Quick questions about philosophy term definitions

I’ve been reading up some philosophy books, and I’m having difficult time understanding them. Could anyone give me simple, first-grader definitions of the following?

  1. Socratic method
  2. Empiricist
  3. Rationalism
  4. Idealism
  5. Epistemology - method of acquiring knowledge?
  6. Materialism
  7. Sophist
  8. Sense experience
  9. Sense image
  10. Induction vs. deduction
  11. Reductionism - Incorrectly generalizing something has a simple cause?
  12. Skepticism - doubting everything is true as the starting point, until given proof?
  13. Nominalism
  14. Dialectic (Communism)
  15. Realist (as opposed to idealist)

And a question - what was wrong with Descartes’ statement “I think, therefore I am?” It seems a good starting off point to me, that at least, while you’re awake, you exist.

Special tyia to anyone who has time to answer them…there were a lot more than I initially thought there would be.

Have you tried the SEP?

Those arent the most difficult terms, but it would take some time to answer all of them. Use google or here: plato.stanford.edu/

start with Lesson 2 - Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who? .

Truth is not simply an academic concept. The way we think about truth has a direct bearing upon the way we live our lives. What’s more, our understanding of right and wrong is directly dependent on our worldview: is the universe God’s creation or a closed cosmic cube?


ask your self “what world view are you looking 4”

Hard to get an exact answer…, even on the Socratic method.

@1patterson - thnx, I’ll give it a watch

Also, about Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”:

I’ve read his Meditations, and I think he has a pretty valid proof of his own existence. The only flaw I might point out is that “I” isn’t really defined.

The biggest problem with Descartes’ methodology is that it’s basically impossible to get from his mind to the external world by simply using logic. Believing that the world outside your mind actually exists is a bit of a leap of faith.

ngill09 - :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Thanks SO MUCH! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: :bowdown2:

I’m copying these to my iphone!

I haven’t read Discourse since I was a teenager, but I think you’re right about Descartes…I don’t see how you can logically prove anything beyond your “self” is true, but I think you can go at least go backwards into causes. :hmmm:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.