• Mikie
    6k
    Below is a list of words often invoked in philosophy. I would like to see how each member defines each one, on the spot. Doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just what comes to mind. Take the attitude that there’s a fairly perceptive young person asking you. How would you answer?

    My guess is that this brief exercise will give a better overview of a person’s perspective than merely adhering to, or assigning, a label or school (realist, materialist, dualist, utilitarian, etc).

    Yes, I realize there are separate threads for almost every one of these concepts, and that Socrates asked similar questions 2,500 years ago. I don’t care. Besides, how can we call ourselves thinkers or even students of philosophy if we can’t at least give provisional answers when asked these basic questions spontaneously?

    I open this to everyone. Take a stab at it— I did so myself and it’s difficult, but fun. (I also consider there to be no wrong answers in this context.)

    I’m interested to read the answers, assuming anyone participates.

    ——————————

    What is…

    Being

    Awareness

    Consciousness

    Thinking

    Time

    Sensation

    Perception

    Mind

    Body

    Good

    Happiness

    Justice

    Truth


    ———————
  • Moliere
    3.9k
    Fun idea.

    What is…

    Being
    Mikie

    Good question.
    Awareness

    I presume it's the same for most humans in this respect: the focus of our consciousness -- not in a collective sense, but rather I think most humans have an individual focus on their consciousness, whereas you can still feel a pain even if you're not focused on it.

    Consciousness

    The phenomenal "feeliness" of the world. The taste of pizza isn't just salty-spicy-sweet, but the particular combination of your bodily make-up and its bodily make-up in conjunction -- if you want a cognitive answer -- or what it tastes like, if you don't.

    Thinking

    I'm not sure.

    Time

    Not sure.

    Sensation

    I think this one can't have an answer. The other topics are more general than "sensation".

    Perception

    Discrimination.

    Mind

    Body

    Good

    All uncertain for me.

    Happiness

    Justice

    Interlinked. Happiness is ataraxia, and ataraxia is only achievable by living in a just society.

    Truth

    ...is embedded in language.
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k


    Being
    Many would say the cardinal attribute of whatever can be said to exist, but as I have argued in many a thread, 'being' carries the connotation of sentient existence, i.e. existence as a being (e.g. 'human being'). Accordingly I hold that 'being' 'existence' and 'reality' are not strictly synonymous.
    Awareness
    The most basic form of consciousness, also the aspect of consciousness that is prior to apperception, integration and rationalisation.
    Consciousness
    Best thought of in the Eastern sense of 'citta', a Sansrit word that means both 'mind' and 'heart'; that which is aware or conscious; but never in itself an object, always as the subject
    Thinking
    Conscious deliberation and also the spontaneous activity of consciousness
    Time
    Awareness of the duration between events or occurences
    Sensation
    That which the nervous and cognitive systems transmit
    Perception
    Cognition and re-cognition of the contents of sensation
    Mind
    Consciousness
    Body
    Like a VR headset used to navigate terrestrial environments
    Good
    One half of a pair
    Happiness
    Absence of pain, absence of conflict, absence of fear, awareness of harmony.
    Justice
    Ideally, the resolution of conflict and the establishment of:
    Truth
    That which is; satya; veritas.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    My answer to all: There's a way of understanding each, that is not given by setting out their definitions in words but seen in the way they are used.

    But further, any such string of words will be inadequate, failing to account for all uses.
  • Mikie
    6k
    Perception

    Discrimination.
    Moliere

    I like this. A good synonym. It assumes a kind of interpreting. :up:



    Interesting.

    I realize you and me and “Being” have a long history haha— so I won’t go there.

    There's a way of understanding each, that is not given by setting out their definitions in words but seen in the way they are used.Banno

    Okay…so how do you use them?

    But further, any such string of words will be inadequate, failing to account for all uses.Banno

    True. Still, I’m sure you use these words like anyone else, and usually mean something by them. So that’s what I was asking for. If a kid would ask for your own take on these terms, would the answer be “it depends on use” or would you have some (albeit provisional) answer?
  • Banno
    22.9k
    If a kid would ask for your own take on these terms, would the answer be “it depends on use” or would you have some (albeit provisional) answer?Mikie
    I'd use the term, and encourage them to use it, so the child can see how it is used.

    so how do you use them?Mikie
    Early and often.

    But yep, unhelpful. I'll leave my comments there.
  • javi2541997
    4.7k
    I'd use the term, and encourage them to use it, so the child can see how it is used.Banno

    How would you use those terms if you do not know their definition? I think it is not possible to encourage them if you do not understand it, and to understand those terms you need previously a basic definition of each.

    For example: let's say I have to write an essay on art. But how, if I do not know the definitions of "perception" or "aesthetics" (for example) previously?

    Maybe I am understanding you wrongly. But it seems that you see the words just as random elements and avoiding their syntax functionality.
  • Banno
    22.9k

    Definitions are a post hoc invention.
  • jorndoe
    3.2k
    Can you define a word without just using more words...?
    You can find "stampede" and "elephant" in a dictionary, which, in turn, uses more words.
    Yet, there are no stampeding elephants in the dictionary.
    Dictionaries (and their definitions) have circularities.
    Board games on the other hand... :)
  • 180 Proof
    13.8k
    :up: A glossary is both more and less than a dictionary, no?

    Yeah, well ... :smirk:

    What is…Mikie
    I prefer I use the term ...

    Being
    to denote (i) a possible object, (ii) a possible version of the world or (iii) actuality (i.e. every possible version of the world).

    Awareness
    to denote attention to circumstances.

    Consciousness
    to denote being aware of awareness (i.e. attending to a state of attention and/or an act of attending); also, synonymous with mind (i.e. what sufficiently complex nervous systems dominding).

    Thinking
    to denote reflecting on – examining, questioning – conventions or norms, givens, assumptions, biases, desires, habits, gaps in experience or knowledge or understanding, unknown unknowns, ... and prerequisites of thinking.

    Time
    to denote the metric of asymmetric, sequential changes (i.e. events); also, experiential disappearing.

    Sensation
    to denote bodily stimulation constitutive of perception.

    Perception
    to denote environmental stimulation constitutive of consciousness.

    Mind
    (See consciousness above.)

    Body
    to denote a dynamic kinetic system causally-related to other dynamic kinetic systems that rarely is also a 'conscious being' (i.e. embodied mind).

    Good
    to denote a zero-degree, or maximum reduction, of harm and dysfunction.

    Happiness
    to denote a zero-degree, or maximum reduction, of needs and/or fear.

    Justice
    to denote a zero-degree, or maximum reduction, of civil/social unfairness, harm and dysfunction.

    Truth
    to denote a zero-degree, or maximum reduction, of undecidability, error and nonsense.
  • Amity
    4.6k

    Definitive list of definitions.

    Of course, there is no such thing.
    To write a definitive list of words used in philosophy. Funny. But nevertheless a seductive aspiration.

    I agree with:
    My answer to all: There's a way of understanding each, that is not given by setting out their definitions in words but seen in the way they are used.
    But further, any such string of words will be inadequate, failing to account for all uses.
    Banno

    Nevertheless, I started to answer (with whatever came to mind, as requested) and got as far as this...
    Being - existing ( anything that is); living ( rel. to human, animal, spirit, - real or imagined)
    Awareness- how we understand ourselves to be, when awake. Different levels of perception, according to our senses.
    Consciousness - a/a and being responsive; not unconscious.
    Thinking - considering and imagining all kinds of everything.
    Time - what we have too little of. Or too much of. To be and do all that we need/want to achieve for wellbeingness.

    Off the cuff nonsense. I caught myself and I re-read the OP:
    Take the attitude that there’s a fairly perceptive young person asking you. How would you answer?Mikie

    If this life student is asking questions about such things, then they already have a degree of knowledge.

    Socrates asked similar questions 2,500 years ago.Mikie

    He asked questions of students. He made them think things through for themselves.
    Starting with how much did they know or think they know...
  • Mikie
    6k
    Definitive list of definitions.

    Of course, there is no such thing.
    Amity

    Of course. The title is tongue-in-cheek.

    Off the cuff nonsense.Amity

    Your answers didn’t seem nonsensical to me.

    If this life student is asking questions about such things, then they already have a degree of knowledge.Amity

    Sure. So what?

    He asked questions of students. He made them think things through for themselves.Amity

    Yes, and usually triggered by the meaning of x. Whether justice or piety or virtue or whatever.
  • Mikie
    6k


    I prefer I use the term ...180 Proof

    Fair enough.

    Interesting list!
  • Judaka
    1.7k
    My answer to all: There's a way of understanding each, that is not given by setting out their definitions in words but seen in the way they are used.

    But further, any such string of words will be inadequate, failing to account for all uses.
    Banno

    :up:
  • Mikie
    6k
    I agree withAmity



    I'd use the term, and encourage them to use it, so the child can see how it is used.Banno

    All kind of sounds like a cop out to me.

    “What’s the aorta Dad?”
    “Let me use the word so you can see how it’s used.”

    Explaining what we mean, or think a word means, doesn’t require universal application or ultimate truth.

    If the current fashionable state of philosophy is to answer with a slogan like “it’s how it’s used,” I think we’re in real trouble.
  • Amity
    4.6k
    “What’s the aorta Dad?”Mikie
    The first response:
    Why do you want to know?
  • Mikie
    6k
    “What’s the aorta Dad?”
    — Mikie
    The first response:
    Why do you want to know?
    Amity

    That’s what your response would be?

    Okay: “Curiosity.”
  • Amity
    4.6k
    If this life student is asking questions about such things, then they already have a degree of knowledge.
    — Amity

    Sure. So what?
    Mikie

    It's the basis or grounding of more questions in a dialogue. Why do you ask? What do you think it is?

    He asked questions of students. He made them think things through for themselves.
    — Amity

    Yes, and usually triggered by the meaning of x. Whether justice or piety or virtue or whatever.
    Mikie

    It's an idea of 'justice' related to action or behaviour and consequences.
    Depending on context or circumstance.
    In the case of a questioning child, then it would probably be framed as 'fairness'.
  • Amity
    4.6k
    “Curiosity.”Mikie

    Desire to know or discover.
  • Mikie
    6k
    Yes, and usually triggered by the meaning of x. Whether justice or piety or virtue or whatever.
    — Mikie

    It's an idea of 'justice' related to action or behaviour.
    Amity

    Ideas have meaning. The dialogues pretty quickly transition into what is meant.

    “Curiosity.”
    — Mikie

    Desire to know or discover.
    Amity

    Sure— but I was responding to your question of “why do you want to know”. If the kid said “curiosity,” then we’d either say we have no idea what an aorta is, or what it means as a word, or try our best to describe or define it in some way.

    I don’t think using a kind of Rogerian technique in these circumstances is appropriate, however well-meaning the intention.
  • Mikie
    6k
    This surprised me a little so far:

    Mind
    (See consciousness above.)
    180 Proof

    Mind
    Consciousness
    Wayfarer

    Wasn’t expecting too much agreement.
  • frank
    14.5k
    Definitions are a post hoc invention.Banno

    On the one hand, the OP is saying: "give me the primary use for this word," but then everybody can specify their own. There's a little bit of a contradiction there.
  • unenlightened
    8.7k
    What is…

    Being
    Yes. Being is what is. Being is, and nothing happens.
    Awareness
    ...is the relation of responsibility. X is aware of y, iff x is able to respond to y.
    Consciousness
    ... is the relation of responsibility to awareness.
    Thinking
    ... is the digital processing function of mind.
    Time
    the dimension in which the nothing happens.
    Sensation
    ... is that aspect of y of which x is aware.
    Perception
    ... is a reification of a process, that is a reification of the happening of nothing.
    Mind
    ... is the nothing.
    Body
    is some particular being considered as if separate.
    Good
    ... is mind and world in the relation of alignment or mutual reflection.
    Happiness
    ... is the responsive mind as distinct from the thinking mind.
    Justice
    ... is social happiness.
    Truth
    ... is the expression of the proper functioning of thought.


    What is interesting me about this exercise is to arrive at definitions that are both faithful to (at least some of) the ways in which they are used in philosophy, and also relate to each other in ways that are somewhat significant of the individual's philosophy. That is, I hope the above tells the careful reader something about myself, or at least about the way I think that I think.
  • Amity
    4.6k
    Sure— but I was responding to your question of “why do you want to know”. If the kid said “curiosity,” then we’d either say we have no idea what an aorta is, or what it means as a word, or try our best to describe or define it in some way.Mikie

    The child/teenager might have turned it around and asked, "Why do you want to know?"
    The parent could answer with: It would help me better answer your question if I knew what prompted it.

    I don’t think using a kind of Rogerian techniqueMikie
    What's a 'Rogerian technique'?

    Ideas have meaning.Mikie
    Yes. And any meaning can be hidden from view or understanding.

    The dialogues pretty quickly transition into what is meant.Mikie

    Sure - but some dialogues stem from an experience, belief or understanding of moral issues.
    As in the child/teenager scenario. What experience has made them curious about an aorta?

    In Plato's Dialogues, is Socrates searching for a definitive definition of a concept?
    Or the reality behind the word?
  • Amity
    4.6k
    What is interesting me about this exercise is to arrive at definitions that are both faithful to (at least some of) the ways in which they are used in philosophy, and also relate to each other in ways that are somewhat significant of the individual's philosophy.unenlightened

    Yes, I think that is the idea behind the OP:

    My guess is that this brief exercise will give a better overview of a person’s perspective than merely adhering to, or assigning, a label or school (realist, materialist, dualist, utilitarian, etc).Mikie

    I don't assign myself a label but others might. 'Rogerian'?

    I hope the above tells the careful reader something about myself, or at least about the way I think that I think.unenlightened

    Really? One-line responses? Hmmm....
  • unenlightened
    8.7k
    I hope the above tells the careful reader something about myself, or at least about the way I think that I think.
    — unenlightened

    Really? One-line responses? Hmmm....
    Amity

    Yup. Stupid, keeping it simple! :yikes: And look, it works!
  • Mikie
    6k
    That is, I hope the above tells the careful reader something about myself, or at least about the way I think that I think.unenlightened

    I think it does. Still digesting some of those…

    In Plato's Dialogues, is Socrates searching for a definitive definition of a concept?
    Or the reality behind the word?
    Amity

    Neither.

    In any case, I think my title has led some to believe I’m really asking that this list be definitive. I think I’ll remove that from the title, as it’s misleading.
  • Mikie
    6k
    'Rogerian'?Amity

    My fault. It’s my psychology background— Carl Rogers was a therapist, and the technique I was referring to was one in which the therapist provides no answers, but creates a conducive atmosphere where the patient discovers the answers for himself/herself.
  • Mikie
    6k
    Maybe this thread has had the unintended consequence of separating those brave enough to take a stab at it and those finding excuses not to. :joke:
  • Amity
    4.6k
    Stupid, keeping it simple!unenlightened

    Simple and stupid? Now I know...thanks. I always wondered.

    In Plato's Dialogues, is Socrates searching for a definitive definition of a concept?
    Or the reality behind the word?
    — Amity

    Neither.
    Mikie

    So, what is it that Plato is attempting to do?

    I don’t think using a kind of Rogerian technique in these circumstances is appropriate, however well-meaning the intention.
    [...]
    Carl Rogers was a therapist, and the technique I was referring to was one in which the therapist provides no answers, but creates a conducive atmosphere where the patient discovers the answers for himself/herself.
    Mikie

    So, you thought that I was attempting to situate the questioning as a kind of psychological therapy?
    Does having a psychology background hinder or help you in forum interactions? Both/Neither/Other.
    Are you always trying to figure people out, and affix labels, according to some little test or word exercise?
    the unintended consequence of separating those brave enough to take a stab at it and those finding excuses not to.Mikie
  • Mikie
    6k
    So, you thought that I was attempting to situate the questioning as a kind of psychological therapy?Amity

    No, but the aim (provide no answers but assist others in discovering their own) seemed similar.

    Does having a psychology background hinder or help you in forum interactions? Both/Neither/Other.Amity

    Both.

    Are you always trying to figure people out, according to some little test?Amity

    :lol: I suppose so. But more like getting to know them better. And I don’t consider this a “test,” really — although I can see how it would be viewed that way. I’m in no position to grade anyone’s work.
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