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Pragmatism | Glossary

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absolutism: (n) in James's writing, used interchangeably to mean monism

a priori: (adv) preexisting

denkmittel: (n) framework of analysis; means for thinking; a method for handling facts

empiricism: (n) the philosophy first espoused by the British empiricist philosophers that knowledge is derived from sense experience

empyrean: (n) the celestial

ens rationis: (n) a substance that has certain qualities

humanism: (n) philosophy that gives human interests and values primary place

materialism: (n) view that everything in existence is material; depending on matter

metaphysics: (n) branch of philosophy dealing with first principles or the essence of nature or reality

meliorism: (n) a doctrine holding that salvation is neither necessary nor impossible

monism: (n) a philosophy that asserts there is no difference between matter and spirit or mind or the world and God; the idea that all plurality can be reduced to one essence

noetic: (adj) related to the study of the mind and intellect

nominalist: (n) philosopher who rejects the idea of substance and universal, abstract categories, arguing every object is concrete

noumenal world: (n) a version of ultimate reality

pluralism: (n) philosophy that opposes monism or dualism and asserts there are multiple, competing but valid descriptions of the world or phenomena

pragmatism: (n) the philosophy of William James and his fellow pragmatists, which holds that the result of any thought or philosophy is its sole significance

rationalism: (n) the philosophy first espoused by René Descartes that knowledge is derived primarily from reason

tender-minded: (adj) William James's description of those who ascribe to rationalist thinking

theism: (n) philosophy positing the existence of a ruling God

tough-minded: (adj) William James's description of those who ascribe to empiricist thinking

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