(with some religious terms)

A-C | D-F | G-L | J-M | N-Q | R-T | U-Z

GAUTAMA BUDDHA: The enlightened one, the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, who in the sixth century B.C. became the Buddha. Most Buddhists can relate his story. A popular version of his life is told in the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. A simple introduction to his story is told on the BuddhaNet Web site at

GENESIS: The first book of the Bible, called in Hebrew b're-sheet, which translates as beginning. Genesis, of course, is the Greek word for beginnings.

GNOSTICISM - Gnosticism was a pseudo-Christian religious movement which flourished in the first and second centuries AD. Since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts (ancient Gnostic texts) in Egypt in 1947 (paralleling the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls), there has been a renewed interest in Gnosticism. Although a concise definition of Gnosticism is elusive, it is probably safe to say the Gnosticism was one of the most syncretistic (pluralistic) and ambitious speculative theological movements in the ancient world, blending everything from Oriental mysticism, Greek philosophy, Christian ideology, mystical Judaism, and everything else in between. Derived from the Greek word "gnosis ," meaning "knowledge, " the Gnostic religions(s) flourished at the same time that the orthodox/canonical Church was attempting to expand throughout the Roman empire. Thus, Gnosticism posed a serious threat to early Christianity. Despite the plurality of influences which defined Gnosticsm, it is possible to identify the three key pillars of Gnosticism upon which the individual Gnostic sects constructed their individual sectarian systems:
COSMOLOGICAL DUALISM - i.e. the spirit/matter distinction, or the idea that there is an antagonism between God (the spiritual realm) and matter (or the sensible, material plane of phenomenal reality). According to this principle (influenced by Plato to a degree, although Plato's conception was different), a sharp dualism exists between two worlds - the "spiritual" world of divine light and the "material" sensible world of darkness. In sum, the Gnostics equated "spirit" with "good" (or light), and "matter" with evil" (or darkness). Thus, as the abode of the principle of evil, the "material," sensible world could not possibly be the handiwork of the Supreme God. From this conclusion, then, the Gnostic thinkers derived the whole conept of a Demiurge, similar to the Platonic notion.
THE DEMIURGIC NOTION - i.e. the YHWH/Demiurge distinction, is the idea that the material universe was "not" created by the Supreme God (i.e. not YHWH, but the God of the New Testament - The Father), but rather by the "Demiurge" (Greek for "craftsman" ); an infererior deity (in some systems, an evil being because he created the evil, material, sensible world - he is identified with the Old Testament God YHWH, and most Gnostics despised Him). Although the philosophical idea of a Demiurge is rooted in the thought of Plato ( cf. Timaeus), the Gnostic notion is fundamentally different. Whereas in the Platonic system the Demiurge creates the world as a reflection of the heavenly Forms ( (Ideas, Ideal Types ) - thus, implying some inherent good in the material creation - the Gnostic system beholds the rabid evil of our decaying world and therefore concludes that such an "evil universe cannot be assigned to a good god." Thus, YHWH is perceived as a finite, imperfect god, and is futhermore accused of being an angry and terrible deity.
THE DOCETIC CHRISTOLOGY - i.e. the view that Christ was not a "material" entity, but rather, a sort of "phantom" who merely bore the similitude of a man for purposes of accomodation. Christologically, Docetism was the logical extension of "cosmological dualism and the "the demiurgic notion." Because the gnostics considered matter inherently evil, the idea of a genuine "material" incarnation was simply unthinkable. Interestingly, part of the docetic Christology asserts that in the fifteenth year of Tiberius (29 AD), Jesus Christ manifested himself suddenly in the synagogue at Capernaum.

GNOSTICISM, GNOSTICS: An early and pre-Christian cultic philosophy that believed matter to be evil and that salvation comes through esoteric or secret knowledge, i.e., gnosis. It is highly debated among Biblical scholars how much influence gnosticism had on the New Testament church.

GOD OF THE GAPS - If a fact of nature, let's say, cannot be explained by science, theists will assert that it is of divine origin. In the past, a "god of the gaps" accusation could have been leveled against the Norwegians who worshiped Thor as the "God of thunder." Just because they could not explain what "thunder" was, they attributed that mystery to a divine origin. Now, of course, we know that "thunder" is simply a meteorological phenomenon. In our day, the mystery of life's origin has resulted in futile attempts by the scientific establishment to solve the problem of how life came into existence; hence, theists will view this as "a gap" and attempt to explain such a mystery by claiming that the answer must be of a divine nature. Scientists, however, will insist that theists are using this "god of the gaps" method of logic - i.e. appealing to a god, rather than attempting to solve the problem. One atheistic response to the god of the gaps is usually, "Just because we can't solve the problem now, doesn't mean that we won't be able to solve it in a hundred years!"

GOD OF THE GAPS is sometimes known as DEUS EX MACHINA ("god out of the machine") , which is a term from classical drama and theater. In a particular play, for instance, when the plot reached a pivotal juncture where there was no natural resolution, a mechanistic apparatus would lower a god down onto the stage and the god would resolve the crisis.

1) THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: literally, from the “logic” of God’s “being” (onto). the claim is that God is a necessary being. Just as a round square is necessarily non-existent, so if we consider the definition of God we realize that he must exist. God is defined as the perfect being, but existence is a perfection; therefore God exists. The argument is scored in the slogan that existence is not a predicate; mathematical logic makes it impossible to use existence in the predicate position.
2) THE ARGUMENT FROM FIRST CAUSE, OR THE UNMOVED MOVER: Everything we are familiar with was created by and set in motion by something else. But if we are to avoid an infinite regress, there must be some first cause which is not itself set in motion by anything else; this first cause, or prime mover, is God.
3) THE WATCHMAKER ARGUMENT: The world is an orderly and beautiful structure; we can tell that it must have been made by someone, just as if you found a watch on an empty beach, you would know, even if you had never seen a watch before, that it must have been made by someone.

GOD: Omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and perfectly benevolent creator of the universe.  Conceived of as transcending the created universe (as in the Christian tradition) God is thought to exist prior to and beyond the universe which he created from nothing or ex nihilo.  Conceived of as immanent (as on pantheistic and Stoic conceptions) God is in the universe (as its guiding spirit or logos) and coextensive with it, not beyond it or prior to it.


GODHEAD: A word used to describe the supreme being, God. If the complexity of the nature of God is divided into aspects, persons, functions, etc., the unity or the overarching oneness is called the godhead.

GOLDEN MEAN - The doctrine of the golden mean originates in the thought of Aristotle and his ethics. He believed that "moderation" was the proper ethical path, between the two extremes of, let's say, asceticism and riotous living.

GOSPEL: A transliteration of the Old English word, Godspell, meaning literally, "Good News." Christianity defines the gospel as the news that Jesus Christ came as the Messiah, was crucified for the sins of humanity, died and was buried and on the third day arose from the grave in triumph over death, offering similar victory over death to all who believe. For Christians, the "gospel in a nutshell" is recorded in the Gospel of St. John at chapter 3, verse 16, which says, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (KJV). This text, or its reference, John 3:16, has become a popular evangelistic symbol for Christians in contemporary North America.

GREGORIAN CALENDAR: The calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to be more in line with the reckoning of days according to solar calculations. Gregory's calendar has become the most widely used in the world. It was adopted as the yearly calendar by Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752. Each year has 365 days, and every year divisible by 4 becomes a so-called "leap year" when an extra day is celebrated as February 29. Centennial years are leap years only if they are divisible by 400; thus, the year 1900 was not a leap year, while the year 2000 is.

GROUND OF ALL BEING: An existential-philosophical term posited by the modern Protestant theologian Paul Tillich as a reference to the supreme power of the universe. Generally synonymous with God though not necessarily with the YAHWEH of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

GURU: A Hindu spiritual guide or religious teacher, especially in a personal mentoring relationship.The word has been expanded in English to refer to anyone with expertise or special knowledge or skill in a given field who takes a leadership role in the teaching or directing of others.

HADITH: The body of traditional teachings of Islam beyond the teachings of the Koran that are based on the prayers and sayings of Muhammad.

HAJJ: A pilgrimage to Mecca, the fifth of the so-called five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is required to make at least one visit in a lifetime to Mecca, provided the person is physically and financially capable of such a journey. The hajj has been conducted continuously every year for about 1,400 years. It is a commemoration of the sacrifice, obedience and faith of Abraham, his second wife Hagar, and their son Ishmael.

HALLELUJAH (SEE alleluia): Greek term for "praise to the Lord."

HANUKKAH: (Also spelled CHANUKA and HANUKA): Jewish festival of lights. This holiday celebrates the 2nd-century B.C.E. victory of the Macabees over the Syrians. This holiday begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which typically falls in early- or mid-December in the Gregorian calendar. The close juxtaposition of Hanukkah with the Christian celebration of Christmas gives the Jewish holiday the erroneous and unfortunate reputation of being a "Jewish alternative" to Christmas. Editors:  Do not refer to this holiday as "the Jewish Christmas."

HARE KRISHNA: A Hindu who worships the god Krishna. A sect of Hinduism popularized in North America and Britain with its musical chanting. Members of the group, called Hare Krishnas, are characterized by their unique tonsure and the wearing of bright saffron robes.

HEDONISM - Indeed, self-gratification. Essentially, this is the principle of "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" (1 Cor 15:32) - i.e. the idea that if one wants to be happy in life, then he must pursue a lifestyle of pleasure and gratification. (GK: hedone = pleasure) the principle that pleasure is the sole and proper aim of human action. The earliest and most extreme version of ethical hedonism was first advocated by the Cyrenaics, (Aristippus being the founder of the school was from Cyrene), 4th cent. BCE) who claimed that the art of living consists in maximizing the enjoyment of each moment through pleasures of the senses and the intellect. In contrast, the Epicureans (Epicurus 341- 270 BCE) laid emphasis on the attainment of enduring pleasures and the avoidance of pain, stressing the role of prudence and discipline in securing the supreme good: peace of mind. Both the Cyrenaic and the Epicureans were egoistic hedonists. [Cyrenaics +, Epicureans -]. Aristippus is to Bentham as Epicurus is to Mill.

HELIOCENTRISM - The theory that the planets revolve around the sun. Interestingly, the theory had been forwarded as early as 250 BC by Aristarchus of Samos, the ancient Greek astronomer. However, the early Greeks (Plato, Aristotle, et al.) had influenced the geocentric theory (i.e. that the astral bodies revolve around the earth ) which would be advanced scientifically by Claudius Ptolemaeus (90-168 AD) - hence, the Ptolemaic cosmology. This geocentric theory lasted until the 16th century with the new speculations of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). The overthrow of the geocentric Ptolemaic cosmology occurred when the theories of Copernicus and Galileo became indisputably substantiated around in the 16th-17th centuries, and thus the scientific revolution began its long march. This pivotal event of heliocentrism can literally be regarded as one of the most important events in intellectual history, its effects being far-reaching and consequential.

HELLENISM - Hellenism , or Hellenization , is the process by which the world adopted Greek thought, culture, and language due primarily to the conquests of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). The Hellenistic period extends in history from the death of Alexander (323 BC) to about 30 BC when the Roman Empire annexed the last major Hellenic kingdom ( Egypt) in about 30 BC. Nevertheless, Hellenism survived in Roman thought and culture, and consequently, it has survived throughout the centuries in the minds of people everywhere, whether in philosophical or political traditions.

HERMENEUTICS: The science or study of interpretation. Derived from the Greek word for interpret. This is often associated with biblical scholarship, especially in Christianity and Judaism. See commentary. See also Midrash.

HINAYANA: Sanskrit word meaning "lesser vehicle." Generally associated with the more conservative branch of Buddhism known as Theravada that is practiced in sects chiefly in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. This non-theistic religion teaches a way to nirvana for a limited few. Compare Mahayana.

HOLOCAUST: A name given to the period in the 1930s and 1940s (1933-1945) when Germany's ruling National Socialists, popularly known as Nazis and led by Adolf Hitler, sought to exterminate all Jews living in Europe as part of their planned conquest of civilization and purification of the race.. An elaborate system of persecution of Jews and death camps set up by the Nazis that systematically murdered more than 6 million Jews was uncovered at the end of World War II. The holocaust is deemed by Jews to be the ultimate humiliation of their religion and nation and has become a symbol of their rallying for human rights and against persecution of any race or religion. A key figure in educating the public concerning the Holocaust has been writer Elie Wiesel, himself a Hungarian Jew and a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. See anti-Semitism.

HOMILETICS: The art or study of delivering sermons or homilies. Derived from the Latin and Greek terms for discourse, especially that addressed to an assembled group. Compare commentary. Compare also hermeneutics.

HUBBARD, L. RON: Science fiction writer who in 1954 founded the CHURCH OF Scientology, a religious body based on his 1950 book Dianetics. Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was born in 1911 and died in 1986.

HUMAN POTENTIAL MOVEMENT: A humanistic philosophy that grew out of the Humanistic Psychology theories of Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and several others in the 1970s. It stresses individual potential for health and happiness, rejects traditional religious categories of sin and guilt, but has been a strong ideology for so-called "New Age" religions.

HUMANISM - "Man is the measure of all things," proclaimed Protagoras, the Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century BC. The term humanism has had numerous connotations over the centuries, some positive, some negative. As a movement, in general, the term is usually connected to the Renaissance era (1350-1600), when certain intellectuals began to absorb the literary genius of Greece and Rome, whose writings had been preserved for the most part in Constantinople. Prior to the conquest of Constantinople by the Muslims in 1453, many Byzantine (Greek) scholars fled to Italy and brought with them the ancient texts of Greek and Roman civilization, including thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament from certain monasteries. In recent years, however, the term humanism has essentially become connected to the movement of secularism (hence, secular humanism) - i.e. those who reject religious belief in general.

HYLOMORPHIC COMPOSITION:  the view that everything in the natural world has a two-fold composition of matter (hyle) and form (morphe).

HYPOTHESIS - A statement proposed as true or accurate before actual testing of the claim is made (logically or empirically); a theory. In science, a testable assertion - especially a generalization or lawlike assertion, e.g., Newtons law of universal gravitation which states (in part) "All bodies attract each other with a force inversely proportional to their distance."  Hypotheses that survive testing come to be confirmed, whereupon they are provisionally accepted as scientific laws.

HYPOTHETICAL DEDUCTIVE (OR EXPERIMENTAL) METHOD: The scientific method of testing would-be laws (hypotheses) by making predictions of particular observable events, then observing whether the events turn out as predicted.  If so, the hypothesis is confirmed.  If not, the hypothesis is disconfirmed, or (some would say) refuted.

HYPOTHETICAL IMPERATIVE:  command one to do X only if you wanted Y. This conditional statement is not absolutely binding. Hypothetical means 'optional', or contingent. A command that applies, not unconditionally, but only under certain conditions, or given certain purposes.  E.g., "If you want to see a good movie rent The Big Lebowski": the command, here, to rent The Big Lebowski applies only on the condition that you want to see a good movie.  Similarly, the command to change your oil frequently applies only if you want your car to last; the command to look both ways before crossing only applies if you seek a safe crossing; etc.  According to Kant, nonmoral commandments are all of this hypothetical sort.  Compare: categorical imperative.

HYPOTHETICAL SYLLOGISMS: A hypothetical syllogism contains at least one conditional proposition or statement, which takes the form of "if (antecedent) then (consequent)". A rule for pure, valid hypothetical syllogisms is: Any pure hypothetical syllogism is valid in which the first premise and the conclusion have the same antecedent, the second premise and the conclusion have the same consequent, and the consequent of the first premise is the same as the antecedent of the second premise. The pure form is: 1. if P then Q, 2. if Q then R; therefore, if P then R. Two other valid forms of hypothetical syllogisms are Modus Ponens (Latin for "mood that affirms") and Modus Tollens (Latin for "mood that denies").

IDEA - A universal or eternally real object, according to Plato; A synonym for the Absolute, according to Hegel; A perception in consciousness of an object, generally.

IDEALISM - The theory that reality is of the nature of mind or consciousness (non-material). There are many types of idealism, but objective (usu. pantheistic) idealism and subjective (usu. many minds, one Supreme Mind) idealism are the two major categories. Various philosophical theories of mind fall under this category. Essentially, idealism is the view which posits that the material realm does not exist wholly independent of the mind. Idealism does not dismiss the notion that the material realm exists; it just asserts that the material realm must be perceived by the mind - i.e. that ultimately, the material realm (contepts, ideas, things, etc.) exists in the mind. Idealism is characteristically opposed to materialism , which asserts that the material realm exists whether the mind perceives them or not. With the rise of modern science, materialism has become the ascendant theory of mind. The view that reality is fundamentally mental; that there is just one kind of substance (mind) or phenomena (thought); there is no such thing as matter; what we take to be material things are really, at bottom, mental. On Berkeley's view their esse is percipi – their being is being perceived.  Compare: monism.  Contrast: dualism, materialism.

IDEALISM (IDEAL, IDEALIST ADJS.) a philosophical position is idealist if it denies that we know things as they really are, or in other words, if it denies that what we know exists in the way that we know it independently of ourselves. Idealism therefore blurs the distinction between the object of our knowledge, and the subject who knows that object: the subject, according to idealism, either wholly creates, or in some respect conditions, the object of their knowledge. Thus it is hard to be an idealist about material objects considered with respect to their shape; but hard not to be an idealist about the colours of material objects. Opposed to realism.

IDEAS: are according to Hume, fainter copies of impressions in imagination. On Locke's conception ideas are the contents with which minds are "furnished" (as he puts it).  From "simple ideas" (e.g., or red, of round, of sweet) furnished by sense-perception the mind constructs "complex ideas" (e.g, of apple).  Conception being nothing but this compounding of sense-based ideas, and reasoning being nothing but transitioning between ideas thus compounded, all knowledge - Locke maintains - derives ultimately from sensory experience. See also: empiricism, impressions.

IMAGINATION: In a technical sense, the faculty of forming mental images – particular sensations or impressions (Hume). Opposed to the intellect, the faculty of forming general concepts. In this broad, somewhat technical sense, imagination includes veridical perception as well as imagination proper (fantasy, dreams, etc.).

IMAGINE, CONCEIVE To imagine or conceive of some possibility is to form an idea of it, to entertain that possibility in your mind. When you imagine some possibility, you are not committing yourself to the claim that that possibility actually obtains or is likely to obtain.

IMAM, IMAM: The leader of a Muslim mosque or group. Capitalized when used as a title for a Muslim leader; lower case when referring to one who leads prayers in a Muslim service in a mosque. See ISLAM.

IMMANENT - That which dwells in or is present with, such as the transcendent God is immanent in his communication and acts in the created order. Given directly in my experience. As opposed to “transcendent.” A transcendent God, for example, would be one that would not be present in my actual experience. Internal or indwelling as opposed to external or outdwelling: in particular, what is internal to the material, sensible world as opposed to what is above or beyond it, or transcendent.   On pantheistic views (e.g., those of the Stoics or Spinoza) God is held to be an immanent guiding spirit in and of the sensible material world, not existing apart or beyond it.  Orthodox Christian views, by contrast hold God be transcendent.  Similarly, Plato asserts the transcendence while Aristotle maintains the immanence of the Forms or essences of things.

IMMANENT BEING: God would be immanent being if His existence is part of all the beings in the universe, as in pantheism, hence, God would be indwelling. The Christian God is distinct from humans, and all others in the universe, and hence is not pantheistic, which means that all is God.

IMMANENT FORM:  the view that form is indwelling in the matter.

IMPOSSIBLE: What cannot be the case, under any circumstances, is impossible. What is logically impossible is self-contradictory; inconsistent with the basic principles of logic itself ( to be both human and nonhuman, e.g.,  is logically impossible). It is convenient for many purposes to recognize types of impossibility weaker than strict logical impossibility. Natural or nomological impossibility is the next strongest generally recognized type: what is nomologically impossible, while it may be logically consistent, is inconsistent with the laws of nature: e.g, it's nomologically impossible (current physics tells us) for anything to travel faster than the speed of light. Practical impossibility is a weaker variety yet: what is practically impossible may be consistent with the laws of nature, but is inconsistent given the circumstances; e.g., it's nomologically possible for a human being to run a four-minute mile but it's not practically possible for most of us (given our ages, physiques, and physical conditions) to do so.  Contrast: possible.  See also: necessary, contingent, actual.

IMPRESSIONS: are according to Hume, sensations or immediate feelings as those of pleasure and pain, what he calls Impressions of Reflection. Hume terms the direct experiential deliverances of sensation impressions; simple ideas, for Hume are faint copies (in memory) of these sensory impressions, and complex ideas (all the rest) are compounded from these simple ideas, much as they are for Locke.  See also: empiricism, ideas.

IN ITSELF (EN-SOI):  being an alert object, complete and fixed (unrelatedness within and without) [Sartre]

INCARNATION: Literally, a process of appearing as flesh. The Christian doctrine that God appeared in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who is seen as the unique God-man. The Christian holiday of Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus and is interpreted as the moment of God's incarnation. Capitalize when referring to the Christian doctrine exclusively.

INDETERMINISM - The theory that the universe is constituted in such a way that some events are not the inevitable consequence of antecedent (prior) events. The view that every event has a cause, except for the human will. (also called soft determinism) The view that there are events that do not have any cause; believers in absolute free will, for instance, hold that choices are not determined by any physiological or psychological causes whatever.  Contrast: determinism.

INDIVIDUALS: Also called particulars are single things (e.g., Socrates) as opposed to properties or kinds of things, or (humanity or humankind). The latter are universals. Individuals are typically the sorts of things named by proper names (e.g., "Socrates") whereas universals are associated with general words such as verbs (e.g., "teaches"), common nouns (e.g., "man"), and adjectives (e.g., "human").

INDUCTION - Also called, the inductive method, it is essentially a process of reasoning in which a general principle is inferred through observation. Contrary to a deductive argument in which the conclusion follows from the premises, in an inductive argument the conclusion generally follows from the initial observation. For example:

Every A we have observed is a B.
Therefore, every A is a B.
Every crow (A) we have observed in the past 20 years is black (B).
Therefore, it is probable that all crows (A) are black (B).

Thus, the inductive method generally produces a hypothesis rather than an irrefutable logical conscusion as in deductive logic. Inductivism is therefore an inherent part of the scientific method which was developed by the philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626). With the rise of natural science, it became increasingly clear that the deductive method could only demonstrate truths which were already implied in the premises. Thus, many thinkers began to turn to the process of induction. The process of arriving at generalizations (universals) by an observation of facts (particulars). Sometimes called scientific or empirical logic. Ideally, a form of reasoning in which one moves from one or more premisses to a conclusion in such a way that while the conclusion seems to have been given some justification, it is logically possible for the premisses to be true and the conclusion false. E.g. “Most of the philosophy majors have seen Rocks in the Throat, featuring Dawn Demosthenes... Igor Metchnikov is a philosophy major. Therefore Igor Metchnikov has seen Rocks in the Throat.” See deduction.

INDUCTIVE LOGIC: uses arguments which have conclusions that go beyond the information contained in the premise (s).   It is also called inductive generalization. In example:
(1)  The sun rose every day in the past.
(2)  The sun rose today.
Therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.

INFER AND IMPLY Inferring is the psychological activity of drawing conclusions from premises. Only people can infer. So don't say: This argument infers that... What the argument does is imply or entail a conclusion. It doesn't infer it. In addition to arguments implying things, sometimes we talk about people implying things. In this usage, implying is an activity, but it's a different activity than inferring. For instance: Sarah implied that I was a fool. means that Sarah suggested that I was a fool, without explicitly saying so. But in the primary usage of these words, implying is something premises and arguments do: they imply their conclusions. And inferring is something people do. People infer by looking at the evidence and deciding what hypothesis that evidence best supports.

INFERENCE - A proposition that follows logically from other statements; to draw an implication. Drawing conclusions on the basis or premises or evidence.  Compare: argument.

INFINITE - That which is without limit, without boundaries; in time, that which is unending.

INHERENCE: The relation between individuals or particulars and their attributes or universals: when an individual has an attribute, the attribute is said to "inhere" in the the thing.

INNATE IDEA: ideas which are inborn, or recollected because they were already in the mind to recollect, even prior to any sense experience, and even prior to birth the ideas were in the mind. Ideas that are inborn rather than acquired through sensory experience. Socrates and Plato taught that such ideas were acquired by direct acquaintance (prior to birth) with the archetypes or Forms or according to which all things are constructed.  Descartes, as well as other rationalists (in agreement with Plato) believe such "clear and distinct" innate ideas are the source of all real knowledge. Belief in innate ideas is the distinguishing feature of rationalism.

INSTRUMENTAL: A feature of values or valued things which is extrinsic: had by things insofar as they are not desirable or commendable in and of themselves but rather for the sake of,. or as a means to, something else.  Money (which gets its value from enabling us to purchase good) and medical treatment (which is valuable for the health it maintains or restores) are classic examples of extrinsic or instrumental goods. View that holds that while scientific theories are predictively useful ways of talking, they should not be thought to provide true descriptions of reality.  Perhaps the most famous avowal of instrumentalism was Copernicus' advertisement of his heliocentric hypothesis as nothing more than an aid to astronomical calculation - a predictive instrument, not purporting to be a true description of astronomical realities.  Contrast scientific realism.

INTENSIONAL: Having, or presupposing, a use of terms that relates not to the extension (that is, the individual things that actually happen to fall under these terms in this world) but determines what could or could not fall under the term (in for example any possible world). E.g. the extension of “having a heart” and “having a kidney” is the same in this world because in fact all creatures that have one have the other. But the intension is not the same because a creature with one feature might not have the other. See extension.

INTERACTIONISM: (Descartes) The mind and body interact, yet remain separate and distinct from each other by the mysterious function of the pineal gland. (pin-e-al) Substances interact; they oppose each other; they logically and ontologically exclude each other. The can be conceived and exist without each other. It is contradictory to say that thinking occurs but there is nothing doing the thinking. It is contradictory to say that spatial dimension exists but there is nothing that is extended or that has that dimension.

INTRINSIC: A feature of values or valued things which is have value in and of themselves rather than on account of their consequences or (more generally) their relations to anything else.  Things commonly accorded intrinsic value include pleasure, knowledge, beauty, and happiness.  Contrast: instrumental.  See: hedonism.

INTUITION:  springs from the light of pure reason alone (nothing can be added to intuition;  it is simple)

IONIAN SCHOOL - see Milesian School