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2010-05-29 01:49:59
Philosophy Science History

Terms that are taken from E O Wilson's Consilience.
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  1. Consilience
    • The unity of knowledge, that has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical processes.
  2. Ionian Enchantment
    • A belief in the unity of the sciences - a conviction far deeper than a mere working proposition, that the world is orderly and can be explained by a small number of natural laws.

  3. Enlightenment
    • The Enlightenment was a movement of intellectuals that followed the scientific revolution. It was most prominent during the eighteenth century in Europe.

    • Tenets of the Enlightenment:

    • -A passion to demystify the world and free the mind from the impersonal forces that imprison it

    • -Unity of Knowledge

    • -Individual Human Rights

    • -Natural Law

    • -Indefinite Human Progress

    • -Attempted to avoid metaphysics

  4. Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet (1743 – 1794)
    A philosopher and mathematician who was the first to apply math to the social sciences. He did this because he was inspired by the idea, central to the Enlightenment agenda, that had been accomplished in mathematics and physics can be extended to the collective actions of men.
  5. Francis Bacon, 1st and Only Viscount of St. Alban (1561 – 1626)

    The English philosopher who advocated a shift from rote memorization and deductive reasoning towards inductive reasoning and the organizing patterns of nature. He developed the theoretical framework that makes up the scientific (Baconian) method.

  6. René Descartes (1596 – 1650)

    Rene Descartes was the founder of algebraic geometry. Descartes' overarching vision was one of knowledge as a system of interconnected truths that can ultimately be abstracted into mathematics. He believed that this concept could be applied to everything from physics to moral reasoning.

  7. Objective Truth
    A truth that is invariant, regardless of the observers point of view.
  8. Postmodernism
    Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the rejection of objective truth; postmodernists propose that reality is a state constructed by the mind, not perceived by it. This assertion is the antithesis of the Enlightenment.
  9. Reductionism

    It is the search strategy employed to find points of entry into otherwise impenetrably complex systems, by analyzing small parts of the system. However, scientists are interested in complexity not simplicity.

  10. Logical Positivism
    A school of philosophy that combines empiricism with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions in epistemology. Logical positivism is the rejection of theology and metaphysics in favor of an empirically determined reality.
  11. Theism
    The belief that at least one diety exists, in a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and his relationship to the universe.
  12. Deism
    A religious and philosophical belief that a supreme being created the universe, and that this (and religious truth in general) can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without the need for either faith or organized religion.
  13. Occam's Razor
    The meta-theoretical principle that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. The principle is attributed to 14th-century English logician, theologian and Franciscan friar William of Ockham.
  14. Metaphysics
    A branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. It is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world.
  15. Ariadne's Thread

    A mythological analogy to explain both the connectedness and scope of human knowledge. The labyrinth is the interconnect maze of facts starting with physics and expanding out towards the humanities. The minotaur is human irrationality, Theseus is humanity, and Ariadne's Thread is the gift of the kings daughter that allows humanity to navigate the labyrinth.

  16. Pablo Ceasar Amaringo (1943 – 16 November 2009)
    • Pablo Amaringo, a mestizo shaman and artist,
    • used hallucinogenic, sacred plants as inspiration for his art.
  17. Proximate Causes
    In biology proximate causes are the entities and physiological processes that create a phenomenon, they are typically described at the cellular and/or molecular level.
  18. Ultimate Causes
    In biology the ultimate causes are the advantages the organism enjoys as a result of the evolution that created the mechanism in the first place.