Glossary of Terms ‘H’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14th, 2010 at 5:28PM. Copyright 2010.

Hedonism
The ethical view that pleasure is the greatest good, and that pleasure should be the standard in deciding which course of action to pursue. It is usually associated with a more physical, egoistic, or unrefined definition of “pleasure” than that found in the related doctrine of utilitarianism.

Hegelianism
A philosophy developed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel which can be summed up by a favorite motto by Hegel “The rational alone is real”. Which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. His goal was to reduce to a more synthetic unity the system of transcendental idealism.

Henotheism
See its entry under Theism.

Hereditarianism
See Social Darwinism.

Hinduism
Arguably the oldest religion in the world – besides Zoroastrianism.

Historicism
The theory that claims 1) that there is an organic succession of developments (also known as historism or the German historismus), and 2) that local conditions and peculiarities influence the results in a decisive way. It can be contrasted with reductionist theories which suppose that all developments can be explained by fundamental principles (such as in economic determinism).

Holism
The idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its constituent parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave. The general principle of holism is concisely summarized by the phrase “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” Holism is seen as the opposite of reductionism.

Humanism
A range of ethical views that consider human nature to be the source of values.

Posthumanism
A development of humanism that rejects a special position in nature for humanity.
Secular humanism– a system of belief that upholds ethics and reason as the sole means of gaining knowledge. Secular humanists reject blind faith and dogma in favor of scientific inquiry, and most agree that science and rationality can be supplemented with help from the arts. Also known as scientific humanism.

Transhumanism
(sometimes abbreviated >H or H+) an emergent philosophy analyzing or favoring the use of science and technology, especially neurotechnology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, to overcome human limitations and improve the human condition. Dr. Robin Hanson describes it as “the idea that new technologies are likely to change the world so much in the next century or two that our descendants will in many ways no longer be human.”

Democratic Tran Humanism
A Tran humanist philosophy which is generally socially progressive. It also encompasses radical democratic political views.

Religious Humanism
A philosophy based on the integration of religious rituals and/or beliefs with humanistic philosophy that centers on human needs, interests, and abilities (such as art).

Christian Humanism
A philosophy in which human freedom and individualism are compatible with the practice of Christianity or intrinsic in its doctrine. It is a combination of humanist and Christian values.

Christian Existential Humanism
A philosophy that argues that humans can make choices based on free will through Christ’s teachings.

Humanistic Naturalism
See its entry under Naturalism.

Hylozoism
The philosophical conjecture that all or some material things possess life, or that all life is inseparable from matter.

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