philosophy


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phi·los·o·phy

 (fĭ-lŏs′ə-fē)
n. pl. phi·los·o·phies
1. The study of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning.
2. A system of thought based on or involving such study: the philosophy of Hume.
3. The study of the theoretical underpinnings of a particular field or discipline: the philosophy of history.
4. An underlying theory or set of ideas relating to a particular field of activity or to life as a whole: an original philosophy of advertising; an unusual philosophy of life.

[Middle English philosophie, from Old French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek philosophiā, from philosophos, lover of wisdom, philosopher; see philosopher.]

philosophy

(fɪˈlɒsəfɪ)
n, pl -phies
1. (Philosophy) the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources and limits of knowledge (epistemology), the principles and import of moral judgment (ethics), and the relationship between language and reality (semantics)
2. (Philosophy) the particular doctrines relating to these issues of some specific individual or school: the philosophy of Descartes.
3. (Philosophy) the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a discipline: the philosophy of law.
4. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) archaic or literary the investigation of natural phenomena, esp alchemy, astrology, and astronomy
5. any system of belief, values, or tenets
6. a personal outlook or viewpoint
7. serenity of temper
[C13: from Old French filosofie, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos lover of wisdom]

phi•los•o•phy

(fɪˈlɒs ə fi)

n., pl. -phies.
1. the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
2. a system of philosophical doctrine: the philosophy of Spinoza.
3. the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge: the philosophy of science.
4. a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs: a philosophy of life.
5. a calm or philosophical attitude.
[1250–1300; Middle English philosophie < Latin philosophia < Greek philosophía]

Philosophy


the philosophic doctrine that claims that events can or do occur without cause. — accidentalist, n.
the doctrine that all reality is animate, in motion, or in process. — actualist, n.actualistic, adj.
a branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and the beautiful. — aesthete, aesthetic, n., adj.aesthetical, adj.
reasoning deductively, from a generalization to particular events.
the science of the systemization of knowledge. See also architecture; art.
the study of virtue.
the philosophy of Aristotle, especially an emphasis upon formal deductive logic, upon the concept that reality is a combination of form and matter, and upon investigation of the concrete and particular. — Aristotelian, n., adj.
the theory that minute, discrete, finite, and indivisible elements are the ultimate constituents of all matter. Also called atomic theory. — atomist, n.atomistic, atomistical, adj.
the philosophy of Averroës, chiefly Aristotelianism tinged with Neoplatonism, asserting the unity of an active and divine intellect common to all while denying personal immortality. — Averroist, Averrhoist, n.Averroistic, Averrhoistic, adj.
the philosophical theory of Jeremy Bentham that the morality of actions is estimated and determined by their utility and that pleasure and pain are both the ultimate Standard of right and wrong and the fundamental motives influencing human actions and wishes. — Benthamite, n.Benthamic, adj.
the philosophy of Henri Bergson, emphasizing time or duration as the central f act of experience and asserting the existence of the élan vital as an original life force governing all organic processes in a way that can be explained only by intuition, not by scientific analysis. — Bergsonian, n., adj.
the philosophy and beliefs of George Berkeley denying the existence of the real world. — Berkeleian, n., adj.
the philosophy of René Descartes and his followers, especially its emphasis on logical analysis, its mechanistic interpretation of physical nature, and its dualistic distinction between thought (mind) and extension (matter). — Cartesian, n., adj.
the principles and practices of universal causation.
naive realism.
positivism, def. 1.
the doctrine that universals exist only in the mind. Cf. idealism.conceptualist, n.conceptualistic, adj.
the personal philosophy of Kwame Nkrumah (1909-72), president of Ghana (1960-66), devised and named by him.
the branch of philosophy that studies the origin, evolution, and structure of the universe, especially such characteristics as space, time, causality, and freedom. — cosmologist, n.cosmologic, cosmological, adj.
a Greek philosophy of the 4th century B.C. advocating the doctrines that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control and individual freedom, and that surrender to any external influence is beneath the dignity of man. — Cynic, n.Cynical, adj.
the principles of the school of the philosopher Aristippus of Cyrene. — Cyrenaic, n.Cyrenean, Cyrenian, adj.
the doctrines of a school of philosophy emphasizing empiricism and positivism. Cf. transcendentalism.descendentalist, n.descendental, descendentalistic, adj.
1. the doctrine that all f acts and events result from the operation of natural laws.
2. the doctrine that all events, including human choices and decisions, are necessarily determined by motives, which are regarded as external forces acting on the will. Also called predeterminism. Cf. fatalism.determinist, n.deterministic, adj.
the compiling of extracts from ancient Greek philosophers, with editorial commentary. — doxographer, n.doxographical, adj.
1. any theory in any field of philosophical investigation that reduces the variety of its subject matter to two irreducible principles, as good/evil or natural/supernatural.
2. Metaphysics. any system that reduces the whole universe to two principles, as the Platonic Ideas and Matter. Cf. monism, pluralism.dualist, n.dualistic, adj.
any of various theories or philosophical systems that seek to explain natural phenomena by the action and interaction of forces, as mechanism or Leibnizianism. Cf. vitalism.dynamist, n.dynamistic, adj.
a doctrine denying the existence of a final cause or purpose in life or nature. Cf. teleology.dysteleologist, n.dysteleological, adj.
1. the use or advocacy of a method involving the selection of doctrines from various systems and their combination into a unified system of ideas.
2. such a system. — eclectic, n., adj.
a school of philosophy founded by Parmenides and its doctrines, especially those contributed by Zeno (of Elea), asserting the unreality of motion or change. — Eleatic, adj.
a theory of the origin of the world by a series of emanations from the Godhead. Also called emanatism. — emanationist, n.emanational, adj.
1. the doctrine that all ideas and categories are derived from sense experience and that knowledge cannot extend beyond experience, including observation, experiment, and induction.
2. an empirical method or practice. — empiricist, n.empirical, adj.
Vitalism. a vital agent or force directing growth and life. Cf. teleology.entelechial, adj.
the philosophical system of Epicurus, holding that the natural world is a series of fortuitous combinations of atoms, and that the highest good is f reedom from disturbance and pain. Also Epicurism.Epicurean, n., adj.
the doctrine that consciousness is a mere accessory and accompaniment of physiological processes and is powerless to affect these processes. — epiphenomenalist, n.epiphenomenal, adj.
the branch of philosophy that studies the origin, nature, methods, validity, and limits of human knowledge. — epistemologist, n.epistemic, epistemological, adj.
1. a philosophical theory asserting that metaphysical essences are real and intuitively accessible.
2. a philosophical theory giving priority to the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of something over its existence. Cf. existentialism.essentialist, n.essentialistic, adj.
the belief that there are no bases for establishing a moral or ethical philosophy. Cf. nihilism.
the belief that morality is relative to the society where it exists and that its criticism and evaluation are irrelevant. Cf. relativism.
the branch of philosophy that considers the good, moral principles, and right action. — ethicist, n.ethical, adj.
the science of causation. — etiologic, aetiologic, etiological, aetiological, adj.
1. the doctrine that man forms his essence in the course of the life resulting from his personal choices.
2. an emphasis upon man’s creating his own nature as well as the importance of personal freedom, decision, and commitment. Also called philosophical existentialism. Cf. essentialism.existentialist, n., adj.
the philosophical theory that states that experience is the source of all knowledge. — experientialist, n.experiential, adj.
the doctrine that all things are subject to fate or inevitable predestination and that man is ultimately unable to prevent inevitabilities. Cf. determinism.fatalist, n.fatalistic, adj.
theories and beliefs of J. G. Fichte, German philosopher and social thinker, a precursor of socialism. — Fichtean, n., adj.
the doctrines of any of various dualistic sects among the Jews and the early Christians who claimed possession of superior spiritual knowledge, explained the creation of the world in an emanational manner, and condemned matter as evil. — Gnostic, n., adj.
a theory maintaining that two seemingly conflicting notions are not radically opposed, but are part of a gradually altering continuity. — gradualist, n., adj.gradualistic, adj.
theories and doctrines of Ernst Haeckel, German biologist and philosopher, especially the notion “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” — Haeckelian, adj.
an interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which an assertable proposition (thesis) is necessarily opposed by its apparent contradiction (antithesis), and both reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis). Also called Hegelian triad.
the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and his followers, characterized by the use of a special dialectic as an analytical and interpretive method. See also Hegelian dialectic.Hegelian, n., adj.
1. the ideas or beliefs set forth in the writings of Hermes Trismegistus.
2. adherence to these ideas and beliefs.
the philosophical beliefs of Thomas Hobbes, who maintained that an individual has the right to self-preservation and the pursuit of happiness. — Hobbist, n.Hobbesian, adj.
the theory that whole entities, as fundamental components of reality, have an existence other than as the mere sum of their parts. Cf. organicism.holist, n.holistic, adj.
1. Ethics. the doctrine that man’s obligations are concerned wholly with the welfare of the human race.
2. Theology. the doctrine that man may achieve perfection without divine assistanee. — humanitarian, n., adj.
1. the materialist theories of the early Ionic philosophers. — hylicist, n.
2. the doctrines concerning the lowest of three Gnostic orders of mankind, the material or fleshly, unsavable as sons of the devil. Cf. pneumatism, psychism.
3. the theory that regards matter as the principle of evil, as in dualistic theology or philosophy. — hylic, adj.
the theory derived from Aristotle that every physical object is composed of two principles, an unchanging prime matter and a form deprived of actuality with every substantial change of the object. — hylomorphist, n.hylomorphic, adj.
the essential substance or underlying nature or principle of a thing. — hypostatic, hypostatical, adj.
1. a principle or proposition that is assumed for the sake of argument or that is taken for granted to proceed to the proof of the point in question.
2. a system or theory created to account for something that is not understood. — hypothesist, hypothetist, n.hypothetic, hypothetical, adj.
any system or theory that maintains that the real is of the nature of thought or that the object of external perception consists of ideas. Cf. realism.idealist, n.idealistic, adj.
a theory or doctrine that the material world is wholly or nearly wholly an illusion. — illusionist, n.illusionistic, adj.
the belief that material things have no objective existence but exist only as mental perceptions. — immaterialist, n.immaterial, adj.
a view that admits no real difference between true and f alse in religion or philosophy; a form of agnosticism. See also attitudes. — indifferentist, n.
a pragmatic philosophy holding that it is the function of thought to be a means to the control of environment, and that the value and truthfulness of ideas is determined by their usefulness in human experience or progress. — instrumentalist, n., adj.
1. a theory that nonrational forces govern the universe.
2. any attitude or set of beliefs having a nonrational basis, as nihilism. — irrationalist, n., adj.irrationalistic, adj.
the philosophy of Emmanuel Kant, asserting that the nature of the mind renders it unable to know reality immediately, that the mind interprets data presented to it as phenomena in space and time, and that the reason, in order to find a meaningful basis for experience or in order for ethical conduct to exist, may postulate things unknowable to it, as the existence of a soul. — Kantist, n.Kantian, adj.
the view of a school of Roman Catholic casuists who maintained that any chance of liberty, however slight, should be foliowed. — laxist, n.
the philosophy of Gottfied Wilhelm von Leibniz and his followers, especially monadism and the theory of preestablished harmony, the theory that this is the best of all possible worlds because God has chosen it (satirized by Voltaire in Candide), and proposals for a scientific language and a method of symbolic computation. — Leib-nizian, Leibnitzian, n., adj.
1. one who advocates liberty, especially with regard to thought or conduct.
2. the philosophical doctrine of free will. Cf. necessitarianism, determinism, fatalism.libertarian, n., adj.
positivism, def. 2.
a philosophical system that places strong emphasis on logic.
the theory that regards matter and its various guises as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of the mind, as caused by material agencies. — materialist, n., adj.materialistic, adj.
1. the theory that everything in the universe is produced by matter in process, capable of explanation by the laws of chemistry and physics.
2. the theory that a natural process is machinelike or is explainable in terms of Newtonian mechanics. — mechanist, n.mechanistic, adj.
the doctrine that the world tends to become better of itself, or that it may improve more rapidly by proper human assistance. Cf. optimism, pessimism.meliorist, n.melioristic, adj.
the doctrine that objects of knowledge have no existence except in the mind of the perceiver, as in Berkeleianism. — mentalist, n.mentalistic, adj.
the study of ways of attaining happiness.
a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations of ethics and especially with the definition of ethical terms and the nature of moral discourse.
the doctrine that knowledge of the Absolute is within human reach, but through a higher religious consciousness rather than by logical processes. — metagnostic, adj.
a branch of philosophy concerned with being, first principles, and often including aspects of cosmology and epistemology. — metaphysician, n.metaphysical, adj.
a concept believed to be beyond but related to empirically gained data. Also metempirics.
the philosophy of pessimism.
the doctrines of Mo-Tze, Chinese sage of the 5th century B.C., who advocated government by an absolute monarch and universal love. — Mohist, n., adj.
1. the Leibnizian doctrine of monads as unextended, indivisible, and indestructible entities that are the ultimate constituent of the universe and a microcosm of it. Also called monadology.
2. the doctrine of Giordano Bruno concerning monads as basic and irreducible metaphysical units that are psychically and spatially individuated. — monadistic, adj.
1. Metaphysics. a theory that only one basic substance or principle exists as the ground of reality. Cf. dualism, pluralism.
2. Metaphysics. a theory that reality consists of a single element. Cf. pluralism.
3. Epistemology. a theory that the object and the sense datum of cognition are identical. — monist, n.monistic, monistical, adj.
the philosophic doctrine that claims that the soul is mortal. — mortalist, n.
the theory that the world is perceived exactly as it is. Also called natural realism, commonsense realism. Cf. idealism, realism.
the belief that the human brain is capable of spontaneous or innate ideas. See also foreigners. — nativist, n.nativistic, adj.
naive realism.
the doctrine of the determinism of the will by antecedent causes, as opposed to that of the f reedom of the will. Also called necessarianism. Cf. determinism, fatalism, libertarianism.necessitarian, n., adj.
any system of thought opposed to positivism; doctrines based upon doubt and skepticism. — negativist, n., adj.negativistic, adj.
a philosophical system originated in Alexandria in the 3rd century A.D., founded on Platonic doctrine, Aristotelianism, and Oriental mysticism, with later influences from Christianity. — Neoplatonist, n.Neoplatonic, adj.
the neo-scholastic philosophy closely related to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. — neo-Thomist, n.
the philosophy of Nietzsche, especially its emphasis on the will to power as the chief motivating force of both the individual and society. Also called Nietzscheanism. — Nietzschean, n., adj.
the belief that existence is not real and that there can be no objective basis of truth, a form of extreme skepticism. Cf. ethical nihilism. — nihilist, n., adj.
Medieval Philosophy. the doctrine that abstract words or universals do not represent objectively existing entities, and that universals are only names applied to individual physical particulars that alone exist objectively. — nominalist, n., adj.nominalistic, adj.
any of several philosophical concepts regarding the noumenon. — noumenalist, n., adj.
1. that which can be the object only of a purely intellectual, nonsensuous intuition, the thing-in-itself (Ding an Sich).
2. an unknowable object (as God), the existence of which is not capable of proof. — noumenal, adj.
1. any of various philosophical theories stressing the external or objective elements of cognition.
2. Ethics. any theory asserting that the moral good is objective and not influenced by human feelings. — objectivist, n., adj.
the Cartesian philosophic doctrine that holds that mind and matter are incapable of affecting each other and that their reciprocal action must be owing to the intervention of God. — occasionalist, n.occasionalistic, adj.
adherence to oligarchy as a principle. — oligarchist, n.
philosophical inquiry into the nature of being itself, a branch of metaphysics. — ontologist, n.ontologie, ontological, ontologistic, adj.
the idea that the concepts used in nonanalytical scientific statements must be deflnable in relation to identiflable operations. — operationist, n.operationistic, adj.
1. the belief that good is ultimately triumphant over the evil in the world.
2. the Leibnizian doctrine that this is the best of all possible worlds.
3. the belief that goodness pervades reality. Cf. meliorism, pessimism.optimist, n.optimistic, adj.
the theory that vital activities stem not from any single part of an organism but from its autonomous composition. Cf. holism, mechanism, vitalism.organicist, n.organicistic, adj.
a method or means for communicating knowledge or for philosophical inquiry.
the doctrines developed or ascribed to the 3rd-century Christian theologian Origen, especially an attempt to develop a Christian philosophy combining Platonism and the Scriptures. — Origenist, n.Origenistic, adj.
the doctrine that material nature is the source of all phenomena. — pamphysicism, adj.
the theory that all matter has some consciousness.
solipsism.
1. the doctrine that the universe is a realization or act of the Logos.
2. the Hegelian doctrine that logos or reason informs the absolute or absolute reality. — panlogist, n.panlogical, panlogistic, panlogistical, adj.
the doctrine that each object in the universe has a mind or an unconscious psyche and that all physical occurrences involve the mental. — panpsychist, n.panpsychistic, adj.
the philosophical theory of Arthur Schopenhauer, who maintained that the ultimate reality of the universe is will.
the theory that mind and matter accompany each other but are not causally related.
the doctrine of the effects on the mind of pleasure and pain.
1. the philosophy of Aristotle, who taught while walking.
2. the followers of Aristotle and his school of philosophy. — Peripatetic, n., adj.
1. the doctrine that all things naturally tend to evil.
2. the doctrine that this is the worst of all possible worlds. Cf. Leibnizianism.
3. the doctrine that the evil and pain in the world outweigh goodness and happiness, and that the world is basically evil. Cf. meliorism, optimism.pessimist, n.pessimistic, adj.
the mental image or representation of a real person or thing. See also ghosts; perception.
the doctrine that phenomena are the only objects of knowledge or the only form of reality. — phenomenalist, n.phenomenalistic, adj.
1. the study of phenomena.
2. the philosophical system of Edmund Husserl and his followers, especially the careful description of phenomena in all areas of experience. — phenomenologist, n.phenomenologic, phenomenological, adj.
a spurious philosophic argument. — philosophist, n., adj.
a doctrine, related to logical positivism, that all meaningful statements, with the exception of necessary statements of logic and mathematics, must relate either directly or indirectly to observable properties of the temporal. — physicalist, n., adj.
the philosophy of Plato and his followers, especially the doctrine that physical objects are imperfect and impermanent representations of unchanging ideas, and that knowledge is the mental apprehension of these ideas or universals. — Platonist, n., adj.Platonistic, adj.
1. a theory positing more than one principle or basic substance as the ground of reality. Cf. dualism, monism.
2. a theory that reality consists, not of an organic whole, but of two or more independent material or spiritual entities. — pluralist, n.pluralistic, adj.
the doctrines concerning the highest of three Gnostic orders of mankind, those who have received spiritual gifts and are therefore by nature capable of salvation. Cf. hylicism, psychism.
1. a philosophical system developed by Auguste Comte, concerned with positive facts and phenomena, the flrst verifled by the methods of the empirical sciences, the second explainable by scientific laws. Also called Comtism.
2. a contemporary philosophical movement stressing the task of philosophy as criticizing and analyzing science, and rejecting all transcendental metaphysics. Also called logical positivism. — positivist, n.positivistic, adj.
a philosophical system stressing practical consequences and values as standards by which the validity of concepts are to be determined. — pragmatist, n., adj.pragmatistic, adj.
the pragmatist philosophy of C. S. Peirce, especially his work in logic and problems in language. — pragmaticist, n.
determinism.
the doctrine, introduced by the Skeptics and influential in the seiences and social sciences in modified form, that certainty is impossible and that probability suffices to govern belief and action. — probabilist, n.probabilistic, adj.
a doctrine of philosophy that is prudential.
Rare. a false, sham, or foolish philosopher.
the doctrines concerning the second of three Gnostic orders of mankind, those endowed with souls and free wills, savable through the right use of the latter. Cf. hylicism, pneumatism.
any of various theories of nature or of animal and human behavior based upon teleological doctrines. — purposivist, n.
1. the Skeptic doctrines of Pyrrho and his followers, especially the assertion that, since all perceptions tend to be faulty, the wise man will consider the external circumstances of life to be unimportant and thus preserve tranquility.
2. extreme or absolute skepticism. Cf. Skepticism.Pyrrhonist, n.Pyrrhonian, Pyrrhonic, n., adj.
the essential nature or quality of something that makes it different and distinct from other things and establishes its identity. — quidditative, adj.
Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. the fifth essence, of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be made, distinguished from the four elements of ure, air, water, and earth; hence, the most pure essence or most perfect embodiment of a thing or being. — quintessential, adj.
a nice or fine point, as in argument; a subtlety. — quodlibetal, adj.
a person who likes to talk about or dispute fine points or quodlibets.
the doctrines of Pierre de la Ramée (Ramus), who opposed scholasticism and the dialectics of Aristotle. — Ramist, n., adj.
1. the doctrine that knowledge is gained only through the reason, a faculty independent of experience.
2. the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences. — rationalist, n.rationalistic, adj.
1. the doctrine that universals have a real objective existence. Cf. idealism.
2. the doctrine that objects of sense perception have an existence independent of the act of perception. — realist, n.
1. a doctrine asserting the existence of relations as entities.
2. a theory maintaining the conditioning of any ideological perspective or system by its sociocultural context. — relationist, n.
any theory maintaining that criteria of judgment vary with individuals and their environments; relationism. Cf. ethical relativism.relativist, n.relativistic, adj.
the philosophy that advocates restriction and restraint, as in trade dealings. — restrictionist, n., adj.
tutiorism.
the philosophy of Antonio Rosmini-Serbati, 19th-century Italian philosopher and ecclesiastic, who taught that the idea of true being is inborn and that through it true knowledge is made potential. — Rosminian, n., adj.
the philosophy of idealism, as set forth by F. W. J. von Schelling.
the representation in outline of a particular systematic arrangement or of a particular concept. — schematist, n.
a head of a school, especially the head of one of the ancient Athenian schools of philosophy.
the doctrines of the schoolmen; the system of theological and philosophical instruction of the Middle Ages, based chiefly upon the authority of the church fathers and on Aristotle and his commentators. — Scholastic, n., adj.
the philosophy of John Duns Scotus, medieval Scholastic, especially his proposal that philosophy and theology be made separate disciplines. — Scotist, n.Scotistic, Scotistical, adj.
1. the doctrine that all ideas are derived from and essentially reducible to sense perceptions. Also called sensuism.
2. Ethics. the doctrine that the good is to be judged only by or through the gratification of the senses. Also called sensualism. See also ethics; literary style; media. — sensationalist, n.sensationalistic, adj.
sensationalism, def. 2.
sensationalism, def. 1.
any philosophy that derives the universe from one principle.
the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics, especially the doctrine that a true knowledge of things is impossible or that all knowledge is uncertain. Cf. Pyrrhonism.Skeptic, Sceptic, n.
some aspect of Socrates’ philosophy.
the theory that only the self exists or can be proved to exist. Also called panegoism. — solipsist, n.solipsistic, adj.
1. the teachings and ways of teaching of the ancient Greek sophists.
2. subtle, superficially plausible, but actually specious or fallacious reasoning, as was sometimes used by the sophists.
the state or quality of appearing to be greater or more than is to be found on a close examination, as an argument that has the appearance of merit but does not stand up to a close look. — speeious, adj.
the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, who maintained that only thought and extension are capable of being apprehended by the human mind. — Spinozist, n.Spinozistic, adj.
the school of philosophy founded by Zeno (of Citium), who asserted that men should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity. — Stoic, n., adj.
1. Epistemology. the doctrine that all knowledge is limited to experiences by the self and that all transcendent knowledge is impossible.
2. Ethics. the theory that certain states of feeling or thought are the highest good.
3. Ethics. the doctrine that the good and the right can be distinguished only by individual feeling. — subjectivist, n.subjectivistic, adj.
the attempted reconciliation of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion. — syncretic, syncretical, syncretistic, syncretistical, adj.
the process of deductive reasoning, as from cause to effect, from the simple elements to the complex whole, etc. See also joining. — synthesist, n.synthetic, synthetical adj.
the principles or practice of synthesis or synthetic methods or techniques.
a person who practices or believes in synthetic methods or principles.
1. the doctrine that final causes (purposes) exist.
2. the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature.
3. such a design or purpose.
4. the belief that purpose and design are a part of or apparent in nature.
5. Vitalism. the doctrine that phenomena are guided by both mechanical forces and goals of self-realization. Cf. entelechy.teleologist, n.teleologie, teleological, adj.
the philosophical doctrine that emphasizes the ultimate reality of time instead of the reduction of time to a manifestation of the eternal. — temporalist, n.temporalistic, adj.
the belief that God has set a term for the probation of individuals during which time they are offered grace. — terminist, n.
the theological and philosophical doctrines of St. Thomas Aquinas and his followers. — Thomist, n.Thomistic, adj.
1. any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered only through the analysis of the processes of thought, as Kantianism.
2. a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical, as the philosophy of Emerson. Cf. descendentalism.transcendentalist, n.transcendentalistic, adj.
Casuistry. a position in the probabilistic controversy of the 16th and 17th centuries maintaining that, in the absence of moral certitude, only the most rigorous of any probable courses of ethical action should be taken. Also called rigorism. — tutiorist, n.
the philosophical tenets set forth by John Stuart Mill based on the principle of “the greatest good for the greatest number” and holding that the criterion of virtue lies in its utility. — utilitarian, n., adj.
1. the doctrine that phenomena are only partly controlled by mechanical forces and are in some measure self-determining. Cf. mechanism, organicism.
2. the doctrine that ascribes the functions of a living organism to a vital principle (as élan vital) distinct from physical or chemical forces. Cf. dynamism.vitalist, n., adj.vitalistic, adj.
any theory that regards the will rather than the intellect as the fundamental agency or principle in human activities and experience, as Nietzscheism. — voluntarist, n.voluntaristic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.philosophy - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or schoolphilosophy - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
nuclear deterrence - the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence; "when two nations both resort to nuclear deterrence the consequence could be mutual destruction"
belief - any cognitive content held as true
Cabalism, Kabbalism - the doctrines of the Kabbalah
abolitionism - the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
absolutism - the doctrine of an absolute being
amoralism - the doctrine that moral distinctions are invalid
animalism - the doctrine that human beings are purely animal in nature and lacking a spiritual nature
animism - the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls; "animism is common among primitive peoples"
antiestablishmentarianism, antiestablishmentism - the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment
asceticism - the doctrine that through renunciation of worldly pleasures it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state
contextualism - any doctrine emphasizing the importance of the context in solving problems or establishing the meaning of terms
creationism - the literal belief in the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis; "creationism denies the theory of evolution of species"
credo, creed - any system of principles or beliefs
divine right, divine right of kings - the doctrine that kings derive their right to rule directly from God and are not accountable to their subjects; rebellion is the worst of political crimes; "the doctrine of the divine right of kings was enunciated by the Stuarts in Britain in the 16th century"
dogma - a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; "he believed all the Marxist dogma"
dualism - the doctrine that reality consists of two basic opposing elements, often taken to be mind and matter (or mind and body), or good and evil
dynamism - any of the various theories or doctrines or philosophical systems that attempt to explain the phenomena of the universe in terms of some immanent force or energy
epicureanism - a doctrine of hedonism that was defended by several ancient Greek philosophers
establishmentarianism, establishmentism - the doctrine of supporting the social or political establishment
ethicism - a doctrine that ethics and ethical ideas are valid and important; "his ethicism often led him to moralize"
expansionism - the doctrine of expanding the territory or the economic influence of a country
formalism - the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
functionalism - any doctrine that stresses utility or purpose
Girondism - the doctrine of the Girondists
gospel - a doctrine that is believed to be of great importance; "Newton's writings were gospel for those who followed"
gymnosophy - the doctrine of a sect of Hindu philosophers who practiced nudity and asceticism and meditation
imitation - the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
laissez faire, individualism - the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
internationalism - the doctrine that nations should cooperate because their common interests are more important than their differences
unilateralism - the doctrine that nations should conduct their foreign affairs individualistically without the advice or involvement of other nations
irredentism, irridentism - the doctrine that irredenta should be controlled by the country to which they are ethnically or historically related
literalism - the doctrine of realistic (literal) portrayal in art or literature
majority rule, democracy - the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
monism - the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element
multiculturalism - the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country
nationalism - the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
nationalism - the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
nihilism - a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
pacificism, pacifism, passivism - the doctrine that all violence is unjustifiable
pluralism - the doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or elements
populism - the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite
presentism - the doctrine that the Scripture prophecies of the Apocalypse (as in the Book of Revelations) are presently in the course of being fulfilled
freethinking, rationalism - the doctrine that reason is the right basis for regulating conduct
2.philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
aesthetic, esthetic - (philosophy) a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful; "he despised the esthetic of minimalism"
Aristotelianism, peripateticism - (philosophy) the philosophy of Aristotle that deals with logic and metaphysics and ethics and poetics and politics and natural science; "Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Western thought"
deconstruction, deconstructionism - a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning
empiricism, empiricist philosophy, sensationalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience
existential philosophy, existentialism, existentialist philosophy - (philosophy) a 20th-century philosophical movement chiefly in Europe; assumes that people are entirely free and thus responsible for what they make of themselves
determinism - (philosophy) a philosophical theory holding that all events are inevitable consequences of antecedent sufficient causes; often understood as denying the possibility of free will
formalism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that formal (logical or mathematical) statements have no meaning but that its symbols (regarded as physical entities) exhibit a form that has useful applications
idealism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality
intuitionism - (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge is acquired primarily by intuition
logicism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that all of mathematics can be derived from formal logic
physicalism, materialism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality
mechanism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that all phenomena can be explained in terms of physical or biological causes
mentalism - (philosophy) a doctrine that mind is the true reality and that objects exist only as aspects of the mind's awareness
nativism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that some ideas are innate
naturalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms without recourse to spiritual or supernatural explanations
nominalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that the various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name
operationalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that the meaning of a proposition consists of the operations involved in proving or applying it
Platonism, realism - (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that abstract concepts exist independent of their names
pragmatism - (philosophy) the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value
probabilism - (philosophy) the doctrine that (since certainty is unattainable) probability is a sufficient basis for belief and action
rationalism - (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience
naive realism, realism - (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that physical objects continue to exist when not perceived
relativism - (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that all criteria of judgment are relative to the individuals and situations involved
semiology, semiotics - (philosophy) a philosophical theory of the functions of signs and symbols
sensualism, sensationalism - (philosophy) the ethical doctrine that feeling is the only criterion for what is good
solipsism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that the self is all that you know to exist
Stoicism - (philosophy) the philosophical system of the Stoics following the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno
subjectivism - (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge and value are dependent on and limited by your subjective experience
teleology - (philosophy) a doctrine explaining phenomena by their ends or purposes
vitalism - (philosophy) a doctrine that life is a vital principle distinct from physics and chemistry
final cause - (philosophy) the end or purpose of a thing or process
arts, humanistic discipline, humanities, liberal arts - studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills); "the college of arts and sciences"
moral philosophy, ethics - the philosophical study of moral values and rules
aetiology, etiology - the philosophical study of causation
aesthetics, esthetics - (art) the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and taste (emphasizing the evaluative criteria that are applied to art); "traditional aesthetics assumed the existence of universal and timeless criteria of artistic value"
axiology - the study of values and value judgments
jurisprudence, legal philosophy, law - the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do
3.philosophy - any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation; "self-indulgence was his only philosophy"; "my father's philosophy of child-rearing was to let mother do it"
belief - any cognitive content held as true

philosophy

noun
1. thought, reason, knowledge, thinking, reasoning, wisdom, logic, metaphysics He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.
2. outlook, values, principles, convictions, thinking, beliefs, doctrine, ideology, viewpoint, tenets, world view, basic idea, attitude to life, Weltanschauung (German) his philosophy of non-violence
Quotations
"Philosophy may teach us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of our neighbours" [Oscar Wilde The English Renaissance of Art]
"Philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey" [Oliver Goldsmith The Good-Natur'd Man]
"All good moral philosophy is but an handmaid to religion" [Francis Bacon The Advancement of Learning]
"A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion" [Francis Bacon Essays]
"philosophy: a route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing" [Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary]
"Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings" [John Keats Lamia]
"How charming is divine philosophy!"
"Not harsh and crabbèd, as dull fools suppose,"
"But musical as Apollo's lute" [John Milton Comus]

Philosophy

Philosophical schools and doctrines  animism, Aristotelianism, atomism, behaviourism, Cartesianism, conceptualism, Confucianism, consequentialism, conventionalism, critical realism, cynicism, deism, determinism, dualism, Eleaticism, empiricism, epicureanism, essentialism, existentialism, fatalism, fideism, hedonism, Hegelianism, humanism, idealism, immaterialism, Kantianism, logical atomism, logical positivism, Marxism, materialism, monism, neo-Platonism, nihilism, nominalism, phenomenalism, Platonism, pluralism, positivism, pragmatism, Pyrrhonism, Pythagoreanism, rationalism, realism, scepticism, scholasticism, sensationalism, Stoicism, structuralism, Taoism, theism, Thomism, utilitarianism, utopianism
Philosophers  Peter Abelard (French), Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (German), Maria Gaetana Agnesi (Italian), Albertus Magnus (German), Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (French), Mohammed ibn Tarkhan al-Farabi (Arabian), Louis Althusser (French), Anaxagoras (Greek), Anaximander (Greek), Anaximenes (Greek), Antisthenes (Greek), Thomas Aquinas (Italian), Hannah Arendt (U.S.), Aristippus (Greek), Aristotle (Greek), St Augustine of Hippo (Italian), J(ohn) L(angshaw) Austin (English), Averroës (Arabian), Avicenna (Arabian), A(lfred) J(ules) Ayer (English), Francis Bacon (English), Roger Bacon (English), Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (German), Pierre Bayle (French), Julien Benda (French), Jeremy Bentham (English), Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyayev (Russian), Henri Louis Bergson (French), George Berkeley (Irish), Isaiah Berlin (British), Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (Roman), Bonaventura (Italian), F(rancis) H(erbert) Bradley (English), Giordano Bruno (Italian), Martin Buber (Austrian-Israeli), Jean Buridan (French), Edmund Burke (Irish), Tommaso Campanella (Italian), Rudolf Carnap (German-U.S.), Ernst Cassirer (German), Marcus Porcius Cato (Roman), Paul Churchland (U.S.), Chu Xi (Chinese), Cleanthes (Greek), Auguste Comte (French), Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (French), Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas de Caritat Condorcet (French), Confucius (Chinese), Frederick (Charles) Copleston (English), Victor Cousin (French), Benedetto Croce (Italian), Ralph Cudworth (English), Richard Cumberland (English), Donald Davidson (U.S.), Simone de Beauvoir (French), Democritus (Greek), Jacques Derrida (French), René Descartes (French), John Dewey (U.S.), Denis Diderot (French), Dio Chrysostom (Greek), Diogenes (Greek), John Duns Scotus (Scottish), Johann August Eberhard (German), Empedocles (Greek), Friedrich Engels (German), Epictetus (Greek), Epicurus (Greek), Desiderius Erasmus (Dutch), John Scotus Erigena (Irish), Rudolph Christoph Eucken (German), Gustav Theodor Fechner (German), Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (German), Johann Gottlieb Fichte (German), Marsilio Ficino (Italian), Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (French), Michel Foucault (French), Gottlob Frege (German), Erich Fromm (German-U.S.), Pierre Gassendi (French), Giovanni Gentile (Italian), Kurt Godel (U.S.), Gorgias (Greek), T(homas) H(ill) Green (English), Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (German), William Hamilton (Scottish), Han Fei Zu (Chinese), David Hartley (English), Friedrich August von Hayek (Austrian-British), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German), Martin Heidegger (German), Claude Adrien Helvétius (French), Heracleides (Greek), Heraclitus (Greek), Edward Herbert (English), Johann Gottfried von Herder (German), Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen (Russian), Thomas Hobbes (English), David Hume (Scottish), Edmund Husserl (German), Francis Hutcheson (Scottish), Hypatia (Alexandrian), Solomon ibn-Gabirol (Spanish), ibn-Khaldun (Arabian), Muhammad Iqbal (Indian), William James (U.S.), Karl Jaspers (German), Judah hah-Levi (Spanish), Immanuel Kant (German), Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (Danish), Suzanne Langer (U.S.), Lao Zi (Chinese), Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (German), Giacomo Leopardi (Italian), Leucippus (Greek), Lucien Lévy-Bruhl (French), John Locke (English), Lucretius (Roman), Georg Lukács (Hungarian), Ramón Lully (Spanish), Ernst Mach (Austrian), Niccolò Machiavelli (Italian), Maimonides (Spanish), Nicolas Malebranche (French), Gabriel Marcel (French), Herbert Marcuse (German-U.S), Jacques Maritain (French), Marsilius of Padua (Italian), Karl Marx (German), Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (Czech), Mencius (Chinese), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (French), James Mill (Scottish), John Stuart Mill (British), Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (French), G(eorge) E(dward) Moore (British), Henry More (English), Mo-Zi (Chinese), (Jean) Iris Murdoch (Irish), Isaac Newton (English), Nicholas of Cusa (German), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (German), William of Ockham (English), José Ortega y Gasset (Spanish), William Paley (English), Parmenides (Greek), Blaise Pascal (French), Charles Sanders Peirce (U.S.), Philo Judaeus (Alexandrian), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Italian), Plato (Greek), Plotinus (Roman), Plutarch (Greek), Jules Henri Poincaré (French), Karl Popper (Austrian-British), Porphyry (Greek), Proclus (Greek), Protagoras (Greek), Samuel von Pufendorf (German), Pyrrho (Greek), Pythagoras (Greek), Willard van Orman Quine (U.S), Ramanuja (Indian), John Rawls (U.S.), Hans Reichenbach (German), Thomas Reid (Scottish), (Joseph) Ernest Renan (French), Paul Ricoeur (French), Jean Jacques Rousseau (French), Josiah Royce (U.S), Bertrand Russell (English), Gilbert Ryle (English), Comte de Saint-Simon (French), Sankara (Indian), George Santayana (U.S.), Jean-Paul Sartre (French), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (German), Friedrich von Schlegel (German), Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher (German), Moritz Schlick (German), Arthur Schopenhauer (German), Albert Schweitzer (Franco-German), Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Roman), Shankaracharya or Shankara (Indian), Adam Smith (Scottish), Socrates (Greek), Georges Sorel (French), Herbert Spencer (English), Oswald Spengler (German), Baruch Spinoza (Dutch), Rudolf Steiner (Austrian), Peter Strawson (British), Francisco de Suárez (Spanish), Rabindranath Tagore (Indian), Alfred Tarski (Polish), Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (French), Thales (Greek), Theophrastus (Greek), Paul Johannes Tillich (German-U.S.), Leo Tolstoy (Russian), Miguel de Unamuno (Spanish), Giovanni Battista Vico (Italian), Voltaire (French), Simone Weil (French), A(lfred) N(orth) Whitehead (English), Bernard Williams (English), Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (Austrian-British), Xenocrates (Greek), Xun Zi (Chinese), Zeno of Citium (Greek), Zeno of Elea (Greek), Zhuangzi or Chuang-tzu (Chinese)
Translations
فَلْسَفَةٌفَلْسَفَة حَياهفَلْسَفَه
filozofiefilosofie
filosofilivssyn
filosofiaperiaate
filozofija
filozófiaéletfilozófia
heimspeki
哲学
철학
philosophia
filosofasfilosofijafilosofijosfilosofinisfilosofiškai
filozofija
filozofia
filozofija
filosofi
ปรัชญา
felsefedüşünce düzeni
triết học

philosophy

[fɪˈlɒsəfɪ] Nfilosofía f
her philosophy of lifesu filosofía de la vida

philosophy

[fɪˈlɒsəfi] n
(= field of study) → philosophie f
(= theory) → philosophie f
their political philosophy → leur philosophie politique
(= approach) → philosophie f
My philosophy is to look at the positive → Ma philosophie c'est de voir le bon côté des choses.
The best philosophy is to change your eating habits → La meilleure marche à suivre est de changer vos habitudes alimentaires.
a philosophy of sth (= approach to) → une philosophie de qch

philosophy

nPhilosophie f; philosophy of lifeLebensphilosophie f; that’s my philosophydas ist meine Philosophie or Einstellung; philosophy of educationErziehungsphilosophie f

philosophy

[fɪˈlɒsəfɪ] nfilosofia
her philosophy of life → la sua massima or filosofia

philosophy

(fiˈlosəfi) plural phiˈlosophies noun
1. the search for knowledge and truth, especially about the nature of man and his behaviour and beliefs. moral philosophy.
2. a particular system of philosophical theories. I have a very simple philosophy (=attitude to life) – enjoy life!
phiˈlosopher noun
a person who studies philosophy, especially one who develops a particular set of theories. Rousseau was a famous philosopher.
ˌphiloˈsophical, ˌphiloˈsophic (-ˈso-) adjective
1. of philosophy. a philosophical discussion; philosophical works.
2. (of a person) calm, not easily upset or worried. He's had a lot of bad luck, but he's philosophical about it.
ˌphiloˈsophically adverb
phiˈlosophize, phiˈlosophise verb
to think about or discuss the nature of man, the purpose of life etc. He spends all his time philosophizing and never does any work.

philosophy

فَلْسَفَةٌ filozofie filosofi Philosophie φιλοσοφία filosofía filosofia philosophie filozofija filosofia 哲学 철학 filosofie filosofi filozofia filosofia философия filosofi ปรัชญา felsefe triết học 哲学
References in classic literature ?
Cast away at the very bottom of the table was the Professor, shouting answers to the questions of a very inquisitive, deaf old gentleman on one side, and talking philosophy with a Frenchman on the other.
If unsatisfied by the philosophy of his companion, the Indian was far too dignified to betray his unbelief.
Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is.
Altogether in his culture and want of culture,--in his crude, wild, and misty philosophy, and the practical experience that counteracted some of its tendencies; in his magnanimous zeal for man's welfare, and his recklessness of whatever the ages had established in man's behalf; in his faith, and in his infidelity.
Nay; it would be sinful, in such a question, to follow the clue of profane philosophy," said Mr.
It was vouchsafed to me in me youthful days to be acquainted with shperrits" and so Tommy Finnegan went on, expounding a system of philosophy, while the perspiration came out on Jurgis' forehead, so great was his agitation and embarrassment.
If the heavens of America appear infinitely higher, and the stars brighter, I trust that these facts are symbolical of the height to which the philosophy and poetry and religion of her inhabitants may one day soar.
For some years Wilson had been privately at work on a whimsical almanac, for his amusement--a calendar, with a little dab of ostensible philosophy, usually in ironical form, appended to each date; and the judge thought that these quips and fancies of Wilson's were neatly turned and cute; so he carried a handful of them around one day, and read them to some of the chief citizens.
I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the read- ing of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do.
As it was impossible, however, now to prevent their coming, Lady Middleton resigned herself to the idea of it, with all the philosophy of a well-bred woman, contenting herself with merely giving her husband a gentle reprimand on the subject five or six times every day.
The firm pedestal of his philosophy sank under him; the prejudices of society recovered their hold on his mind.
We have lost many privileges; a new philosophy has become the mode; and the assertion of our station, in these days, might (I do not go so far as to say would, but might) cause us real inconvenience.