Philosophy cannot be reduced to a mere collection of definitions. This commonly held notion is dismissive and an unhelpful perspective. I do agree that any philosophy can be understood better by understanding the definitions used and how they interrelate and contrast, as well as how they compare to others’ definitions and uses. Definitions are crucial to any discussion, including philosophy.
These definitions represent my understanding of essential concepts. They both reflect my philosophy and provide a framework for exploring how others interpret and utilize these terms. By considering the interplay between these ideas and their differences, we can delve into philosophical dialogues that enhance our comprehension of reality.
What follows is a terse definition of each term, related terms also with a terse definition, and a link to an article where I expand on these terse definitions.
Alphabetical List of Definitions
Eudaimonia is a Greek concept of human flourishing, encompassing happiness, fulfillment, and living a virtuous life. It emphasizes one’s reputation, even beyond death.
- A ghost is the spiritual or physical manifestation of a deceased person.
- A spiritual ghost is a supernatural entity that is the manifestation of a deceased person’s spirit or soul.
- A physical ghost is a new term I’m defining and, like a ghost, is a connection on Earth to a person that has died. It is the continued existence of a person after death including anything that reminds us of them including things they’ve created, heirlooms, and even genealogical data.
Humanism is an ethical stance emphasizing the value of people both individually and collectively. It is based on the belief that humans have inherent dignity and worth and that all individuals and communities should be treated with respect and compassion.
- Care ethics values caring relationships, empathy, and compassion in moral decision-making.
- Confucianism emphasizes cultivating virtues like compassion, honesty, and respect for others.
- Communitarianism values community and the common good beyond individual interests.
- Dualism in Buddhism is the idea of perceiving reality in terms of binary opposites, such as self and other.
- Non-dualism in Buddhism holds that there is no fundamental separation between self and other.
- Stoicism emphasizes virtue, self-control, and resilience.
- Ubuntu is an African concept in which all people are interconnected, “I am because we are.”
Religion – A set of beliefs with one or more irrational beliefs.
- A Religious Sect is any religion that is closely related to another religion. Usually related by a common set of beliefs especially a common set of irrational beliefs.
- A Religious Cult to a non-religious person, is the same as a religion. To a religious person, a cult is a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.