A Simple Guide to Philosophical Terms


Why Philosophy?

why philosophy

Why Philosophy

  1. Existentialism: the belief that through a combination of awareness, free will, and personal responsibility, one can construct their own meaning within a world that intrinsically has none of its own.
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  2.  Nihilism: the belief that not only is there no intrinsic meaning in the universe, but that it’s pointless to try to construct our own as a substitute.
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  3.  Absurdism: the belief that the search for meaning is inherently in conflict with the actual lack of meaning, but that one should accept this and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing what life has to offer.
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  4. Deism: the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a creator, accompanied by the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge.
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  5. Materialism: the belief that the reality is what we see or observe in the material things around us.
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  6. Egalitarianism: the belief that suggests that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status.
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  7. Feminism: a collection of movements and ideologists aimed at defining, defending and an intention of establishing a state of equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for woman.
    feminism isn't about making women stronger. women are already strong. it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength.


  8. Sophism: the belief that all thought rests solely on the apprehensions of the senses and on subjective impression, and that therefore we have no other standards of action than a convention for the individual.
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  9. Agnosticism: a view that the truth values of certain claims-especially claims about the existence and non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claim – are unknown.
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  10. Cynicism: an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; scepticism.


  11. Idealism: a group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial.
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  12. Optimism: a mental attitude or world view that interprets situations and events as being the best, meaning that in some way or factors that may not be fully comprehended.
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  13. Perfectionism: the persistence of will in obtaining the optimal quality of spiritual, mental, physical, and material being.
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  14. Utilitarianism:  a normative ethical theory that places all the locus of the right and wrong solely on the outcomes(consequences).
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  15. Monotheism: a belief in the existence of one God or in the oneness of the God.
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  16. Apatheism: acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or disbelief in a deity.
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  17. Relativism: concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to the differences in perception and consideration.
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  18. Altruism: an ethical doctrine that holds that all individual has a moral obligation to help, serve and benefit others.
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  19. Rationalism: a belief that experience does not produce certainty and does not conform to reason, that the knowledge is based on the use of reason and logic.
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  20. Emotivism: a belief that all individual judgments are purely the expression of one’s own attitude.
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  21. Hedonism: an ethical position that pleasure is the ultimate goal and greater good and should be the central aim of all decisions made.
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  22. Solipsism: the ideology that only one’s mind is sure to exist, that knowledge of anything outside one’s mind is unsure, hence there is no such thing as objective truth.
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  23. Pantheism: the view that nature and the God are same things, that everything in the universe is an all-encompassing God.
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  24. Syncretism: the attempt to reconcile, disparate, even contradictory beliefs into one belief structure.
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  25. Authoritarianism: Submission to authority and opposed to individualism and democracy.
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  26. Stoicism: the belief that the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions.
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  27. Holism: a theory that the properties of a system cannot be understood by the sum of its parts alone but by how the system behaves as a whole.
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  28. Finalism: the doctrine that natural processes, for example, evolution, are directed towards some goal.
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  29. Dualism: the conviction that all objects within the world fundamentally consist of two contrasting qualities, such as good and evil, or body or mind.
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  30. Totalitarianism: a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.
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  31. Realism: a belief that reality exists independently of observers.
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  32. Scepticism: a belief the knowledge or certainty in a particular area is impossible.
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  33. Determinism: the propositions that all events, including those of human thoughts, are causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior events.
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  34. Perspectivism: the philosophical view that all ideas come from different perspectives and are caused by a specific inner drive.
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  35. Pessimism: a state of mind in which one believes only the worst to be possible.
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  36. Objectivism: the belief that certain acts are objectively right or wrong.
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  37. Contextualism: a range of views that argue that the phenomenon can only be properly understood within the context it occurred.
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  38. Deductions: a view of how scientific knowledge should be acquired-by first proposing a hypothesis.
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  39. Syncretism: the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
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  40. Positivism: a system in philosophy recognizing only that which can be scientifically verified or which is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and therefore rejecting metaphysics and theism.
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  41. Humanism: a democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives.
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  42. Aestheticism: the belief that our main efforts in life should be focused on creating and enjoying beauty in all its forms.
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  43. .Historicism: The theory that to understand the historical event, you must first understand the context of philosophy that it took place in, rather than explain it with supposedly timeless or fundamental ideas.
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  44. Eternalism: a position of philosophy that time is just another dimension, that future event already exists, and that all the points in time are equally real.
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  45. Absolutism: refer to philosophical stances which promote notions of absolute truth, involving contentions that in particular realms of thought, all statements in that domain are either absolutely true or absolutely false.
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  46. Empiricism: empiricismin philosophy, is the view that all concepts originate in experience, that all concepts are about or applicable to things that can be experienced, or that all rationally acceptable beliefs or propositions are justifiable or knowable only through experience.
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  47. Metaphysics: the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of existence, being and the world.
    Universal law …


  48. Deontologism: an approach to ethics that focuses on the rightness or the wrongness of the action itself rather than the rightness or wrongness of the consequence.
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  49. Eudaimonism: a moral philosophy that defines right action as that which leads to the “well-being” of the individual, thus holding “well-being” as having essential value.
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  50. Vitalism: the theory that the origin and phenomena of life are dependent on a force or principle distinct from purely chemical or physical forces.
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    PS: The image that are posted are not my own.

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