(Key: L-Latin; F-French;
Gr-Greek; Ge-German; S-Spanish; A-Arabic. R-Russian.)
Actus Purus (L), pure
activity; a Scholastic definition of deity.
Agents provocateurs (F),
agents engaged to provoke illegal action.
Agnosticism, the theory
that the ultimate problems of philosophy and religion
Agnus Dei (L), Lamb of
God, a term applied to Christ in the Mass.
A l'outrance (F), to the
Animism, the belief that
spirits dwell in objects.
interpretation of God in the likeness of man.
Apollonian: having the
calm, classic beauty of Apollo, as
against the emotional
qualities associated with Dionysus.
Apres moi le deluge (F),
after me the deluge (attributed to Louis XV)
A Posteriori (L),
(reasoning) from observed facts to general
A Priori (L),
(reasoning) from general propositions to particular
A tergo (L), from
interpretation of the world as composed of individual
Attribute, in Spinoza,
one of the infinite aspects of Substance or reality,
like extension (matter) or thought.
"act of faith"-- the name given to the
ceremony of pronouncing and executing sentence under
the Spanish Inquisition.
restriction of psychology to the objective study of
stimulus and response.
Behaviorist, one who
restricts psychology to objective observation,
ignoring introspection and consciousness.
works of literary art.
Burgermeister (Ge), city
Calvinism, a form of
Protestantism emphasizing the eternal predestination
of every individual to damnation or to salvation.
Caput Nili (L), the
source of the Nile.
Causality, the operation
of cause and effect.
Cherchez la femme (F),
look for the woman.
Cherchez les forts (F),
look for the strong.
Chordates, a biological
division including chiefly the vertebrates, but
embracing also those animals that have a notochord --
an elastic rod dividing the dorsal from the ventral
Concept, an idea; often
used specifically of philosophical ideas.
Corpus Prescriptionum (L),
the collection of prescriptions.
Cosmology, the study of
the origin and nature of the world.
Credo quia impossibile (L), I
believe it because it is impossible.
Crura cerebra (L),
"legs of the brain" -- twin structures
supporting the cerebrum.
Cytology, the study of
Das Kapital (Ge), Capital, the
title of a book by Karl Marx.
Debacle (F), disaster.
De gustibus non disputandum (L),
about tastes there can be no argument.
conclusion -- originally referring to the unraveling
De rigueur (F),
rigorously required by convention.
doctrine that all events are the inevitable result of
antecedent conditions, and that the human being, in
acts of apparent choice, is the mechanical expression
of his heredity and his past environment.
De vivis nil nisi bonum (L),
of the living, nothing but good.
Dialectic, logic; in
Hegel, the development of one idea or condition into
another by the process of thesis, antithesis and
Dichotomy, division into
making for bad heredity.
Ecrasez linfame (F),
smash the infamous thing.
Egalite (F), equality.
Elargissez Dieu (F),
Elite (F), the select.
Embryology, the study of
embryos i.e., organisms before their birth.
acceptance of sense experience as the source and test
Exceinte (F), pregnant.
Endocrinology, the study
of the ductless glands.
restriction of mating within determined social
En masse (F), in a mass;
Ennui (F), boredom.
Entelechy, the inner
nature of anything, determining its development.
Epicurean, a believer in
pleasure as the highest good.
Epiphenomenon, a useless
Epistemologs, addicts of
Epistemology, the study
of the origin, processes, and validity of knowledge.
Essence, the most
important and significant aspect.
Esthetics, theory of
beauty and art.
Ethics, the study of
right and wrong in conduct.
Euclidean, according to
Euclid i.e., according to tri-dimensional
Exeunt (L), they go out.
Exogamy, the prohibition
of marriage within the tribe.
Fable convenue (F), a
fable agreed upon.
Fatalism, the doctrine
that no choice or act of the individual can affect
the fate to which he is destined.
Femme de trente ans (F),
a woman of thirty years.
Finalism, the doctrine
that events are caused by the purposes they serve.
Fingimus hypotheses (L),
we make hypotheses (referring to Newtons denial
--"Non fingimus hypotheses").
First cause, the
beginning of the entire series of causes; usually
identified with God.
Formally, in a technical
way; according to the form or structure.
Free will, the partial
freedom of the agent, in acts of conscious choice,
from the determining compulsion of heredity,
environment and circumstance.
the awakening of spring.
Genetic, referring to
Gestalt psychology, the
theory of Kohler and others that reactions are not to
separate stimuli, but to situations perceived as
Grand Seigneur (F),
Hedonism, the doctrine
that pleasure is the actual, and also the proper,
motive of every action.
Heuristic, a method of
Homo sapiens (L), man
the knower -- the term for the human species in the
Linnaean classification of the animal kingdom.
homosexuality, sexual desire within the same sex.
Hors doeuvre (F),
metaphysics, the doctrine that ideas, or thought, are
the fundamental reality; in ethics, the devotion to
Ideation, the process of
devoted to impracticable ideas.
Impasse (F), an
impassable point; a blind alley.
division of the world into separate persons or
In excelsis (L), in the
Infusorian, one of the
Infusoria -- a class of protozoa mostly found in
determination of conduct by inherited tendency. An
instinct is an inherited tendency to general forms of
response to given situations; the specific response
is almost always a combination of inherited tendency
with acquired modifications.
doctrine that ideas are instruments of response and
adaptation, and that their truth is to e judged in
terms of their effectiveness.
Introibo (L), I shall
enter -- the first word of the Mass.
Intuition, the direct
perception of meaning or truth, without conscious
metaphysics, the doctrine that intuition, rather than
reason, reveals the reality of things; in ethics, the
doctrine that man has an innate sense of right and
Jacqueries (F), peasant
belief in the transmissibility of acquired
Laudator temporis acti (L),
a praiser of times past.
Le disordre organist (F),
Le droit de seigneur (F),
the right of the feudal lord to take the virginity of
every bride in his realm.
Legerdemain (F), sleight
Legerdepied (F), sleight
Le philosophe malgri lui (F),
the philosopher in spite of himself.
Les savants ne sont pas
curieux (F), scholars are not curious.
L'etat cest lui (F),
the state is he.
L'etat cest moi (F),
the state is I (attributed to Louis XIV).
Lingam, the male symbol
of reproduction in Hindu sex-worship.
Logic, the study of
reasoning; in Hegel, the study of the origin and
natural sequence of fundamental ideas.
Malgre lui (F), in spite
Mana, the Melanesian
name for the world of spirit.
Manitou, the American
Indian name for the "Great Spirit."
doctrine that matter is the only reality.
Materia medica (L),
Mechanism, the doctrine
that all events and thoughts follow the laws of
Metaphysics, the study
of the ultimate and fundamental reality.
Milieu (F), environment.
Mir (R), the village
council of the heads of families.
Mode, in Spinoza, a
particular thing, form, event, or idea.
Moira (Gr), fate.
Monism, the doctrine
that all things are forms of one ultimate reality.
Mores (L), customs.
Mysticism, the belief in
realities or truths beyond the present reach of
Nadir (A), the lowest
possible point; in astronomy, that point of the
celestial sphere which is directly below the point at
which one stands.
Naturalism, the doctrine
that all reality comes under the laws of
Natura naturans (L),
Natura non facit saltum (L),
nature makes no leaps.
Naturae encheiresis (L),
a handbook of nature.
Nes (F), born.
Neurosis, a mental
disturbance or disease.
Nirvana, in Hindu
theory, a condition of happiness arising out of the
absolute cessation of desire.
Noblesse oblige (F),
nobility obliges (one to act nobly).
Nominalism, in logic,
the doctrine that universal or class ideas (e. g., man)
have no objective realities corresponding to
them, but are merely names.
Noumenon, in Kant, the
ultimate reality, or Thing-in-Itself,
which can be conceived by thought, but cannot be
perceived in experience.
Nouveau riche (F), newly
of the perceiving individual; in Spinoza, as existing
Omne ovum ex ovo, omnis
cellulae cellular omne vivum e vivo (L), every
egg (comes) from an egg, every cell from a cell,
every living thing from a living thing.
Ontology, a study of the
ultimate nature of things.
Paleolithic, of the Old
to fossil remains.
Panem et circenses (L),
bread and circuses.
Panta agan (Gr), all
things in excess -- referring to the inscription on
the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: Meden agan, nothing
Panta rei (Gr), all
Pantheism, the doctrine
that God is in all things.
Parrhasia (Gr), free
birth of organisms from unfertilized females.
Pax Romana (L), the
peace imposed by Rome upon the Roman Empire.
Pecunia olet (L), money
smells -- of its origin.
interpreted sensation. E. g., a sound felt is a
sensation; the book has fallen is a
Petitio Principii, a
begging of the question.
Phallic worship, worship
Phallus, the male organ.
Pharmacopoeia (L), a
list or collection of drugs.
Phenomena, that which
appears to the senses.
theologian (L), philosophy the handmaid of
Phylum, a primary
division of the animal kingdom.
Plateau, in psychology,
a period in which there is no progress in learning.
Pluralism, the doctrine
that the world is not a unit in law and structure,
but the scene of contrary forces and processes.
Plus ca change, plus
cest la meme chose (F), the more it
changes, the more it is the same thing.
Polytheism, the worship
of many gods.
Populus vult decipi;
decipiatur (L), the people wish to be deceived;
let them be deceived.
restriction of philosophy to problems open to
Post mortem (L), (an
examination made) after death.
Pot pourri (F), a
Pragmatism, the doctrine
that truth is the practical efficacy of an idea.
doctrine that all men have, before their birth, been
destined by God to salvation or damnation.
Primum est bibere (L),
first one must drink.
Primum est vivere, deinde
philosophari (L), first one must live, then one
Protozoa, lit., the
first animals; the lowliest forms of life, all
Psychophysical monism, the
doctrine that all reality is both physical and
Psychophysical parallelism, the
doctrine that mind and body are parallel in all their
operation, but do not influence each other.
Quantum, the specific
orbits or velocities to which electrons are limited
in the theory of Planck and Bohr.
Raison detre (F),
reason for being.
acceptance of reason as the test of truth.
Rationalize, to pretend
that ones desires are caused by impartial
epistemology, the doctrine that the external world
exists independently of perception; in logic, the
doctrine that universal or class ideas (e. g., man)
have objective realities corresponding to them.
Regina Scientiarum (L),
Queen of the Sciences -- the medieval title
Relativity, the doctrine
that measurements and perceptions are true only in
relation to a given observer at a given place and
Resurrexit (L), he has
Roi faineant (F), a
exultation of feeling above intellect, or of hope
Scatophilia, love of
philosophy of the medieval theologians; in general,
the divorce of speculation from observation and
Sic (L), so written in
Sociology, the study of
social institutions and processes.
doctrine that spirit is the fundamental reality,
Status quo (L), the
state of things at present.
accumulation of fat on the buttocks.
only in the perceiving mind; as existing in thought;
in Spinoza, as the object of thought.
Substance, in Spinoza,
the basic and eternal reality, the structure and law
of the world.
Sub specie eternitatis (L),
in the light of eternity.
Sub specie totius (L),
in the light of the whole.
Supra (L), above.
Teleology, in theology,
the doctrine that all things are designed by God; in
biology, the theory or study of development as caused
by the purposes which things serve.
Terra firma (L), firm
Theist, a believer in a
Theology, the study of
Tiers etat (F), the
third estate i.e., the middle classes.
the realm and reach of the senses.
Tropism, an invariable
Tyche, the goddess of
chance among the Greeks.
doctrine that all actions are to be judged in terms
of their utility in promoting the greatest happiness
of the greatest number.
Vade mecum (L), a
Vide supra (L), see
Vitalism, the doctrine
that life is the basic reality, of which everything
else is a form or manifestation
doctrine that will is the basic factor, both in the
universe and in human conduct.
world-sickness, weariness of life.
Yoni, the female symbol
of reproduction in Hindu sex-worship.
Zeitgeist (Ge), the
spirit of the age.
relationship between man and beast.