Worldviews

AGNOSTICISMThe belief that we can’t know whether God exists.ALTRUISM The belief that your moral decisions should be determined by the well-being of other people.ANARCHISMThe belief that we should have no organized government.ANIMISMThe belief that everything in the universe (or the universe itself) has a soul or is a living being.ATHEISMThe belief that God does not exist.ATOMISMThe idea that everything is made of tiny, simple particles that are chaotic and without design.CONCEPTUALISMThe idea that our understanding of words depends on our experiences.CONSEQUENTIALISMThe idea that the morality of our actions depends on what they result in.CONVENTIONALISMThe belief that concepts such as good and evil are determined by consensus rather than an external reality.DARWINISMA theory of biological evolution stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations.DECONSTRUCTIONISMA method of interpretation that looks for things excluded by a given text.DEISMA belief in an uninvolved God based entirely on logic with no reference to faith, revelation, or religion.DUALISMThe idea that mental and physical things are completely separate from one another and have nothing in common.EGOISMThe belief that how we behave is completely determined by our own selfish interests.ELIMINITIVISMThe belief that we should try to replace complex explanations of things with simpler or more certain concepts.EMOTIVISMThe theory that the only things moral language expresses are powerful human feelings that are subjective.EMPIRICISMThe belief that experience is the only source of knowledge and ideas.EPICUREANISMThe idea that everything that happens in the universe is outside of human control; all we can do is passively experience the world.EPIPHENOMENALISM The belief that mental events cannot have an impact on the physical world.EUDAEMONISMThe attempt to achieve happiness in an objective sense rather than seek subjective pleasure.EXISTENTIALISMA philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile and indifferent universe.FIDEISMThe idea of circular reliance in which religious doctrines prove themselves with consequent rejection of appeals from reason.HEDONISMThe belief that pleasure is the highest value.HISTORICISMThe belief that social structures, events and texts are best understood in their historical context.HUMANISMThe belief that human beings are the source of all value and have the ability to understand and control the natural world.IDEALISMThe belief that it is only those things in the mind that are real; physical things only exist in our mental perception of them.INSTRUMENTALISMThe belief that theories can be used for prediction even if those theories are false.INTERACTIONISMThe belief that our minds and bodies can affect each other even though they are completely separate entities.INTUITIONISMThe reliance on instinctual awareness as a test of what is true.JANSENISMThe belief that we can only obey God if God makes us do so.LEGAL POSITIVISMThe belief that the laws of society are nothing but the will of those in power at any given moment.LOGICAL POSITIVISMA philosophical movement holding that nothing is real that can’t be observed, including metaphysics, ethics and theology.MATERIALISMThe belief that only physical things truly exist.MONISMThe belief that reality consists of a single element, one basic substance or principle.MORAL RELATIVISM The belief that right and wrong are arbitrary and determined by the individual or culture.MYSTICISMThe belief that we can understand a divine reality through spiritual contemplation rather than through other types of thought processes.NATURALISMThe belief that all objects, events and values can be completely understood through natural elements and forces without reference to the supernatural.NEOPLATONISMThe belief that the natural world is merely a series of emanations from the nature of God.NEUTRAL MONISMThe belief that physical and mental processes are parts of the same substance, which is neither completely mental nor physical in nature.NIHILISMA doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.NOMINALISMThe opposite of realism; the belief that only particular abstract things exist; there are no universals.NONCOGNITIVISMThe belief that moral assertions are neither true nor false but merely express attitudes, feelings, desires or demands.OCCASIONALISMThe belief that all causes and effects are the products of a third thing, usually divine providence.OPERATIONALISMThe belief that the meaning of scientific concepts is best seen in a description of how well they work.PANENTHEISMThe belief which claims that God is in everything and everything is in God.PANPSYCHISMThe belief that everything in the world has a mental aspect.PANTHEISMThe view that God is everything and everything is God.PARALLELISMThe belief that although the human mind and body do not affect each other, their features and actions coordinate perfectly.PERCEPTUALISMA belief in the optical truth (what is actually there) as opposed to what something means.PHENOMENALISMThe belief that physical objects have no reality beyond our perception of them.PHYSICALISMThe belief that everything that occurs in the mind can be explained through the physical world.PLURALISMThe belief that reality includes many different kinds of things, that there are many different sources of value.POSITIVISMThe belief that natural science, based on observations, is the only kind of knowledge we can have.POSTMODERNISMThe rejection of the notion of universal objective truth.PRAGMATISMThe idea that meaning and truth are practical outcomes of actions performed under the influence of ideas and beliefs.PRESCRIPTIVISMThe idea that the use of moral language commits one to act in accordance with those morals.RATIONALISMThe belief that reason is the only reliable source of human knowledge.REALISMThe belief in universal principles that are independent of particular abstract things.REDUCTIONISMThe belief that statements of one sort can be systematically replaced by statements of a simpler kind.RELATIVISMThe belief that there are no absolutes, only perspectives that are specific to a particular time, place or society.REPRESENTATIONALISMThe belief that we are aware of objects only through the ideas that represent them.RULE UTILITARIANISMThe view that an action is right if good consequences follow for everyone who performs that action.SCIENTIFIC NATURALISMA philosophical tenet that describes life as a mechanically unfolding natural process without a need of the supernatural.SCIENTISMThe fundamentalist philosophical position that claims that science alone is the sole authority that can render truth about the world and reality.SKEPTICISMThe belief that some or all human knowledge is impossible.SOLIPSISMThe belief that only one’s self is real and everything else is an object of one’s consciousness.SOPHISMAn argument that sounds good but that is really false, especially if delivered by someone who is being knowingly deceptive.STOICISMA collection of human knowledge that includes formal logic, physical study of the natural world, and a naturalistic explanation of human nature and conduct.THEISMThe belief in the existence of a personal God as an entity worthy of worship.UTILITARIANISMThe idea that human conduct is either right or wrong depending on how it affects other people.VOLUNTARISMThe belief that reality, morality and the structure of society are determined by a divine will.

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