academic issue A subject that is of interest primarily to the schools. It is considered to be theoretical rather than practical.
Annandale, Marquis of An English nobleman of the House of Annandale. His title of honor was next in point of dignity to that of duke.
Aristotle A Greek philosopher (384-322 B.C.) who possessed one of the most brilliant minds of all time. His works are regarded among the great classics of the world. They include treatises on Metaphysics, Physics, Logic, Ethics, Rhetoric, and other subjects.
authoritarian One who accepts a particular doctrine as true because it has been stated by someone whose views are not open to question.
Bacon, Francis An English philosopher (1561-1626) who made important contributions to the field of inductive logic and who thus prepared the way for important developments in modern science.
Bentham, Jeremy An English philosopher (1748-1832) who was the author of Principles of Morals and Legislation and whose name is always associated with the development of the Utilitarian school of philosophy.
Berkeley, George An Irish churchman and philosopher (1685-1753) who became famous for developing the notion that non-thinking matter does not exist. He was the author of the statement "to be is to be perceived."
Cicero, Marcus Tullius Roman orator and statesman (106-43 B.C.).
College of Justice A law college in Edinburgh. David Hume's maternal grandfather had been president of this college.
crucial experiment A single experiment or observation which would be sufficient to prove or to disprove a given conclusion.
Darius I The fourth king of Persia (558-485 B.C.).
disease of the learned A term of reproach used to designate individuals who regarded themselves as superior to common or uneducated persons.
dogmatism Positiveness in one's assertions when they are not supported by a sufficient amount of evidence.
ecclesiastical Having to do with church affairs. Derived from the Greek word "ecclesia," which means church.
empirical method A method of investigation which is based on the actual facts of experience rather than being derived from some universal proposition.
empiricist One who uses the empirical method in his investigation of philosophical problems.
Epicureans One of the Greek schools of philosophy. Its founder was Epicurus, who taught that pleasure is the norm and standard of goodness.
Faculty of Advocates The governing board of the library in the city of Edinburgh, England.
feeling for humanity This term was used by David Hume to designate what he regarded as the tendency on the part of all human beings to approve that which promotes the welfare of others.
golden mean A term used by Aristotle to describe the moral virtues. It meant the course of conduct that is midway between excess and deficiency.
Hobbes, Thomas A famous English philosopher (1588-1679) who wrote the Leviathan and whose name is also associated with the development of materialistic philosophy.
Kant, Immanuel A German philosopher (1724-1804) whose writings have influenced modern thinking more than that of any other individual during the last two centuries. His Critique of Pure Reason, the Critique of Practical Reason, and the Critique of Judgment are regarded as classics in the fields of epistemology, ethics, and esthetics.
Levellers The name of a reform party in Great Britain which arose about the year 1647 and whose aim was to establish equality among all the peoples of the land.
liberal This term was applied to Hume because of many of his views on religion and politics which were departures from the generally accepted doctrines of his day.
Locke, John An English philosopher (1632-1704) who was the author of Essay Concerning Human Understanding, a book which has influenced the course of philosophy since the time it first appeared.
metaphysical assumption A belief concerning the nature of the universe which can neither be proved nor disproved.
Mill, John Stuart An English philosopher (1806-73) whose writings in the fields of logic, ethics, psychology, and political science have been held in high esteem.
naturalistic An explanation of religion and other phenomena without reference to any supernatural power.
orthodox An orthodox believer is one who adheres to long-established customs and beliefs.
oughtness A term that was used by Immanuel Kant to designate the sense of duty without reference to its particular content.
Pericles A Greek statesman (498-429 B.C.) whose age was the most flourishing period of art and science experienced by that country.
Plato A Greek philosopher (427-347 B.C.) who was the author of many famous dialogues, including the Republic, the Laws, and many others. One of the greatest minds of the ancient world.
Pneumatical Philosophy, Ethics and The name given to one of the departments of learning in the University of Edinburgh. It is called pneumatical because it has to do with things of the spirit.
practical reason This term was used by Immanuel Kant to designate that function of the mind that tells us what we ought to do.
rationalist One who believes that reason is the primary source of truth. As this term is used in philosophy, it stands in contrast with empiricism, which regards experience as the main source of truth.
Republic The name of one of Plato's most important dialogues. It has to do with the meaning of justice.
skeptic One who doubts that the evidence supports the conclusion which has been drawn.
Socrates A famous Greek philosopher (470-399 B.C.) who was the teacher of Plato and who died as a martyr for the cause of truth.
Sophists The name given to a class of teachers in ancient Greece who charged fees for their services and whose doctrines were subjected to severe criticism by Socrates.
Stoic The name that was given to a Greek school of philosophy. The name was derived from the place where the classes were held.
Stuart, House of The family name of one of the lines of English kings.
theoretical reason That function of the mind which enables one to know. It stands in contrast to the practical reason, or that which tells one what ought to be done.
Treatise of Human Nature One of David Hume's major publications. It contains his views concerning the understanding, the passions, and morals.
Tudor, House of The family name of one of the lines of English kings.
utilitarian The name of a school of philosophy which has as its standard of goodness the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of persons.
Zoroaster A Persian said to have been born about 660 B.C. and who became the founder of one of the great religions of the world. One of its main characteristics is that of a thoroughgoing ethical dualism.