Philosophy Vocabulary List 3

  1. Nous
    The Greek word for mind or intellect; Plotinus name for the first emanation from God.
  2. The One
    Plotinus' name for God
  3. Emanation
    A term used by Plotinus to explain the major levels of reality (mind, soul, body) as an eternal flowing forth from the being of God. One example of emanation is the relationship between the sun and its rays.
  4. Reincarnation
    The theory that human beings have existed in earlier lives and will live again after this death.
  5. Neo Platonism
    A modern name given to the theories of Plotinus and his followers.
  6. Mysticism
    For Plotinus, the belief that God can be encountered through a subjective, non-rational, ineffable (cannot be expressed through words) experience.
  7. Manicheanism
    The pagan worldview Augustine adopted in his youth. It taught the existence of two gods, one good (light) and the other evil (darkness).
  8. Ex Nihilo
    In the Christian worldview, the belief that God created the universe “out of nothing.”
  9. Revelation (General)
    God’s revelation through nature and conscience independent of the Bible.
  10. Revelation (Special)
    God’s communication of truth to selected individuals.
  11. Faith
    For Augustine, that which we believe on the testimony of another. As such, faith is a precondition of knowledge. The term is also used to mean a trust or commitment to a person or belief in the presence of some warrent.
  12. Pre-Existence
    A theory that teaches that human beings existed in some form prior to their birth into his life.
  13. Tautology
    A true but uninformative proposition, as in “All spinsters are unmarried ladies.”
  14. Averroism, Latin
    The adoption of several anti-Christian beliefs of the Muslin philosopher Averroes by medieval professors in such institution as the University of Paris. The beliefs included a denial of creation and personal immortality.
  15. First Cause
    In Aquinas, an important term for God, the first and ultimate cause of everything else that exists.
  16. The Way of Negation
    For Aquinas, the second of two ways of attaining knowledge about God. While we cannot attain complete, positive knowledge of God’s nature, we can know what God is not like. This approach fails, since we can hardly know that God is not x unless we first know something of what he is.
  17. Agnosticism
    A theory that holds that humans cannot obtain knowledge about some subject-matter.
  18. Analogy
    The similarity between two things, as in the claim that an ocean liner is like a floating city. Aquinas claimed that language used about God cannot have precisely the same meaning it has when applied to created beings, it can only be analogous. When a predicate such as “love” is applied to God, it can only mean that God is like the love that humans are familiar with.
  19. The Way of Analogy
    For Aquinas, the first of two ways of attaining knowledge about God. We can know that some attribute of God is like some property we know through our experience (such as love), but God’s love transcends the imperfect and incomplete understanding we have of love from human experience.
  20. Natural Law
    An unchanging, objective moral law that stands above and apart from activities of human lawmakers.
  21. Contingent Being
    Any existence thing whose nonexistence is possible and whose existence depends upon something else. The opposite of a necessary being.
Card Set
Philosophy Vocabulary List 3
These are the vocabulary words for Introduction to Philosophy with Dr. Howell, this is list 3.