4.4 Chapter Glossary

Chapter Glossary
a posteriori Perceptual knowledge obtained only after having sensory experience.
a priori Conceptual knowledge obtained by the mind alone without experience, e.g., logical relationships and mathematical formulas.
Abstracting For Locke, the final stage in the development of simple ideas into complex ideas.
acatalepsia For Pyrrho, the ability to suspend judgment over dogmatic claims to the truth.
Analytic propositions Propositions that are self-evident, the predicate being necessary to the subject.
anamnesis The Platonic notion that innate ideas are born with us into this life and “remembered” as we mature.
ataraxia For the Skeptics, the peace of mind that comes from intellectual detachment from dogmas.
Categories of the Understanding For Kant, the twelve fundamental concepts by which the Power of Understanding sorts sensations in order to construct reality.
cogito ergo sum Descartes’ great insight:  “I think, therefore I am!”
Clear and distinct ideas For Descartes, the intuitive concepts the mind grasps directly without the aid of the senses.
Compounding For Locke, the first stage in the development of simple ideas into complex ideas.
Concept A mental formation that is formed without experience, an abstract idea.
epoché For the Skeptics, the ability to detach from committing to one dogma or another, a position of non-committal.
esse est percipi Berkeley’s theory that a thing comes into existence only when perceived or held by a mind.
Forms (aka, Ideas, Universals) Plato’s innate and universal concepts of understanding that exist independently of human beings and of the sensible world.
Idealism The philosophy which states that all reality is mental and not physical in nature.
Ideas For Locke, the simple sensations that the mind receives from the world.
Impressions Hume’s term for the simple sensations that the mind receives from the world.
Innate ideas The Rationalist position that much of our minds contain intuitive and self-evident truths that do not come from experience.
Intuitions For Kant, the raw data of the senses that enters the mind.
Limited Skepticism The Skeptical position that denies that we do (or can) have some knowledge in a particular area or subject.
Methodological Skepticism Descartes’ technique of using doubt as a route to certain knowledge by identifying what can’t be doubted.
Noumenal For Kant, the world as it is in itself prior to human experience, the “unknowable.”
Percept A mental formation that happens after experience, a sight, a sound, etc.
Perspectivism Nietzsche’s epistemological principle that perception of and knowledge of something are always bound to the interpretive perspectives of those observing it.
Phenomenal For Kant, the world as it is constructed by the human mind.
Power of Sensibility For Kant, the mind’s passive power of receptivity which takes in sense data.
Power of Understanding For Kant, the mind’s active power of constructing sense data into reality.
Primary Qualities For Locke, those measurable parts of our perceptions that give us accurate information about the external world.
Propositional Knowledge The kind of knowledge sought by philosophy, knowledge that a claim or proposition is in fact true.
Relating For Locke, the second stage in the development of simple ideas into complex ideas.
Representative Realism The belief that at least some of the information in our perceptions gives us true information about the objects outside of the mind we are perceiving.  For Locke, the Primary Qualities of an object could be so trusted.
Secondary Qualities For Locke, those non-measurable aspects of our perceptions that do not give us accurate information about the object outside of experience but are added by our subjective preferences.
Simple ideas of sensation For Locke, the bits of sense experience taken in and settle on the blank slate of the mind.
Skepticism The philosophical position that argues we should shy away from making any “truth” claims and avoid affirming any final truths.
Synthetic a priori Propositions A term from logic, Kant’s synthetic a priori propositions are those in which the predicates contain information that is not present in the subjects, but the truth value of the proposals can be obtained without recourse to experience
Substance In philosophy, an ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and change.
tabula rasa For Locke, the blank slate of the mind prior to experience.
Universal Belief Falsifier A Skeptic technique in which one attempts to raise a case in which a certain proposition might not be true.
Universal Skepticism A form of Skepticism which claims we can have no knowledge of any kind.
Will to Power For Nietzsche, the fundamental drive of human existence, mastery and self-mastery.


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PPSC PHI 1011: The Philosopher's Quest by Daniel G. Shaw, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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