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THEME 14 Problems of human in philosophy.

Self-consciousness is a unique type of consciousness. Role of Self-consciousness in behaviour of people. Spiritual and material values in society. Western conception of self. Self-consciousness as a motivator for social isolation.


1. The fundamental question of philosophy.

2. How does philosophy connected with culture?

3. The specifics of philosophical cognition.

4. What is the difference between eastern and western philosophy?

5. Chinese philosophy: schools, representatives, doctrines.

6. Indian philosophy: schools, representatives, doctrines.

7. The specifics of Ancient philosophy.

8. Cosmo centrism philosophy.

9. Ancient idealistic and materialistic schools.

10. The specifics of medieval philosophy.

11. Teocentrism philosophy.

12. The specifics of Renaissance philosophy.

13. ภnthropocentrisms philosophy.

14. The specifics of Enlightenment philosophy.

15. าhe similarities between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

16. Deism philosophy.

17. Rational and scientific methods of thinking in Enlightenment philosophy.

18. Specifics of German idealism.

19. Representatives of subjective idealism.

20. Representatives of objective idealism.

21. Ontology is the theory of objects.

22. Society as subject of philosophical analysis.

23. Personality as subject of philosophical analysis.




1. How does philosophy differ from theology?

2. What is the meaning of human life?

3. What originality has Arabian philosophy?

4. Do you know theoretical basis of Marxism?

5. What peculiarities has ancient Indian philosophy?

6. How do you appreciate Buddhism philosophy’s principles?

7. What do you know about basic world-views’ types?

8. How do you understand the meaning of freedom?

9. How had nomadic life influenced on Kazakh philosophy?

10. How did Hegel understand dialectics?




  1. What do you know about subject and object of cognition?

1. What differences between Western and Eastern civilization?

2. How do you understand spiritual sphere of society?

3. What do you know about German philosophy?

4. What does mean the notion of irrationalism?

5. Do you call basic principles of materialistic philosophy?

6. Do you call basic principles of idealistic philosophy?

7. What social danger has truth distortion?

8. Do you know about absolute, objective and concrete knowledge?

9. What directions of contemporary philosophy do you know?

10. What schools of ancient philosophy do you know?

11. What do you know about Ancient Greek philosophy?


13. Glossary.

Theme # 1

absolutism – the position that in a particular domain of thought, all statements in that domain are either absolutely true or absolutely false: none is true for some cultures or eras while false for other cultures or eras. These statements are called absolute truths. A common reaction by those who newly criticize absolutism is the absolute truth statement: Absolute truths do not exist.

absurdism – philosophy stating that the efforts of man to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail because no such meaning exists (at least in relation to man). Absurdism is related to Existentialism, though should not be confused with it, and is in part a hyponym of nihilist.

animism – "animism" has been applied to many different philosophical systems. It is used to describe Aristotle's view of the relation of soul and body held also by the Stoics and Scholastics. On the other hand monadology (Leibniz) has also been termed animistic. The name is most commonly applied to vitalism, a view mainly associated with Georg Ernst Stahl and revived by F. Bouillier (1813-1899), which makes life, or life and mind, the directive principle in evolution and growth, holding that all cannot be traced back to chemical and mechanical processes, but that there is a directive force which guides energy without altering its amount. An entirely different class of ideas, also termed animistic, is the belief in the world soul, held by Plato, Schelling and others.

atheism – a condition of being without theistic beliefs; an absence of belief in the existence of gods, thus contrasting with theism. This definition includes both those who assert that there are no gods and those who have no beliefs at all regarding the existence of gods. However, narrower definitions often only qualify the former as atheism, the latter falling under the more general (but rarely used) term nontheism.

idealism – an approach to philosophical enquiry. The ideal, in these systems, relates to direct knowledge of subjective mental ideas, or images. It is usually juxtaposed with realism in which the real is said to have absolute existence prior to and independent of our knowledge.

transcendental idealism – the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and later Kantian and German Idealist philosophers; a view according to which our experience is not about the things as they are in themselves, but about the things as they appear to us. It differs from standard (empirical) idealism in that it does not claim that the objects of our experiences would be in any sense within our mind. The idea is that whenever we experience something, we experience it as it is for ourselves: the object is real as well as mind-independent, but is in a sense corrupted by our cognition (by the categories and the forms of sensibility, space and time). Transcendental idealism denies that we could have knowledge of the thing in itself. A view that holds the opposite is called transcendental realism.

materialism – the philosophical view that the only thing that can truly be said to 'exist' is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of 'material' and all phenomena are the result of material interactions.

eliminative materialism – absolute version of materialism and physicalism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary, according to which our common-sense understanding of the mind (what eliminativists call folk psychology) is not a viable theory on which to base scientific investigation: behaviour and experience can only be adequately explained on the biological level. Therefore, no coherent neural basis will be found for everyday folk psychological concepts (such as belief , desire and intention, for they are illusory and therefore do not have any consistent neurological substrate. Eliminative materialists therefore believe that consciousness does not exist except as an epiphenomenon of brain function and some believe that the concept will eventually be eliminated as


Theme # 2

asceticism – denotes a life which is characterised by refraining from worldly pleasures (austerity). Those who practice ascetic lifestyles often perceive their practices as virtuous and pursue them to achieve greater spirituality. In a more cynical context, ascetic may connote some form of self-mortification, ritual punishment of the body or harsh renunciation of pleasure. However the word certainly does not necessarily imply a negative connotation.

Buddhism – a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE, gradually spread from India throughout Asia to Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Southeast Asia, as well as to East Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan. It is classified as an Ārya dharma or a noble religion. It is one of the shramana religions existing today.

Confucianism – an East Asian ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the early Chinese sage Confucius. It is a complex system of moral, social, political, and religious thought which had tremendous influence on the history of Chinese civilization down to the 21st century. Some have considered it to have been the "state religion" of imperial China.

Neo-Confucianism – a form of Confucianism that was primarily developed during the Song dynasty, as a response by the Confucians to the dominance of the Taoists and Buddhists. Neo-Confucians such as Zhu Xi recognized that the Confucian system of the time did not include a thoroughgoing metaphysical system and so devised one. There were many competing views within the Neo-Confucian community, but overall, a system emerged that resembled both Buddhist and Daoist thought of the time and some of the ideas expressed in the Book of Changes (I Ching) as well as other yin yang theories associated with the Taiji symbol (Taijitu). A well known Neo-Confucian motif is paintings of Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all drinking out of the same vinegar jar, paintings associated with the slogan "The three teachings are one!"

New Confucianism – a new movement of Confucianism since the twentieth century applying Confucianism to modern times. Not to be confused with Neo-Confucianism.

Taoism – a religion and philosophy. As a religion, Taoism is not belief-centered, and there are no known Taoist creeds. At the same time, certain characteristic beliefs or assumptions can be identified. One of these is the existence of several classes of supernatural beings, who may enter into relations with human beings. These include gods, ghosts, and ancestral spirits. Another fundamental assumption is the efficacy of ritual in maintaining a positive relationship with these beings. Philosophical Taoism emphasizes various themes found in the Daodejing and Zhuangzi such as "nonaction" (wu wei), emptiness, detachment, receptiveness, spontaneity, the strength of softness, the relativism of human values, and the search for a long life.


Theme # 3

atomism – the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small, indestructible elements. (This is the case for the Western [i.e., Greek] theories of atomism. Buddhists also have well-developed theories of atomism, and which involve momentary, or non-eternal, atoms, that flash in and out of existence).

Pythagoreanism – the esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers the Pythagoreans, much influenced by mathematics and probably a main inspiration source to Plato and platonism. Pythagoreanism includes musica universalis, the music of the spheres.

accidentalism – any system of thought which denies the causal nexus and maintains that events succeed one another haphazardly or by chance (not in the mathematical but in the popular sense). In metaphysics, accidentalism denies the doctrine that everything occurs or results from a definite cause. In this connection it is synonymous with Tychism (ruxi, chance), a term used by Charles Sanders Peirce for the theories which make chance an objective factor in the process of the Universe.

acosmism – in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the preffix "a-" in Greek meaning negation; like "un-" in English), and only the infinite Unmanifest Absolute as real. This philosophy begins with the recognition that there is only one Reality, which is infinite, non-dual, blissful, etc. Yet the phenomenal reality of which we are normally aware is none of these things; it is in fact just the opposite: i.e. dualistic, finite, full of suffering and pain, and so on. And since the Absolute is the only reality, that means that everything that is not-Absolute cannot be real. Thus, according to this viewpoint, the phenomenal dualistic world is ultimately an illusion ("Maya" to use the technical Indian term), irrespective of the apparent reality it possesses at the mundane or empirical level.

agnosticism – the philosophical view that the truth values of certain claims — particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities — are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, (some agnostics may go as far to say) irrelevant to life. Agnosticism, in both its strong (explicit) and weak (implicit) forms, is necessarily a non-atheist and non-theist position, though an agnostic person may also be either an atheist, a theist, or one who endorses neither position.


Themes # 4, 5, 6

cosmotheism – synonym for pantheism (see below).

monistic theism – the type of monotheism found in Hinduism. This type of theism is different from the Semitic religions as it encompasses panentheism, monism, and at the same time includes the concept of a personal God as an universal, omnipotent supreme being. The other types of monotheism are qualified monism, the school of Ramanuja or Vishishtadvaita, which admits that the universe is part of God, or Narayana, a type of panentheism, but there is a plurality of souls within this supreme Being and Dvaita, which differs in that it is dualistic, as God is separate and not panentheistic.

pantheism – the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that natural law, existence and/or the universe (the sum total of all that is was and shall be) is represented or personified in the theological principle of 'God'. The existence of a transcendent supreme extraneous to nature is denied. Depending on how this is understood, such a view may be presented as tantamount to atheism, deism or theism.

panentheism a form of theism that holds that god contains, but is not identical to, the Universe. The universe is part of god. This is also the view of Process theology and also Hinduism. According to Hinduism, the universe is part of God but God is not equal to the universe but in fact transcends it as well. However, unlike Process theology, God in Hinduism is omnipotent.

substance monotheism – found e.g. in some indigenous African religions, holds that the many gods are different forms of a single underlying substance, and that this underlying substance is God. This view has some similarities to the Christian trinitarian view of three persons sharing one nature.

transtheism – assumes the existence of God as an absent Deity and the ultimate concept of God’s existence is transcendent and external to all other forms of existence, which implies an impersonal, non-anthropomorphic, non-universemorphic or even non-cosmosmorphic being and view of God. In transtheism, God has one primary attribute, transcendence.

enlightened absolutism – a term used to describe the actions of absolute rulers who were influenced by the Enlightenment (eighteenth and early nineteenth century Europe).

Thomism – the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. The word comes from the name of its originator, whose summary work Summa Theologiae has arguably been second to only the Bible in importance to the Catholic Church.

anthropocentrism – also called Homocentrism, is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. This is similar, but not identical, to the practice of relating all that happens in the universe to the human experience. To clarify, the first position concludes that the fact of human existence is the point of universal existence; the latter merely compares all activity to that of humanity, without making any teleological conclusions.

anthropomorphism – a form of personification (applying human or animal qualities to inanimate objects) and similar to prosopopoeia (adopting the persona of another person), is the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to non-human beings, objects, or natural phenomena. Animals, forces of nature, and unseen or unknown authors of chance are frequent subjects of anthropomorphosis. Two examples are the attribution of a human body or of human qualities generally to God (or the gods), and creating imaginary persons who are the embodiment of an abstraction such as Death, Lust, War, or the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

antinomianism – in theology is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. Antinomianism is the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation. The term has become a point of contention among opposed religious authorities. Few groups or sects explicitly call themselves "antinomian," but the charge is often levelled by some sects against competing sects.

anti-realism – any position involving either the denial of the objective reality of entities of a certain type or the insistence that we should be agnostic about their real existence. Thus, we may speak of anti-realism with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, or even thought.

deism – the view that reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. Deists reject both organized and revealed religion and maintain that reason is the essential element in all knowledge. For a "rational basis for religion" they refer to the cosmological argument (first cause argument), the teleological argument (argument from design), and other aspects of what was called natural religion. Deism has become identified with the classical belief that God created but does not intervene in the world, though this is not a necessary component of deism.

dualism – a set of beliefs which begins with the claim that the mental and the physical have a fundamentally different nature. It is contrasted with varying kinds of monism, including materialism and phenomenalism. Dualism is one answer to the mind-body problem. Pluralism holds that there are even more kinds of events or things in the world.

substance dualism – is a type of ontological dualism defended by Descartes in which it is claimed that there are two fundamental kinds of substance: mental and material. The mental does not extend in space, and material cannot think. It holds that immortal souls occupy an independent realm of existence, while apparently bodies die. This view contradicts physicalism.

empiricism – the philosophical doctrine that all human knowledge ultimately comes from the senses and from experience. Empiricism denies that humans have innate ideas or that anything is knowable a priori, i.e., without reference to experience. Empiricism is contrasted with continental rationalism, epitomized by René Descartes. According to the rationalist, philosophy should be performed via introspection and a priori deductive reasoning.

teleologism – the supposition that there is design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the works and processes of nature, and the philosophical study of that purpose. Teleology stands in contrast to philosophical naturalism, and both ask questions separate from the questions of science. While science investigates natural laws and phenomena, Philosophical naturalism and teleology investigate the existence or non-existence of an organizing principle behind those natural laws and phenonema. Philosophical naturalism asserts that there are no such principles. Teleology asserts that there are.

theism – the belief in one or more gods or goddesses. More specifically, it may also mean the belief in God, a god, or gods, who is/are actively involved in maintaining the Universe. A theist can also take the position that he does not have sufficient evidence to "know" whether God or gods exist, although he believes it through faith.

monotheism – the belief in a single, universal, all-encompassing deity. Zoroastrianism and the Abrahamic religions are considered Monotheist.

deism – a form of monotheism in which it is believed that one god exists. However, a deist rejects the idea that this god intervenes in the world. Hence any notion of special revelation is impossible, and the nature of god can only be known through reason and observation from nature. A deist thus rejects the miraculous, and the claim to knowledge made for religious groups and texts.

polytheism – belief in, or worship of, multiple gods or divinities. Most ancient religions were polytheistic, holding to pantheons of traditional deities, often accumulated over centuries of cultural interchange and experience. The belief in many gods does not contradict or preclude also believing in an all-powerful all-knowing supreme being.

realism – the belief that properties, usually called Universals, exist independently of the things that manifest them. Thus a realist would hold that even if one were to destroy all of the manifestations of the color red the universal red would still exist.

scholasticism – school of philosophy taught by the academics (or schoolmen) of medieval universities circa 1100 - 1500. Scholasticism attempted to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers with medieval Christian theology. The primary purpose of scholasticism was to find the answer to a question or resolve a contradiction. It is most well known in its application in medieval theology but was applied to classical philosophy and other fields of study.


Theme # 7, 8, 9

transcendental idealism – the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and later Kantian and German Idealist philosophers; a view according to which our experience is not about the things as they are in themselves, but about the things as they appear to us. It differs from standard (empirical) idealism in that it does not claim that the objects of our experiences would be in any sense within our mind. The idea is that whenever we experience something, we experience it as it is for ourselves: the object is real as well as mind-independent, but is in a sense corrupted by our cognition (by the categories and the forms of sensibility, space and time). Transcendental idealism denies that we could have knowledge of the thing in itself. A view that holds the opposite is called transcendental realism.

transcendentalism – a group of new ideas in literature, religion, culture, and philosophy that advocates that there is an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through a knowledgeable intuitive awareness that is conditional upon the individual. The concept emerged in New England in the early-to mid-nineteenth century. It is sometimes called "American Transcendentalism" to distinguish it from other uses of the word transcendental. It began as a protest against the general state of culture and society at the time, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church which was taught at Harvard Divinity School. The term transcendentalism sometimes serves as shorthand for "transcendental idealism". Another alternative meaning for transcendentalism is the classical philosophy that God transcends the manifest world. As John Scotus Erigena put it to Frankish king Charles the Bald in the year 840 A.D., "We do not know what God is. God himself doesn't know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being."

universalism – synonym for moral universalism, as a compromise between moral relativism and moral absolutism.

utilitarianism – theory of ethics based on quantitative maximization of total welfare for a population (usually all humans, though other formulations have been proposed, including all sentient life). It is a form of consequentialism. Welfare is generally described hedonistically. Utilitarianism is sometimes incorrectly summarized as "The greatest happiness for the greatest number." As the distribution of happiness is irrelevant to utilitarian calculations, the greatest number component of this common phrase is misleading. An accurate summary would be, "One ought act so that the consequences of one's act will produce the greatest possible total welfare across all members of the population."

Hegelianism – a philosophy developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel which can be summed up by a favorite motto by Hegel "The rational alone is real". Which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. His goal was to reduce to a more synthetic unity the system of transcendental idealism.

monism – the metaphysical and theological view that there is only one principle, essence, substance or energy. Monism is to be distinguished from dualism, which holds that ultimately there are two principles, and from pluralism, which holds that ultimately there are many principles.


Theme # 10

essentialism – the belief and practice centered on a philosophical claim that for any specific kind of entity it is at least theoretically possible to specify a finite list of characteristics, all of which any entity must have to belong to the group defined.

existentialism – the philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existing, that are primary. That is, they cannot be reduced to or explained by a natural-scientific approach or any approach that attempts to detach itself from or rise above these themes.

functionalism – the dominant theory of mental states in modern philosophy. Functionalism was developed as an answer to the mind-body problem because of objections to both identity theory and logical behaviourism. Its core idea is that the mental states can be accounted for without taking into account the underlying physical medium (the neurons), instead attending to higher-level functions such as beliefs, desires, and emotions.

Pluralism – in the area of philosophy of the mind, distinguishes a position where one believes there to be ultimately many kinds of substances in the world, as opposed to monism and dualism. (See also cosmotheism).

positivism – philosophical position that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. It is an approach to the philosophy of science, deriving from Enlightenment thinkers like Pierre-Simon Laplace (and many others). See also logical positivism.

pragmatism – philosophy which originated in the United States in the late 1800s. Pragmatism is characterized by the insistence on consequences, utility and practicality as vital components of meaning and truth. Pragmatism objects to the view that human concepts and intellect represent reality, and therefore stands in opposition to both formalist and rationalist schools of philosophy. Rather, pragmatism holds that it is only in the struggle of intelligent organisms with the surrounding environment that theories acquire significance, and only with a theory's success in this struggle that it becomes true.

henotheism – devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of other gods. Coined by Max Müller, according to whom it is "monotheism in principle and a polytheism in fact". Variations on the term have been inclusive monotheism and monarchial polytheism, designed to differentiate differing forms of the phenomenon.

social atomism – the point-of-view that individuals rather than social institutions and values are the proper subject of analysis since all properties of institutions and values merely accumulate from the strivings of individuals.

logical atomism – Bertrand Russell developed logical atomism in an attempt to identify the atoms of thought, the pieces of thought that cannot be divided into smaller pieces of thought.


Theme # 11

utopianism – the many various social and political movements, and a significant body of religious and secular literature, based upon the idea of paradise on earth. See Utopia.

value pluralism – the idea that two or more moral values may be equally ultimate (true), yet in conflict. In addition, it postulates that in many cases, such incompatible values, may be rationally incommensurable. As such, value-pluralism is a theory in metaethics, rather than an ethical theory or a set of values in itself. The Oxford historian of ideas, Isaiah Berlin, is accredited with having done the first substantial work on value-pluralism, bringing it to the attention of general academia.

vitalism – the doctrine that "vital forces" are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. That element is often referred to as the "vital spark" or "energy" which some equate with the "soul


Theme #12, 13

syncretism – the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. It is especially associated with the attempt to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity.

agnostic atheism – the philosophy that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Due to definitional variance, an agnostic atheist does not believe in God or gods and by extension holds true: 'the existence and nonexistence of deities is currently unknown and may be absolutely unknowable', or 'knowledge of the existence and nonexistence of deities is irrelevant or unimportant', or 'abstention from claims of knowledge of the existence and nonexistence of deities is optimal'.

strong agnosticism – also referred to as explicit agnosticism and positive agnosticism, it is the view that the evidence in the universe is such that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not any deities exist.

weak agnosticism – the position that the evidence is such that the existence or nonexistence of deities is currently unknown, but is not necessarily unknowable. Also called implicit agnosticism, empirical agnosticism, and negative agnosticism.

falsificationism – the apparently paradoxical idea that a proposition or theory cannot be scientific if it does not admit the possibility of being shown false. Falsifiable does not mean false. For a proposition to be falsifiable, it must be at least in principle possible to make an observation that would show the proposition to be false, even if that observation had not been made. For example, the proposition "All crows are black" would be falsified by observing one white crow.

foundationalism – any justification or knowledge theory in epistemology that holds that beliefs are justified (known) when they are based on basic beliefs (also called foundational beliefs). Basic beliefs are beliefs that are self-justifying or self-evident, and don't need to be justified by other beliefs. Basic beliefs provide justificatory support to other beliefs, which can in turn support further derivative beliefs. Foundationalists hold that basic beliefs are justified by mental events or states (such as experiences) that do not constitute beliefs (these are called nondoxastic mental states), or that they simply are not the type of thing that can (or needs to be) justified.

verificationism – an epistemic theory of truth based on the idea that the mind engages in a certain kind of activity: "verifying" a proposition. The distinctive claim of verificationism is that the result of such verifications is, by definition, truth. That is, truth is reducible to this process of verification.

gnosticism – various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries CE. It is also applied to modern revivals of these groups and, sometimes, by analogy to all religious movements based on secret knowledge gnosis, thus can lead to confusion.

rationalism – also known as the rationalist movement, is a philosophical doctrine that asserts that the truth can best be discovered by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma or religious teaching. Rationalism has some similarities in ideology and intent to humanism and atheism, in that it aims to provide a framework for social and philosophical discourse outside of religious or supernatural beliefs. See also continental rationalism.

continental rationalism – an approach to philosophy based on the thesis that human reason can in principle be the source of all knowledge. It originated with René Descartes and spread during the 17th and 18th centuries, primarily in continental Europe. In contrast, the contemporary approach known as British Empiricism held that all ideas come to us through experience, and thus that knowledge (with the possible exception of mathematics) is essentially empirical. At issue is the fundamental source of human knowledge, and the proper techniques for verifying what we think we know (see Epistemology).

theological noncognitivism – the argument that religious language, and specifically words like "God" (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. It is cited as proof of the nonexistence of anything named "God", and therefore is a basis for atheism. There are two main arguments: Kai Nielsen used verifiability theory of meaning to conclude that religious language is meaningless because it is not verifiable, proving weak atheism. George H. Smith used an attribute-based approach to argue that the concept "god" has no meaningful attributes, only negatively defined or relational attributes, making it meaningless — leading to the conclusion that "god does not exist", thus proving strong atheism.


Theme #14

totalitarianism – a typology employed by political scientists to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. Totalitarian regimes mobilize entire populations in support of the state and a political ideology, and do not tolerate activities by individuals or groups such as labor unions, churches and political parties that are not directed toward the state's goals. They maintain themselves in power by means of secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, and widespread use of terror tactics.

relativism – the view that the meaning and value of human beliefs and behaviors have no absolute reference. Relativists claim that humans understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of, for example, their historical and cultural context. Philosophers identify many different kinds of relativism depending upon what allegedly depends on something and what something depends on.

moral absolutism – the position that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act.

political absolutism – a political theory which argues that one person should hold all power.



Date: 2015-01-12; view: 253

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