Philosophy‎ > ‎

Philosophical terms

Dictionary of philosophical terms …

… some philosophical concepts and how they relate to the view of the world on the philosophy page …

Philosophical Concepts in Agreement with Evidence-Based Morality

  • Humanism – to emphasize the value and agency of human beings; to prefer individual thought and evidence over doctrine and faith

  • Secularism – the principle of separation of government and religious institutions; the view that political actions should be unbiased by religious influence

  • Naturalism (methodological) – a way of acquiring knowledge by explaining and testing all hypotheses and events by reference to natural causes and events; a working assumption that, unless proven wrong, natural laws are the laws that govern the structure and behaviour of the natural universe

  • Empiricism – to emphasize the role of experience and evidence in the formation of ideas over the notion of innate ideas or traditions

  • Liberalism – emphasizes liberty and equality; supports ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade and private property

  • Positivism – rejection of introspective and intuitive knowledge; the view that all authoritative knowledge derives from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience

  • Democracy – a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives

  • Scepticism (philosophical) – an overall approach that requires all information to be well supported by evidence; no claims are to be taken for granted; refrains from making truth claims

  • Utilitarianism – theory that the proper course of action is the one that maximises utility, specifically maximising happiness and reducing suffering

  • Altruism – principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others

  • Humanistic naturalism – Human beings are best able to control and understand the world through use of the scientific method, combined with the social and ethical values of humanism. Concepts of spirituality, intuition and metaphysics are considered subjectively valuable only, and are within the realm of personal opinion. All living things deserve some degree of mutual respect from human beings; resources must be fairly exchanged between species.

  • Secular humanism – embraces human reason, ethics, social justice and philosophical naturalism, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision making. It posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god. It does not, however, assume that humans are either inherently evil or innately good, nor does it present humans as being superior to nature. Rather, the humanist life stance emphasizes the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions. Fundamental to the concept of secular humanism is the strongly held viewpoint that ideology – be it religious or political – must be thoroughly examined by each individual and not simply accepted or rejected on faith. Along with this, an essential part of secular humanism is a continually adapting search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy.

  • Moral realism – position that ethical sentences express factual propositions about robust or mind-independent features of the world, and that some such propositions are true

  • Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta–ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals", regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or any other distinguishing feature. Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism.

  • Realism (philosophical) – belief that our reality, or some aspect of it, is independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. Our current beliefs are an approximation of reality, every new observation brings us closer to understanding reality.

  • Ethical naturalism

  • Hedonism (philosophical) – a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (pleasure minus pain).

  • Cognitivism – ethical sentences express propositions and can therefore be true or false

  • Egalitarianism – trend of thought that favours equality for particular categories of, or for all, living entities; egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status

  • Constitutionalism – complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law

  • Consequentialism – the view that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness or wrongness of that conduct

Philosophical Concepts Opposed to Evidence-Based Morality

Relativism, fatalism, nihilism, historicism, idealism, rationalism, authoritarianism, error theory, ethical subjectivism, postmodernism, teleology, moral relativism, dogmatism, monarchy, theocracy, oligarchy, aristocracy, sexism, racism. 

Navigation/Back to main pages

Back to: Philosophy | Cakeworld Homepage