Philosophy Glossary

Glossary: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I
by Robert Solomon. Lectures:
  1. What is Existentialism?
  2. Albert Camus, The Stranger, Part I.
  3. Camus, The Stranger, Part II.
  4. Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus.
  5. Camus, The Plague and The Fall.
  6. Camus, The Fall, Part II.
  7. Soren Kierkegaard, "On Becoming a Christian".
  8. Kierkegaard on Subjective Truth.
  9. Kierkegaard's Existential Dialectic.
  10. Friedrich Nietzsche on Nihilism and the Death of God.
  11. Nietzsche, the "Immortal".
  12. Nietzsche on Freedom, Fate, and Responsibility.
Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I
by David Zarefsky. Lectures:
  1. Introducing Argumentation and Rhetoric.
  2. History of Argumentation Studies.
  3. Formal and Informal Argument.
  4. The Emergence of Controversy.
  5. Resolutions and Issues.
  6. Stasis — The Focal Point of Dispute.
  7. Presumption and Burden of Proof.
  8. Argument Analysis and Diagramming.
  9. Claims and Evidence.
  10. Reasoning from Parts to Whole.
  11. Reasoning from Cause to Effect.
  12. Establishing Correlations.

A.

Absurd.
"For Camus, the confrontation and conflict between our rational expectations of the world (justice, satisfaction, happiness) and the 'indifference' of the world." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Aesthetic (mode of existence).
"Kierkegaard's conception of a life based on desire and satisfaction." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Analogy.
"An inference based on resemblances: the things which are like in most respects are probably alike in the respect in question." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Analytic statement.
"A statement that is true by definition." Compare Synthetic statement. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

Antecedent.
"The 'if' clause in an 'if-then' conditional statement." Compare with Consequent. [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

A posteriori.
"Known by experience; known empirically." Compare A priori. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

A priori.
"Known prior to experience." Compare A posteriori. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

Authenticity.
"Heidegger's notion of genuine human existence." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

B.

Bad faith.
"Sartre's conception of those forms of self-deception in which we deceive ourselves about ourselves, about our natures and responsibilities." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Begging the question.
"Assuming in an argument something that actually requires proof." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Being-for-itself.
"For Sartre, human consciousness." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Being-for-others.
"For Sartre, our painful awareness of other people and their effects on us of their judgments and 'looks'." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Being-in-itself.
"For Sartre, the existence of things in the world." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Being-towards-death.
"Heidegger's notion of human mortality and the important of full awareness in facing death." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Burden of proof.
"The ultimate responsibility to demonstrate that a claim or resolution is probably true." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Burden of rejoinder.
"The responsibility to continue the argument after a plausible case has been made for or against the resolution." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

C.

Camus, Albert. 1913-1960.
Existential novelist and essayist. [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Case.
"The structure of arguments and evidence developed to support or to oppose the resolution." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Categorical.
"The form of the syllogism in which statement relate categories to other categories; the relation is either inclusive or exclusive." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Cause.
"An inference that one factor somehow exerts influence on another; the inference not only asserts a predictable relationship between the factors but accounts for it." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Claim.
"The statement of fact, definition, value, or policy that an arguer asks the audience to accept." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Classification.
"Reasoning by example in which the move is from a general statement to a specific claim." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Composition fallacy.
"The assumption that what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare division fallacy.

Condensation symbol.
A symbol (such as 'the family' or 'God' or 'the flag') that embody and thereby condense many emotions or connotations. People that share a strong positive (or strong negative) reaction to such a symbol will often have quite different reasons for that response. [After Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Conclusion.
A judgment or opinion reached by logical reasoning.

Conditional.
"The form of the Syllogism that begins with an 'if-then' statement, either affirms or denies the 'if' clause [antecedent], and reaches some conclusion about the 'then' clause [consequent]." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Consequent.
"The 'then' clause in an 'if-then' conditional statement." Compare with antecedent. [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Correlation.
"A measure of the predictable relationship between two factors, of the degree to which the presence of one predicts the presence of the other, or to which change in one predicts a change in the other." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Critical discussion.
"An interpersonal argument in which both parties want to resolve rather than merely settle the dispute, each has an equal opportunity to influence the other, both want to resolve the dispute on the merits rather than by reference to extraneous factors, and there are no artificial constraints on their ability to resolve the dispute." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

D.

Deduction.
"Reasoning in which the claim follows necessarily and automatically from the evidence and contains no new information not present at least implicitly in the evidence." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare induction.

Deductive logic.
"Reasoning from a set of premises to a conclusion that can be logically inferred from them." Compare Inductive logic. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

Dasein.
"Heidegger's conception of 'the being through whom being comes into question', i.e., human existence." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

'Being there' or 'a pure expression of being' [From Heidegger and Christianity by John Macquarrie.]

Das Man.
"Heidegger's conception of the inauthentic self, the self constructed by and through other people." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Dialectic.
"A process of discovering and testing knowledge through questions and answers." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Dissociation.
"The breaking of a previous unitary term or concept into two separate ideas, one of which is more positively valued than the other, then identifying one's own argument with the more positively valued term." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Division fallacy.
"The assumption that what is true of the whole is necessarily true of the part." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare composition fallacy.

E.

Empiricism.
"The view that experience, particularly sensory experience, is the primary — or the sole — path to knowledge." Compare Rationalism. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

End term.
A term in a categorical syllogism that appears in both a premise and the conclusion. [After Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Equivocation.
"Shifting the meaning or sense of a term in the course of an argument." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Ethical (mode of existence).
"Kierkegaard's conception of a life based on a chosen commitment to moral principles and duty to others." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Ethics.
Standards of behavior and moral judgment.

Evidence.
"Statements that are offered in support of their claims." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Existence (Existenz).
"For Kierkegaard, a full-blooded, freely chosen, passionately committed life; for Heidegger, that which is essentially Dasein. Dasein has no essence other than the fact that it exists, that it has possibilities and projects to undertake." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Existentialism.
"The philosophical movement that stresses individuality and personal responsibility, as epitomized by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]
"A school of philosophy that seeks to describe the actual conditions of our individual human existence rather than abstract, universal qualities." [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

F.

Facticity.
"For Heidegger and Sartre, the brute facts that characterize us, such as our height, our weight, our date of birth, and so on." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Fallacy.
"Conventionally understood as an argument that appears to be valid but is not; ... more specifically, identifies deficiencies in form or (according to some theorists) in procedure." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Fallenness.
"For Heidegger, a 'pre-ontological' way of dealing with the world, a way in which Dasein fails to face up to its ontological condition." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

False dilemma.
"A purported dilemma in which the alternatives are not exhaustive (there are other unmentioned probabilities) or in which they are not all undesirable." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Formal reasoning.
"Reasoning in which claims follow from evidence as a matter purely of form, so that content and context are irrelevant; often equated with deduction, mathematical reasoning, or symbolic logic." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare informal reasoning.

G.

Generalization.
"Inference from example in which the movement is from specific evidence to a general claim." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

H.

Heidegger
See Heidegger.

Husserl

I.

Inductive logic.
"Reasoning from specific instances to a general conclusion that is broader than what can be logically inferred from the instances." [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]
Compare Deductive logic.

Induction.
"Reasoning in which the claim follows from the evidence only with some degree of probability and in which the claim contains new information not present in the evidence." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare deduction.

Inference.
"A mental move from evidence to a claim so that one accepts the claim on the basis of the evidence." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Informal reasoning.
"Reasoning that is not purely a matter of form; in which content and context cannot be ignored." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]
Compare formal reasoning.

Issue.
"A question that is inherent in the resolution and vital to its success; an argument that must be established in order to establish the claim contained in the resolution." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

J.

K.

Kierkegaard, Soren. 1813-1855.
Danish philosopher. "Kierkegaard was a deeply religious philosopher — a pious Christian — and his existentialist thought was devoted to the question, 'What does it mean to be — or rather, what does it mean to become — a Christian." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

L.

Logic.
The science of the formal principles of reasoning.
"Structures of reasoning, whether formal or informal; the concern is with the relationships among statements rather than the relationship between statements and audiences." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

M.

Master morality.
"Nietzsche's conception of a self-confident morality of virtue and excellence." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]
Contrast with Slave morality.

Metaphysics.
The study of the nature of existence and how we know what we know.

Mini-max principle.
"A guideline for strategic choices in attack and defense: one should make these choices that, with minimum effort and risk, yield the maximum gain." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

N.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1844-1900.
Existential writer.

Non sequitur.
"An argument in which the claim has no conceivable relationship to the evidence and does not follow from it." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Noumenal.
The world as it is in itself.
"Pertaining to things as they are in themselves, as opposed to how they appear to our senses." [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]
[Compare phenomenal.]

O.

Objective data.
"Evidence that can be independently established or verified and that is widely agreed to." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Objective uncertainty.
"Kierkegaard's attempt to capture those realms of human existence in which knowledge becomes irrelevant and personal decisions become all-important." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Ontology.
"For Heidegger, the study of Being." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

P.

Personal sphere.
"The sphere of argument in which disputes concern only the participants and are resolved by them; typically, argumentation is private and ephemeral." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Phenomenal.
The world as it appears to us (as idea or as representation).
[Compare noumenal.]

Phenomenology.
"In Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre, the study of the essential structures of consciousness, experience, or Dasein." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Philosopher.
A person that studies ideas and the way people think.

Philosophy.
The search for wisdom and knowledge.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
"A logical fallacy ... that because A precedes B, it must therefore be the cause of B." [Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]
Simply called "Post hoc fallacy" in Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.

Postmodernism.
"Contemporary philosophy that rejects the idea of the unified self and the clarifying powers of reason." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Premise.
A statement that is assumed for the sake of the argument.

Presumption.
"A descriptive characteristic of the position that would prevail in the absence of argumentation; the arguer who does not hold presumption must present a case sufficiently compelling to outweigh it." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Prima facie.
"Literally 'at first face'; a case that, on the surface, seems to satisfy the burden of proof unless something is said against it." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Proof.
"Support for a claim; reasons to justify acceptance of a claim; not to be confused with scientific demonstration or mathematical certainty." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Q.

R.

Rationalism.
"The view that reason is the primary -- or the sole -- path to knowledge." Compare Empiricism. [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

Refutation.
"The process of criticizing, attacking, or responding to an argument; sometimes the term is also used to embrace the process of defending, rebuilding, or extending an argument after it has been attacked or criticized." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Religious (mode of existence).
"Kierkegaard's conception of a life based on a chosen devotion to God and His commandments." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Resolution.
"The ultimate claim that an advocate seeks to prove or disprove; the substance of a controversy; a declarative statement that responds to the central question in a controversy." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Rhetoric.
The art of speaking or writing persuasively.
"Study of the ways messages influence people; the faculty of discovering the available means of persuasion in a given case." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

S.

Sartre, John-Paul. 1905-1980.
Existential writer. [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Slave morality.
"Nietzsche's conception of a reactive, resentful insistence on universal principles and the protection of the weak." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]
Contrast with Master morality.

Slippery slope.
"An argument that suggests that a seemingly trivial or inconsequential action will start an irreversible chain of events leading to catastrophe." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Spinoza, Benedict de. 1632-1677.
Philosopher. Ethicist. Lens grinder.

Social knowledge.
"The conventional wisdom or common judgment of a society that is acted on as if it were true." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Stasis.
"The focal point of a controversy; the question on which the controversy turns, the 'point of rest' at which the force of an assertion is countered by the force of denial." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Subjectivity.
"In Kierkegaard, the realm of personal passion and commitment. In Sartre, phenomenology, the realm of consciousness." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Subjective truth.
"In Kierkegaard, passionate commitment." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Supreme categorical imperative.
"Immanuel Kant's overriding moral principle that one ought to act only according to those maxims that can be consistently willed as a universal law." [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.]

Syllogism.
A deductive scheme that contains a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.

Synthetic statement.
"A statement that is not true by definition." [From Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.] Compare Analytic statement.

T.

Thrownness.
"For Heidegger, our 'essential' condition, the state in which we find ourselves thrown into this world, that we are 'abandoned'. It is there in which Dasein finds itself." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Topoi.
"Literally, 'places'; categories of issues that typically arise on resolution of a given type." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Transcendence.
"For Sartre, the power of consciousness to negate and go beyond the facts of the matter." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

Transcendental ego.
"For Husserl, the realm of consciousness." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

U.

Übermench.
"Nietzsche's dramatic image of a more than human being." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

V.

Validity.
"In formal reasoning, a condition in which, if the evidence is true, the claim must be true ... ; in informal reasoning, a content-neutral test of the soundness or compellingness of a claim." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

W.

Warrant.
"An authorization or license to make the inference from evidence to claim." [From Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, Part I by David Zarefsky.]

Will to power.
"Nietzsche's conception of the fundamental motivation of all human behavior, including morality and philosophy." [From No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, Part I by Robert Solomon.]

X.

Y.

Z.