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The Philosophical Journey, 2/e
William Lawhead, The University of Mississippi

The Search for Ultimate Reality


agency theory  a version of libertarianism that rejects both determinism and indeterminism; this theory claims that events are brought about by agents
agent-causation  occurs when an event is brought about through the free action of an agent (person, self)
bad faith  Sartre's term for when we deny our freedom and our responsibility for who we are
behaviorism  a psychological theory that limits the scope of psychology to the scientific study of publicly observable behaviors and their causes while rejecting any explanations that refer to interior mental states or processes
circumstantial freedom  the ability and the opportunity to perform whatever action we choose, that is, freedom from external forces, obstacles, and natural limitations that restrict or compel our actions
compatibilism  the thesis that we are both determined and have the sort of freedom necessary to be morally responsible for our actions; sometimes called soft determinism
determinism  the claim that all events are the necessary result of previous causes
eliminativism  a type of physicalism that denies the existence of a separate, nonphysical mind and discards all language that refers to mental events
event-causation  occurs when a prior event necessarily causes a subsequent event
facticity  Sartre's term for those features of our past or present that we were not free to choose and yet they seem to set limits on the course of our lives
folk psychology  pejorative term used by eliminativists to characterize traditional psychological theories
functionalism  a philosophy that claims that the mind is characterized by particular patterns of input-processing-output
hard determinism  the dual claims that (1) having metaphysical freedom is a necessary condition for people to be morally responsible for their choices in any meaningful sense of the word and (2) we do not have the metaphysical freedom required for moral responsibility
idealism  a type of monism that claims that reality is entirely mental or spiritual in nature
identity theory  a type of physicalism that denies the existence of a separate, nonphysical mind but retains language that refers to the mind; also called reductionism
incompatibilism  the claim that determinism is incompatible with the sort of freedom required to be morally responsible for our behavior
intentionality  a feature of certain mental states (such as beliefs) by which they are directed at or are about objects or states of affairs in the world
interactionism  a type of dualism that claims that the mind and body, though different, causally interact with one another
libertarianism  the thesis that we do have metaphysical freedom; a rejection of determinism
metaphysical dualism  a metaphysical position that claims that there are two kinds of realities
metaphysical freedom  the power of the self to choose among genuine alternatives; free will
metaphysical materialism  a type of monism that claims that reality is totally physical in nature
metaphysical monism  a metaphysical position that claims that there is only one kind of reality
metaphysics  the area of philosophy concerned with fundamental questions about the nature of reality
mind-body dualism  the claim that the mind and the body (which includes the brain) are separate entities.
multiple realizability  the property by which something can be realized, embodied, instantiated in multiple ways and in different media
Ockham's razor  the principle that we should eliminate (shave off) all unnecessary entities and explanatory principles in our theories
ontology  the area of metaphysics that asks what is most fundamentally real
pantheism  the belief that God constitutes the whole of reality and that everything in nature, including individual persons, are modes or aspects of God's being
physicalism  the theory that human beings can be explained completely and adequately in terms of their physical or material components
radical behaviorism  B. F. Skinner's version of behaviorism that claims that all mental terms can be reduced to scientific statements about behavioral probabilities
reductionism  see identity theory
soft determinism  see compatibilism
strong AI thesis  the claim that an appropriately programmed computer really is a mind and can be said to literally understand, believe, and have other cognitive states
theological determinist  one who believes that God is the ultimate cause of everything that happens in the world, including human actions
transcendence  Sartre's term for the root of our freedom, for our ability to define ourselves by our possibilities and all the ways in which each of us is continually creating our own future in terms of our choices, our plans, our dreams, and our ambitions
Turing Test  test produced by Alan Turing to determine whether a computer can think or not
weak AI thesis  the claim that artificial intelligence research may help us explore various theoretical models of human mental processes, while acknowledging that computers only simulate mental activities