are merely souls reborn and serving out their karma before dying and becoming some other life form.

Bundle, Theory of Self: The conception of the self as a mere aggregate of mental states. The designation is an allusion to Hume's famous description of the self as: "a bundle or collection of different perceptions which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement." (A Treatise on Human Nature, Part LV, § 6)

Buridan's Ass: The story of the ass, which died of hunger and thirst because incapable of deciding between water and food placed at equal distances from him, is, employed to support the free-will doctrine.

A man, it is argued, if confronted by a similar situation, would by the exercise of his free-will, be able to resolve the equilibrium of opposing motives. The story of the ass is attributed to John Buridan, a 14th century nominalist who discussed the freedom of the will in his Quaestiones in decem libros ethicorum Aristotelis, 1489, Bk. III, quest I, but is not, in fact, to be found in his writings. (Cf. A.G. Langley, translation of Leibniz's New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, p. 116 n) Dante relates the story in Paradiso, IV.


Calculus: (general) the name calculus may be applied to any organized method of solving problems or drawing inferences by manipulation of symbols according to formal rules. Or an exact definition of a calculus may be provided by identifying it with a logistic system, satisfying the requirement of effectiveness.

In mathematics, the word calculus has many specific applications, all conforming more or less closely to the above statement. Sometimes, however, the simple phrase "the calculus" is used in referring to those branches of mathematical analysis which are known more explicitly as the differential calculus and the integral calculus.

Examples: λ-calculus, MIU-calculus, PI-calculus, SPI-calculus etc.

A simple calculus:

Alphabet: 0, 1

Axiom: 1

Rule: 1x where x is 0 or 1.

Consistence: 0 is not a theorem.

Independence: 1 is the only axiom.

Completeness: All binary numbers n> 0 and only those are theorems.

Example of theorem: 1011


1 (axiom)

10 (using rule)

101 (using rule)

1011 (using rule)

Capitalism: A mode of economic production which is characterized by the fact that the instruments of production (land, factories, raw materials, etc.) are controlled to a greater or lesser extent by private individuals or groups.

Since the control an individual can exercise over means of production is never absolute and as a matter of fact fluctuates widely with the ever-changing natural and social environment, "capitalism" is a very loose term which covers a host of actually different economic systems.

An implication of this basic notion of individual control is that the individual will control production in his own interests. The ideological counterpart to this fact is the concept of "profit," just as the ideological counterpart to the control itself is the myth of "private property" and "free enterprise."

Cardinal numbers: In mathematics, cardinal numbers, or cardinals for short, are numbers used to denote the size of a set. Since mathematics is often concerned with infinite objects, a study of cardinality tries to discuss the size of infinite sets. אo is the cardinal number of integers, c is the cardinal number of real numbers and אo, א1, 2א ,... .are thefollowing cardinal numbers

The continuum hypothesis says that c = אo.

Exercise: We will take an arbitrary irrational number, for example pi = 11.00100100 00111111 01101010 10001000 10000101 10100011 00001000 11010011…

We will form a sequence of the new sets of numbers:

Set 0: pi

Set 1: All numbers which we can get changing one bit in pi, for example

n =10.00100100 00111111 01101010 10001000 10000101 10100011 00001000 11010011…

Set 2: All numbers which we can get changing two bits in pi, for example

n =11.11100100 00111111 01101010 10001000 10000101 10100011 00001000 11010011…

Set n: All numbers which we can get changing n bits in pi, for example

n =11.00101100 00111111 01111010 10001001 10000101 10101001 00001000 11010011…

Set last: Complement of pi, we will change all bits in pi.

Question: Which is the cardinal number of the union of the sets Set 0, Set1, Set2…Set last?

Cardinal virtues: The cardinal virtues for a given culture are those which it regards as primary, the others being regarded either as derived from them or as relatively unimportant. Thus the Greeks had four, wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice.

Categorical Imperative: (Kant. Ger. kategorischer Imperativ) the supreme, absolute moral law of rational, self-determining beings, distinguished from hypothetical or conditional imperatives which admit of exceptions. Kant formulated the categorical imperative as follows "Act on maxims which can at the same time have for their object themselves as universal laws of nature."

Category mistake: (Gilbert Ryle) The mistake to think of mind and matter as two different varieties of the one category, stuff. There is only one lump of stuff in my head, which is my brain.

Causality: The relationships hold between events, objects or states of affairs. (Implicit or axiomatic definition of causality)

  1. The first event A (the cause) is a the cause (reason) that brings about the second event B (the effect)
  2. The first event A chronologically precedes the second event B (in some cases, a simple spatial or even conceptual separation is accepted: "Tides are caused by the moon", "Day is caused by the rotation of the Earth", "Lightning causes thunder")
  3. Events like A are consistently followed by events like B

CE: CE stands for "Common Era." It is a relatively new term that is experiencing increased usage and is eventually expected to replace AD. The latter is an abbreviation for "Anno Domini" in Latin or "the year of the Lord" in English. The latter refers to the approximate birth year of Yeshua ben Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ). CE and AD have the same and value. 2004 CE = 2004 AD. Many atheists think that there was no Jesus.

Chaos: (Gr. chaos) the formless, confused, completely disorderly, absolutely lawless.

Circular evidence: (Lat, circulus in probando) Proof or evidence involving premises which assume the conclusion which is to be established.

Class: or set or aggregate (in most connections the words are used synonymously) can best be described by saying that classes are associated with monadic propositional functions (in intension -- i.e., properties) in such a way that two propositional functions determine the same class if and only if they are formally equivalent.

A class thus differs from a propositional function in extension only in that it is not usual to employ the notation of application of function to argument in the case of classes (see the article Propositional function). Instead, if a class is a determined by a propositional function A, we say that x is a member of a (in symbols xa) if and only if A(x).

Whitehead and Russell, by introducing classes into their system only as incomplete symbols, "avoid the assumption that there are such things as classes." Their method (roughly) is to reinterpret a proposition about a class determined by a propositional function A as being instead an existential proposition, about some propositional function formally equivalent to A.

Coarsening: Kari Enqvist’s view: Emergence means ‘coarsening’ and the losing of information relating to the description of reality.

Examples: Statistical thermodynamics, classical electrodynamics, thinking of an animal etc.

Cognition: (Lat. cognoscere, to know) Knowledge in its widest sense including:

  1. Non-propositional apprehension (perception, memory, introspection, etc.) as well as
  2. Propositions or judgments expressive of such apprehension.

Cognition, along with conation and affection, are the three basic aspects or functions of consciousness.

Coherence Theory of Truth: Theory of knowledge which maintains that truth is a property primarily applicable to any extensive body of consistent propositions and derivatively applicable to any one proposition in such a system by virtue of its part in the system.

Completeness: In (general) calculus: All true formulas are derivable from axioms (using rules).

Collision: A close approach of two or more particles, photons, atoms or nuclei during which quantities such as energy, momentum, and charge may be exchanged.

Combinatory Logic: A branch of mathematical logic, which has been extensively investigated by Curry, and which is concerned with analysis of processes of substitution, of the use of variables generally, and of the notion of a function. The program calls, in particular, for a system of logic in which variables are altogether eliminated, their place being taken by the presence in the system of certain kinds of function symbols.

Common Sense Realism: A school of Scottish thinkers founded by Thomas Reid (1710-96) which attempted to set up a theory of knowledge which would support the realistic belief of the man on the street. The school began a movement of protest against Locke's theory which led to an eventual subjective idealism and scepticism.

Communism: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs (Karl Marx).

Commutative law is any law of the form

x o y = y o x, 

or with the biconditional, etc., replacing equality -- compare Associative law. Commutative laws of addition and multiplication hold in arithmetic, also in the theory of real numbers, etc. In the propositional calculus there are commutative laws of conjunction, kinds of disjunction, the biconditional, alternative denial and it’s dual; also corresponding laws in the algebra of classes.

Concept: (kŏn'sĕpt') pronunciation

  1. A general idea derived or inferred from specific instances or occurrences.
  2. Something formed in the mind; a thought or notion. See synonyms at idea.
  3. A scheme; a plan: “began searching for an agency to handle a new restaurant concept”

Concepts are human ideas; concepts are not parts of the material reality. Concepts can be contracts between people but in general concepts are a part of human power structure.

Conceptualism: A solution of the problem of universals which seeks a compromise between extreme nominalism (generic concepts are signs which apply indifferently to a number of particulars) and extreme realism (generic concepts refer to subsistent universals). Conceptualism offers various interpretations of conceptual objectivity.

  1. the generic concept refers to a class of resembling particulars,
  2. the object of a concept is a universal essence pervading the particulars, but having; no reality apart from them,
  3. Concepts refer to abstracta, that is to say, to ideal objects envisaged by the mind but having no metaphysical status.

Conditioning: a learning process in which an organism's behaviour becomes dependent on the occurrence of a stimulus in its environment

Conscience: Part of superego: the part of the superego that passes judgment on thought and behaviour to the ego for further consideration, depends both genes and conditioning


  1. an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation; "he lost consciousness"
  2. having knowledge of; "he had no awareness of his mistakes"; "his sudden consciousness of the problem he faced"; "their intelligence and general knowingness was impressive"

Consciousness is an electrochemical mechanism. To explain consciousness we will not need quantum mechanics or nonmaterial substance (soul).

Consequences: Most atheists’ value consequential ethics.

Conservatism: The disposition and tendency to preserve what is established; opposition to change; the habit of mind; or conduct, of a conservative.

Consistency: In (general) calculus: there are formulas which are not true (derivable from axioms using rules).

Constant: A constant is a symbol employed as an unambiguous name -- distinguished from a variable

Contingency: (Lat. contingere, to touch on all sides) in its broadest philosophical usage a state of affairs is said to be contingent if it may and also may not be.

Contradiction: In ordinary language a sentence of the form: “p and (no p)”. In formal logic contradiction is a formula 

p ¬p

In (general) calculus: Lack of the consistence.

Contradictio in adjecto: A logical inconsistency between a noun and its modifying adjective. A favourite example is the phrase "round square.

Convention: (Lat. conveniens, suitable) any proposition whose truth is determined not by fact but by social agreement or usage. In Democritus, "Sweet is sweet, bitter is bitter, colour is colour by convention (nomoi)."

Conventionalism: Any doctrine according to which a priori truth, or the truth of propositions of logic, or the truth of propositions (or of sentences) demonstrable by purely logical means, is a matter of linguistic or postulational convention (and thus not absolute in character). H. Poincare regarded the choice of axioms as conventional.

Complementarity: In Physics, "complementarity" is a theory of quantum theory, and refers to effects such as the wave-particle duality, in which different measurements made on a system reveal it to have either particle-like or wave-like properties. Niels Bohr is usually associated with this concept; in the orthodox form, it is stated that a quantum mechanical system consisting of a boson or fermion can either behave as a particle or as wave, but never simultaneously as both.

A less orthodox interpretation is the "duality condition," described by the inequality due to Englert (see Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 77, 2154 (1996)), which allows wave and particle attributes to co-exist, but postulates that a stronger manifestation of the particle nature leads to a weaker manifestation of the wave nature and vice versa.

In March 2004, Shahriar S. Afshar announced at Harvard University the results of a variation on the similar two-pin-hole "which-way" experiment, in which he claims to have disproved Bohr's Principle of Complementarity, also reported in the July 24, 2004 edition of New Scientist.

[1] (http://www.sciencefriday.com/images/

[2] (http://my.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/webevent

[3] (http://www.irims.org/quant-ph/030503/)

Using his experiment it is possible to detect interference fringes even when observing the path of a photon stream. If his results are verified, it has far-reaching implications for the understanding of the quantum world, and potentially challenges the Copenhagen interpretation, and also the Many-worlds interpretation which predicts that there should be no interference between wave functions in universes that are physically distinguishable.

Confirmation, Confirmable: See Verification

Copula: The traditional analysis of a proposition into subject and predicate involves a third part, the copula (is, are, is not, are not), binding the subject and predicate together into an assertion either of affirmation or of denial.

It is now, however, commonly held that several wholly different meanings of the verb to be should be distinguished in this connection, including at least the following:

predication of a monadic propositional function of its argument (the sun is hot, 7 is a prime number, mankind is numerous); formal implication (gold is heavy, a horse is a quadruped, mankind is sinful); identity (China is Cathay, that is the sun, I am the State); formal equivalence (lightning is an electric discharge between parts of a cloud and the earth).

Corollary: (Lat. corollarium, corollary) an immediate consequence of a theorem

Corrective Justice: Justice as exhibited in the rectification of wrongs committed by members of a community in their transactions with each other; distinguished from distributive justice

Correspondence Theory of Truth: The theory that the truth of propositions is determined by the existence of some one-one correspondence between the terms of the proposition and the elements of some fact. Supporters of this view differ as to the nature of the determinate relation by which the alleged correspondence is constituted.

Cosmology: A branch of thinking which treats of the origin and structure of the universe.

Cosmopolis: (Cosmopolitan) A type of universalism, derived first from the Cynic doctrine of the cosmopolis which proclaimed that the family and the city were artificial and that the wise man was the cosmopolitan. Taught also by the Cyrenaics. Later with the Stoics it came to mean a franchise of world citizenship with no differences as to class and race, a doctrine not always followed by the Roman Stoics.

Counting: (Lat. computare, to reckon, compute) The process of determining the number of a class of objects by establishing a one-to-one correspondence between the class in question and a portion of the class of natural numbers beginning with 1 and ordered in the usual way.

Credo quia absurdum est: Literally, I believe because it is absurd. Although these particular words are often wrongly attributed to Tertullian (born middle of the 2nd century) they nevertheless convey the thought of this Latin church father who maintained the rule of faith on the basis of one's trust in the commands and authority of Christ rather than upon the compulsion of reason or truth. To believe in the absurd, in other words, is to reveal a greater faith than to believe in the reasonable.

Credo ut intelligam: Literally, I believe in order that I may understand. A principle which affirms that after an act of faith a philosophy begins, held by such thinkers as Augustine, Anselm, Duns Scotus and many others.

Culture = general power structure


  1. Behaviour patterns participated in by persons as members of a group, contrasted with personal or random group behaviour patterns, including folkways, conventions, mores, institutions.
  2. Behaviour patterns long established in a group as contrasted with newly enacted laws or newly acquired conduct practices.
  3. Group behaviour patterns which are un-enforced (folkways) or moderately enforced (conventions) or morally enforced (mores) as contrasted with institutions which are legally enforced.

Cynics: A school of Greek Philosophy, named after the gymnasium Cynosarges, founded by Antisthenes of Athens, friend of Socrates. Man's true happiness, the Cynics taught, lies in right and intelligent living, and this constitutes for them also the concept of the virtuous life.

For the Cynics, this right and virtuous life consists in a course of conduct which is as much as possible independent of all events and factors external to man. This independence can be achieved through mastery over one's desires and wants.

The Cynics attempted to free man from bondage to human custom, convention and institution by reducing man's desires and appetites to such only as are indispensable to life and by renouncing those which are imposed by civilization. In extreme cases, such as that of Diogenes, this philosophy expressed itself in a desire to live the natural life in the midst of the civilized Greek community.


Dar al-Harb: (Islam) The abode of war, i.e., territory not under Muslim sovereignty, against which warfare for the propagation of Islam is licit. The converse of Dar al-Islam, the abode of Islam

Dark energy (in standard cosmology): Because of its repulsive nature, dark energy would tend to cause the expansion of the universe to accelerate, rather than slow down as would be expected in the traditional view of a purely matter dominated universe. An accelerating universe is what appears to be observed by looking at the most distant supernovae.

Dark matter (in standard cosmology): Dark matter is matter that cannot be detected by its emitted radiation but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter such as stars and galaxies. Estimates of the amount of matter in the universe based on gravitational effects consistently suggest that there is far more matter than is directly observable.

With gravitational theory and new computer analyses, astronomers have now been able to work out where the dark matter appears to be. The results are just what you would expect if dark matter and galaxies are clustered in exactly the same way. Galaxies themselves also show signs of being composed largely of dark matter – for instance the rotation curves in and indeed the very existence of our galaxy's disc are most easily explained if the galaxy contains an extended dark matter halo.

Knowing where the dark matter is also reveals how much of it exists: About seven time’s as much as ordinary matter

Darwinism: A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.

Death: the end of life

Decay: A transformation in which an atom, nucleus, or subatomic particle changes into two or more objects whose total rest energy is less than the rest energy of the original object.

Deduction: For any sentence S, relative to a set of sentences K, a finite sequence of sentences whose last sentence is S (the one said to be deduced) and which is such that each sentence in the sequence is an axiom or an element of K, or follows from preceding sentences in the sequence by a rule of inference.

Deductions are relative to particular sets of axioms and rules of inference, as a given sequence of sentences may be a deduction relative to one set of axioms and rules and not to another.

Some use the term 'deduction' in a general sense to denote the fact that a conclusion follows necessarily from the premises.

Definition: Implicit definition using axioms. Explicit definition is the definition using other terms. An ostensive definition conveys the meaning of a term by pointing out examples of what is defined by it. An operational definition of a quantity is a specific process whereby it is measured. n mathematics and computer science, recursion is a particular way of specifying (or constructing) a class of objects (or an object from a certain class) with the help of a reference to other objects of the class: a recursive definition defines objects in terms of the already defined objects of the class. A stipulative definition is a type of definition in which a new or currently-existing term is given a new meaning for the purposes of argument or discussion in a given context. This new definition may, but does not necessarily, contradict the dictionary (lexical) definition of the term. Because of this, a stipulative definition cannot be "correct" or "incorrect"; it can only differ from other definitions.

Deism: (Lat. deus, god) By many writers the term covers the view that God has no immediate relation with the world, God indeed is responsible for the world but for reasons unknown or conjectured God has no commerce with it; accordingly, the supplications and hopes of men are illusory and fruitless. This doctrine is sometimes referred to as the "absentee landlord" view. Deism, it is clear, is a form of theism,

Delusion: (Lat. de + ludere, to play) Erroneous or non-veridical cognition. The term is properly restricted to perception, memory and other non-inferential forms of knowledge but is at times extended to include inferential beliefs and theories. See Veridical. The two principal types of delusion are (a) illusion or partially delusive cognition, e.g. the ordinary distortions of sense and memory which nevertheless have a basis in fact, and (b) hallucination or totally delusive cognition such as dreams, pseudo-memories, etc. to which nothing corresponds in fact. See Illusion; Hallucination.

Demonology: Referring to a study of the widespread religious ideas of hostile superhuman beings called demons. These creatures were generally thought of as inhabiting a super- or under-world and playing havoc with the fortunes of man by bringing about diseases, mental twists and calamities in general. Ridding an individual supposedly held in possession by such a demon was an ancient practice (technically known as "exorcism") and continued in some Christian liturgies even to our own day.

Demonology as a theory of demonic behaviour throve among the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, post-exilic Hebrews, Jews, Greeks and many scattered peoples including the hoary ancients. Elaborate demonic ideas appear in the Mohammedan’s religion.

Demonstration: (Lat. de + monstrare, to show) Proof of a proposition by disclosure of the deductive processes by which it can be inferred.

Deontological ethics: Any ethics which does not make the theory of obligation entirely dependent on the theory of value, holding that an action may be known to be right without a consideration of the goodness of anything, or at least that an action may be right and be known to be so even though it does not flow from the agent's best motive (or even from a good one) and does not, by being performed, bring into being as much good as some other action open to the agent. Opposed to axiological ethics, also called formalism and intuitionism

Determinism: (Lat. de + terminus, end) the doctrine that every fact in the universe is guided entirely by law. Contained as a theory in the atomism of Democritus of Abdera (q.v.), who reflected upon the impenetrability, translation and impact of matter, and thus allowed only for mechanical causation.

The term was applied by Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856) to the doctrine of Hobbes, to distinguish it from an older doctrine of fatalism. The doctrine that all the facts in the physical universe, and hence also in human history, are absolutely dependent upon and conditioned by their causes. In psychology: the doctrine that the will is not free but determined by psychical or physical conditions.

Dhimmi: (Islam) A member of one of the protected religions, i.e., the non-Muslim religions tolerated by the Muslim state in accordance with the sharia, on payment of certain taxes and on acceptance of an inferior social status.

Difference: The difference of set B from set A is the set of all members of A that are not also members of B. Notation: A-B, or A\B.

Diffracted Beam: Particles exhibit wave like characteristics in their passage through matter. In striking a target the incident beam scatters off nucleons. The scattered waves then combine according to the superposition principle and the peak of this scattered wave is called the diffracted beam. Diffraction takes place when the wavelength of the incident beam is short compared to the interaction distance.

Dimension: There is no good definition for the word “dimension”. If we have a physical body we can say that we will see it in three dimensions. The picture on the paper has two dimensions. Line has one dimension but there is no one-dimensional linen in the reality. Mathematics uses many dimensions which are generalizations of the three dimensional space. Statistics uses many dimensions to represent generalizations from data.

Distributive Justice: Justice as exhibited in the distribution of honour, money, rights and privileges among the members of a community.

Distributive law is a name given to a number of laws of the same or similar form appearing in various disciplines -- compare associative law. A distributive law of multiplication over addition appears in arithmetic:

x X (y + z) = (x X y) + (x X z).

Dogma: A religious belief or set of beliefs as formally defined by a church authority. Sceptics use the term in a derogatory sense to refer to opinions not grounded on evidence but held stubbornly.

Duty: (Ang-Fr. duete, what is due, Ger. Pflicht) Whatever is necessary or required; or whatever one is morally obliged to do, as opposed to what one may be pleased or inclined to do.

Dynamics: The study of the motion of particles under the influence of forces.


Eclecticism: The principle, tendency, or practice of combining, or drawing upon, various philosophical or theological doctrines.

Egoism, Ethical: The view that each individual should seek as an end only his own welfare. This principle is sometimes advanced as a separate intuition, sometimes on the ground that an individual's own welfare is the only thing that is ultimately valuable (for him).

Egoism, Psychological: The doctrine that the determining, though perhaps concealed, motive of every voluntary action is a desire for one's own welfare. Often combined with Psychological Hedonism

Electron: A stable, elementary, negatively charged particle. Electrons have the smallest amount of mass of all the subatomic particles. Electrons may be in bound states around nuclei where they determine chemical properties of elements, may radiate through space as electron beams or g-rays or through conductors to form an electrical current. Electrons are spin 1/2 fermions and interact via the electro-magnetic and weak forces.

Electron Volt (eV): The amount of kinetic energy gained by an electron when it is accelerated through an electric potential difference of 1 volt. It is equivalent to 1.603x10-12 erg.

Emergence = old name of coarsening.

Emotion: Each emotion word stresses thought or understanding, feeling, context or action. Here are some emotion words stressing:

  1. Feeling: tense, cheerful, giddy, delight, thrill, tickle.
  2. Action: blushing, sigh, crying, scowl, smile, giggle, sneer, rage, growl, shyness, annoy, ridicule, irritated, terror, fury, apathetic.
  3. Situation: fears of things, greed, joy of life, jealousy, pity, hope, desire, fright, shock, surprise.
  4. Thought: (all emotions involve thoughts of some kind) guilt, shame, loyalty, love, anger, fear, anxiety, etc.

All emotions involve thinking and it is possible to strengthen positive emotions using rational thinking. It is also possible to weaken negative emotions using rational thinking. It is not wise to “release” emotions. Negative emotions: revenge, anger, guilt, fear, jealousy. Positive emotions: empathy, rational love, pity etc.

Emotive Meaning: Emotive, as distinguished from the cognitive, meaning of a statement is its ability to communicate an attitude or emotion, to inspire an act of will without conveying truth. Exclamations, commands and perhaps ethical and aesthetic judgments are emotive but not cognitive.

Entropy: The entropy in inormation theory


S = -k\sum_{i=1}^np(i)\log p(i)\,\!

p(i) is the probability of the state i.

Ether: Old name of the supposed substance for the electromagnetic waves to move.

Empirical: (Gr. empeirikos, experienced) Relating to experience. Having reference to actual facts

  1. In epistemology: pertaining to knowledge gained a posteriori
  2. In scientific method: that part of the method of science in which the reference to actuality allows a hypothesis to be erected into a law or general principle.

Opposite of normative

Empiricism (greek εμπειρισμός, from empirical, latin experientia - the experience) is generally regarded as being at the heart of the modern scientific method, that our theories should be based on our observations of the world rather than on intuition or faith; that is, empirical research and a posteriori inductive reasoning rather than purely deductive logic.

Empiricism and mathematics Doing mathematics has three empirical problems. First is the halting problem. The second is that all signals have the finite velocity. Third is that the digital memory of the computers has the finite capacity. There are some other minor problems: both man and computer can calculate wrong. There are no big logical problems in mathematics on the contrary Christian and Jew mathematicians claim.

Epistemology: (Gr. episteme, knowledge + logos, theory) thinking which investigates the origin, structure, methods and validity of knowledge.

Ethical relativism: The view that moral is relative -- that the rightness of an action and the goodness of an object depend on or consist in the attitude taken towards it by some individual or group, and hence may vary from individual to individual or from group to group.

Ethics: (Gr. ta ethika, from ethos) Ethics (also referred to as moral philosophy) is that study or discipline which concerns itself with judgments of approval and disapproval, judgments as to the rightness or wrongness, goodness or badness, virtue or vice, desirability or wisdom of actions, dispositions, ends, objects, or states of affairs. There are two main directions which this study may take. It may concern itself with a psychological or sociological analysis and explanation of our ethical judgments, showing what our approvals and disapprovals consist in and why we approve or disapprove what we do. Or it may concern itself with establishing or recommending certain courses of action, ends, or ways of life as to be taken or pursued, either as right or as good or as virtuous or as wise, as over against others which are wrong, bad, vicious, or foolish. Here the interest is more in action than in approval, and more in the guidance of action than in its explanation, the purpose being to find or set up some ideal or standard of conduct or character, some good or end or some ethical criterion or first principle. In many thinkers these two approaches are combined.

Etymological fallacy: This is the mistake of thinking that one can best understand what a word means by understanding its origin.

Eudaemonism: (Gr. eu, well + daimon, spirit) Theory that the aim of right action is personal well-being or happiness, often contrasted with hedonism's aim at pleasure.

Euhemerism: The view that explains religious myths as traditional and partially distorted accounts of historical events and personages; from Euhemerus, Cyrenaic philosopher (c. 300 BCE.), who advanced the theory that the gods of mythology were deified heroes.

Evidence: (Lat. e+videre, to see) any supposed fact which is considered as supporting the truth of a given proposition.

Evolution: The way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development. See Darwinism.

Evolutionary ethics: Any ethical theory in which the doctrine of evolution plays a leading role, as explaining the origin of the moral sense, and, more especially, as contributing importantly to the determination of the moral standard, e.g. the ethics of Charles Darwin, H. Spencer, L. Stephen. Typical moral standards set up by evolutionists are adaptation, conduciveness to life, social health.

Excluded middle, law of, or tertium non datur, is given by traditional logicians as "A is B or A is not B." This is usually identified with the theorem of the propositional calculus, p ⌐p to which the same name is given. The general validity of the law is denied by the school of mathematical intuitionism.

Existence: Instantiation in reality, or actual being. Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate, and Frege proposed that it is a second-order property of those first-order properties that happen to be instantiated. The question of what kinds of things exist is the subject of ontology, as is the even more general question of why there is something rather than nothing.

Existential Philosophy: Determines the worth of knowledge not in relation to truth but according to its biological value contained in the pure data of consciousness when unaffected by emotions, volitions, and social prejudices. Both the source and the elements of knowledge are sensations as they "exist" in our consciousness. There is no difference between the external and internal world, as there is no natural phenomenon which could not be examined psychologically, it all has its "existence" in states of the mind. Existentialists: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Jaspers.

Explanation: An explanation is a statement which points to the circumstances permitting an event to happen (Ernest Nagel).

Explanation, pseudo-explanation: Human manner to invent “explanations” without necessary justification. Examples: Religions, pseudo-sciences etc.


Faqih: (Islam) A doctor of the sharia; a canon lawyer of Islam.


1.Unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.

2.Unquestioning belief in God, religious tenets, etc.

3.Complete trust, confidence, or reliance.

Fallacy: See http://www.iep.utm.edu/f/fallacies.htm

Fallibilism: Belief that some or all claims to knowledge could be mistaken.

Falsify: To prove to be false

Falsification: See

Fatalism: Belief that every event is bound to happen as it does no matter what we do about it.

Fatiha: (Islam) The opening chapter of the Koran

Fatwa: (Islam) The formal opinion of a canon lawyer (mufti)

Fermion: A generic term for half integral spin particles to which Fermi-Dirac statistics apply (total wave function antisymmetric under identical fermion exchange). The Pauli Exclusion Principle applies for such particles (two fermions cannot simultaneously occupy the same quantum state). Examples are electrons, protons, neutrons, muons and hyperons.

Fideism: A doctrine of Abbe Bautain which attempted to justify the teachings of Christianity by the theory that all knowledge rested upon premises accepted by faith. The premises of religion are to be found in the tradition of the Synagogue and Church. This tradition needs no rational criticism because it is self-critical. The doctrine was condemned in 1840 by Gregory XVI.

Finalism: The theory that purpose is present in all the events of the physical order. Teleology

First order logic: Traditional

The set of terms of first-order logic (also known as first-order predicate calculus) is defined by the following rules:

  1. A variable is a term.
  2. If f is an n-place function symbol (with n≥0) and t1... tn are terms,then f (t1... t n) is a term.
  3. If P is an n-place predicate symbol (again with n≥0) and, t1... t n are terms, then P(t1... t n ) is an atomic statement.

Consider the sentential formulas xB and xB, where B is a sentential formula, is the universal quantifier ("for all"), and is the existential quantifier ("there exists"). B is called the scope of the respective quantifier, and any occurrence of variable x in the scope of a quantifier is bound by the closest x orx. The variable x is free in the formula B if at least one of its occurrences in B is not bound by any quantifier within B.

The set of sentential formulas of first-order predicate calculus is defined by the following rules:

  1. Any atomic statement is a sentential formula.
  2. If B and C are sentential formulas, then ¬ B (NOT B), BC (B AND C), BC (B OR C), and B→ C (B implies C) are sentential formulas (cf. propositional calculus).
  3. If B is a sentential formula in which x is a free variable, then xB and xB are sentential formulas.

In formulas of first-order predicate calculus, all variables are object variables serving as arguments of functions and predicates. (In second-order predicate calculus, variables may denote predicates, and quantifiers may apply to variables standing for predicates.) The set of axiom schemata of first-order predicate calculus is comprised of the axiom schemata of propositional calculus together with the two following axiom schemata:

x F(x) F(r) (1)

F(r) →x F(x)  (2)

where F(x) is any sentential formula in which x occurs free, r is a term, F(r) is the result of substituting r for the free occurrences of x in sentential formula F, and all occurrences of all variables in r are free in F.

Rules of inference in first-order predicate calculus are the Modus Ponens and the two following rules:

GF(x) (3)

G x F(x)

G→ F(x) (4)

G→x F(x)

where F(x) is any sentential formula in which x occurs as a free variable, x does not occur as a free variable in formula G, and the notation means that if the formula above the line is a theorem formally deducted from axioms by application of inference rules, then the sentential formula below the line is also a formal theorem.

Similarly to propositional calculus, rules for introduction and elimination of and can be derived in first-order predicate calculus. For example, the following rule holds provided that F(r) is the result of substituting variable r for the free occurrences of x in sentential formula F and all occurrences of r resulting from this substitution are free in F,

x F(x) (5)


Gödel's completeness theorem established equivalence between valid formulas of first-order predicate calculus and formal theorems of first-order predicate calculus. In contrast to propositional calculus, use of truth tables does not work for finding valid sentential formulas in first-order predicate calculus because its truth tables are infinite. However, Gödel's completeness theorem opens a way to determine validity, namely by proof.

First order logic: Traditional, NO BOUND VARIABLES (Erkki Hartikainen’s – system)

Same as above except following new formulas instead of old:

r F(r)x F(x) (r = individual object) (1)


F(r)x F(x)

x F(x) r F(r) (2)


x F(x) F(r)

x F(x) (5)

r F(r)


x F(x)


Example: (2’) if all republicans are stupid, there is a republican George W. Bush, who is stupid.

Example: (1’) if there is Yahveh –god, who is omnipotent, and then there are gods, who are omnipotent.

Exercise: Find semantic tableaux method for logic with for axioms 1’, 2’ and 5’.


  1. In the traditional use: valid independently of the specific subject-matter; having a merely logical meaning.
  2. Narrower sense, in modern logic: independent of, without reference to meaning.


  1. In ethics: the term is sometimes used as equivalent to intuitionism in the traditional sense. See Intuitionism. Also used to designate any ethical theory, such as Kant's, in which the basic principles for determining our duties are purely formal.
  2. In art a form for form's sake, lacking in content.

Formalism (mathematical) is a name which has been given to any one of various accounts of the foundations of mathematics which emphasize the formal aspects of mathematics as against content or meaning, or which, in whole or in part, deny content to mathematical formulas. The name is often applied, in particular, to the doctrines of David Hilbert, although Hilbert himself calls his method axiomatic, and gives to his syntactical or metamathematical investigations the name Beweistheorie (proof theory).

Freedom refers in a very general sense to the state of being free (unrestricted, unconfined or unfettered).

Freedom of action: Our success in carrying out our ends depends in part on factors wholly beyond our control. Furthermore, there are always external constraints on the range of options we can meaningfully try to undertake. As the presence or absence of these conditions and constraints are not (usually) our responsibility, it is plausible that the central loci of our responsibility are our choices, or "willings."

Freethought: Thought unrestrained by deference to authority, especially in matters of religion and government. Its two subjects are intellectual liberation and civil liberties.

Free will: The minimalist account of free will is as the ability to select a course of action as a means of fulfilling some desire. David Hume, for example, defines liberty as "a power of acting or of not acting, according to the determination of the will." (1748).

It is consistent with the goal-directed behaviour of some animals whom we do not suppose to be morally responsible agents. Such animals lack not only an awareness of the moral implications of their actions but also any capacity to reflect on their alternatives and their long-term consequences. Indeed, it is plausible that they have little by way of a self-conception as an agent with a past and with projects and purposes for the future.

Functionalism: An approach that analyzes mental states in terms of what they do, rather than of what they are

Fundamental particle: See Particle, fundamental

Funeral: Sacrificing money to funeral is like burying money.

"...the more money I give my mourners to look sad, the more pleased they look." (Immanuel Kant)

It may be the case that grief behaviour, as other negative emotion behaviour, is simply culturally imposed and learned. Emotion is not merely an internal state, it does involve reason, and it can be changed.


Gamma Ray: High energy electromagnetic radiation (photon, gamma ray) emitted in the processes of nuclear transition, particle annihilation, or charged particle acceleration.

Gauss: A unit of measure for magnetic fields.

Generalization: (Lat. genus, class, kind)

  1. Process of arriving at a general notion or concept from individual instances.
  2. Any general notion or concept.
  3. A proposition stating an order or relation of events which holds without exception; universal proposition.

Genetic: (Gr. genesis, origin) having to do with the origin and the development of anything.

Geometry, axioms: The geometrical axioms are therefore neither synthetic a priori intuitions nor experimental facts. They are conventions. Our choice among all possible conventions is guided by experimental facts; but it remains free . . . In other words, the axioms of geometry . . . are only definitions in disguise. (Henri Poincare)

Geometry of plane circles: See Axioms of Circle Geometry

Gnosis: (Gr. knowledge) originally a generic term for knowledge, in the first and second centuries A.D. it came to mean an esoteric knowledge of higher religious and philosophic truths to be acquired by an elite group of intellectually developed believers. Philo Judaeus (30 B.C. to 50 A.D.) is a fore-runner of Jewish Gnosticism; the allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament, use of Greek philosophical concepts, particularly the Logos doctrine, in Biblical exegesis, and a semi-mystical number theory characterize his form of gnosis. Christian gnostics (Cerinthus, Menander, Saturninus, Valentine, Basilides, Ptolemaeus, and possibly Marcion) maintained that only those men who cultivated their spiritual powers were truly immortal, and they adopted the complicated teaching of a sphere of psychic intermediaries (aeons) between God and earthly things. There was also a pagan gnosis begun before Christ as a reformation of Greek and Roman religion. Philosophically, the only thing common to all types of gnosis is the effort to transcend rational, logical thought processes by means of intuition.

Good: The most general term of approval, both moral and non-moral, whether intrinsic or extrinsic.

  1. In ethics, morally praise-worthy character, action, or motive.
  2. In axiology, two types of good, goodness, or value: intrinsic and extrinsic or instrumental.

Goodness: The extrinsic elections of things.

  1. The positive object of desire
  2. For Plato, coextensive with being
  3. For the Romans, duty
  4. For Kant, that which has value
  5. For Peirce, the adaptation of a subject to its end
  6. In psychology: the characteristic actions which follow moral norms.
  7. Opposite of evil


God: A deity or a god, is a postulated supernatural entity, usually, but not always, of significant power, worshipped, thought holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, or respected by humans. They assume a variety of forms, but are frequently depicted as having human or animal form.

Sometimes it is considered blasphemous to imagine the deity as having any concrete form. They are usually immortal. They are commonly assumed to have personalities and to possess consciousness, intellects, desires, and emotions much like humans.

Such natural phenomena as lightning, floods, storms, other "acts of God”, and miracles are attributed to them, and they may be thought to be the authorities or controllers of every aspect of human life (such as birth or the afterlife).

Some deities are asserted to be the directors of time and fate itself, to be the givers of human law and morality, to be the ultimate judges of human worth and behaviour, and to be the designers and creators of the Earth or the universe.

Godless: An atheist. Godless is a very good word and I hope that people begin to use it. Godless is not a negative word. Spotless is not negative. Faultless is not negative. Flawless is not negative. Blameless is not negative etc.

Gravitation: gravity, gravitational attraction, gravitational force

(Physics) the force of attraction between all masses in the universe; especially the attraction of the earth's mass for bodies near its surface; "the more remote the body the less the gravity"; "the gravitation between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them"

There are several possibilities to explain the gravity:

  1. There is no gravity (Albert Einstein). There is only the curvature of the space. The bending of the light so that we can see stars which are behind of the sun (during solar eclipse) is only curvature of space. The light has no mass.
  2. There is gravity. The bending of the light so that we can see stars which are behind of the sun (during solar eclipse) is caused by the mass of the light. The gravity is the universal force.
  3. The gravity is no universal force but the result of other forces.

Great men: Theory of great men is very popular in history, philosophy and humanist movement. Of course the errors of individual leaders have had serious effects in the history of mankind, but it is very dangerous to use the method of authority.

"Greatest Happiness": In ethics, the basis of ethics considered as the highest good of the individual or of the greatest number of individuals.

Guilt: In ethics, conduct involving a breach of moral law. The commission of a moral offence considered as the failure of duty.

Defection from obligation or responsibility

In the psychology of ethics, the sense of guilt is the awareness of having violated an ethical precept or law.

Opposite of innocence, merit

Guru: (Skr.) Teacher


Hadd: (Islam) (plural) Hudud. Punishment the limits of which have been defined in the Koran and the hadith

Hadith: (Islam) A tradition of the sayings or practice of the prophet. One of the main sources of Islamic law

Hadrons: A particle which interacts via the strong force, either a meson or a baryon.

Hajj: (Islam) The pilgrimage to Mecca.

Halakhah: (Islam) The legal side of Judaism (as distinct from haggadah, the non-legal material).

Half-life: The average time required for the amount of a particular radionuclide (radioactive substance) to be reduced to half its value as a consequence of radioactive decay. Like wise, the average time to decay for an unstable particle.

Hallucination: (Lat. hallucinatio, from hallucinari, to wander in mind) A non-veridical or delusive perception of a sense object occurring when no object is in fact present to the organs of sense.

Hallucination, Negative: The failure to perceive an object which is in fact present to the organs of sense. See Hallucination.

Halting problem: Given a description of an algorithm and its initial input, determine whether the algorithm, when executed on this input, ever halts (completes). The alternative is that it runs forever without halting.

Happiness, pleasure or joy is the emotional state of being happy. Proposed definitions include freedom from want and distress, consciousness of the good order of things, assurance of one's place in the universe or society, inner peace, and so forth. More generally, though, it can be defined as the state which humans and animals are behaviourally driven towards, to counter external forces which would otherwise lead to unhappiness (and presumably eventual death).

Associated emotions include joy, exultation, delight, bliss, and love. Antonyms include suffering, sadness, grief, and pain. The term pleasure (like its opposite pain) is often used to specifically indicate localized, physical sensations, while happiness is sometimes used to refer specifically to a long-term, inner feeling.

Hedonism, Ethical: (Gr. hedone, pleasure) A doctrine as to what entities possess intrinsic value. According to it pleasure or pleasant consciousness has positive ultimate value, that is, is intrinsically good. The contrary hedonic feeling tone, displeasure or unpleasant consciousness is intrinsically bad.

Hedonism, Psychological: (Gr. hedone, pleasure) Theory that psychological motivation is to be explained in terms of desire for pleasure and aversion from pain.

Hermeneutics: Formal study of appropriate methods of interpretation

Hertz (Hz): A unit of frequency equal to one cycle (repetition) per second (cps).

Heteronomy: Submission to the moral authority of external influences

Hijra: (Islam) The prophet's flight to medina from Mecca, in CE 622 on September 20. The Muslim era begins at the beginning of the Arab year in which the hijra took place.

Hindu: See http://www.infidels.org/library

Historicism: Belief that social structures, events, and texts are best to be understood in the context of their historical development. Versions of this view were defended by Dilthey, Lukacs, and Gramsci. More recently, Popper and Hayek criticized the extreme version of this view, according to which the historical outcomes are inevitably determined.

History of Atheism, Finland: See Atheism in Finland

Humanism: Minimal definition of humanism:

"…a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality."

Hyperons: Heavy unstable (short-lived) particles. Hyperons all have half-integral spin (hyperons are fermions), are more massive than either a proton or neutron, include protons or neutrons as final decay products (hyperons are baryons), interact via the strong and electromagnetic interactions (hyperons are hadrons). Examples are the lambda, sigma, xi, and omega particles.

Hypothesis: A general principle tentatively put forward for the purposes of scientific explanation and subject to disconfirmation by empirical evidence.

Hypothetical imperatives: Term due to Kant which designates all statements of the form, "If you desire so and so, you must, should, or ought to do such and such " In such cases the obligatoriness of the action enjoined depends on the presence in the agent of the desire mentioned.


Ibn: (Islam) Son of… Corresponds to Hebrew Ben

Icon: (Gr. eikon, image) Any sign which is like the thing it represents.

Idealism: Belief that only mental entities are real

Ideology: A term invented by Destutt de Tracy for the analysis of general ideas into the sensations from which he believed them to emanate. The study was advocated as a substitute for metaphysics.

The term was used in a derogatory sense by Napoleon to denominate all philosophies whose influence was republican. In recent times the English equivalent has come to mean: 

  1. in some economic determinists, ineffectual thoughts as opposed to causally efficacious behaviour, 
  2. any set of general ideas or philosophical program.

Ijma: (Islam) Consensus of the Islamic community. One of the foundations of law and practice

Illusion: (Lat. in + ludere, to play) an illusion of sense is an erroneous perception arising from a misinterpretation of data of sense because they are produced under unusual conditions of perception, physical, physiological or psychological. Illusion contrasts with hallucination in which the sensuous ingredients are totally absent.

Imam: (Islam) Leader in prayer; leader of the whole community of Islam.

Immortality: (Lat. in + mortalis, mortal) the doctrine that the soul or personality of man survives the death of the body.

Impedance: Opposition of a circuit to an alternating current, equal to the complex ratio of the voltage to the current in complex notation. The equivalent of resistance in a DC circuit

Independence: In (general calculus): No axiom is derivable from other axioms.

Indirect proof: Demonstration of the truth of a proposition from the impossible consequences of its contradictory

Individual: In formal logic, the individuals form the first or lowest type of Russell's hierarchy of types.

Induction: The process of discovering a general principle from a set of facts

Examples of uses of induction: Statistics

Inertia: If you add energy to the closed material system or if you remove energy from the closed material system, it causes changes to the movements of the parts of the system. System can be one material body or very many material bodies.

Inference: The relationship that holds between the premises and the conclusion of a logical argument or the process of drawing a conclusion from premises those support it deductively or inductively.


  1. One who does not believe in a particular religion, especially the religion that predominates in one's own culture
  2. Infidel is one who holds no religious belief. The term is often used when people of two or more different cultures are in the same place at the same time.


1. Bigger than any natural number.

There are various formal set definitions in set theory: a set X is infinite if

(i) There is a bijection between X and a proper subset of X.

(ii) There is an injection from the set N of natural numbers to X.

(iii) There is an injection from each natural number n to X.

These definitions are not necessarily equivalent unless we accept the Axiom of Choice.

2. The length of a line extended indefinitely.

See also infinite loop, infinite set

The symbol ∞ is commonly used to indicate that something is infinite.

Information, measure of: Given an event A of probability p, the information associated with A is therefore defined as

I (A) =def log2 p.

Injection: Injection if it maps distinct objects to distinct objects

Ignostic: Ignostic is one who is without concern about the supernatural or the existence of a Supreme Being. The term "indifferentist" is also used.

Intelligence: The ability to find the truth.

Intension and extension: The intension of a concept consists of the qualities or properties which go to make up the concept. The extension of a concept consists of the things which fall under the concept;

Intersection: Intersection of Sets: The set of all elements contained in all of the given sets.

The intersection of two sets is formed by putting together the elements that appear in both sets. For example, if H = {0, 3, 6, 9} and J = {0, 6, 12} then the intersection of H and J is {0, 6} and is written H ∩ J.

If the given sets do not have any elements in common, then the intersection set is an empty set (Ø). In that case, the sets are said to be distinct.

Intrinsic goodness: The property of being good in itself or good as an end (and not as a means merely) or desirable for its own sake.

Ion: An atom or molecule that is not electrically neutral but instead carries a positive or negative charge.

Irony: Use of language to convey something entirely different from its literal meaning.

Irrational number: An irrational number by definition is one which cannot be written as the ratio of whole numbers. Examples: pi, e, √2.

Islam: See http://www.atheists.org/

ism is a suffix which is used used to form nouns which describe

  1. propositions. Proposition is true or false. Typical propositional ism is atheism: there is no god or no gods
  2. norms. Typical norm ism is communism: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs (Karl Marx).
  3. general opinions. Typical opinion isms are sexism, humanism and feminism
  4. personal opinions Typical personal opinion isms are Thatcherism and Marxism.
  5. attitudes: moralism, sensationalism

You can find muchs of isms from

Do not use ism words!

Isnad: (Islam) The chain of transmitters of a tradition.


Jainism: An Indian religion claiming great antiquity, the last of the great teachers (tirthankara) being Mahavira (6th cent. BCE.), embracing many philosophical elements of a pluralistic type of realism. It rejects Vedic (q.v.) authority and an absolute being, gods as well as men partaking of mortality, and holds the mythologically conceived world to be eternal and subject only to the fixed sequence of six ages, good and bad, but not periodic creation and destruction.

There is infinitude of indestructible individual souls or spiritual entities, each possessing by nature many properties inclusive of omniscience, unlimited energy and bliss which come to the fore upon attaining full independence. The non-spiritual substances are space and time, rest and motion, and matter composed of atoms and capable of being apprehended by the senses and combining to form the world of infinite variety.

Matter also penetrates spiritual substance like a physician's pill, changing to karma and producing physical attachments. The good life consists in the acquisition of the three gems (triratna) of right faith (samyag-darsana), right knowledge (samyag-jnana), and right conduct (samyag-caritra). Salvation, i.e., becoming a kevalin (cf. kevala), is an arduous task achieved in 14 stages of perfection, the last being bodiless existence in bliss and complete oblivion to the world and its ways.

Jesus: See http://www.infidels.org

Jihad: (Islam) The duty of Muslims to fight all unbelievers.

Jinn: (Islam) Intelligent creatures of air and fire.

Jizya: (Islam) The poll-tax paid by dhimmis.

Joule: A unit of energy J such that the heat capacity of water at 15RC is 4.18 J/gRC.


(a) The mental act of asserting (affirming or denying) an assertible content. Traditionally a judgment is said to affirm or to deny a predicate of a subject. As generalized by modern logicians this becomes affirmation or denial of a relation (not necessarily that of predication) among certain terms (not necessarily two). One classification of judgments lists them as problematic, assertor, or apodictic, depending on whether they are asserted as probable (or improbable or possible), true (or false), or necessary (or impossible). Since a judgment in this sense always involves a truth claim it is either correct or erroneous.

(b) That which is asserted in an act of judgment, often called a belief or a proposition. That which is judged may merely be contemplated or considered instead of being affirmed or denied. Opinions differ as to the ontological status of propositions. Some regard them as mental, some as neutral and some as verbal.

Justice: Justice is a concept involving the fair and moral treatment of all persons, especially in law. It is often seen as the continued effort to do what is "right." In most of all cases "right" is determined by either the majority or logic. If a person lives under a certain set law in a certain country, justice is considered making the person follow the law and be punished if not.

In jurisprudence, justice is the obligation that the legal system has toward the individual citizen and the society as a whole.

Justification: One way of explaining the justification is to say: A justified belief is one which we are within our rights in holding. By this is meant, not political rights, or moral rights, but "intellectual" rights.

In some way each of us is responsible for what we believe. We don't just go off and believe anything. We each have an intellectual responsibility or obligation, to believe what is true and to avoid believing what is false. Being intellectually responsible involves being within one's intellectual rights in believing something; in such cases one is justified in one's belief.

Thus, justification is a normative notion. That means that it has to do with norms, rights, responsibilities, obligations, and so forth. The standard definition is that a concept is normative iff it is a concept regarding or depending on the norms, or obligations and permissions (very broadly construed), involved in human conduct. It is generally accepted that the concept of justification is normative, because it is defined as a concept regarding the norms of belief.


Khalifa, Caliph: The successor of the prophet, and thus head of all Muslims, combining in himself both the temporal and religious powers.

Kaaba: (Islam) The cube like building in the centre of the mosque at Mecca that contains the black stone, a meteorite considered holy and dating from pre-Islamic times.

Kafir: (Islam) An infidel, i.e. a non-Muslim

Kaon: K-Meson is an elementary particle of spin 0 having a rest mass about 970 times that of the electron. It occurs in neutral, positive, and negative charge states.

Kharaj: (Islam) Land tax paid by dhimmis.

Kilogram, a new definition: 1 kilogram = ( 9.10938215(45)×10–31) x (mass of the electron).

Kiyas (qiyas): (Islam) Method of reasoning by analogy

Knowledge: weak definition of knowledge: A sentence which is true. Knowledge = true information.

Kinematics: The description of the motion of particles and bodies without reference to the forces associated with that motion.


Lambda Particle: A neutral elementary particle just slightly more massive than the proton. A hyperon member of the baryon family

Legalism, ethical: The insistence on a strict literal or overt observance of certain rules of conduct, or the belief that there are rules which must be so obeyed. Opposed on the one hand by the view, which emphasizes the spirit over the letter of the law and on the other by the view, which emphasizes a consideration of the value of the consequences of actions and rules of action. Deontological ethics is often said to be legalistic.

Legal positivism: Belief that the laws of a society express nothing other than the will of the sovereign that legislates them.

Lemma: (Gr. lemma) In Aristotle's logic a premises of a syllogism.

In mathematics, a theorem proved for the sake of its use in proving another theorem. The name is applied especially in cases where the lemma ceases to be of interest in itself after proof of the theorem for the sake of which it was introduced.

Lepton: A collective term for those spin 1/2 particles (Fermions) which do not undergo strong interactions. The word Lepton was coined from Greek root to indicate that these are light particles. The known leptons (e;, m;, ne, nm) are all lighter than the mesons and baryons.

Liar, paradox of the: The sentence "I am now lying" would seem to be true (because I am lying) only in those cases when it is false (since what I say is the case) and false (because I am not lying) when it is true (since what I say is not the case). Less personally, the statement "This sentence is not true" generates a similar perplexity. These are particular instances of the self-referential semantic paradoxes that have troubled logicians since Epimenides, the Cretan who is supposed to have said, "All Cretans are liars."

Liar, paradox and its solution

In philosophy and logic, the liar paradox encompasses paradoxical statements in which self-reference results in a sentence or phrase being true if and only if it is false, such as "This sentence is false." or "The next sentence is false. The previous sentence is true." The term describes a concept that renders itself false.

The solution is that the paradoxical sentences are open. The error of logicians and mathematicians has been that they have not used the consept of the open sentence.

An open sentence is a sentence which contains variables. Unlike an ordinary sentence, which contains constants, open sentences do not express propositions; they are neither true nor false. Hence, the open sentence:

(1) x is a number

Has no truth-value. An open sentence is said to be satisfied by any object(s) such that if it is written in place of the variable(s), it will form a sentence expressing a true proposition. Hence, "5" satisfies (1). Any sentence which resembles an open sentence in form is said to be a substitution instance of that sentence. Hence, "5 is a number" is a substitution instance of (1).

Liberalism: an economic theory advocating free competition (capitalism)

Lifeconception = conception of life, a part of the conception of reality.

Light, velocity: 299 792458. … m/s

Exercise: Is the velocity of the light rational or irrational number?

Line: Mathematics. A geometric figure formed by points. Ordinary people will understand that the line is the line of the Euclidean geometry. I agree with the ordinary people. In mathematics the line can be a circle but why to call it the line? Why not call it “the circle”. Albert Einstein’s opinion was that the line is the track of the light beam in the empty space. But why call it the line? Why not call it the track of the light beam?


  1. Classical: Platonism, Hilbert and most mathematicians
  2. Intuitionistic: Constructivism, Brouwer, Heyting, Kripke…
  3. Explicit: Computation oriented, Skolem, Curry, Church… (λ-calculus, combinatoric logic, program verification, model checking, hardware verification, functional programming, interactive semantics)

Logical empiricism:

  1. All propositions (a proposition is true or false) can be divided to two classes:
    1. Empirical propositions (for example scientific theories) which are verifiable using science
    2. Analytical propositions which are logical (or mathematical in general) or derived from definitions of concepts
  2. The burden of proof (verification) lies with the person who asserts the truth of a proposition. This is a norm for science.
  3. Principle of parsimony or principle of simplicity: a criterion for deciding among scientific theories or explanations. One should always choose the simplest explanation of a phenomenon, the one that requires the fewest leaps of logic.
  4. Empiricism: our theories should be based on our observations of the reality rather than on intuition or faith; that is, empirical research and a posteriori inductive reasoning rather than purely deductive logic.

Logical positivism: see Logical empiricism.

Lutheranism: An ecclesiastical school of thought claiming Martin Luther (1483-1546) as its source and inspiration. The Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith, the free grace of God, wholly without earned merit and institutional sanctions, is emphasized. The essence of the church-community is held to revolve about the pure, revealed Word of God and the sacraments of baptism and communion.


Madrasa: (Islam) A school for Muslim learning

Maghrib: (Islam) Arabic-speaking countries of North Africa, west of Egypt.

Mahabharata: (Skr. "the great [war of the] Bharatas"). An Indian epic of 100,000 verses, ascribed to Vyasa, incorporating many philosophical portions, such as the Bhagavad Gita

Mahayana Buddhism: "Great Vehicle Buddhism", the Northern, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese form of Buddhism extending as far as Korea and Japan, whose central theme is that Buddhahood means devotion to the salvation of others and thus manifests itself in the worship of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Apart from absorbing beliefs of a more primitive strain, it has also evolved metaphysical and epistemological systems, such as the Sunya-vada and Vijnana-vada.

Malevolence: Ill or evil will or disposition -- the will or disposition to do wrong or to harm others. The vice opposed to the virtue of benevolence or good will.

Mana: An impersonal power or force believed to reside in natural objects contact with which infixes benefits of power, success, good or evil. A belief held by the Melanesians.

Manicheism, a religious-philosophical doctrine which spread from Persia to the West and was influential during the 3rd and 7th century, was instituted by Mani (Grk. Manes, Latinized: Manichaeus), a Magian who, upon conversion to Christianity, sought to synthesize the latter with the dualism of Zoroastrianism, not without becoming a martyr to his faith. To combat the powers of darkness, the mother of light created the first man.

As Buddha and Zoroaster he worked illumination among men; as Jesus, the Son of Man, he had to suffer, become transfigured and symbolize salvation by his apparent death at the cross; as spirit of the sun he attracts all connatural light particles to himself. But final salvation from the throes of evil demons is accomplished by ascetic living, reminding of the Hindu code of ethics, and belief in Mani as the prophesied paraclete (John 14.16-17). Revived once more in the Occident during the crusades by the Cathari

Mantra: (Skr.) Pious thought couched in repeated prayerful utterances, for meditation or charm, also the poetic portion of the Veda. In Shaktism and elsewhere the holy syllables to which as manifestations of the eternal word or sound (cf. iabda, vac, aksara) is ascribed great mystic significance and power.

Marxism: The philosophical, social and economic theories developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. A concise statement of the general Marxist position is to be found in the Communist Manifesto.


  1. can be the source of an effect
  2. can be an object of the effect
  3. has an inertia
  4. can have energy (linear, rotational etc.)
  5. The quantitative measure of a body's resistance to being accelerated. 
Mass is a problem for physics and cosmology. There are complicated models to try to compute the masses of the elementary particles but there is not much empirical support to the theories.

Mass, existence: An object has the mass if it can be
the object of the gravity.

Materialism: Matter gives the substance of existing objects.

Matter, strong definition (non-einsteinian definition): everything which can be influenced by gravitation.

Matter, weak definition: everything which can influence or to be an object of the influence.

Maxim, ethical: In general any rule of conduct which an individual may adopt, or which he may be advised to follow as a good guide for action

Meaning: A highly ambiguous term, with at least four pivotal senses, involving

  1. Intention or purpose,
  2. Designation or reference,
  3. Definition or translation,
  4. Causal antecedents or consequences.

Meaning of life: As natural process life is explained using causes (see evolution). As individual or group human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives.

Meme: See http://cscs.umich.edu

Memeless: A person without memes.

Memory: The capacity to recall past experience or information in the present.

Meson: A member of the class of short lived, elementary particles having rest masses between that of the electron and the proton. Mesons are bosons, i.e., have integral intrinsic angular momentum. Examples: pi-mesons (pions) and K-mesons (kaons).

Metalanguage: A language used to make assertions about another language; any language whose symbols refer to the properties of the symbols of another language. (Formed by analogy with "metamathematics", the study of formalized mathematical systems)

Metaphysics: (Gr. meta ta Physika) Arbitrary title given by Andronicus of Rhodes, circa 70 BCE to a certain collection of Aristotelian writings.

Traditionally given by the oracular phrase: "The science of being as such"

Method: (Gr. methodos, method)

  1. Any procedure employed to attain a certain end.
  2. Any knowing techniques employed in the process of acquiring knowledge of a given subject-matter.
  3. The science which formulates the rules of any procedure.

Method of trial and error: Method of solving a problem, or of accomplishing an end, by putting the hypotheses or means to direct test in actuality rather than by considering them imaginatively in terms of foreseen consequences; opposed to reflection.

Methodology: The systematic analysis and organization of the rational and experimental principles and processes which must guide a scientific inquiry, or which constitute the structure of the special sciences more particularly.

Midrash: (Islam) A Jewish term referring to an exegesis, especially of scripture, where the exegetical material is attached to the text of scripture. The earliest collections of midrashim come from the second century CE, but much of their contents is older.

Mill's methods: Inductive methods formulated by John Stuart Mill for the discovery of causal relations between phenomena.

  1. Method of Agreement: If two or more instances of the phenomenon under investigation have only one circumstance in common, the circumstance in which alone all the instances agree, is the cause (or effect) of the given phenomenon.
  2. Method of Difference: If an instance in which the phenomenon under investigation occurs, and an instance in which it does not occur, have every circumstance in common save one, that one occurring in the former; the circumstance in which alone the two instances differ, is the effect, or the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause, of the phenomenon.
  3. Joint Method of Agreement and Difference: If two or more instances in which the phenomenon occurs have only one circumstance in common, while two or more instances in which it does not occur have nothing in common save the absence of that circumstances the circumstance in which alone the two sets of instances differ, is the effect, or the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause, of the phenomenon.
  4. Method of Concomitant Variations: Whatever phenomenon varies in any manner whenever another phenomenon varies in some particular manner, is either a cause or an effect of that phenomenon, or is connected with it through some fact of causation.
  5. Method of Residues: Subduct from any phenomenon such part as is known by previous inductions to be the effect of certain antecedents, and the residue of the phenomenon is the effect of the remaining antecedents.

Mind: (Lat. mens) Mind is used in two principal senses:

  1. The individual mind is the self or subject which perceives, remembers, imagines, feels, conceives, reasons, wills, etc. and which is functionally related to an individual bodily organism.
  2. Mind, generically (in religions) considered, is a metaphysical substance which pervades all individual minds and which is contrasted with matter or material substance.

Modal logic: Study of reasoning about what must or might be the case, as well as what merely happens to be the case.

Modality: (Kant. Ger. Modalität) concerning the mode -- actuality, possibility or necessity -- in which anything exists.

Mishkatu'l Masabih: (Islam) A well-known book of Sunni tradition, much used by Sunni Muslims in India. It was originally compiled by the imam Husain al-Baghawi, the celebrated commentator, who died 1117 or 1122. It was revised in 1336 by Waliyu-ddin.

Mishnah: (Islam) A method and form of Jewish scriptural exegesis in which the exegetical material was collected on its own. The Mishnah of Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (ca. 135-ca. 220) was very influential.

Mohammedanism: The commonly applied term in the Occident to the religion founded by Mohammed.

Moksa: (Skr.) Liberation, salvation from the effects of karma and resulting samsara. Theoretically, good karma as little as evil karma can bring about liberation from the state of existence looked upon pessimistically.

Monism: (Gr. mones, single)

  1. Metaphysical: The view that there is but one fundamental Reality; first used by Wolff, (A Universe) sometimes spoken of as Singularism. The classical ancient protagonist of an extreme monism is Parmenides of Elea; a modern exponent is Spinoza.
  2. Epistemological: The view that the real object and the idea of it (perception or conception) are one in the knowledge relation. (The school known as New Realism; extreme mystics)

Monism, neutral: The doctrine that regards neither mind nor matter as ultimates.

Montanism: A Christian movement dated about the middle of the second century centering about the teachings of the prophet Montanus and two women, Prisca and Maximilla. They distinguished between mortal and venial sins, practiced ascetic ideals and believed themselves to possess the pure type of Christian living on the authority of a special revelation from the Holy Spirit. The movement faded out about the 4th century. Tertullian, famous Latin churchman, was for a time a member.

Moralistic fallacy: Deduction of an is from an ought.

Moral Argument for God: Basing the belief upon the fact of man's moral nature which compels him to make moral assertions about the world and destiny. The argument assumes many forms. Kant held, e.g., that the moral consciousness of man is a priori and compels him willy nilly to assert three great affirmatives; his freedom, immortality, and the existence and high character of God.

Moral Development: Stages of Moral Development

(Lawrence Kohlberg)

I. Preconventional Level

At this level, the child is responsive to cultural rules and labels of good and bad, right or wrong, but he interprets the labels in terms of either the physical or hedonistic consequences of action (punishment, reward, exchange of favours) or the physical power of those who enunciate the rules and labels. The level is divided into the following three stages:

Stage 0: Egocentric judgement the child makes judgements of good on the basis of what he likes and wants or what helps him, and bad on the basis of what he does not like or what hurts him. He has no concept of rules or of obligations to obey or conform independent of his wish.

Stage 1: The punishment and obedience orientation The physical consequences of action determine its goodness or badness regardless of the human meaning or value of these consequences. Avoidance of punishment and unquestioning deference to power are values in their own right, not in terms of respect for an underlying moral order supported by punishment and authority (the latter is stage 4).

Stage 2: The instrumental relativist orientation Right action consists of what instrumentally satisfies one's own needs and occasionally the needs of others. Human relations are viewed in terms such as those of the market place. Elements of fairness, reciprocity, and equal sharing are present, but they are always interpreted in a physical, pragmatic way. Reciprocity is a matter of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your", not loyalty, gratitude, or justice.

II. Conventional Level

At this level, the individual perceives the maintenance of the expectations of his family, group, or nation as valuable in its own right, regardless of immediate and obvious consequences. The attitude is not only one of conformity to personal expectations and social order, but of loyalty to it, of actively maintaining, supporting, and justifying the order and identifying with the persons or group involved in it. The level consists of the following two stages:

Stage 3: The interpersonal concordance or "good boy-nice girl" orientation Good behaviour is what pleases or helps others and is approved by them. There is much conformity to stereotypical images of what is majority or "natural" behaviour. Behaviour is frequently judged by intention -- "he means well" becomes important for the first time. One earns approval by being "nice".

Stage 4: The "law and order" orientation the individual is oriented toward authority, fixed rules, and the maintenance of the social order. Right behaviour consists in doing one's duty, showing respect for authority, and maintaining the given social order for its own sake.

III. Post-Conventional, Autonomous, or Principled Level.

The individual makes a clear effort to define moral values and principles that have validity and application apart from the authority of the groups of persons holding them and apart from the individual's own identification with the group. The level has the two following stages:

Stage 5: The social-contract legalistic orientation Right action tends to be defined in terms of general individual rights and standards that have been critically examined and agreed upon by the whole society. There is a clear awareness of the relativism of personal values and opinions and a corresponding emphasis upon procedural rules for reaching consensus. Aside from what is constitutionally and democratically agreed upon, right action is a matter of personal values and opinions. The result is an emphasis upon the "legal point of view", but with an additional emphasis upon the possibility of changing the law in terms of rational considerations of social utility (rather than freezing it in terms of stage 4 "law and order"). Outside the legal realm, free agreement, and contract, is the binding element of obligation. The "official" morality of the American Constitution is at this stage.

Stage 6: The universal ethical-principle orientation Right is defined by the decision of conscience in accord with self-chosen ethical principles that appeal to logical comprehensiveness, universality, and consistency. These principles are abstract and ethical (the Golden Rule, the categorical imperative); they are not concrete moral rules like the Ten Commandments. At heart, these are universal principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of the human rights, and of respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons.

Moral Judgment:

  1. Good or bad judgment in moral matters,
  2. Any ethical judgment, especially judgments of good and bad, right, wrong, and duty

Moral Philosophy: See Ethics.

Morals: The term is sometimes used as equivalent to "ethics." More frequently it is used to designate the codes, conduct, and customs of individuals or of groups, as when one speaks of the morals of a person or of a people. Here it is equivalent to the Greek word ethos and the Latin mores.

Moral Virtues: (Gr. aretai ethikai) In Aristotle's philosophy those virtues, or excellences, which consist in the habitual control of conduct by rational principle; as distinct from the intellectual virtues, whose end is the knowledge of principles.

Mores: (Lat. mos, usage) Customs, Folkways, Conventions, Traditions.

Motive: (Lat. motus, from movere, to move) an animal drive or desire which consciously or unconsciously operates as a determinant of an act of volition.

Muezzin: (Islam) The caller of the azan or "summons to prayer." when the mosque has a minaret, he calls from the top of it, but in smaller places of worship, from the side of the mosque, the first muezzin was Bilal, son of a black slave girl.

Mufti: (Islam) The officer who expounds the law. He assists the qadi (qazi) or judge and supplies him with fatwas, or decisions. He must be learned in the Koran and Hadith, and in the Muslim works of law.

Muon: A charged elementary particle having a mass about 207 times that of the electron. It decays into an electron and two neutrinos.

Mulla (mullah): (Islam) A member of the ulama.

Mysticism: Belief in direct apprehension of divine or eternal reality by means of spiritual contemplation distinct from more ordinary avenues of human knowledge.

Myth: (Gr. mythes, legend) A story, symbolically, or affectively, presented, originally, the legends of the Gods concerning cosmogonical or cosmological questions. Later, a fiction presented as historically true but lacking factual basis; a popular and traditional falsehood. A presentation of cosmology, employing the affective method of symbolic representation in order to escape from the limitations of literal meaning


Name: A word or symbol which denotes (designates) a particular thing is called a proper name of that particular thing.

Name relation or meaning relation: The relation between a symbol (formula, word, phrase) and that which it denotes or of which it is the name.

Naturalistic fallacy: Deduction of an ought from an is.

Naturalism: There is no higher tribunal for truth than natural science itself. There is no better method than the scientific method for judging the claims of science, and there is neither any need nor any place for a "first philosophy," such as (abstract) metaphysics or epistemology, that could stand behind and justify science or the scientific method.

Therefore science should feel free to make use of the findings of scientists in its own pursuit, while also feeling free to offer criticism when those claims are ungrounded, confused, or inconsistent: thinking becomes "continuous with" science. (Naturalism is not a dogmatic belief that science is entirely correct; it is the position that science is the best explanation we have.

We have to start somewhere in talking about the world, and we don't have better evidence for anything other than science; yet as we go along we can still change it as we use it.)

Naturalistic ethics: Any view according to which ethics is an empirical science, natural or social, ethical notions being reduced to those of the natural sciences and ethical questions being answered wholly on basis of the findings of those sciences.

Natural Realism: In epistemology, the doctrine that sensation and perception can be relied upon to give indubitable evidence of the real existence of the external world, theory that realism is part of the inherent common sense of mankind. First advanced by T. Reid (1710-1796) and held by his followers of the Scotch school.

Natural Selection: This is the corner stone of the evolutionary hypothesis of Charles Darwin. He found great variation in and among types as a result of his extensive biological investigations and accounted for the modifications, not by sone act of special creation or supernatural intervention, but by the descent, generation after generation, of modified species selected to survive and reproduce the more useful and the more successfully adapted to the environmental struggle for existence.

Natural Theology: In general, natural theology is a term used to distinguish any theology based upon the fundamental premise of the ability of man to construct his theory of God and of the world out of the framework of his own reason and of reasonable probability from the so-called "revealed theology" which presupposes that God and divine purposes are not open to unaided human understanding but rest upon a supernatural and not wholly understandable basis.

Nature: A highly ambiguous term, of which the following meanings are distinguished:

  1. The objective as opposed to the subjective.
  2. An objective standard for values as opposed to custom, law, convention.
  3. The general cosmic order, usually conceived as divinely ordained, in contrast to human deviations from this.
  4. That which exists apart from and uninfluenced by man, in contrast with art.
  5. The instinctive or spontaneous behaviour of man as opposed to the intellective.

Various normative meanings are read into these, with the result that the "natural" is held to be better than the "artificial", the "unnatural", the "conventional" or customary, the intellectual or deliberate, the subjective.

Necessary: According to distinctions of modality, a proposition is necessary if its truth is certifiable on a priori grounds, or on purely logical grounds. Necessity is thus, as it were a stronger kind of truth, to be distinguished from the contingent truth of a proposition which might have been otherwise. (As thus described, the notion is of course vague, but it may in various ways be given an exact counterpart in one logistic system or another.)

A proposition may also be said to be necessary if it is a consequence of some accepted set of propositions (indicated by the context), even if this accepted set of propositions is not held to be a priori. See Necessity.

That a propositional function F is necessary may mean simply (x)F(x), or it may mean that (x)F(x) is necessary in one of the preceding senses.

Necessity: A state of affairs is said to be necessary if it cannot be otherwise than it is. Inasmuch as the grounds of an assertion of this kind may in general be one of three very distinct kinds, it is customary and valuable to distinguish the three types of necessity affirmed as

  1. logical or mathematical necessity,
  2. physical necessity, and
  3. Moral necessity.

Negation: The act of denying a proposition as contrasted with the act of affirming it.

Neomodernism: Post-postmodernism

Neutral primary particles (neutrinos) follow the Galilean transformation and Newton’s laws of the gravity. Exercise: Make a test to prove or disprove this.

Neutrino: An electrically neutral particle of very small (probably zero) rest mass. Neutrinos and antineutrinos can penetrate the earth without appreciable attenuation. Two types of neutrinos exist, one associated with electrons and the other associated with muons. It is currently believed that neutrinos interact only by the weak force. Neutrino is a primary particle.

Neutron: An elementary particle with no charge and a rest mass slightly greater than the proton rest mass. The neutron is a spin 1/2 fermion. It is one of the basic constituents of the atomic nucleus. A free neutron decays with a half life of 12 minutes into a proton, an electron, and a neutrino (beta-decay). The neutron and proton are sometimes considered in nuclear physics to be differing charge states of the nucleon.

Nihil ex nihilo: (Lat.) Nothing comes from nothing; a negative statement of the principle of sufficient reason.

Nihilism: The doctrine that nothing, or nothing of a specified and very general class, exists, or is knowable, or is valuable. Thus Gorgias held that

  1. Nothing exists;
  2. Even if something did exist it could not be known;
  3. Even if it were known this knowledge could not be communicated.

Nihilism, ethical: The denial of the validity of all distinctions of moral value.

Nominal: Having to do with names, nouns, words, or symbols rather than with that which would ordinarily be regarded as symbolized by these verbal forms.

Nominalism: (Lat. nominalis, belonging to a name) in scholastic philosophy, the theory that abstract or general terms, or universals, represent no objective real existents, but are mere words or names, mere vocal utterances, "flatus vocis". Reality is admitted only to actual physical particulars.

Non causa pro causa, or false cause, is the fallacy, incident to the method of proof by reductio ad absurdum (q. v.), when a contradiction has been deduced from a number of assumptions, of inferring the negation of one of the assumptions, say M, where actually it is one or more of the other assumptions which are false and the contradiction could have been deduced without use of M.

This fallacy was committed, e.g., by Burali-Forti in his paper of 1897 (see Paradoxes, logical) when he inferred the existence of ordinal numbers a, b such that a is neither less than, equal to, nor greater than b, upon having deduced what is now known as Burali-Forti's paradox from the contrary assumption he had used without question the assumption that there is a class of all ordinal numbers.

Noncognitivism: A meta-ethical theory according to which moral issues are not subject to rational determination.

Non-Naturalistic ethics: Any ethical theory which holds that ethical properties or relations are non-natural.

Norm: (Lat. norma, rule)

  1. General: Standard for measure. Pattern. Type.
  2. In ethics: Standard for proper conduct. Rule for right action.
  3. In axiology: Standard for judging value or evaluation.
  4. In aesthetics: Standard for judging beauty or art. Basis for criticism,
  5. In logic: Rule for valid inference.
  6. In psychology: Class average test score.

Normative: (Lat. normatus, pp. of normo, square) Constituting a standard; regulative, having to do with an established ideal. In scientific method: concerning those sciences which have subject-matters containing values, and which set up norms or rules of conduct, such as ethics, aesthetics, and politics. Opposite of empirical

Normative ethics: Branch of ethics concerned with developing theories that determine which human actions are right and which are wrong.

No true Scotsman is a term coined by Antony Flew in his 1975 book “Thinking About Thinking”. It refers to an argument which takes this form:

Argument: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

Reply: "But my friend Angus likes sugar with his porridge."

Rebuttal: "Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

This form of argument is a fallacy if the predicate ("putting sugar on porridge") is not actually contradictory to the accepted definition of the subject ("Scotsman"), or if the definition of the subject is silently adjusted after the fact to make the rebuttal work.

Some behaviour is actually contradictory to the label; "no true vegetarian would eat a beef steak" is not fallacious because it follows from the accepted definition of "vegetarian".

In particular, members of religious faiths are often charged with employing this fallacy when they say that no true Christian would do something. The term "Christian" is used by such a widely disparate set of people that it has very little meaning when it comes to behaviour. If there is no one accepted definition of the subject, then the initial argument should be accepted as the definition for the discussion at hand.

It is also a common fallacy in politics, in which critics may condemn their colleagues as not being "true" liberals or conservatives simply because they occasionally disagree on certain matters of policy.

Noumena: Things as they are in themselves


Object: (Lat. objectus, pp. of objicere, to throw over against) In the widest sense, object is that towards which consciousness is directed, whether cognitively or conatively The cognitive or epistemological object of mind is anything perceived, imagined, conceived or thought about. See Epistemological Object. The conative object is anything desired, avoided or willed.

Objective: Possessing the character of a real object existing independently of the knowing mind in contrast to subjective.

Objectivistic ethics: The view that ethics is not relative, that there are certain actions which are right or certain objects which arc good for all individuals alike.

Object language: A language or logistic system L is called object language relatively to another language (metasystem) L' containing notations for formulas of L and for syntactical properties of and relations between formulas of L (possibly also semantical properties and relations). The language L' is called a syntax language of L.

Obligation: This may be said to be present whenever a necessity of any kind is laid upon any one to do a certain thing.

Observation: (Lat. ob + servare, to save, keep, observe) the act of becoming aware of objects through the sense organs and of interpreting them by means of concepts.

Observational Judgment: Any judgment, particular or general, which is based on observation or experience, but especially, and more strictly, any particular judgment based on sense-perception, e.g. ''That is a round tower."

Oligarchy: Literally, rule by the few. Both Plato and Aristotle assumed that the small group most likely to gain control over the governance of a city-state would be those with great wealth.

Omniscience: In theology it means the complete and perfect knowledge of God, of Himself and of all other beings, past, present, and future, or merely possible, as well as all their activities, real or possible, including the future free actions of human beings.

Ontology: study of being or existence as well as the basic categories thereof--trying to find out what entities and what types of entities exist. Ontology has strong implications for the conceptions of reality.

Ontological argument: Name by which later authors, especially Kant, designate the alleged proof for God's existence devised by Anselm of Canterbury. Under the name of God, so the argument runs, everyone understands that greater than which nothing can be thought. Since anything being the greatest and lacking existence is less then the greatest having also existence, the former is not really the greater. The greatest, therefore, has to exist.

Anselm has been reproached, already by his contemporary Gaunilo, for unduly passing from the field of logical to the field of ontological or existential reasoning. This criticism has been repeated by many authors, among them Aquinas. The argument has, however, been used, if in a somewhat modified form, by Duns Scotus, Descartes, and Leibniz.

Operationalism: The doctrine that the meaning of a concept is given by a set of operations.

Opinion: (Lat. opinio, from opinor, to think) a hypothesis or proposition entertained on rational grounds but concerning which doubt can reasonably exist. A belief

Optimism: (Lat. optimus, the best) The view inspired by wishful thinking, success, faith, or philosophic reflection, that the world as it exists is not so bad or even the best possible, life is good, and man's destiny is bright.

Organization: (Lat. organum, from Gr. organon, work) 

  1. A structured whole.
  2. The systematic unity of parts in a purposive whole
  3. A dynamic system
  4. Order in something actual

Orthodoxy: Beliefs which are declared by a group to be true and normative. Heresy is a departure from and relative to a given orthodoxy.

Ostensive: (Lat. ostendere, to show) Property of a concept or predicate by virtue of which it refers to and is clarified by reference to its instances.


Paganism: (Lat. pagus, village) the term probably reverts to the designation of villagers who had not yet been reached by the missionary propaganda emanating from populous centres. Fourth-century Christians employed the term to refer to those faiths and practices outside the circumference of the Christian faith.

Paradigm: The Latin form of the Greek noun, which denotes model. Plato called his ideas in the world of ideas, models on which were patterned the things of the phenomenal world.

Paradox: An absurd assertion.

Hence, the derivation of an unacceptable conclusion from apparently unquestionable premises by an apparently valid inference

Resolution of a paradox requires that we abandon at least one of the premises, refute the process of inference, or somehow learn to live with the unpalatable result.

Paradox: Paradox of relativity: If our fundamental measures are relative, how we can know (knowledge = true information), that they are relative

Parallelism, psychophysical: Belief that even though the minds and bodies of human beings are distinct substances that can never interact with each other causally, it is nevertheless true that their development, features, and actions coordinate perfectly.

Parsimony, Law of: Name given to various statements of a general regulative principle of economy of thought, or effort, in the use of means to attain a purpose, like that of William of Ockham (died about 1349), called Ockham's razor: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. It is interpreted in the sense that the least possible number of assumptions are to be made in the attempt to explain ascertained facts. It has been supposed that the same principle of simplicity prevails in the physical cosmos, since apparently nature employs the fewest possible means effectively to attain the ends which are intended.

Particle: A small piece of matter. An elementary particle is a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks and leptons now appear to be the only elementary particles but the term is often used in referring to any of the sub nuclear particles.

Particle, fundamental: According to Democritus of Abdera (Born: about 460 BCE in Abdera, Thrace, Greece Died: about 370 BCE): Photon

Particular: (Lat pars, a part) A member of a class as opposed to the property which defines the class; an individual as opposed to a universal.

Place The Place in a human abstraction. There is no place in the reality.

Pelagianism: The teaching of Pelagius of Britain who was active during the first quarter of the fifth century in Rome, North Africa, and Palestine. He denied original sin and the necessity of baptism in order to be freed from it. Death was not a punishment for sin, and men can be saved without the aid of divine grace. By justification men are purged of their sins through faith alone. Pelagius was notably influenced by Stoic doctrines. He and his followers refused to submit to the decisions of the Church, which repeatedly condemned their tenets, largely owing to the efforts of Augustine.

Person: An individual capable of moral agency.

Pessimism: (Lat. pessimus, the worst) The attitude gained by reflection on life, man, and the world which makes a person gloomy, despondent, magnifying evil and sorrow, or holding the world in contempt.

Pi as binary number (beginning)

11.00100100 00111111 01101010 10001000 10000101 10100011 00001000 11010011…

Phenomenalism: (Gr. phainomenon, from phainesthai, to appear) Theory that knowledge is limited to phenomena including (a) physical phenomena or the totality of objects of actual and possible perception and (b) mental phenomena, the totality of objects of introspection. Phenomenalism assumes two forms according as it (a) denies a reality behind the phenomena (Renouvier, Shadworth, Hodgson), or (b) expressly affirms the reality of things-in-themselves but denies their knowability (Kant, Comte, Spencer.)

Phenomenology: Description of experience. Hence, a philosophical method restricted to careful analysis of the intellectual processes of which we are introspectively aware, without making any assumptions about their supposed causal connections to existent external objects. Philosophers who have made extensive use of diverse phenomenological methods include Brentano, Husserl, Hartmann, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.

Photon: A quantum (bundle) of electromagnetic radiation. Its energy is proportional to its frequency, and it has a spin of 1 (is a boson). Mass of the photon is very small, some people say that it is less than 10-51 grams but I guess that it is 1,47449927805986 x 10-47 (I do not believe that we will need the divisor √(1-(v2/c2)). The theory of the masses of the elementary particles is in big difficulties.). I think that the photon is not a superstring but a pair of particles. I think that the particle is not a point but a field.

Physicalism: New term for materialism. Also thinking that mental properties, states, and events can be explained in terms of physical properties, states, and events

Philosophy: {Gk. filosofia [philosophia]} Love of wisdom. (Note: not wisdom)

Pion: Pi-Meson. A strongly interacting elementary particle of spin 0 having a rest mass roughly 270 times that of the electron. It exists in neutral, positive, and negative charged states.

Pluralism: This is the doctrine that there is not one (Monism), not two (Dualism) but many ultimate substances.

Poisoning the well is a pre-emptive logical fallacy where unfavourable information about someone is presented to an audience, with the intent of discrediting everything said by that person beforehand.

The origin of this phrase comes from the belief in medieval times that outbreaks of plague were caused by Jews poisoning the water supply. Suggesting that someone was not to be trusted after accusing them of the unrelated crime of poisoning the water was effective rhetoric, but bad logic.


Before you listen to my opponent, may I remind you that he has been in jail?

Don't listen to what he says, he's a lawyer.

Polarization: The preferential alignment of the spin of a particle along a particular axis in space defined e.g. by the electric or magnetic field direction, or the momentum vector of the particle itself.

Polytheism: (Gr. polus, many; and theos, god) A theory that Divine reality is numerically multiple, that there are many gods, opposed to monotheism.

Positivism: First associated with the doctrine of Auguste Comte that the highest form of knowledge is simple description presumably of sensory phenomena. The doctrine was based on an evolutionary "law of three stages", believed by Comte to have been discovered by him in 1822 but anticipated by Turgot in 1750. The three stages were the theological, in which anthropomorphic wills were resorted to explain natural events, the metaphysical, in which these wills were depersonalized and became forces and essences, and finally the positive.

Positron: The antiparticle of the electron. It has the same mass as the electron but opposite (positive) electrical charge.

Possibility: According to distinctions of modality (q. v.), a proposition is possible if its negation is not necessary.

Postdemocracy: see Post democracy

Post democracy:

  1. Plutocracy
  2. Mega-corporations
  3. Media-oracy
  4. Theocracy

Posthumanism: It is now clear that humans are no longer the most important things in the universe. This is something the humanists have yet to accept. All technological progress of human society is geared towards the transformation of the human species as we currently know it.

Postmodernism: Most generally, abandonment of Enlightenment confidence in the achievement objective human knowledge through reliance upon reason. In philosophy, postmodernists typically express grave doubt about the possibility of universal objective truth. Various themes and implications of post-modern thought are explored by Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Rorty, Haraway, and Cixous.

Practical Imperative: (in Kant's ethics) Kant's famous dictum: "So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only."

Pragmatic theory of truth: Theory of knowledge which maintains that the truth of a proposition is determined by its practical consequences.

Predestination: The doctrine that all events of man's life, even one's eternal destiny, are determined beforehand by Deity.

Premise: A proposition, or one of several propositions, from which an inference is drawn, or the sentence expressing such a proposition.

Prescriptivism: R. M. Hare's contention that the use of moral language conveys an implicit commitment to act accordingly

Thus, for example, saying that "Murder is wrong" not only entails acceptance of a universalizable obligation not to kill, but also leads to avoidance of the act of killing.

Prima facie: Latin phrase meaning "at first sight." Thus, in the ethics of W. D. Ross, a prima facie duty is a defeasible presumption that we are obligated to perform an action.

Propaganda = provocative message

Proposition: A sentence which is true or false.

Propositional Calculus

The formal basis of logic dealing with the notion and usage of words such as "NOT," "OR," "AND," and "implies." Many systems of propositional calculus have been devised which attempt to achieve consistency, completeness, and independence of axioms. The term "sentential calculus" is sometimes used as a synonym for propositional calculus.

Axioms (or their schemata) and rules of inference define a proof theory, and various equivalent proof theories of propositional calculus can be devised. The following list of axiom schemata of propositional calculus is from C. S. Kleene (Wiley, Mathematical Logic, 1967).

F→ (G→F)


(F→ G) →((F →(G →H))(F →H))


F →(G →FG)


F → FG


F → GF


FG → F


FG → G


(F → G) → ((H →G)(FH →G))


(F→ G) → ((F→¬G)¬F


¬¬F→ F


In each schema, F, G, H can be replaced by any sentential formula. The following rule called Modus Ponensis the sole rule of inference:

F,F→ G



This rule states that if each of F and F→ G is either an axiom or a theorem formally deduced from axioms by application of inference rules, then G is also a formal theorem.

Other rules are derived from Modus Ponens and then used in formal proofs to make proofs shorter and more understandable. These rules serve to directly introduce or eliminate connectives. Modus Ponensis is basically -elimination, and the deduction theorem is -introduction.

Sample introduction rules include






Sample elimination rules include






Proof theories based on Modus Ponens are called Hilbert-type whereas those based on introduction and elimination rules as postulated rules are called Gentzen-type. All formal theorems in propositional calculus are tautologies and all tautologies are formally provable. Therefore, proofs can be used to discover tautologies in propositional calculus, and truth tables can be used to discover theorems in propositional calculus.

Proton: An elementary particle that is the positive unit charged constituent of ordinary matter. Its mass is 938 mev and has a spin of 1/2. Protons are one of the particles constituting all nuclei. It is currently believed that protons do not decay although experiments are going on to prove that they do have a half life of approximately 1030 years. It is believed that most of the matter in the universe is in the form of protons.

Prudence: {Gk. fronhsiV [phrónêsis]; Lat. prudentia}Practical wisdom; sound judgment in everyday life as distinguished from theoretical wisdom.

Punishment: Deliberate infliction of harm as a moral sanction against offenders.


  1. The quality of being determined to do or achieve something; "his determination showed in his every movement"; "he is a man of purpose"
  2. What something is used for; "the function of an auger is to bore holes"; "ballet is beautiful but what use is it?"
  3. An anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions; "his intent was to provide a new translation"; "good intentions are not enough"; "it was created with the conscious aim of answering immediate needs"; "he made no secret of his designs"
  4. Reach a decision; "he resolved never to drink again"
  5. Purpose or intend; "I aim to arrive at noon"


Qadi (kadi): (Islam) A judge in a court administering the sharia.

Qiyas: (Islam) Analogy, especially in jurisprudence.

Qualities: The properties or features of things, whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic to the thing itself.

Quantum jump: (physics) an abrupt transition of an electron or atom or molecule from one quantum state to another with the emission or absorption of a quantum

Quark: A fractionally charged particle hypothesized by Gell- Mann and Zweig to explain hadron structure. In a simple quark model the proton, for example, is composed of three quarks with charges 2/3, -1/3, and -1/3 of the electronic charge. The quark theory has provided to be a very successful mathematical model. All quarks have been detected at accelerators around the world except for the Top quark. Intensive search is underway at Fermilab for the Top quark particle on which the standard model of particle physics depends. The experimental verification of the existence of the Top quark and an analysis of its properties would provide important unifications in particle physics and insights into the structure of matter.


Radiation: Emitted energy in the form of electromagnetic waves (photons) or ionizing particles (electrons, alpha particles or nuclei).

Ramadan: (Islam) The ninth month of the Muslim calendar, during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset.

Ramayana: (Skr.) An epic poem, ascribed to Valmiki, celebrating in about 24,000 verses the doings of Rama and his wife Sita and containing ethical and philosophic speculations.

Rasul: (Islam) someone sent; an apostle

Rational number: A number that can be expressed as a fraction p/q where p and q are integers and q ≠ 0, is called a rational number with numerator p and denominator q. Examples: 1, -2, ½, 1,234.

Rationalism: Principle that actions and opinions should be based on reason rather than on emotion or religion

Real number: Rational number or irrational number

Realism, perceptual: Material objects exist independently of our perception of them.

Realityconception = conception of reality.

Reality: {Ger. Wirklichkeit} the totality of what is

Reason: The ability to think, form judgments, to draw conclusions, etc. Reason is that human skill which makes sense of the world, and is thereby our means of surviving and prospering in the natural world. The term is often contrasted with faith.

Recursive: Capable of being indefinitely re-applied to the results of its own application.

Reductionism: Statements or expressions of one sort can be replaced systematically by statements or expressions of a simpler or more certain kind.

Redundancy theory of truth: It is always logically superfluous to claim that a proposition is true, since this claim adds nothing further to a simple affirmation of the proposition itself. "It is true that I am bald." means the same thing as "I am bald."

Reference: {Ger. Bedeutung} The relation that holds between a term and the things to which it applies

Reflexivity: A dyadic relation R is called reflexive if x R x holds for all x within a certain previously fixed domain which must include the field of R

Relation: The same as dyadic propositional function

Relativism: The view that truth is relative and may vary from individual to individual, from group to group, or from time to time, having no objective standard.

Relativism, Epistemological: The theory that all human knowledge is relative to the knowing mind and to the conditions of the body and sense organs.

Relativity, general: Because the light has an impulse the gravitational field will bend it and it is possible to assert, that the space is curved, not the track of the light.

Relativity, special: Because light has an impulse, the velocity of light seems to be constant in the system with rectilinear motion.

Relativity: Links to the pages which
are against general or special relativity

Religion: Organized theism

Religion, Promethean: An anarchistic piety which refrains from making past or present revolutionary doctrine the basis of new tyranny. (Montague)

Renaissance: (Lat. re + nasci, to be born) Is a term used by historians to characterize various periods of intellectual revival, and especially that which took place in Italy and Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Representative Realism: The view that in the knowing process our ideas are representations or ambassadors of the real external world.

Responsibility: Accountability for the actions one performs and the consequences they bring about, for which a moral agent could be justly punished or rewarded. Moral responsibility is commonly held to require the agent's freedom to have done otherwise.

Revelation: The communication to man of the Divine Will.

Rhetoric: (Gr. Rhetor, public speaker) Art turned to the practical purpose of persuading and impressing.

Rotation: Rotation of the material object is not relative. Rotation is possible to measure. Because the rotation is possible to measure, we know that the visible part of the cosmos is not rotating.

Right: In an ethical sense an action conforming to the moral.

Rights: Justified expectations about the benefits other people or society ought to provide.

Rule, ethical or moral: Any general ethical proposition enjoining a certain kind of action in a certain kind of situation, e.g., one who has made a promise should keep it.

Rule utilitarianism: View that an action is right provided that good consequences would follow if everyone acted in the same way


Sahih: (Islam) Authentic, genuine.

Salaam: (Islam) Arabic "Al-Salam" = peace. The ordinary salutations of the Muslim is "al-Salamu alaikum" i.e. "the peace be on you." and the usual reply is "Wa alaikum al-salam" i.e., "and on you also be the peace."

Sharia: (Islam) Islamic law consisting of the teachings of the Koran, the sunna of the prophet which is incorporated in the recognized traditions; the consensus of the scholars of the orthodox community; the method of reasoning by analogy (kiyas or qiyas).

Shaykh (sheikh): (Islam) Old man, leader of a tribe; a title of respect.

Salva veritate: Latin for "saving the truth." If two expressions can be interchanged without changing the truth-value of the statements in which occur, they are said to be substitutable salva veritate.

Sanction: A sanction is anything which serves to move (and, in this sense, to oblige) a man to observe or to refrain from a given mode of conduct, any source of motivation, and hence, on a hedonistic theory, any source of pleasure or pain. Gay and Bentham distinguished four such sanctions:

  1. the natural or physical sanction, i.e., the ordinary course of nature,
  2. the virtuous or moral sanction, i.e., the ordinary actions and judgments of one' fellows,
  3. the civil or political sanction, i e , the threat of punishment or the promise of reward made by the government,
  4. the religious sanction, i.e., the fear of God, etc.

Satyagraha: Sanskrit term (literally, truth-force) used by Gandhi for the practice of non-violence in the face of political oppression.


  1. One who doubts, questions, or suspends judgment upon matters generally accepted.
  2. One who doubts religious doctrines
  3. Those who actively investigate claims of the paranormal are called sceptics.
  4. Universal scepticism is the claim that no genuine knowledge is possible.

Sentence, weak definition: message

Scholasticism: Philosophical study as practiced by Christian thinkers in medieval universities. The scholastics typically relied upon ancient authorities as sources of dogma and engaged in elaborate disputations over their proper interpretation. These practices were largely discontinued by philosophers of the Renaissance.

Science = old name for reality research

Scientia: Latin term for an organized body of theoretical knowledge [Gk. [epistêmê]].

Scientific method: old name for reality research method: A procedure for the development and evaluation of explanatory hypotheses.

Secondary qualities: The extrinsic features that things produce in us when we perceive them, as opposed to the primary qualities the things are supposed to have in themselves. Locke.

Secular: Pertaining to the world, or to things not religious, sacred, or spiritual: temporal, worldly. A Secular Humanist is thus a person of this world whose primary concern is humanity.

Self-deception: Avoidance or outright denial of unpleasant aspects of reality, especially those which might otherwise warrant an unfavourable opinion about ourselves.

Self-evident: Certainly known without proof. The notion of self-evidence is commonly assimilated either to that of a priori knowledge or to that of logical tautology.

Sensation: {Gk.[aisthêsis]} Conscious experience or feeling that apparently conveys awareness of the external world. Empiricists commonly suppose that sensations are the basis for our a posteriori knowledge of the world.

Sense / reference: {Ger. Sinn / Bedeutung} Distinction about the meaning of words introduced by Frege. The sense of an expression is the thought it expresses, while its reference is the object it represents.

Sense data: Immediate objects of sensation, also known as sensa or sensibilia, especially in representationalist theories of perception.

Sentential calculus: See Propositional calculus

Semantics: The study of the relation of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable

Semantic tableaux method: (in logic) The Semantic Tableaux method is a formalisation of proof in predicate logic which works by backward chaining: that is, proof by contradiction rather than deduction. In seeking to establish whether a sentence A is a logical consequence of a set of axioms Γ we instead assume that Γ holds yet A is false- then proceed systematically by a version of the tree method for logical decomposition and hope to find our derivation blocked by contradiction. These contradictions lead us to conclude the original assertion (Γ true but A false) is itself contradictory and hence if Γ is true A must also be. Of course, we may fail to find contradiction in all cases- if we are left with an open branch, then that branch describes an interpretation in which Γ can hold but A is false, so A is not a logical consequence (which requires A true under all Interpretations).

A Semantic Tableau consists of a tree with nodes; using the semantic tableau rules we can extend a tree by adding nodes- in some instances these rules will introduce branches but for very simple proofs there may only be a single branch. The aim is to achieve all branches closed by contradiction- that is, for the branch to contain nodes which both assert and deny some formula B. Our initial nodes are the axioms Γ and the negation of A. It is clearer if nodes are given a number and are then referenced when used to assert new nodes, but this is not necessary if you are confident with the process. Note that you can wilfully misuse the system to never finish at a contradiction because you can uselessly generate new skolem constants forever and hence avoid applying a rule that would close the branch; we will describe the method as having been applied systematically if any operation which is possible on an open branch is eventually done (unless it has already been closed by an earlier application of a rule). Here then are the rules:

Semantic Tableau rules

  • If NOT A is denied, add a node asserting A
  • If (A AND B) is asserted, add two nodes, one asserting A and the other asserting B
  • If (A OR B) is denied, add two nodes, one denying A and the other denying B
  • If (A IMPLIES B) is denied, add nodes to assert A and deny B. This is the only way in which A IMPLIES B can be false
  • If (A AND B) is denied, form two branches, one with a node denying A and the other with a node denying B
  • If (A OR B) is asserted, form two branches, asserting A on one and asserting B on the other
  • If (A IMPLIES B) is asserted, form two branches and add a node denying A on one and a node asserting B on the other
  • This is a special case of OR, since A IMPLIES B is (NOT A) OR B; having this as a rule saves time
  • If (A IFF B) is asserted, form two branches. On one of them add two nodes to deny each of A and B; on the other branch add two nodes to assert A and B
  •  If (A IFF B) is denied, form two branches, but now assert A and deny B on one; for the other we assert B and deny A
  • If (FORALL X) A(X) is denied invent a new skolem constant c and deny A(c). There must be at least one counterexample for NOT FORALL to hold, we'll call it c. This rule can be used repeatedly- but you must invent a new skolem constant rather than use one previously generated by such a rule.
  • If (EXISTS X) A(X) is asserted, again invent a skolem constant c and assert A(c), taking care as with the previous rule to avoid using an existing symbol
  • If (FORALL X) A(X) is asserted, and t is any variable free term, assert A(t). This may be done for any number of variable free terms t, such as those generated by the above two rules.
  • If (EXISTS X) A(X) is denied, and t is any variable free term, deny A(t)
Semiotic: Theory of Signs: A general theory of signs and their applications, especially in language

Semi-Pelagianism: A movement in Christian theology which attempted to find a middle ground between the extreme doctrine of total depravity and predestination as over against the doctrine of the determinative character of the human will in the matter of salvation. The Semi-Pelagian view held that regeneration was the result of the cooperation of divine grace and the human will. Although the view was condemned by church councils in favor of predestination , Semi-Pelagianism has continually reappeared in Christian theology without its label.

Sense Datum (pl. sense data): (Lat. sensus, a feeling -- datum, a gift from dare, to give). A datum conditioned by one of the outer senses.

Set theory: See http://plato.stanford.edu/

Sheffer stroke

p q p | q





A truth-functional connective that suffices to symbolize every dyadic relation between statements

Since " p | q " (or "not both p and q") takes the truth-values illustrated in the truth-table at right, negation can be defined as

" p | p ," and disjunction as " ( p | p ) | ( q | q ) ." From these, in turn, all of the other connectives can be derived.

Shia: (Islam) the supporters of Ali's claims to the caliphate, evolved into the principal minority religious group of Muslims. Includes Twelver shia and the Ismailis

Shiites: A collective name for countless groups of an Islamic sect, small in number, whose basic dogma is that Ali and his descendants are the sole legitimate successors of Mohammed.

Shirk: (Islam) The unforgivable sin of associating anyone or anything with Allah.

Shiva, Siva: (Skr. the kind one) Euphemistic name of the God Rudra, the ultimate destructive principle in the philosophies of Shivaism. One of the trimurti

Shivaism, Sivaism, Saivism: One of the major groups of Hinduism which has evolved, in addition to religious doctrines and observances, also philosophical systems of note, based upon certain Agamas

Simpliciter: Latin for "simply" or "naturally" (in contrast with secundum quid). Hence, what anything is when considered absolutely or without qualification

Sine qua non: Latin for "without which, not;" hence, an alternative way of expressing the presence of a necessary condition

Singular proposition: A statement that some individual has a particular feature.

Sinn / Bedeutung: Frege's German distinction between the sense and reference of a term, intended to account for the possibility of genuinely informative statements of identity.

Social Contract: The original covenant by which, according to certain philosophers of modern times -- Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, etc. -- individuals have united and formed the state.

Socialism: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his work.

Solipsism: (Lat solus, alone + ipse, self)

  1. Methodological: The epistemological doctrine which considers the individual self and it states the only possible or legitimate starting point for philosophical construction. See Cogito, ergo sum; Ego-centric predicament, Subjectivism.
  2. Metaphysical: Sub variety of idealism which maintains that the individual self of the solipsistic philosopher is the whole of reality and that the external world and other persons are representations of that self having no independent existence.

Sophists: Presocratic philosophers who offered to teach young Athenians how to use logic and rhetoric to defeat opponents in any controversy. Socrates and Plato sharply criticized most of the sophists because they accepted monetary rewards for encouraging unprincipled persuasive methods.

Sorrow: Mental suffering or pain caused by injury, loss, or despair.

Soul: (Gr. psyche) In Aristotle the vital principle; the formal cause, essence, or entelechy of a natural organic body.

Soul (Scholastic): With few exceptions (e.g., Tertullian) already the Fathers were agreed that the soul is a simple spiritual substance.

Sound / unsound: Distinction among deductive arguments. A sound argument both has true premises and employs a valid inference; its conclusion must therefore be true. An unsound argument either has one or more false premises or relies upon an invalid inference; its conclusion may be either true or false.

Statement: The content of a declarative sentence employed in its typical use; a proposition.

Stipulative definition: The arbitrary assignment of meaning to a term not previously in use. Although it may be relatively inconvenient or useless, such a definition can never be mistaken or incorrect.

Stoicism: Stoa School of philosophy organized at Athens in the third century B.C.E. by Zeno of Citium and Chrysippus. The stoics provided a unified account of the world that comprised formal logic, materialistic physics, and naturalistic ethics. Later Roman stoics, including Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, emphasized more exclusively the development of recommendations for living in harmony with a natural world over which one has no direct control.

Strangeness: A property (quantum number) of elementary particles found useful to classify hyperons into families. Strangeness is conserved in reactions involving the strong interaction. The selection rules resulting from strangeness conservation are very important in explaining why some reactions take place much more slowly than others. In quark models, the strangeness quantum member is carried exclusively by the "strange quark", and hadrons exhibiting nonzero strangeness contain this quark as a constituent.

String theory, description of elementary particles based on one-dimensional curves, or “strings,” instead of point particles. Superstring theory, which is string theory that contains a kind of symmetry, is known as super symmetry. The strings are embedded in a space-time having as many as 10 dimensions—the three ordinary dimensions plus time and seven compactified dimensions. The energy-scale at which the string like properties would become evident is so high that it is currently unclear how any of the forms of the theory could be tested. As of 2005, string theory is unverifiable. No version of string theory has yet made a prediction which differs from those made by other theories.

Structuralism: Method of interpreting social phenomena in the context of a system of signs whose significance lies solely in the interrelationships among them. Initiated in the linguistics of Saussure and Chomsky, structuralism was applied to other disciplines by Lévi-Strauss, Piaget, Althusser, Lacan, Barthes, Foucault, and Eco. Most structuralists share a conviction that individual human beings function solely as elements of the (often hidden) social networks to which they belong.

Stuff: Objects are composed of stuff (“matter”). This stuff gives the substance of the object.

Subjective: That which depends upon the personal or individual, especially where—in contrast with the objective—it is supposed to be an arbitrary expression of private taste.

Subjective Idealism: Sometimes referred to as psychological idealism or subjectivism. The doctrine of knowledge that the world exists only for the mind, the only world we know is the-world-we-know shut up in the realm of ideas. To be is to be perceived: esse est percipi. This famous doctrine (classically expressed by Bishop Berkeley, 1685-1753)

Substance: {Gk. ousia [ousia]; Lat. substantia} What a thing is made of; hence, the underlying being that supports, exists independently of, and persists through time despite changes in, its accidental features.

Sufficient condition: What logically or causally secures the occurrence of something else; see necessary / sufficient.

Sunna: (Islam) properly, a custom or practice, and later narrowed down to the practice of the prophet or a tradition recording the same.

Sunni: (Islam) a member of the majority group of Muslims usually called orthodox.

Sunnites: Denotes the orthodox, traditionalist, by far the larger numbered Islamic sect which denies the Shiite claim that Ali and his descendants are alone entitled to the caliphate.

Superman: The name given by Nietzsche to what he deems a higher type of humanity, viewed as the goal of evolution.

Supernatural: The supernatural refers to conscious magical, religious or unknown forces that cannot ordinarily be perceived except through their effects. This word is often used interchangeably with preternatural or paranormal. Unlike natural forces, these putative supernatural forces can not be shown to exist by the scientific method. Supernatural claims assert phenomena beyond the realm of current scientific understanding, which are often in direct conflict with current scientific theory.

A concept of the supernatural is generally identified with religion, or unorganised forms of belief, although there is much debate as to whether a conception of the supernatural is necessary for religion

The supernatural is also a topic in various genres of fiction, such as fantasy and horror. Some examples of supernatural phenomena are miracles and ghosts; psychic abilities like psycho kinesis and telepathy are better classified as paranormal than supernatural.

Supervenient: Belonging to or characteristic of something only in virtue of its having other features. Although a supervenient property cannot be defined in terms of, or reduced to, the properties on which it supervenes, nothing possess (or can possess) those properties without also having it. In this sense, Hare supposed that moral properties are supervenient with respect to straightforward descriptions of human conduct, and Davidson proposes that mental events supervene on physical events.

Surjection: A map which is surjective, i.e. every element of the range corresponds to at least one member of the domain.

Symmetry: A dyadic relation R is symmetric if, for all x and y in the field of R, x R y y R x; it is asymmetric if, for all x and y in the field of R, x R y y R x.

Syncretism: (Gr. syn., with; and either kretidzein, or kerannynai, to mix incompatible elements) A movement to bring about a harmony of positions in philosophy or theology which are somewhat opposed or different. Earliest usage (Plutarch) in connection with the Neo-Platonic effort to unify various religions in the 2nd and 4th centuries CE

Synonymous: Having exactly the same meaning in more than one use

Syntactic: Study of the grammatical relationships among signs, independently of their interpretation or meaning, which is the subject of semantics.

Synthesis: The combination or reconciliation of opposed notions; see thesis / antithesis / synthesis.

Synthetic Judgment: (Kant. Ger. synthetische Urteil) a judgment relating a subject concept with a predicate concept not included within the subject proper.

Synthetic statement: is a statement whose truth value depends on something more than just the meanings of the words the statement contains.


Taboo or Tabu: Anthropological term of Polynesian origin applied to persons or things with which contacts are forbidden under severe social and religious penalties.

Tabula rasa: Literally, a blank tablet. John Locke (1632-1704) held that human knowledge came by way of experience. The mind is like a slate upon which experience records impressions. This is a denial of innate, a priori knowledge.

Talmud: (learning) the Jewish compilations that embody the Mishnah, or oral teaching of the Jews, and the Gemara, or the collection of discussions on the Mishnah. The two main forms of the Talmud, the Palestinian (or Jerusalem) and the Babylonian were completed by the middle of the fifth century and the year 500, respectively.

Tantra: (Skr.) One of a large number of treatises reflecting non-Indo-Germanic Hindu and Mongolian influence, composed in the form of dialogues between Shiva (q.v.) and Durga (see Sakti) on problems of ritual, magic, philosophy, and other branches of knowledge. The Tantras, outside the main current of Vedic (q.v.) thinking yet sharing many of the deepest speculations, stress cult and teach the supremacy of the female principle as power or sakti

Tautology: Logical truth.

A statement which is necessarily true because, by virtue of its logical form, it cannot be used to make a false assertion

Teleological Argument for God: (Gr. telos, end or purpose) Sometimes referred to as the argument from design. Events, objects, or persons are alleged to reveal a kind of relationship which suggests a purpose or end toward which they move. Such ends reveal a Fashioner or Designer who guides and directs toward the fulfilment of their functions. This Architect is God. Paley (1745-1805) in his Natural Theology is a classic expositor of the argument. Kant favoured the argument, but held that it leaned too heavily upon the cosmological argument which in turn rested upon the ontological, both of which crumbled when critical analysis is applied.

Teleological ethics: A species of axiological ethics which makes the determination of the lightness of an action wholly dependent on an estimate of its actual or probable conduciveness to some end or of its actual or probable productiveness, directly or indirectly, of the maximum good.

Telos: (Gr. telos) the end term of a process, specifically, in Aristotle, the purpose or final cause.

Term: In common English usage the word "term"' is syntactical or semantical in character, and means simply a word (or phrase), or a word associated with its meaning. The phrase "undefined term" as used in mathematical postulate theory (see mathematics) is perhaps best referred to this common meaning of "term " In traditional logic, a term is a concept appearing as subject or predicate of a categorical proposition; also, a word or phrase denoting such a concept.

Tertium non datur: See Excluded middle, law of.

Thanatism: A term employed by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) to express his doctrine of the mortality of annihilation of the human soul, the contrary of athanatism, immortality.

Theism: Anti-atheism

Theocracy: (Gr. theos, god, kratos, government, power) A view of political organization in which God is sole ruler. All political laws come under what is held to be the Divine Will. Church and State become one. Examples the development of the Hebrew ideal and Judaism, Mohammedans politics, Calvinism in Geneva, Puritan New England.

Theodicy: (Gr. theos, god, dike, justice) The technical term for the problem of justifying the character of a good, creative and responsible God in the face of such doubts as arise by the fact of evil. If God is good, why there is evil?

Theorem: (Gr. theorema, a sight, theory, theorem) Any proposition which is demonstrated in terms of other more basic propositions.

Theoretical definition: A proposal for understanding the meaning of a term in relation to a set of scientifically useful hypotheses.

Theory: (Gr. theoria, viewing) the hypothetical universal aspect of anything.

  • For Plato, a contemplated truth
  • For Aristotle, pure knowledge as opposed to the practical
  • An abstraction from practice
  • The principle from which practice proceeds
  • Opposite of practice
  1. Hypothesis. More loosely: supposition, whatever is problematic, verifiable but not verified
  2. (As opposed to practice) systematically organized knowledge of relatively high generality
  3. (As opposed to laws and observations): explanation. The deduction of the axiom

Thesis / antithesis / synthesis: In the philosophy of Hegel, the inevitable transition of thought, by contradiction and reconciliation, from an initial conviction to its opposite and then to a new, higher conception that involves but transcends both of them.

Thing-in-itself: {Ger. Ding an sich} An object as it is (or would be) independently of our awareness of it; the noumenon.

Time: {Ger. Zeit} Temporal duration. Philosophers have traditionally addressed such questions as: whether time is an independent feature of reality or merely an aspect of our experience; whether or not it makes sense to think of time as having had a beginning; why time is directional and the past and future are asymmetrical; whether time flows continuously or is composed of discrete moments; whether there is absolute time in addition to relations of temporal succession; and whether it is possible to travel through time.

Time is a measure of change. Time is measured using clocks. Time is the only thing we all have common. Time is a restricted resource. Use your time to valuable things. Do not use the time of other people to unworthy things.

Time, natural zero point Now

Token: A particular instance of a word or sign, as opposed to the abstract kind or type it exemplifies. Thus, for example, the preceding sentence is 18 words long (token), but contains only 16 words (type), since "a" and "or" are each used twice.

Totemism: (Totem, Of Ojibway origin) A feature of primitive social organization whereby the members of a tribe possess group solidarity by virtue of their association with a class of animals or in some cases plants or inanimate objects. The primitive conception of the totem as the essential unity and solidarity among the different members of a class of men

Traditionalism: In French philosophy of the early nineteenth century, the doctrine that the truth -- particularly religious truth -- is never discovered by an individual but is only to be found in "tradition".

Transcendent: (L. transcendere to climb over, surpass, go beyond) that which is beyond, in any of several senses. The opposite of the immanent

Transitivity: A dyadic relation R is transitive if, whenever x R y and y R z both hold, x R z also holds.

Tripitaka: "The Three Baskets", the Buddhistic Canon as finally adopted by the Council of Sthaviras, or elders, held under the auspices of Emperor Asoka, about 245 BCE, at Pataliputra, consisting of three parts "The basket of discipline", "the basket of (Buddha's) sermons", and "the basket of metaphysics."

Tritheism: Name given to the opinions of John Philoponus, the noted commentator on Aristotle, Conon, Bishop of Tarsus, and Eugeius, Bishop of Seleucia in Isauria, leaders of a group of Monophysites of the sixth century, which were understood in the sense that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three partial substances and distinct individuals, consequently three Gods. Any similar doctrine is usually called Tritheism

Trivium: (Lat. tres, and viae, three ways) The first three disciplines in the mediaeval, educational system of seven liberal arts. The trivium includes grammar, rhetoric and dialectic

True: True in formal languages: Axiom or derivable from axioms using rules. We do not recommend the use of the word “true” here. The correct word is “derivable” or “correct”.

True: True in empirical sentences: Being a correct coarsening.

Truth: Weak definition of truth (for empirical sentences): An empirical sentence is true if and only if it is a correct coarsening. This definition of truth does not include so called analytical truths. We propose that we use the term “derivable” or “correct” for analytical truths (truths of mat­hematics, logic, definitions etc.).

Types, theory of: The solution proposed by Russell for the self-referential paradox that arises from the notion of "the class of all classes that are not members of themselves." Russell envisioned an indefinite hierarchy of types to be symbolized: ordinary objects; the properties and relations of ordinary objects; the features of properties of objects; etc.; etc. Defining each item by reference only to those of a lower type avoids paradox, but may not resolve every instance of difficulty with self-reference.


Ulama: A scholar, especially in religious subjects; the whole Muslim ecclesiastical class.

Uncertainty principle: A principle of quantum mechanics, according to which complete quantitative measurement of certain states and processes in terms of the usual space-time coordinates, is impossible. Macroscopically negligible, the effect becomes of importance on the electronic scale. In particular, if simultaneous measurements of the position and the momentum of an electron are pressed beyond a certain degree of accuracy, it becomes impossible to increase the accuracy of either measurement except at the expense of a decrease in the accuracy of the other more exactly, if a is the uncertainty of the measurement of one of the coordinates of position of the electron and b is the uncertainty of the measurement of the corresponding component of momentum, the product a x b (on principle) cannot be less than a certain constant h (namely Planck's constant).

Unconscious: Mental activity of which the person engaging in it is not aware; hence a presumed source of unknown internal influences over the conduct of human agent.

Underdetermination: The characteristic of rival hypotheses each of which is consistent with the available evidence. The possibility that every scientific theory must always remain undetermined raises significant doubt about the success of abductive reasoning.

Uniformity of Nature: Principle that what happens once in nature will, under a sufficient degree of similarity of circumstances, happen again and as often as the same circumstances recur.

Universal: (Lat. universalia, a universal) that term which can be applied throughout the universe.

Universalism: The doctrine that each individual should seek as an end the welfare of all.

Universalizabity: Ethical principles must be universal and applicable to all.

Union: Union of Sets: The set of all elements that belong to at least one of the given two or more sets. For example, if H={0, 3, 6, 9} and J={0, 6, 12} then the union of H and J is {0, 3, 6, 9, 12} and is written H UJ.

Utilitarianism: "The greatest good for the greatest number." or: "The greatest good over the least pain."

  1. Utilitarianism is welfarist, holding that the good is whatever yields the greatest utility --'utility' being defined as pleasure, preference-satisfaction, or in reference to an objective list of values.
  2. Utilitarianism is consequentialist, holding that the right act is that which yields the greatest net utility. People have an innate moral sensitivity to others.

Utopia: (Gr. ou-topos, the Land of Nowhere) An expression used by Sir Thomas More in his book "De optimo reipublicae statu deque nova insular Utopia," 1516, which in the form of a novel described an ideal state. Phto's Politeia is the first famous Utopia. Plato, however, hid several predecessors and followers in this type of literature. From the Renaissance on the most famous Utopias besides Thomas More's book were: Tommaso Campanella: The City of the Sun, 1612; Francis Bacon, New Atlantis, 1627; Cabet, Voyage en Icarie, 1842; Bellamy, Looking Backward, 1888.

Utopian socialism: this term signifies the socialist ideas of Owen, St. Simon and Fourier who protested against the sufferings of the masses under capitalism and who saw in social ownership of the means of production a remedy which would eliminate unemployment and afford economic security to all, but who at the same time felt that socialism could be attained by persuading the ruling classes to give up voluntarily their privileged positions and extensive holdings.


Valid inference: In common usage an inference is said to be valid if it is permitted by the laws of logic.

Valuation: The process, act or attitude of assigning value to something, or of estimating its value.

Value: The contemporary use of the term "value" and the discipline now known as the theory of value or axiology are relatively recent developments in philosophy, being largely results of certain 19th and 20th century movements.

Value, contributive: The value an entity has insofar as its being a constituent of some whole gives value to that whole.

Value, instrumental: The value an entity possesses in virtue of the value of the consequences it produces, an entity's value as means. Sometimes the term is applied with reference only to the actual consequences, sometimes with reference to the potential consequences.

Value, intrinsic: Sometimes defined as (a) the value an entity would have even if it were to have no consequences. In this sense, an entity's intrinsic value is equivalent to its total value less its instrumental value; it would include its contributive value.

Sometimes defined as (b) the value an entitv would have were it to exist quite alone. In this sense, an entity's intrinsic value would be equivalent to its total value less the sum of its instrumental and contributive value.

Value, Ultimate: The intrinsic value of an entity possessing intrinsic value throughout.

Variable: A letter occurring in a mathematical or logistic formula and serving, not as a name of a particular, but as an ambiguous name of ¦any one of a class of things -- this class being known as the range of the variable, and the members of the class as values of the variable.

Veda, plural Vedas: (Skr. knowledge) Collectively the ancient voluminous, sacred literature of India (in bulk prior to 1000 BCE.), composed of Rigveda (hymns to gods), Samaveda (priests' chants), Yajurveda (sacrificial formulae), and Atharvaveda (magical chants), which among theosophic speculations contain the first philosophic insights. Generally recognized as an authority even in philosophy, extended and supplemented later by sutras and various accessory textbooks on grammar, astronomy, medicine, etc., called Vedangas ("members of the Veda") and the philosophical treatises, such as the Upanishads

Verifiability principle: The meaning of a proposition is just the set of observations or experiences which would determine its truth, so that an empirical proposition is meaningful only if it either actually has been verified or could at least in principle be verified. (Analytic statements are non-empirical; their truth or falsity requires no verification.)


  1. Verification: the procedure of finding out whether a sentence (or proposition) is true or false.
  2. A sentence is verifiable (in principle) if a (positive or negative) verification of it is possible under suitable conditions, leaving aside technical difficulties.
  3. Many philosophical doctrines (e.g. Empiricism) hold that verification is replaced here by the concept of confirmation. A certain hypothesis is said to be confirmed to a certain degree by a certain amount of evidence. The concept of degree of confirmation is closely connected or perhaps identical with the statistical concept of probability.
  4. A sentence is confirmable if suitable (possible, not necessarily actual) experiences could contribute positively or negatively to its confirmation.
  5. Some empiricists regarded either verifiability (e.g. Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle in its earlier phase) or confirmability as a criterion of meaningfulness. This view leads to a rejection of certain metaphysical doctrines. The act of verifying or the state of being verified

Verify: Confirm the truth of

Virtue: {Gk. areth [aretê]; Lat. virtus} Excellence, skill, or art.

Virtue ethics: Normative theory that all moral value is derived from the character of moral agents.

Virtues: Most atheists value rational virtues: rationality, truthfulness, justice, benevolence, self reliance, independence, integrity etc.

Virus of mind: Meme, see http://cscs.umich.edu/

Vishnu: (Skr.) Deity of the Hindu trinity (see Trimurti). In philosophy, the principle of conservation, maintenance, or stability, the principle worshipped in Vishnuism

Vishnuism: (Visnuism) one of the major philosophico-religious groups into which Hinduism has articulated itself. It glorifies Vishnu as the supreme being who creates and maintains the world periodically by means of his bhuti and kriya saktis or powers of becoming and producing, corresponding to the causae materialis et efficiens. The place of man's soul in this development is explained variously depending on the relation it maintains to the world-ground conceived in Vishnuite fashion.

Vitalism: (Lat. vita, life) The doctrine that phenomena of life possess a character sui generis by virtue of which they differ radically from physico-chemical phenomena. The vitalist ascribes the activities of living organisms to the operation of a "vital force" such as Driesch's "entelechy" or Bergson's elan vital.

Volition: Exercise of the faculty of willing.

Voluntarism: (Lat. voluntas, will) in ontology, the theory that the will is the ultimate constituent of reality. Doctrine that the human will, or some force analogous to it, is the primary stuff of the universe; that blind, purposive impulse is the real in nature.

(a) In psychology, theory that the will is the most elemental psychic factor, that striving, impulse, desire, and even action, with their concomitant emotions, are alone dependable.

(b) In ethics, the doctrine that the human will is central to all moral questions, and superior to all other moral criteria, such as the conscience, or reasoning power.

The subjective theory that the choice made by the will determines the good

Stands for indeterminism and freedom

(c) In theology, the will as the source of all religion, that blessedness is a state of activity. Augustine (353-430) held that God is absolute will, a will independent of the Logos, and that the good will of man is free. For Avicebron (1020-1070), will is indefinable and stands above mature and soul, matter and form, as the pnmary category. Despite the metaphysical opposition of Duns Scotus (1265-1308) the realist, and William of Occam (1280-1347) the nominalist, both considered the will superior to the intellect. Hume (1711-1776) maintained that the will is the determining factor in human conduct, and Kant (1724-1804) believed the will to be the source of all moral judgment, and the good to be based on the human will. Schopenhauer (1788-1860) posited the objectified will as the world-substance, force, or value. James (1842-1910) followed up Wundt's notion of the will as the purpose of the good with the notion that it is the essence of faith, also manifest in the will to believe.

Voluntary / involuntary: In moral philosophy since Aristotle, the distinction between actions that are freely performed in accordance with determination of the will of a moral agent and those which are produced by force or ignorance.

Voting paradox: A systematic difficulty with the attempt to make consistent social choices by majority rule

Suppose that among three options, equal portions of the population rank them 1-2-3, 2-3-1, and 3-1-2. Then, even though the relative preferences seem rational and evenly divided, in head-to-head competitions, two-thirds of the voters favour 1 over 2, and two-thirds 2 over 3, yet two-thirds favor 3 over 1. Although several Enlightenment thinkers had pointed out similar difficulties in the foundations of social contract theory, twentieth-century economist Kenneth Arrow demonstrated formally that the collective preferences of groups cannot always be determined from the individual preferences of their members.


Warrant: See justification.

Weltanschauung: (Ger.) The compound term means world-view, perspective of life, conception of things.

Will: The faculty of deciding, choosing, or acting.

Wikipedia against atheists:

Wikipedia is a free Internet dictionary. Everybody can to try to write to it. There is a group of people who control the free text. If you write a correct text on atheism, a theologian will take it away and replace it with the text wich is against atheists. If you will replace the wrong text with correct again, the leaders of the group will not give you to write to Wikipedia.

Atheists need own dictionaries. Atheist Association of Finland is doing free “Dictionaty of Atheism”. Please suport our free dictionary of atheists and send proposals for articles to


Wikipedia.fi has deleted Atheist Association of Finland

Wisdom: {Gk. sofia [sophía]; Lat. sapientia} Good judgment with respect to abstract truth or theoretical matters (in contrast to prudence in concrete, practical affairs).

Wrong action: Any action that is not right.


X: 10


Yahweh: Of all the names of God in the Old Testament, that which occurs most frequently appearing 6,823 times according to the JewishEncyclopedia.com


Zealotry refers to cases where activism and pride in relation to an ideology have become excessive to the point of being harmful to others, oneself, and one's own cause. Particular aspects can focus on religion, politics, but can also apply to any other area where partisanship and its related dogma are fostered and encouraged. A zealous person is called a zealot.

While "excess of zeal" may be used to refer to very common and individual instances of excess, "zealotry" tends to be reserved for cases where excess zeal is shared with others, and has formed or merged with a dogma; typically with ideological self-perpetuation as among its primary foundations. The espoused use of force and violence to propagate the ideology, is a common characteristic of this self-perpetuation; perhaps inline with the "ends justify the means" rationale.

Zina: (Islam) Adultery, fornication

Zindiq: (Islam) Dualist, heretic

Zombie: In contemporary discussions of the philosophy of mind, a hypothetical being whose appearance, behaviour, and speech is indistinguishable from that of a normal human being despite its total lack of conscious experience in any form.

Zoroastrianism: (from Zoroaster) A life-affirming Indo-Iranian religion, also known as Mazdaism, Bah Din, Parsiism, and Fire-worship, established by Zarathustra, weakened by the conquests of Alexander the Great, resuscitated, then practically extinguished by the advance of Mohammedanism, but still living on in the Gabar communities of Persia and the Parsis of Bombay. It is ethical and dualistic in that the struggle between good and evil is projected into cosmology and symbolized by a warfare between light and darkness which is conceived on the one hand naturalistically and manifesting itself in a deification of the shining heavily bodies, veneration of fire, fear of defilement, and purificatory rites, and, on the other, mythologically as the vying for supremacy between Ormazd and Ahriman and their hosts of angels and demons. Man must choose between light and darkness, truth and falsehood, moral right and wrong, and thus gain either eternal bliss or agony.