A few of the terms that may come up in the course of the blog and podcast discussions.

Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies with voluntary institutions. These are often described as stateless societies, but several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.

Speciesism involves the assignment of different values, rights, or special consideration to individuals solely on the basis of their species membership. The term is sometimes used by animal rights advocates, who argue that speciesism is a prejudice similar to racism or sexism, in that the treatment of individuals is predicated on group membership and morally irrelevant physical differences. Their claim is that species membership has no moral significance.

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as <em>”a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority”</em>, <em>”favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom”</em> and to authoritarian government. Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions “What is the best way for people to live?” and “What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?” In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality, by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime.

Reformism is the belief that gradual changes through and within existing institutions can ultimately change a society’s fundamental economic system and political structures. This hypothesis of social change grew out of opposition to revolutionary socialism, which contends that some form of revolution is necessary for fundamental structural changes to occur.

Reformism is to be distinguished from pragmatic reforms: reformism is the assumption that an accumulation of reforms can lead to the emergence of an entirely different socioeconomic system than the present-day forms of capitalism and democracy, whereas pragmatic reforms represent attempts to safeguard the status quo against fundamental and structural changes.

Rationalism is the view that “regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge” or “any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification”. More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory “in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive”. Rationalists believe reality has an intrinsically logical structure. Because of this, rationalists argue that certain truths exist and that the intellect can directly grasp these truths. That is to say, rationalists assert that certain rational principles exist in logic, mathematics, ethics, and metaphysics that are so fundamentally true that denying them causes one to fall into contradiction.

Morality (from the Latin moralitas “manner, character, proper behavior”) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper: In other words, it is the disjunction between right and wrong. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with “goodness” or “rightness.”


A few of the terms that may or may not come into discussions, click the "+" for more and for a link to the Wikipedia page.

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Morality

Morality (from the Latin moralitas “manner, character, proper behavior”) is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper: In other words, it is the disjunction between right and wrong. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture, or it can derive from a standard that...

Reformism

Reformism is the belief that gradual changes through and within existing institutions can ultimately change a society’s fundamental economic system and political structures. This hypothesis of social change grew out of opposition to revolutionary socialism, which contends that some form of revolution is necessary for fundamental structural changes to occur.

Reformism is to be distinguished from pragmatic reforms: reformism is the...

Anarchism

Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies with voluntary institutions. These are often described as stateless societies, but several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of...

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