Eckhart Johannes

<history of philosophy, biography> known as Meister Eckhart (1260-1327). German Dominican theologian whose Von unsagbaren Dingen and other writings and sermons identified the being and intellect of a unified deity that could be apprehended only through mystical apprehension of the divine through an inner spark (scintilla animae) of the soul. Condemned as pantheistic in his own time, Eckhart's doctrines were a significant application of neoplatonic thought. Recommended Reading: Meister Echkart, Selected Writings, ed. by Oliver Davies (Penguin, 1995); Bernard McGinn, The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart: The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing (Crossroad, 2001); and Passion for Creation: Earth-honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, ed. by Matthew Fox (Inner Traditions, 2000).

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eclecticism

<philosophy> approach or way of doing philosophy that does not respect the boundaries of the current or traditional schools, but instead takes whatever seems true from each of them. Eclecticism is usually applied in a negative way, implying a lack of systematic or philosophical consistency, or even implying the presence of subjectivism. (Reference from syncretism.)

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ecofeminism

<human rights, ecology> belief that human violation of the natural world is an extension of the prevalent patriarchy of Western culture. On this view, efforts to protect the environment at large are feminist in spirit, since they challenge systemic male domination of the other. Recommended Reading: Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature, ed. by Karen Warren and Nisvan Erkal (Indiana, 1997); Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (Continuum, 1999); Ivone Gebara, Longing for Running Water: Ecofeminism and Liberation, tr. by David Molineaux (Fortress, 1999); Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature, ed. by Greta Claire Gaard (Temple, 1993); and Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology, ed. by Eric Katz, Andrew Light, and David Rothenberg (MIT, 2000).

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Eco Umberto

<history of philosophy, biography> Italian novelist, critic, and philosopher (1932- ); author of Opera aperta (The Open Work) (1962), Trattato di semiotica generale (A Theory of Semiotics) (1976), and Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio (Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language) (1984). A serious scholar of semiotics, Eco examines the use of signs, both in literary texts and - as in "Travels in Hyperreality" (1991)- in popular culture. His novels, Il Nome della Rosa (The Name of the Rose) (1980), Foucault's Pendulum (1988), and The Island of the Day Before (1994) offer the kind of postmodern entertainment, deliberately open to re-interpretation at many different levels, that he had proposed in Apocalittici e integrati (Apocalyptic Postponed) (1964). Recommended Reading: Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (Indiana, 1994); Umberto Eco, Misreadings (McClelland & Stewart, 1994); Umberto Eco, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Belknap, 1995); Reading Eco: An Anthology, ed. by Rocco Capozzi (Indiana, 1997); Michael Caesar, Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics and the Work of Fiction (Blackwell, 1999); and Out of Chaos: Semiotics: A Festschrift in Honor of Umberto Eco, ed. by William E. Tanner, Anne Gervasi, and Kay Mizzel (Liberal Arts, 1992).

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effective computable

<logic> A term describing a function for which there is an effective algorithm that correctly calculates the function. The algorithm must consist of a finite sequence of instructions.

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effect

<ontology> an event that is taken to result from or to be produced by another event, with which it stands in a causal relationship.

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effective computation

effective computable

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effective enumeration

enumerable set

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effective method

<logic> An effective method for a class C of problems is a method for solving problems in C when the method (1) is logically bound as opposed to physically bound (2) to give some answer, as opposed to no answer, (3) that is correct, as opposed to incorrect, (4) in a finite number of steps, as opposed to an infinite number, (5) every time, or for all inputs, or for all problems in the class, as opposed to selectively, (6) if the method is followed carefully, as opposed to carelessly, (7) as far as necessary, as opposed to only as far as our resources permit, (8) when each step in the process is "dumb" or "mechanical". The eighth requirement introduces an irreducibly intuitive element into the definition. Some add (9) when given a problem from outside the class for which the method is effective, the method may halt or loop forever without halting, but must not return a value as if it were the answer to the problem. (The wording of this definition was influenced by Geoffrey Hunter.) Also called algorithm; decision procedure.

See also Church's Thesis

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effective proof procedure

<logic> An effective method for generating the proof of any theorem in a formal system. A system for which there exists an effective proof procedure is decidable; but not all decidable systems have effective proof procedures.

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efficient cause

<ontology> the agent or event that produces some change in the accidental features of a thing; one of Aristotle's four causes. Recommended Reading: Aristotle, Physics, tr. by Robin Waterfield and David Bostock (Oxford, 1999).

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egalitarianism

<ethics, political philosophy> the view that equality is a very high, or even the most important, ethical and societal value (sometimes also called equalitarianism). Egalitarians usually focus on equality of results, rather than equality of opportunity or equality before the law, which are ideas associated with classical liberalism or libertarianism. In practical terms, egalitarian policies in political reality usually focus on the equal re-distribution of wealth, often verging on socialism. (Reference from liberalism.)

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egoism

<ethics> belief that human conduct is governed by self-interest. Psychological egoism holds that all human beings are, as a matter of fact, motivated to act only in pursuit of their own (at least apparent) advantage, never for the sake of others. Ethical egoism is the normative theory that right conduct can be defined in terms of (an enlightened notion of) one's own welfare. Though often held jointly, the distinction between fact and value clearly renders the two views distinct: some might argue that human beings ought to act on their own behalf even though they don't always do so, while others could suppose that they invariably do act selfishly even though they ought not. Recommended Reading: Robert William Shaver, Rational Egoism: A Selective and Critical History (Cambridge, 1998) and Kim-Chong Chong, Moral Agoraphobia: The Challenge of Egoism (Peter Lang, 1996).

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eidos

<ontology> Greek term for what is seen-figure, shape, or form. In the philosophy of Plato, the eidos is the immutable genuine nature of a thing, one of the eternal, transcendent Forms apprehended by human reason. Aristotle rejected the notion of independently existing Forms and understood them instead as abstract universals. By extension, Husserl used the term "eidetic" for the phenomenological apprehension of essences generally. Recommended Reading: F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967).

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eigenvalue

<mathematics> The factor by which a linear transformation multiplies one of its eigenvectors.

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eigenvector

<mathematics> A vector which, when acted on by a particular linear transformation, produces a scalar multiple of the original vector. The scalar in question is called the eigenvalue corresponding to this eigenvector.

It should be noted that "vector" here means "element of a vector space" which can include many mathematical entities. Ordinary vectors are elements of a vector space, and multiplication by a matrix is a linear transformation on them; smooth functions "are vectors", and many partial differential operators are linear transformations on the space of such functions; quantum-mechanical states "are vectors", and observables are linear transformations on the state space.

An important theorem says, roughly, that certain linear transformations have enough eigenvectors that they form a basis of the whole vector states. This is why Fourier analysis works, and why in quantum mechanics every state is a superposition of eigenstates of observables.

An eigenvector is a (representative member of a) fixed point of the map on the projective plane induced by a linear map.

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eikasia

<epistemology> Greek term used by Plato, to signify human imagination, which is focussed exclusively on a temporal appearance or image.

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Einstein Albert

<history of philosophy, biography> german physicist (1879-1955). Einstein's combination of simple thought-experiments with complex mathematical formulae transformed twentieth-century conceptions of matter, space, and time and earned him the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921. His special (1905) and general (1915) theories of relativity emphasized the role of the observer in determining the content of our observations of the natural world. Although he assisted the careers of several of the logical positivists, his own philosophical reflections emphasized the independence of theory-formation from empirical evidence. Recommended Reading: Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Crown, 1995); Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years: The Scientist, Philosopher and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words (Outlet, 1993); Richard Feynman, Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time (Perseus, 1998); and Albrecht Folsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography (Penguin, 1998).

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Eleatics

< history of philosophy, school> presocratic philosophers, including Parmenides and Zeno, who used dialectical methods to argue that reality is a unified whole within which no motion or change is possible. Recommended Reading: The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy, ed. by A. A. Long (Cambridge, 1999).

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elegant

(From Mathematics) Combining simplicity, power, and a certain ineffable grace of design. Higher praise than "clever", "winning" or even cuspy.

The French aviator, adventurer, and author Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery, probably best known for his classic children's book "The Little Prince", was also an aircraft designer. He gave us perhaps the best definition of engineering elegance when he said "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

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eliminativism

<philosophy of mind> belief that language should be purged of all reference to the (none-existent) things of a certain kind; the most extreme variety of reductionism. Thus, while a reductive materialist may hold that pains are really just activities of the central nervous system, an eliminative materialist proposes that we speak only of brain-states.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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the position that folk psychology is a false theory and that corresponding notions such as belief, experience, and sensation are fundamentally mistaken. The alternative most often offered is physicalist and the position is thus often called eliminative materialism.

References

Churchland, P.S. 1980. "Language, thought, and information processing". Nous 14:147-70.

Churchland, P.M. (1981). "Eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes." Journal of Philosophy 78:67-90. Reprinted in A Neurocomputational Perspective. MIT Press, 1989.

Churchland, P.M. (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.

Chris Eliasmith - [Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind] Homepage

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ELIZA

<artificial intelligence> A famous program by Joseph Weizenbaum, which simulated a Rogerian psychoanalyst by rephrasing many of the patient's statements as questions and posing them to the patient. It worked by simple pattern recognition and substitution of key words into canned phrases. It was so convincing, however, that there are many anecdotes about people becoming very emotionally caught up in dealing with ELIZA. All this was due to people's tendency to attach to words meanings which the computer never put there.

See also ELIZA effect.

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Elizabeth of Bohemia

<history of philosophy, biography> German princess (Elisabeth von der Pfalz) (1618-1680). In he extensive correspondence with Descartes, Elizabeth deftly identified the impossibility of genuine interaction between mental and physical substances as the central difficulty with mind-body dualism.

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ELIZA effect

<jargon> /e-li:'z* *-fekt'/ (From ELIZA) The tendency of humans to attach associations to terms from prior experience. For example, there is nothing magic about the symbol "+" that makes it well-suited to indicate addition; it's just that people associate it with addition. Using "+" or "plus" to mean addition in a computer language is taking advantage of the ELIZA effect.

The ELIZA effect is a Good Thing when writing a programming language, but it can blind you to serious shortcomings when analysing an Artificial Intelligence system.

Compare ad-hockery; see also AI-complete.

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emanation

<ontology, Plotinus> that which inevitably flows outward from the transcendental central principle of reality ("the One") in the neoplatonic philosophy of Plotinus. Individual things, including human beings, are therefore presumed to be nothing more than the faint ripples left by a primordial big splash. The timeless reality of a central intelligence, Plotinus held, inexorably results in the formation of both soul as an active principle of organization and, eventually, inert matter. Recommended Reading: Plotinus, The Enneads, ed. by John Dillon and Stephen MacKenna (Penguin, 1991) and The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus, ed. by Lloyd P. Gerson (Cambridge, 1996).

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emanationism

<metaphysics> a doctrine in both gnosticism and especially the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus, who posited that the physical world emanated from a "world soul", which in turn emanated from a divine presence, which in turn emanated from a higher divinity, and so on - the whole process having started with an emanation from the divine God or "One".

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embedding

1. <mathematics> One instance of some mathematical object contained with in another instance, e.g. a group which is a subgroup.

2. <theory> (domain theory) A complete partial order F in [X -> Y] is an embedding if

(1) For all x1, x2 in X, x1 <= x2 <=> F x1 <= F x2 and

(2) For all y in Y, x | F x <= y is directed.

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emergence

<PI, philosophy of mind, ontology> properties of a complex physical system are emergent just in case they are neither (i) properties had by any parts of the system taken in isolation nor (ii) resultant of a mere summation of properties of parts of the system.

A system exhibits emergent properties when those properties are more than the sum of its parts" properties. Emergence is a notion cherished by those philosophers of mind who are mental realists, and physicalists who nonetheless reject the reducibility of the mental to the physical. Mental emergentists, then, posit that mental properties emerge from certain complex sets of physical properties, for instance, physical properties of human brains. Thus they hold that mental events are not identical to any brain events but instead emerge from them.

Ernest Nagel (1961) and Brain McLaughlin (1992) cite Mill's 'Of the Composition of Causes" chapter of System of Logic (1843) as the locus classicus on the notion of emergence. For Mill, the key to the distinction between emergent and non-emergent properties centres on a distinction regarding two different ways in which conjoint causes can produce an effect: Non-emergent properties are effects that are mere summations of the effects of each of the causal conjuncts, whereas emergent properties are effects that are not sums of the effects of each causal conjunct. hese respective notions might be best conveyed by the following examples.

A paradigmatic example of an effect best construed as non-emergent is the way that multiple force vectors sum to propel a body in a given direction. Mill writes:

"If a body is propelled in two directions by two forces, one tending to drive it to the north and the other to the east, it is caused to move in a given time exactly as far in both directions as the two forces would separately have carried it; and is left precisely where it would have arrived if it had been acted upon first by one of the two forces, and afterwards by the other. This law of nature is called, in dynamics, the principle of the Composition of Forces: and in imitation of that well-chosen expression, I shall give the name of the Composition of Causes to the principle which is exemplified in all cases in which the joint effect of several causes is identical with the sum of their separate effects. (1843, p. 428)"

A key determinant of whether a behaviour is emergent on this view is whether removing any of the causal conjuncts prevents the remaining conjuncts from contributing their effects to the remaining system. If not, then the behaviour of the system in question is non-emergent. If so, then it is emergent. Mill offers as examples of emergent effects chemical reactions. Consider the following chemical process: CH4 + 2O2 --> CO2 + 2H2O (Methane + oxygen produces carbon dioxide + water). For Mill, the products of such chemical reactions are not, in any sense, the sum of the effects of each reactant (McLaughlin, 1992, p.60).

While the mechanics underlying chemical reactions are understood well enough today to render Mill's point dubious, we can see why the above chemical reaction would impress Mill and his contemporaries as significantly different in kind from the Composition of Forces for moving bodies. In the case of the chemical reaction, the resulting compounds exhibit properties significantly different from those of the reactants. For instance, methane is violently combustible, whereas carbon dioxide and water are not. This contrasts sharply against the case of a north-westerly moving object being propelled by two forces--one towards the north, the other towards the west-- insofar as the subsequent motion is so obviously decomposable into the effects of the conjoint causes. A very live possibility to consider in connection with these examples is that an enhanced understanding of the processes that underlie some observed property of a system may show that system not to be an example of emergence. That is, an increase of knowledge about the way certain effects are obtained may reveal that certain effects are decomposable into the effects contributed by subcomponents of that system. Mill's chemical examples fail as properly emergent for just this reason. With the development of quantum mechanical explanation, we have been able to see how chemical reactions are composed of additive properties of individual electrons (McLaughlin, 1992, p.89).

Pete Mandik <pete@twinearth.wustl.edu>

Objection

I disagree with the definition of emergent properties. This definition would automatically make the shape of a composite body an "emergent" property. Consider a brick in the shape of a cube. The parts of this object are, let's say, molecules. Now (1) None of the molecules is cubical in shape, and (2) "cubical" is not the "sum" of the shapes of the molecules, nor the sum of anything else. (In fact, only quantities can be sums. Since "cubical" isn't a quantity, it can't be the sum of anything.) Thus, the existence of emergent properties would be trivial. Instead, we should take Broad's definition from The Mind and its Place in Nature. Roughly:

a property, P, of a composite object, O, is emergent if it is not metaphysically necessary that an aggregate composed of parts having exactly the (intrinsic) properties that the parts of O in fact have and arranged in the way that the parts of O are in fact arranged, should have P.

(Broad says, if you were given all the intrinsic properties of the parts plus their arrangement, you could not predict the properties of the whole. I think this is what he means.)

Michael Huemer <owl@rci.rutgers.edu>

Reply to the Objection

While I agree that any good definition of "emergence" should exclude the shapes of bricks from counting as emergent properties, I disagree that my definition fails to do so. Superimpose a coordinate system (such as Descartes') on a brick, and it becomes a simple exercise to see that the particular way that the brick occupies space is a sum of the ways its parts occupy space. Given the techniques of analytic geometry, particular shapes can be converted into particular quantities and summed all day long.

As regards the definition attributed to Broad, the following problem arises. According to that definition, my mental properties would count as emergent if and only if it is metaphysically possible that my microphysical doppleganger lacks (qualitatively identical) mental properties. Thus, Broad's definition of "emergence" is inconsistent with many formulations of psychophysical supervenience, which, I think, would strike many contemporary emergentists as an unhappy result.

Pete Mandik <pete@twinearth.wustl.edu>

References

Emergence Biblio

Lewes, George Henry. (1875). Problems of Life and Mind. Vol 2. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Turbner, Co.

McLaughlin, Brain P. (1992). The rise and fall of British Emergentism. Emergence or Reduction?: Essays on the Prospects of Nonreductive Physicalism. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Mill, John Stuart. (1843). System of Logic. London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer. (Eight edition, 1872).

Nagel, Ernest. (1961). The Structure of Science. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Wilson.

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emergent property

<ontology> an irreducible feature (now commonly called supervenient) of a complex whole that cannot be inferred directly from the features of its simpler parts. Thus, for example, the familiar taste of salt is an emergent property with respect to the sodium and chlorine of which it is composed. Recommended Reading: Jaegwon Kim, Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation (Bradford, 2000); William Hasker, The Emergent Self (Cornell, 1999); and Benjamin Pinkel, Consciousness, Matter, and Energy: The Emergence of Mind in Nature (DeVorss, 1992).

see emergence

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Emerson Ralph Waldo

<history of philosophy, biography> American essayist and anti-slavery activist (1803-1882). Emerson's enthusiastic celebration of the individual person expressed a prominent element of nineteenth-century optimism in his Essays - First Series (1841) and Second Series (1844). Among his best-known philosophical works are "The American Scholar" (1837), a speech on American intellectual values, and the confidently humanistic essay, "Self-Reliance" (1841). Influenced by German Romanticism, Emerson helped to establish a lasting American taste for non-theistic spirituality. Recommended Reading: Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. by Joel Porte (Library of America, 1983); The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. by Brooks Atkinson and Mary Oliver (Modern Library, 2000); The Portable Emerson, ed. by Malcolm Cowley (Viking, 1987); and The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. by Joel Porte and Saundra Morris (Cambridge, 1999).

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emotion appeal

<argument> known also as to argumentum ad populum. The informal fallacy of persuading someone to accept (or reject) a conclusion by arousing favorable (or unfavorable) emotions toward it or by emphasizing its widespread acceptance (or rejection) by others. Example: "Nobody with an ounce of common sense or a single shred of integrity believes that our President is truly an effective leader. Therefore, the President is not an effective leader." Recommended Reading: Douglas Walton, Appeal to Popular Opinion (Penn. State, 1999).

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emotionalism

<ethics, epistemology> any theory of knowledge that considers emotion to be the basic valid means of knowledge (cf. intuitionism), or more commonly to an ethical theory that is based on emotion rather than reason (often having connotations of nihilism or irrationalism). In popular discource, the word "emotionalist" tends to be used to characterize those who are hypersensitive, over-emotional, or even irrational. (References from hedonism, irrationalism, romanticism, and subjectivism.)

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emotive meaning

<language> attitudes and feelings associated with the use of a word, phrase, or sentence, in contrast with its literal significance.

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emotivism

<ethics>

the meta-ethical theory according to which the meaning of moral language is exhausted by its expression, evocation, or endorsement of powerful human feelings. Thus, for example, saying "Stealing is wrong," is just an especially strong way of reporting that I disapprove of stealing, evoking a similar disapproval from others, and thereby attempting to influence future conduct-both mine and theirs. Although its origins lie in the non-cognitivist morality of Hume, emotivism reached its height early in the twentieth century, with the work of the logical positivists and Stevenson. Recommended Reading: Charles L. Stevenson, Ethics and Language (Yale, 1944); J. O. Urmson, The Emotive Theory of Ethics (London, 1968); and Stephen Satris, Ethical Emotivism (Martinus Nijhoff, 1987).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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philosophical theory and movement of the 20th century which holds that mora judgments are simply expressions of positive or negative emotions. For example, when I say "Hitler is evil", all that I can really mean is "I don't like Hitler, he rubs me the wrong way". Obviously, this is an extreme form of subjectivism. (Reference from logical positivism.)

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Empedocles

<history of philosophy, biography> Greek presocratic philosopher (d. 433 B.C.) who supposed that the four elements are irreducible components of the world, joined to and separated from each other by competing principles. Love invariably strives to combine everything into a harmonious sphere, which Strife tries to shatter into distinct entities. Human beings corrupted by eating animal flesh, Empedocles, supposed, pursue philosophy in an effort to contribute positively to the cosmic cycle. Recommended Reading: Empedocles: The Extant Fragments, ed. by M. R. Wright (Hackett, 1995); Empedocles, ed. by Brad Inwood (Toronto, 2001); and Peter Kingsley, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition (Oxford, 1997).

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empirical

<epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics> <empiricism neo-empiricism, kantian logic, a priori> <a posteriori> based on experience, or observation -- describing knowledge derived from or warranted by sense perception. Compare: a posteriori. Contrast: a priori.

[Philosophical Glossary]

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empiricism

<epistemology, neo-empiricism, cartesianism, innatism> <rationalism, ockhamism, skepticism, metaphysics, test> <experience, Plato's dialectic method> the view that all ideas, and all knowledge of the world derives solely from sensory experience or perception; denying the existence of innate ideas in opposition to rationalism.

[Philosophical Glossary]

<2001-06-22>

reliance on experience as the source of ideas and knowledge. More specifically, empiricism is the epistemological theory that genuine information about the world must be acquired by a posteriori means, so that nothing can be thought without first being sensed. Prominent modern empiricists include Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Mill. In the twentieth century, empiricism principles were extended and applied by the pragmatists and the logical positivists. Recommended Reading: The Empiricists (Anchor, 1961); The Empiricists: Critical Essays on Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, ed. by Margaret Atherton (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999); Encyclopedia of Empiricism, ed. by Don Garrett and Edward Barbanell (Greenwood, 1997); and Lynn Hankinson Nelson, Who Knows: From Quine to a Feminist Empiricism (Temple, 1992).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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empiricist

<philosophical school> specifically, a British philosopher of the 17th and 18th centruy such as Hobbes, tended to believe that knowledge derives from our sensory experience and its ramifications. Berkely and Hume, in particular, maintained (as nominalists) that the mind has no essentially abstract, rational ideas of the sort that were supposed to form the basis of science for the rationalist. neo-empiricist, neo-rationalist

[A Philosophical Glossary]

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emulation

<logic> One system is said to emulate another when it performs in exactly the same way, though perhaps not at the same speed. A typical example would be emulation of one computer by (a program running on) another. You might use an emulation as a replacement for a system whereas you would use a simulation if you just wanted to analyse it and make predictions about it.

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emulator

Hardware or software that performs emulation.

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encapsulation

<PI> 1. The technique used by layered protocols in which a layer adds header information to the protocol data unit (PDU) from the layer above. As an example, in Internet terminology, a packet would contain a header from the physical layer, followed by a header from the network layer (IP), followed by a header from the transport layer (TCP), followed by the application protocol data.

2. The ability to provide users with a well-defined interface to a set of functions in a way which hides their internal workings. In object-oriented programming, the technique of keeping together data structures and the methods (procedures) which act on them.

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encode

1. <algorithm, hardware> To convert data or some physical quantity into a given format. E.g. uuencode.

See also encoder.

2. <cryptography> To encrypt, to perform encryption.

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encoder

1. <algorithm, hardware> Any program, circuit or algorithm which encodes.

Example usages: "MPEG encoder", "NTSC encoder", "RealAudio encoder".

2. <hardware> A sensor or transducer for converting rotary motion or position to a series of electronic pulses.

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encryption

<algorithm, cryptography> Any procedure used in cryptography to convert plaintext into ciphertext in order to prevent any but the intended recipient from reading that data.

There are many types of data encryption, and they are the basis of network security. Common types include Data Encryption Standard and public-key encryption.

The Unix command crypt performs encryption.

http://eff.org/

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Encyclopedists

<history of philosophy, school> a group of French philosophers, including Condillac, d'Alembert, d'Holbach, Diderot, Helvetius, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Turgot, and Voltaire, who expressed their anti-institutional views on morality, politics, and religion in the seventeen-volume Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts, et des métiers (Encyclopedia, or a Descriptive Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades) (1751-1772), a generative text of the French Enlightenment. Recommended Reading: Jean Le Rond D'Alembert, Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot, tr. by Richard N. Schwab (Chicago, 1995) and Encyclopedie (French & European, 1997): Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III, and Vol. IV.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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end

<ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of history, finalism> <causality, stoicism> that which is sought, or the object of pursuit. Aristotle maintains that all our pursuits aim ultimately at ends that are sought or desired intrinsically, i.e. for their own sakes, and that the greatest of these intrinsic goods is happiness. Things sought not for their own sake but for the sake of something else are desired extrinsically or instrumentally, as means.

[Philosophical Glossary]

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energeia

<ontology> Greek term for the operation or activity of anything. More technically, in the philosophy of Aristotle, energeia is the actuality characteristic of every individual substance toward some end, in contrast with its potentiality or capacity to change. Recommended Reading: George A. Blair, Energeia and Entelecheia: Act in Aristotle (Ottawa, 1992) and F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Engels Friedrich

<history of philosophy, biography> German political activist and philosopher (1820-1895). Engels collaborated with Karl Marx on the Manifest der kommunistischen Partei (Communist Manifesto) (1848) and other political works. His own philosophical writing, including Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England (The Condition of the Working Class in England) (1845), Socialism, Utopian and Scientific (1880), and Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy (1888), provided an excellent exposition of dialectical materialism and significantly influenced the development of the ideology of modern communism. His analysis of bourgeois family life in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884) offers an interesting anticipation of feminist concern with the place of women in society by noting the role of patriarchal oppression in preserving the capitalist order and by urging the elimination of private domestic labor for women. Recommended Reading: Terrell Carver, Friedrich Engels: His Life and Thought (St. Martins, 1993); Introduction to Marx and Engels: A Critical Reconstruction, ed. by Richard Schmitt, Keith Lehrer, and Norman Daniels (Westview, 1997); and Engels After Marx, ed. by Manfred B. Steger and Terrell Carver (Penn. State, 1999).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Enlightenment

<history of philosophy, school> an eighteenth-century movement that placed great emphasis on the use of reason in the development of philosophical, social, political, and scientific knowledge. Enlightenment philosophers include Bayle, Hume, Wollstonecraft, Kant, and many lesser figures. Recommended Reading: The Portable Enlightenment Reader, ed. by Issac Kramnick (Penguin, 1995); Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, tr. by J. Pettegrove and F. Koelin (Princeton, 1968); Peter Gay, The Enlightenment (The Rise of Modern Paganism (Norton, 1995) and The Science of Freedom (Norton, 1996)); and Age of Enlightenment: The Eighteenth Century Philosophers, ed. by Isaiah Berlin (Plume, 1993).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2001-10-29>

(1) <ethics> An intellectual movement in modern Europe during the eighteenth century that believed in the power of human reason to understand the world and to guide human conduct.

(2) <religion> For Buddhists, the state of Enlightenment or nirvana is the goal of human existence.

<2001-03-26>

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entailment

<logic> relation between propositions such that one of them is strictly implied by the other(s); that is, its falsity is logically impossible, given the truth of what entails it. Thus, the premises of a valid deductive argument entail its conclusion. Recommended Reading: Charles F. Kielkopf, Formal Sentential Entailment (U. Press of America, 1986) and Entailment, ed. by Alan Ross Anderson, Nuel D. Belnap, and J. Michael Dunn (Princeton, 1992).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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entelecheia

<ontology> Aristotle's Greek term for the complete reality or perfection of a thing, as the soul is of the human body. For Leibniz, then, an "entelechy" is the active force resident in every monad. Recommended Reading: George A. Blair, Energeia and Entelecheia: Act in Aristotle (Ottawa, 1992); F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967); and The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz, ed. by Nicholas Jolley (Cambridge, 1994).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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enthusiasm

<emotion, anthropology> an exaggerated state of religious fervor or reliance on divine inspiration. Enlightenment philosophers such as Locke and Leibniz decried manifestations of enthusiasm as incompatible with the proper employment of rational faculties. Recommended Reading: Michael Heyd, 'Be Sober and Reasonable': The Critique of Enthusiasm in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries (Brill, 1995) and Josef Pieper, Enthusiasm and Divine Madness: On the Platonic Dialogue Phaedrus, tr. by Richard and Clara Winston (St. Augustine, 2000).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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enthymeme

<logic> a deductive argument (especially a categorical syllogism) from whose ordinary-language expression one or more propositions have been omitted or left unstated. Example: "Since some finches are cardinals, it follows that some birds are cardinals."

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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entropy

<PI, mathematics, logic> A measure of the disorder of a system. Systems tend to go from a state of order (low entropy) to a state of maximum disorder (high entropy).

The entropy of a system is related to the amount of information it contains. A highly ordered system can be described using fewer bits of information than a disordered one. For example, a string containing one million "0"s can be described using run-length encoding as [("0", 1000000)] whereas a string of random symbols (e.g. bits, or characters) will be much harder, if not impossible, to compress in this way.

Shannon's formula gives the entropy H(M) of a message M in bits:

	H(M) = -log2 p(M)

Where p(M) is the probability of message M.

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enumerable set

<logic> Roughly, a set that can be translated into a sequence. More precisely, a set such that every one of its members has at least one counterpart in a certain sequence (though they may have more than one counterpart), and every term in the sequence has a counterpart in the set. The resulting sequence is called an enumeration of the set. The set a, b, c is enumerated by the sequence <a, b, c>, but also by the sequence <a, a, c, b>; it is not enumerated by the sequence <a, a, c, c>.

Effectively enumerable set

An enumerable set for which there is an effective method for ascertaining the nth term of the sequence for every positive integer n.

Recursively enumerable set

A set that is effectively enumerable by some recursive function. Under Church's thesis, a set is recursively enumerable iff it is effectively enumerable.

[Glossary of First-Order Logic]

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enumerated type

<programming> (Or "enumeration") A type which includes in its definition an exhaustive list of possible values for variables of that type. Common examples include Boolean, which takes values from the list [true, false], and day-of-week which takes values [Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday]. Enumerated types are a feature of strongly typed languages, including C and Ada.

Characters, (fixed-size) integers and even floating-point types could be (but are not usually) considered to be (large) enumerated types.

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enumeration

1. <mathematics> A bijection with the natural numbers; a counted set.

Compare well-ordered.

2. <programming> enumerated type.

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environment

environment variable

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environment variable

<PI, operating system> A variable that is bound in the current environment. When evaluating an expression in some environment, the evaluation of a variable consists of looking up its name in the environment and substituting its value.

Most programming languages have some concept of an environment but in Unix shell scripts it has a specific meaning slightly different from other contexts. In shell scripts, environment variables are one kind of shell variable. They differ from local variables and command line arguments in that they are inherited by a child process. Examples are the PATH variable that tells the shell the file system paths to search to find command executables and the TZ variable which contains the local time zone. The variable called "SHELL" specifies the type of shell being used.

These variables are used by commands or shell scripts to discover things about the environment they are operating in. Environment variables can be changed or created by the user or a program.

To see a list of environment variables type "setenv" at the csh or tcsh prompt or "set" at the sh, bash, jsh or ksh prompt.

In other programming languages, e.g. functional programming languages, the environment is extended with new bindings when a function's parameters are bound to its actual arguments or when new variables are declared. In a block-structured procedural language, the environment usually consists of a linked list of activation records.

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Epictetus

<history of philosophy, biography> even though he was born a slave in Hierapolis and endured a permanent physical disability, Epictetus (55-135) held that all human beings are perfectly free to control their lives and to live in harmony with nature. After intense study of the traditional Stoic curriculum (established by Zeno of Citium and Chrysippus) of logic, physics, and ethics, Epictetus spent his entire career teaching philosophy and promoting a daily regime of rigorous self-examination. He eventually gained his freedom, but was exiled from Rome by Domitian in 89. Epictetus's pupil Arrianus later collected lecture notes from the master and published them as the Discourses. The more epigrammatic Encheiridion, or Manual represents an even later distillation of the same material. From a fundamental distinction between our ability to think or feel freely and our lack of control over external events or circumstances, Epictetus derived the description of a calm and disciplined life. We can never fail to be happy, he argued, if we learn to desire that things should be exactly as they are. That the same approach to human life may work for others as well as for a slave is suggested by the persuasive oratory of the Roman statesman Seneca. The Meditations of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius illustrate the practical value of a Stoic approach even in the best of circumstances. Recommended Reading: Primary sources: Epictetus, Enchiridion, tr. by George Long (Prometheus, 1955). Secondary sources: Malcolm Schofield, The Stoic Idea of the City (Chicago, 1999); Adolf Friedrich Bonhoffer, The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus, tr. by William O. Stephens (Peter Lang, 2000); A. A. Long, Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics (California, 1986).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Epicureanism

<ethics> school in ancient ethics founded by the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-271 BC). This school began in the generation after the death of Aristotle and lasted over 500 years. Although Epicurus was an avowed advocate of hedonism, he did not advocate the wanton pursuit of pleasure. In fact, his doctrine was quite strict and was far removed from our sense of the word "hedonism", since he held that the greatest pleasure a person can achieve lies in the absence of all pains and disturbances, and that the pleasures and pains of the mind are of greater importance than those of the body. While Epicureanism was much more individualistic than stoicism, its view of happiness was less "activist" than that of Aristotelianism and one could even draw comparisons between Epicureanism and Eastern views like Taoism. (References from cynicism, hedonism, pessimism, stoicism, and Taoism.)

[The Ism Book]

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Epicurus

<history of philosophy, biography> Epicurus (341-270 B.C.) was born in the Greek colony on Samos, but spent most of his active life in Athens, where he founded yet another school of philosophy. At "the Garden," Epicurus and his friends lived out their ideals for human life, talking about philosophical issues but deliberately detaching themselves from active involvement in social affairs. Epicurus whole-heartedly adopted the atomism of Leucippus and Democritus, maintaining that all objects and events-including human lives-are in reality nothing more than physical interactions among minute indestructible particles. As they fall toward the center of the earth, atoms swerve from their paths to collide with each other and form temporary compound beings. There is no necessity about any of this, of course; everything happens purely by chance. In his Letter to Menoeceus and Principle Doctrines, Epicurus discussed the consequences of this view for the human attempt to achieve happiness. Since death is a total annihilation that cannot be experienced, in our present lives we need only live a simple life and seek always to avoid physical pain. It is pleasure, understood in this negative sense, that is the highest good for Epicurus. Freedom from mental disturbance is the very most for which one can hope. Recommended Reading: Primary sources: The Essential Epicurus: Letters, Principal Doctrines, Vatican Sayings, and Fragments, tr. by Eugene Michael O'Connor (Prometheus, 1993). Secondary sources: Howard Jones, The Epicurean Tradition (Routledge, 1992); A. A. Long, Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics (California, 1986).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Epimenides paradox

liar paradox

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epiphenomenalism

<anthropology, philosophy of mind> belief that consciousness is an incidental side-effect ("epiphenomenon") or by-product of physical or mechanical reality. On this view, although mental events are in some sense real they have no causal efficacy in the material realm. Recommended Reading: D. M. Armstrong, The Mind-Body Problem: An Opinionated Introduction (Westviesw, 1999) and Jaegwon Kim, Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation (Bradford, 2000).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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epistemology

<epistemology> one of the major branches of philosophy, also known as philosophy of knowledge. It concerns the forms, nature, preconditions, sources, types and limits of knowledge.

Most of contemporary Anglo-American epistemology concentrates on:

1. the analysis of propositional knowledge (knowing that) as opposed to, e.g., procedural knowledge (knowing how) and knowledge by acquaintance (knowing who);

2. the nature, sources, and justification of its major types, e.g. a priori and empirical;

3. the tripartite analysis of knowledge as justified true belief (see Gettier problem;

4. supplying a theory of the justification of empirical knowledge (foundationalism, coherentism, or other).

5. the analysis of sceptical arguments.

Luciano Floridi <luciano.floridi@philosophy.ox.ac.uk>

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epoché

<epistemology, skepticism, phenomenology> Greek term for cessation or stoppage; hence, in the philosophy of the skeptics, the suspension of judgment. Only by refusing either to affirm or to deny the truth of what we cannot know, they supposed, can we achieve the ataraxia of a peaceful mind.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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E proposition

in the traditional notation for categorical logic, a proposition that is both universal and negative. Example: "No reptiles are insects." This proposition affirms that the designated classes have no common members. Its contradictory is an "I" proposition with the same subject and predicate terms.

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equals

<character> "=", ASCII character 61.

Common names: ITU-T: equals; gets; takes. Rare: quadrathorpe; INTERCAL: half-mesh.

Equals is used in many languages as the assignment operator though earlier languages used ":=" ("becomes equal to") to avoid upsetting mathematicians with statements such as "x = x+1". It is also used in compounds such as "<=", ">=", "==", "/=", "!=" for various comparison operators and in C's "+=", "*=" etc. which mimic the primitive operations of two-address code.

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equational logic

<logic> First-order equational logic consists of quantifier-free terms of ordinary first-order logic, with equality as the only predicate symbol. The model theory of this logic was developed into Universal algebra by Birkhoff et al. [Birkhoff, Gratzer, Cohn]. It was later made into a branch of category theory by Lawvere ("algebraic theories").

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equivalence

<logic> A truth function that returns truth when its two arguments have the same truth-value, and false otherwise. Also the connective denoting this function; also the compound proposition built from this connective. Syntactically: the two propositions imply one another. Semantically: they have the same models. Also called a biconditional, or biconditional statement.

Logical equivalence

A tautologous statement of material equivalence (next).

Material equivalence

A truth function that is true when its two arguments have the same truth-value (not necessarily the same meaning). Notation: p <=> q, or p iff q.

See also equivalence thesis partial equivalence relation.

[Glossary of First-Order Logic]

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equivalence class

<mathematics, logic> An equivalence class is a subset whose elements are related to each other by an equivalence relation. The equivalence classes of a set under some relation form a partition of that set (i.e. any two are either equal or disjoint and every element of the set is in some class).

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equivalence class partitioning

<programming> A software testing technique that involves identifying a small set of representative input values that invoke as many different input conditions as possible.

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equivalence relation

<mathematics, logic> A relation R on a set including elements a, b, c, which is reflexive (a R a), symmetric (a R b => b R a) and transitive (a R b R c => a R c). An equivalence relation defines an equivalence class.

See also equivalence partial equivalence relation.

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equivalence thesis

<logic> the equivalence thesis states that, for any proposed notion of truth, each instance of the schema "S is true if and only if P" resulting from the substitution of a translation of the sentence designated by S for P, is true. This thesis is often taken to be a minimal requirement on any notion of truth.

Note that the equivalence thesis does not presuppose a correspondence notion of truth. For example, deflationary notions of truth, such as the Quinian "disquotational" notion, satisfy the equivalence thesis.

References

Dummett, Michael (1978). Truth and Other Enigmas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Devitt, Michael (1984). Realism and Truth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Whit Schonbein <whit@twinearth.wustl.edu>

Chris Eliasmith - [Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind] Homepage

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equivalent sets

<logic> Two sets are equivalent iff they have the same cardinality, that is, if they can be put into one-to-one correspondence. Also called equinumerous sets. Notation: A =~ B; sometimes A~B.

[Glossary of First-Order Logic]

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equivocal

having more than one meaning.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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equivocation

the informal fallacy that can result when an ambiguous word or phrase is used in different senses within a single argument. Example: "Odd things arouse human suspicion. But seventeen is an odd number. Therefore, seventeen arouses human suspicion."

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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ER

Entity-Relationship

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Erasmus Desiderius

<history of philosophy, biography> Dutch humanist (1466-1536). Erasmus produced editions of classical texts far superior to those of the medieval period and, in Diatribe de libero arbitrio (Discourse on Free Will) (1524) defended the moral freedom of individual human beings. The Ecomium moriae id est Laus stultitiae (Praise of Folly) (1509) satirized the political and religious institutions of his time, and many of his Colloquia (1518) are stinging condemnations of ecclesiastical fraud. Recommended Reading: Christian Humanism and the Reformation: Selected Writings of Erasmus, ed. by John C. Olin (Fordham, 1987) and Erasmus: His Life, Works and Influence, tr. by J. C. Grayson (Toronto, 1996).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Eratosthenes

<history of philosophy, biography> African mathematician (276-197 B.C.) who discovered a method for identifying prime numbers and calculated the circumference of the earth. Eratosthenes served for several decades as head of the famous Greek library at Alexandria. Recommended Reading: P. M. Fraser, Eratosthenes of Cyrene (Oxford, 1972).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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Erigena John Scotus

<history of philosophy, biography> Irish philosopher (812-877). In De Divisione Naturae (On the Distribution of Nature) (863), Erigena notoriously combined Greek and neoplatonic elements into a highly rationalized scheme in which everything both emanates from and later is reabsorbed by god. Although the divine is incomprehnsible for Erigena, god may be known indirectly, as manifested in the created order. The views on human freedom he defended in De praedestinatione (On Predestination) (851) earned for Erigena the official condemnation of the church. Recommended Reading: Deirdre Carabine, John Scottus Eriugena (Oxford, 2000) and Henry Bett, Johannes Scotus Erigena: A Study in Medieval Philosophy (Hyperion, 1979).

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eros

<anthropology, affective life> Greek personification of love; hence, sexual desire or love generally. Plato's Symposium offers a set of speeches on the nature of love in human life. Recommended Reading: F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967); Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr., Symposia: Plato, the Erotic, and Moral Value (SUNY, 1999); and Jamey Hecht, Plato's Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament (Twayne, 1999).

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error

1. A discrepancy between a computed, observed, or measured value or condition and the true, specified, or theoretically correct value or condition.

2. <programming> A mental mistake made by a programmer that may result in a program fault.

3. (verb) What a program does when it stops as result of a programming error.

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error detection and correction

<algorithm, storage> (EDAC, or "error checking and correction", ECC) A collection of methods to detect errors in transmitted or stored data and to correct them. This is done in many ways, all of them involving some form of coding. The simplest form of error detection is a single added parity bit or a cyclic redundancy check. Multiple parity bits can not only detect that an error has occurred, but also which bits have been inverted, and should therefore be re-inverted to restore the original data. The more extra bits are added, the greater the chance that multiple errors will be detectable and correctable.

Several codes can perform Single Error Correction, Double Error Detection (SECDEC). One of the most commonly used is the Hamming code.

At the other technological extreme, cuniform texts from about 1500 B.C. which recorded the dates when Venus was visible, were examined on the basis of contained redundancies (the dates of appearance and disappearance were supplemented by the length of time of visibility) and "the worst data set ever seen" by [Huber, Zurich] was corrected.

RAM which includes EDAC circuits is known as error correcting memory (ECM).

[Wakerly, "Error Detecting Codes", North Holland 1978].

[Hamming, "Coding and Information Theory", 2nd Ed, Prentice Hall 1986].

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esse est percipi

Latin phrase meaning "to be is to be perceived." According to Berkeley, this is the most basic feature of all sensible objects; for spirits, on the other hand, esse est percipere ("to be is to perceive"). Granting this to be the most fundamental principle of idealistic philosophy, Moore argued that it is indefensible. Recommended Reading: George Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge / Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, ed. by Roger Woolhouse (Penguin, 1988) and Kenneth P. Winkler, Berkeley: An Interpretation (Clarendon, 1994).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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essence

<ontology, metaphysics, accident, existentialism> that without which a specific thing or substance would not be one and the same (type of) individual it is, those features of an object that make it the kind of object it is as opposed to its accidents (e.g. a person's ability to reason is an essential human feature, while hair color would be an accident) - Essentialism is the view that the essence - accident distinction is not arbitrary but rooted in the nature of reality.

based on [A Philosophical Glossary, Philosophical Glossary]

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essence - accident

<ontology, metaphysics, accident, existentialism> distinction among the attributes, properties, or qualities of substances. A thing's possession of its essential properties is necessary either for its individual existence or, at least, for its membership in a specific kind. Accidental features, by contrast, are those which the thing merely happens to have, even though it need not. Thus, for example, rationality may be part of the essence of any human being, but being able to calculate square roots accurately in one's head is (surely) an accident. The legitimacy of the distinction itself is called into question by philosophers ("anti-essentialists") who doubt whether any features are genuinely essential to the things that have them. Recommended Reading: Charlotte Witt, Substance and Essence in Aristotle: An Interpretation of Metaphysics vii-ix (Cornell, 1994); Saul A. Kripke, Naming and Necessity (Harvard, 1982); and Garth L. Hallett, Essentialism: A Wittgensteinian Critique (SUNY, 1991).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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essentialism

<metaphysics, epistemology>

1) Platonic idealism

2) the view that all things have essential properties which can be discerned by reason (sometimes attributed to Aristotelianism). See substantialism

[The Ism Book]

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estrangement

withdrawal from things or people; see alienation.

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eternal return

belief that everything that happens has happened before and will happen again, since the universe (or time itself) is fundamentally cyclical. A standard feature of Pythagorean and Stoic thought, this view was more recently adopted as a basis for practical hope by Nietzsche. Recommended Reading: Joan Stambaugh, Nietzsche's Thought of Eternal Return (Taylor & Francis, 1988) and Mircea Eliade, Myth of the Eternal Return, tr. by Willard R. Trask (Princeton, 1971).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

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ethical relativism

<ethics, anthropology, cultural relativism, subjectivism> the view that what is morally permissible, obligatory, and forbidden differs among individuals or between cultures. According to ethical relativism nothing is absolutely good or bad or right or wrong: rather, relativists hold, what is right or wrong is so for a given individual or within a given culture or society: the underlying idea is that the individual or society's judging things right or wrong or good or evil makes them so for that individual or society. See cultural relativism, subjectivism.

[Philosophical Glossary]

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ethics

<ethics>

branch of philosophy concerned with the evaluation of human conduct. Philosophers commonly distinguish: descriptive ethics, the factual study of the ethical standards or principles of a group or tradition; normative ethics, the development of theories that tematically denominate right and wrong actions; applied ethics, the use of these theories to form judgments regarding practical cases; and meta-ethics, careful analysis of the meaning and justification of ethical claims. Recommended Reading: Lawrence M. Hinman, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach To Moral Theory (Harcourt, 1997); A Companion to Ethics, ed. by Peter Singer (Blackwell, 1993); D. D. Raphael, Moral Philosophy (Oxford, 1994); James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw-Hill, 2000); and The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory, ed. by Hugh Lafollette (Blackwell, 1999).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2001-10-29>

the critical and normative reflection on moral beliefs and practices. The difference between ethics and morality is similar to the difference between musicology and music. Ethics is a conscious stepping back and reflecting on morality, just as musicology is a conscious reflection on music. The difference between anthropology (or sociology or psychology) and ethics is that the latter has a prescriptive or normative role.

<2001-03-26>

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Ethics Glossary

<source> the Ethics Glossary edited by Lawrence M. Hinman, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Values Institute at the University of San Diego. It is part of the service "Ethics Updates". From the home page "Ethics Updates is designed primarily to be used by ethics instructors and their students. It is intended to provide updates on current literature, both popular and professional, that relates to ethics. Some definitions in FOLDOP are from the version published in 2001-03-27.

<2001-03-27>

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ethnicity

<ethics>

a person's ethnicity refers to that individual's affiliation with a particular cultural tradition that may be national (French) or regional (Sicilian) in character. Ethnicity differs from race in that ethnicity is a sociological concept whereas race is a biological phenomenon.

<2001-03-26>

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ethos

<morality> Greek word for custom or habit, the characteristic conduct of an individual human life. Hence, beginning with Aristotle, ethics is the study of human conduct, and the Stoics held that all behavior - for good or evil - arises from the eqos of the individual. Recommended Reading: F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967).

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Euclid

<history of philosophy, biography> Greek mathematician (365-300 B.C.) whose Elementae (Elements) offered an axiomatic system for geometry based only on a few "common notions" and five basic postulates: (1) Any two points can be joined by a unique straight line. (2) A straight line can be extended indefinitely in either direction. (3) From a center point, a circle can be drawn with any radius. (4) All right angles are equal to each other. (5) If two straight lines crossing a third form angles less than two right angles on one of its sides, then indefinite extensions of these lines eventually meet. Although rejection of the fifth postulate eventually led to the development of alternative geometries by Lobachevsky and Riemann, Euclid's emphasis on axiomatic structure remained significant for mathematicians like Peano and Hilbert and served as a significant model for such philosophers as Hobbes and Spinoza. Recommended Reading: Thomas L. Heath, History of Greek Mathematics: From Thales to Euclid (Dover, 1981).

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Euclidean Algorithm

Euclid's Algorithm

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Euclid's Algorithm

<algorithm> (Or "Euclidean Algorithm") An algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor (GCD) of two numbers. It relies on the identity

	gcd(a, b) = gcd(a-b, b)

To find the GCD of two numbers by this algorithm, repeatedly replace the larger by subtracting the smaller from it until the two numbers are equal. E.g. 132, 168 -> 132, 36 -> 96, 36 -> 60, 36 -> 24, 36 -> 24, 12 -> 12, 12 so the GCD of 132 and 168 is 12.

This algorithm requires only subtraction and comparison operations but can take a number of steps proportional to the difference between the initial numbers (e.g. gcd(1, 1001) will take 1000 steps).

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eudaimonia

<ethics> this is the word that Aristotle uses for "happiness" or "flourishing." It comes from the Greek "eu," which means "happy" or "well" or "harmonious," and "daimon," which refers to the individual's spirit. It is a crucial term in virtue ethics. See also eudaimonism.

<2001-04-28>

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eudaimonism

<ethics> the word eudaimonism comes from the Greek word for happiness (eudaimonia), and refers to any conception of ethics that puts human happiness and the complete life of the individual at the center of ethical concern. This is solely a technical term and has no popular equivalent, though sometimes humanism comes close. Aristotle is the founder of eudaimonism. By contrast, note that existentialism rejects happiness as a bourgeois fantasy, and that even stoicism and Epicureanism may turn their backs on eudaimonism since they don't advocate individual fulfillment but only the lack of emotion or pain. (References from altruism, Aristotelianism, existentialism, individualism, optimism, and pessimism.)

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eudaimonistic

eudaimonia

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Euler Leonhard

<history of philosophy, biography> Swiss mathematician and physicist (1707-1783); author of Introductio in analysin infinitorum (Introduction to infinite analyses) (1748) and many other mathematical treatises. Euler made significant contributions to the development of number theory, introduced the use of many now-familiar mathematical symbols, and devised (a century before Venn) a convenient set of topographical diagrams for representing the logical relationships expressed in categorical propositions and syllogisms. Euler's chief accomplishments are expressed in non-technical language in the Lettres à une princesse d'Allemnagne (Letters for a German Princess) (1772). Recommended Reading: Leonhard Euler, Foundations of Differential Calculus, tr. by John D. Blanton (Springer Verlag, 2000); Morris Kline, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times (Oxford, 1990); and William Dunham, Euler: The Master of Us All (Math. Assn. of Amer., 1999).

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event

1. <software> An occurrence or happening of significance to a task or program, such as the completion of an asynchronous input/output operation. A task may wait for an event or any of a set of events or it may (request to) receive asynchronous notification (a signal or interrupt) that the event has occurred.

See also event-driven.

2. <data> A transaction or other activity that affects the records in a file.

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event-driven

<PI> A kind of program, such as a graphical user interface, with a main loop which just waits for events to occur. Each event has an associated handler which is passed the details of the event, e.g. mouse button 3 pressed at position (355, 990).

For example, X window system and most Visual Basic application programs are event-driven.

See also callback.

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evidence

support for the truth of a proposition, especially that derived from empirical observation or experience. Recommended Reading: Karl R. Popper, Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge, 1992).

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evil problem of

<ontology, ethics> bad things sometimes happen. Whether they are taken to flow from the operation of the world ("natural evil"), to result from deliberate human cruelty ("moral evil"), or simply to correlate poorly with what seems to be deserved ("non-karmic evil"), such events give rise to basic questions about whether or not life is fair. The presence of evil in the world poses a special difficulty for traditional theists, as both Epicurus and Hume pointed out. Since an omniscient god must be aware of evil, an omnipotent god could prevent evil, and a benevolent god would not tolerate evil, it should follow that there is no evil. Yet there is evil, from which atheists conclude that there is no omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent god. The most common theistic defense against the problem, propounded (in different forms) by both Augustine and Leibniz, is to deny the reality of evil by claiming that apparent cases of evil are merely parts of a larger whole that embodies greater good. More recently, some have questioned whether the traditional notions of omnipotence and omniscience are coherent. Recommended Reading: The Problem of Evil: A Reader, ed. by Mark Larrimore (Blackwell, 2000); The Problem of Evil, ed. by Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert M. Adams (Clarendon, 1991); and Richard Swinburne, Providence and the Problem of Evil (Oxford, 1998).

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evolutionary algorithm

<algorithm> (EA) An algorithm which incorporates aspects of natural selection or survival of the fittest. An evolutionary algorithm maintains a population of structures (usually randomly generated initially), that evolves according to rules of selection, recombination, mutation and survival, referred to as genetic operators. A shared "environment" determines the fitness or performance of each individual in the population. The fittest individuals are more likely to be selected for reproduction (retention or duplication), while recombination and mutation modify those individuals, yielding potentially superior ones.

EAs are one kind of evolutionary computation and differ from genetic algorithms. A GA generates each individual from some encoded form known as a "chromosome" and it is these which are combined or mutated to breed new individuals.

EAs are useful for optimisation when other techniques such as gradient descent or direct, analytical discovery are not possible. Combinatoric and real-valued function optimisation in which the optimisation surface or fitness landscape is "rugged", possessing many locally optimal solutions, are well suited for evolutionary algorithms.

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evolutionary computation

Computer-based problem solving systems that use computational models of evolutionary processes as the key elements in design and implementation.

A number of evolutionary computational models have been proposed, including evolutionary algorithms, genetic algorithms, the evolution strategy, evolutionary programming, and artificial life.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation.

Bibliography.

Usenet newsgroup: comp.ai.genetic.

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evolutionary programming

(EP) A stochastic optimisation strategy originally conceived by Lawrence J. Fogel in 1960.

An initially random population of individuals (trial solutions) is created. Mutations are then applied to each individual to create new individuals. Mutations vary in the severity of their effect on the behaviour of the individual. The new individuals are then compared in a "tournament" to select which should survive to form the new population.

EP is similar to a genetic algorithm, but models only the behavioural linkage between parents and their offspring, rather than seeking to emulate specific genetic operators from nature such as the encoding of behaviour in a genome and recombination by genetic crossover.

EP is also similar to an evolution strategy (ES) although the two approaches developed independently. In EP, selection is by comparison with a randomly chosen set of other individuals whereas ES typically uses deterministic selection in which the worst individuals are purged from the population.

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evolution strategy

(ES) A kind of evolutionary algorithm where individuals (potential solutions) are encoded by a set of real-valued "object variables" (the individual's "genome"). For each object variable an individual also has a "strategy variable" which determines the degree of mutation to be applied to the corresponding object variable. The strategy variables also mutate, allowing the rate of mutation of the object variables to vary.

An ES is characterised by the population size, the number of offspring produced in each generation and whether the new population is selected from parents and offspring or only from the offspring.

ES were invented in 1963 by Ingo Rechenberg, Hans-Paul Schwefel at the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) while searching for the optimal shapes of bodies in a flow.

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excluded middle, law of

<logic, mathematics, intuitionism, epistemology> <contradiction> fundamental logical principle that maintains that every proposition (or thought or statement) is either true or false, or that for every statement, either it or its contradictory is true. Compare: Contradiction.

[Philosophical Glossary]

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exclusive disjunction

disjunction

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exclusive premises

the formal fallacy committed in a categorical syllogism that is invalid because both of its premises are negative. Example: "Since no mammals are fish and some fish are not whales, it follows that some whales are not mammals."

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existence

<ontology> instantiation in reality, or actual being. Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate, and Frege proposed that it is a second-order property of those first-order properties that happen to be instantiated. The metaphysical question of what kinds of things exist is the subject of ontology, as is the even more general question of why there is something rather than nothing. Recommended Reading: Colin McGinn, Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth (Clarendon, 2001); Jean-Paul Sartre, Truth and Existence, tr. by Adrian Van Den Hoven and Ronald Aronson (Chicago, 1995); and Emmanuel Levinas, Existence and Existents, tr. by Robert Bernaeconi (Duquesne, 2001).

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existence proof

<logic> A proof that something exists (e.g. a number, wff, proof, etc. with certain properties) but that does not produce an example.

constructive proof

[Glossary of First-Order Logic]

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existential fallacy

<logic> the formal fallacy committed in a categorical syllogism that is invalid because it has two universal premises and a particular conclusion. Example: "All inhabitants of another planet are friendly people, and all Martians are inhabitants of another planet. Therefore, some Martians are friendly people."

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existential import

<logic> Quantified statements have existential import iff (in the standard interpretation) they are taken to assert the existence of their subjects. Aristotle held that all quantified propositions have existential import. The modern view, due to George Boole, is that existentially quantified statements do and that universally quantified statements do not. Hence in the modern view, (x)(Ax => Bx) ("All A's are B's") is non-committal on the existence of any A's; it may be true even for an interpretation whose domain contains no objects to instantiate x, or none that happen to be A's. By contrast, ( Ex)(AxoBx) ("Some A's are B's") asserts the existence of at least one A, and it would be false for any interpretation whose domain contained no such values for x.

See predicate logic, quantifier

[Glossary of First-Order Logic]

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existential instantiation

instantiation

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existentialism

<ethics, subjectivism> a (mostly) twentieth-century approach that emphasizes the primacy of individual existence over any presumed natural essence for human beings. Although they differ on many details, existentialists generally suppose that the fact of my existence as a human being entails both my unqualified freedom to make of myself whatever I will and the awesome responsibility of employing that freedom appropriately, without being driven by anxiety toward escaping into the inauthenticity or self-deception of any conventional set of rules for behavior, even though the entire project may turn out to be absurd. Prominent existentialists include Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Jaspers, Beauvoir, Sartre, and Camus. Recommended Reading: Existentialism: From Dostoevsky to Sartre, ed. by Walter Kaufmann (Meridian, 1988); L. Nathan Oaklander, Existentialist Philosophy: An Introduction (Prentice-Hall, 1995); Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism (McGraw-Hill, 1974); Robert Goodwin, An Introduction to Existentialism (Dover, 1962); and William Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (Anchor, 1962).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2001-10-29>

influential movement in 20th century philosophy and especially ethics. Historically, existentialism was inspired by the supposed skepticism and nihilism of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Existentialism takes its peculiar character from the fact that, even though it is a form of individualism, it is also very much a kind of pessimism, another major influence on existentialism was Schopenhauer. According to Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), one of the leading philosophers of the movement, existentialism takes its name from its guiding phrase, "existence precedes essence". This means that there is no stable human essence or nature and thus that there are no intrinsic or natural human values (so that any attempt at ethical naturalism is misguided and debased). Existentialism teaches that each person must simply live his or her life and by so doing create his or her own values, almost as an afterthought. Although such a process of living can be haphazard and lacking in self-direction, this fact does not seem to be a problem for the existentialists. In fact, some existentialists even revel in the unplanned, irrational character of life and therefore could be characterized as proponents of irrationalism or even nihilism. Existentialists are also extreme opponents of eudaimonism, since they think that the quest for happiness is an indication of the "bad faith" of the bourgeoisie. Quite far from the philosophy above presented, yet existentialist, it is to remember Kierkegaard. (References from individualism, irrationalism, naturalism, nihilism, pessimism and stoicism).

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existential quantifier

quantifier

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expected value

the net return it is reasonable to anticipate as the result of an action or investment. Expected value may be calculated as the sum of the products of each possible outcome and the relative likelihood that it will occur. Recommended Reading: James T. Fey, Elizabeth D. Phillips, and Catherine Anderson, What Do You Expect?: Probability & Expected Value (Seymour, 1997).

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experientialism

empiricism

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