Glossary of Terms ‘V’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14, 2010 at 6:04PM. Copyright 2010.

Value pluralism
The idea that two or more moral values may be equally ultimate (true), yet in conflict. In addition, it postulates that in many cases, such incompatible values, may be rationally incommensurable. As such, value-pluralism is a theory in meta-ethics, rather than an ethical theory or a set of values in itself. The Oxford historian of ideas, Isaiah Berlin, is accredited with having done the first substantial work on value-pluralism, bringing it to the attention of general academia.

Verificationism
An epistemic theory of truthbased on the idea that the mind engages in a certain kind of activity: “verifying” a proposition. The distinctive claim of verificationism is that the result of such verifications is, by definition, truth. That is, truth is reducible to this process of verification.

Vitalism
The doctrine that “vital forces” are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. That element is often referred to as the “vital spark” or “energy” which some equate with the “soul”.

Voluntarism
School of thought which regards the will as superior to the intellectand to emotion. Introduced into philosophical literature by Ferdinand Tönniesand developed further in the writings of Wilhelm Wundt and Friedrich Paulsen.

Voluntaryism
Theory advocated by Auberon Herbert, stressing “voluntary taxation” and the boycott of electoral politics. The original sources for voluntaryism can be found in Herbert’s book “The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State.” Some, such as Benjamin Tuckerview Herbert’s philosophy as anarchism, however he never called himself an anarchist as he considered anarchism to be a philosophy that does not provide for defense of person and property.

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