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Cynicism

(1,641 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
1. The ancient Cynics were shadowy figures. The word “cynic” has never been explained etymologically, though it was usually thought to be the teaching place of the founder of the school, Antisthenes (b. ca. 445 b.c., a student of Socrates, who taught in the gymnasium Kynosarges), or to be grounded on a nickname: with Diogenes of Sinope (d. ca. 320 b.c.), a shameless and sarcastic pupil of Antisthenes, philosophy seemed to have gone “to the dogs” (Gk. kyōn, adj. kynikos). As “Socrates gone mad,” according to Plato, Diogenes attacked with a “quixotically evil tongue” …

Discourse Ethics

(699 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[German Version] is the name given by Karl-Otto Apel (born 1922) and Jürgen Habermas (born 1929) to their common program of using discourse theory to renew the ethics of I. Kant. Discourse ethics seeks to base universal norms of correct action solely on the formal basis of rational generalizability. Unlike Kant, however, it does not posit an intelligib…

Perfection

(1,931 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion What is perfect lacks nothing that would make it better. It can surpass only itself. As a fundamental concept in logic and metaphysics, the idea of perfection, especially in the school metaphysics of Leibniz and Wolff, plays a leading part in defining the absolute: all positive attributes that pertain to God pertain to God in the highest degree (completely, without any limitation), together and by very nature, notwithstanding the simplicity of God’s being (Un…

Vollkommenheit (Gottes/des Menschen)

(1,704 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[English Version] I. Religionsphilosophisch Was vollkommen ist, dem fehlt nichts, wodurch es optimiert werden könnte. Es kann sich nur selbst übertreffen. Als logisch-metaphysischer Grundbegriff dirigiert der Vollkommenheitsbegriff v.a. in der Leibniz-Wolffschen Schulmetaphysik die Bestimmung des Absoluten: Alle positiven Attribute, die Gott zukommen, gehören ihm im höchsten Maße (vollständig, ohne jede Einschränkung), gemeinsam und gleich wesentlich, unbeschadet der Einfachheit seines Wesens (Einh…

Critical Theory

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Moxter, Michael | Junker-Kenny, Maureen
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Critical theory is the designation for the philosophical program of the Frankfurt School, a group of philosophers and social scientists belonging to the Institut für Sozialforschung (Institute for Social Research) founded in 1923 in Frankfurt am Main. The term traces to an essay by M. Horkheimer, Traditionelle und kritische Theorie (1937; ET: “Traditional and Critical Theory,” in: idem, Critical Theory: Selected Essays, 1972) and was then adopted as the general c…

Life-World

(1,678 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Moxter, Michael | Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Because the term life-world (Ger. Lebenswelt) usually refers to the concrete world of our everyday life experiences, it has sometimes been equated with everyday life. This interpretation overlooks the fact that it is a highly ambitious concept of theoretical philosophy, which has, however, taken on greatly different forms. Historically, the first hints of its conceptual development appear in the studies …

Ethics

(18,301 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Religious Studies – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. As a Theological Discipline – VI. As a Philosophical Discipline (Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Economic Ethics, Ethics, Bio-Medical Issues, Ethics Commissions, Ethics Education, Ethics of Conviction, Ethics of Duty, Ethics of Goods, Ethics of Responsibility, Evolutionary Ethics, Fraternal Ethics, Individual Et…

Culture

(7,222 words)

Author(s): Laubscher, Matthias Samuel | Moxter, Michael | Recki, Birgit | Haigis, Peter | Herms, Eilert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Philosophy – IV. Fundamental Theology – V. Ethics – VI. Culture, Art, and Religion – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The word “culture” derives from Latin cultura, “tilling of land”; since antiquity it has been used metaphorically for cultura animi, “cultivation of the mind,” and for status culturalis, the desirable refinement contrasting with the human status naturalis. Since the Enlightenment, the word has taken on different meanings. In the European context, culture co…

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …

Hope

(4,048 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Kaiser, Otto | du Toit, Andrie | Beißer, Friedrich | Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies / History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Religious Studies / History of Religions Various versions of the Greek Prometheus myth characterize hope ( elpís) as one of the requirements for human existence (Hesiod Opera et dies V 96; Aesch. Prometheus V 250). In Roman religion, hope ( spes) is one of the concepts personified and venerated as divine powers (Cic. De legibus II 28). It seems reasonable to assume that religious hope differs from nonreligious hope in extending its time…