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34 Cards in this Set

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The part of Philosophy concerned with value and the normative universe, including ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics.


The philosophical study of knowledge. Having to do with knowledge.


The philosophical study of morality.


The part of philosophy concerned with the study of the principles of good reasoning.


The part of philosophy concerned with the most general questions about reality, being, truth, unity, cause, space, and time.


Culture, language, value: All one legal, social, moral, aesthetic, and ration obligations, duties, and responsibilities.

Normative Universe

Defined by Plato as the love of wisdom and truth, a classical name for any activity of discovering knowledge, especially the three areas of epistemology, axiology, and metaphysics: thinking hard about important matters, especially about second-order questions about thinking well and living well.


The part of philosophy concerned with the flourishing of human community, the complement of ethics.

Political Philosophy

A question raised about another question or statement.

Second-order question

A series of statements in which at least one of the statements (premise) is offered as reason to believe another (conclusion).


A fallacy of assuming the very thing that needs to be proven; typically when the premises of an argument presupposed its conclusion (circular reasoning).

Begging the Question

The contrapositive of and if-then statement is made by switching the if-clause and the then-clause and negating both.

+The contrapositive of “If you are eligible to serve as US President, then you are a natural-born citizen” is “If you are not a natural-born citizen, then you are not eligible to serve as US President.”+


One of the two major types of argument, the other being induction. A deductive argument claims to guarantee its conclusion when its premises are true; if it actually does so it is valid, if it does not it is invalid

Deductive Argument

An informal fallacy in which two or more meanings of the same word or phrase have been confused.


Picks out the common feature that unites the set of things to which a word applies; gives both necessary and sufficient conditions.

Essential Definition

Aristotle defined it as a rational animal (difference+genus)

Human being

Every statement is either True or else False

Law of Excluded Middle

The study of principles of good reasoning


The reasonableness conferred on an argument's conclusion by its premises. In an argument that is logically succesfful the conclusion follows its premises. In deductive arguments, it is a matter of the fit of the conclusion to the premises. In inductive arguments, it is also, a matter of the fit of the conclusion to the total available evidence.

Logical Form

What is essential, mandatory, or required for another thing to be realized: the then-clause of an if-then statement.

Necessary Condition

Clarifies and often stipulates a meaning for a given context; may give either a necessary or a sufficient condition or both.

Precising Definition

A sound argumenthas both good logic and all true premises: A sound deductive argument is bothvalid and has all true premises. A sound indication argument is both cogent andhas all true premises.


A convention forclarifying arguments by numbering premises and conclusions, showing the logicalform, and indicating conclusions. Useful for discussion, a standard formatargument can be sound or unsound; it is valid only if so indicated.

Standard Format
A valid argumenthas the property that if all the premises are true, then the conclusion must betrue. Every deductive argument is either valid or invalid (not valid).


Knowledge that does not come from experience.

A priori

Descartes’ proposed first principle for establishing all knowledge on a certain foundation; claimed to be clearly and distinctly (self-evidently) true.

Cogito ergo sum
All knowledge is ultimately from our senses or experience.


We know that if any ordinary claim about the world is true, then no skeptical possibility is true.

Epistemic Principle

If any ordinary claim about the world is true,then no skeptical possibility like the Evil-Demon-deceiving-me scenario istrue.

Metaphysical Principle

We can neitheravoid error nor gain truth. We’re either incapable of eliminating error,invariably committed to circular reasoning, or should suspend judgmentindefinitely. If we have any true beliefs at all, we have them by accident.There’s no trustworthy way to separate the true from the false, or, if thereis, we can’t figure out what it is.

Radical Skepticism

All knowledge is ultimately from our reason or mind.


The view that the mind is a kind of theaterscreen upon which reality projects all the images and sounds of a world.

Theatre of the mind

Wax argument

Descartes Meditation 2

The descriptive thesis that beliefs about morality and the values people possess vary across cultures divided by times and places. Objection: Human Universals.

Descriptive Relativism