Glossary of Terms ‘E’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14th, 2010 at 5:18PM. Copyright 2010.

Eclecticism
A conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.

Egalitarianism
A political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals.

Egoism
Beliefs that are consistent with one’s self-interest.

Emanationism
Belief that reality necessarily proceeds from a first Principle.

Emotionalism
An inclination to rely on or place too much value on emotion. It could be argued that very few, if any, people would label themselves “emotionalists”, but rather that it would be a derogatory term applied to them, possibly for exhibiting a zealous demeanor, which may be interpreted as an appeal to emotion.

Emotivism
The non-cognitive meta-ethical theory that ethical judgments are primarily expressions of one’s own attitude and imperatives meant to change the attitudes and actions of another. It is heavily associated with the work of A. J. Ayer and C. L. Stevenson, and it is related to the prescriptivism of R. M. Hare.

Empiricism
The doctrine that all knowledge ultimately comes from experience, denying the notion of innate ideas or a priori knowledge about the world. It is opposed with rationalism.

Environmentalism
A concern for the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment, such as the conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and certain land use actions. It often supports the struggles of indigenous peoples against the spread of globalization to their way of life, which is seen as less harmful to the environment.

Epicureanism
While often considered to be the philosophy of pleasure seeking, in fact refers to a middle-path philosophy defining happiness as success in avoiding pain, in the form of both mental worry and physical discomfort, in order to produce a state of tranquility.

Epiphenomenalism
The view in philosophy of mind according to which physical events have mental effects, but mental events have no effects of any kind. In other words, the causal relations go only one way, from physical to mental. In recent times it is usually considered a type of dualism, because it postulates physical events but also non-physical mental events; but historically is has sometimes been thought a kind of monism, because of its sharp divergence from substance dualism.

Equalitarianism
Another spelling of egalitarianism.

Essentialism
The belief and practice centered on a philosophical claim that for any specific kind of entity it is at least theoretically possible to specify a finite list of characteristics, all of which any entity must have to belong to the group defined.

Eternalism
A philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time. It builds on the standard method of modeling time as a dimension in physics, to give time a similar ontology to that of space. This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are “already there”, and that there is no objective flow of time.

Ethical Egoism
The normative ethical position that moral agent sought to do what is in their own self-interest. It is distinguished from psychological egoism and rational egoism. It contrasts with ethical altruism, which holds that moral agents have an ethical obligation to help or serve others. Ethical egoism does not, however, require moral agents to disregard the well-being of others, nor does it require that a moral agent refrains from considering the well-being of others in moral deliberation. What is in an agent’s self-interest may be incidentally detrimental to, beneficial to, or neutral in its effect on others. It allows for the possibility of either as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying self-interest of the agent. Ethical egoism is sometimes used to support libertarianism or anarchism, political positions based partly on a belief that individuals should not coercively prevent others from exercising freedom of action.

Ethnocentrism
The tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one’s own culture. It is defined as the viewpoint that “one’s own group is the center of everything (better than all other cultures),” against which all other groups are judged. Ethnocentrism often entails the belief that one’s own race or ethnic group is the most important and/or that some or all aspects of its culture are superior to those of other groups.

Eudaimonism
A system of ethics that evaluates actions in terms of their capacity to produce happiness.

Existentialism
The philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existing, that are primary. That is, they cannot be reduced to or explained by a natural-scientific approach or any approach that attempts to detach itself from or rise above these themes.

Christian Existentialism
The philosophical movement shares similar views to existentialism with the added idea that the Judeo-Christian God plays an important part in coping with the underlying themes of human existence.

Experientialism
The philosophy that knowledge is to be measured according to experiences and first hand accounts.

Experimentalism
A philosophy that uses data obtained from experiments in order to ascertain the integrity of an idea or proposed concept.

Expressionism
An aesthetic and artistic movement that distorted reality for enhanced or over exaggerated emotional effect. It can also apply to some literature; the works of Franz Kafka and Georg Kaiser are often said to be expressionistic, for example.

Expressivism
A theory about the meaning of moral language. According to expressivism, sentences that employ moral terms–for example, “It is wrong to torture an innocent human being”–are not descriptive or fact-stating; moral terms such as “wrong,” “good,” or “just” do not refer to real, in-the-world properties. The primary function of moral sentences, according to expressivism, is not to assert any matter of fact, but rather to express an evaluative attitude toward an object of evaluation.[3] Because the function of moral language is non-descriptive, moral sentences do not have any truth conditions.[4] Hence, expressivists either do not allow that moral sentences have truth value, or rely on a notion of truth value that does not appeal to any descriptive truth conditions being met for moral sentences.

Externalism
In epistemology, the theory that justification can hold elements which are not known to the subject of the belief.

Externism
Pseudo-philosophical theory, developed by fictitious genius Jára Cimrman. It deals with our knowledge and learning process.

Extropianism
Also referred to as extropy, and originated by Dr. Max More, extropianism is an evolving framework of values and standards for continuously improving the human condition. Extropianism describes a pragmatic consilience of transhuman thought guided by a conscious, pro-active, self-directed approach to human evolution and progress. (See posthuman). Extropians were once concisely described as libertarian transhumanists, and some still hold to this standard.

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