Theological, indicating the thesis that no tneological doctrines, such as those of God's existence or of the immortality of the soul, are evident or demonstrable philosophically, so that religious doctrine rests solely on faith, without metaphysical or scientific support. It is in this sense that Luther is often called an Ockhamist.
- B. Geyer,
- Ueberwegs Grundriss d. Gesch. d. Phil., Bd. II (11th ed., Berlin 1928), pp. 571-612 and 781-786;
- N. Abbagnano,
- Guglielmo di Ockham (Lanciano, Italy, 1931);
- E. A. Moody,
- The Logic of William of Ockham (N. Y. & London, 1935);
- F. Ehrle,
- Peter von Candia (Muenster, 1925);
- G. Ritter,
- Studien zur Spaetscholastik, I-II (Heidelberg, 1921-1922).
Om, aum: (Skr.) Mystic, holy syllable as a symbol for the indefinable Absolute. See Aksara, Vac, Sabda. -- K.F.L.
Omniscience: In philosophy and theology it means the complete and perfect knowledge of God, of Himself and of all other beings, past, present, and future, or merely possible, as well as all their activities, real or possible, including the future free actions of human beings. -- J.J.R.
One: Philosophically, not a number but equivalent to unit, unity, individuality, in contradistinction from multiplicity and the mani-foldness of sensory experience. In metaphysics, the Supreme Idea (Plato), the absolute first principle (Neo-platonism), the universe (Parmenides), Being as such and divine in nature (Plotinus), God (Nicolaus Cusanus), the soul (Lotze). Religious philosophy and mysticism, beginning with Indian philosophy (s.v.), has favored the designation of the One for the metaphysical world-ground, the ultimate icility, the world-soul, the principle of the world conceived as reason, nous, or more personally. The One may be conceived as an independent whole or as a sum, as analytic or synthetic, as principle or ontologically. Except by mysticism, it is rarely declared a fact of sensory experience, while its transcendent or transcendental, abstract nature is stressed, e.g., in epistemology where the "I" or self is considered the unitary background of personal experience, the identity of self-consciousness, or the unity of consciousness in the synthesis of the manifoldness of ideas (Kant). -- K.F.L.
One-one: A relation R is one-many if for every y in the converse domain there is a unique x such that xRy. A relation R is many-one if for every x in the domain there is a unique y such that xRy. (See the article relation.) A relation is one-one, or one-to-one, if it is at the same time one-many and many-one. A one-one relation is said to be, or to determine, a one-to-one correspondence between its domain and its converse domain. -- A.C.
On-handedness: (Ger. Vorhandenheit) Things exist in the mode of thereness, lying- passively in a neutral space. A "deficient" form of a more basic relationship, termed at-handedness (Zuhandenheit). (Heidegger.) -- H.H.
Ontological argument: Name by which later authors, especially Kant, designate the alleged proof for God's existence devised by Anselm of Canterbury. Under the name of God, so the argument runs, everyone understands that greater than which nothing can be thought. Since anything being the greatest and lacking existence is less then the greatest having also existence, the former is not really the greater. The greatest, therefore, has to exist. Anselm has been reproached, already by his contemporary Gaunilo, for unduly passing from the field of logical to the field of ontological or existential reasoning. This criticism has been repeated by many authors, among them Aquinas. The argument has, however, been used, if in a somewhat modified form, by Duns Scotus, Descartes, and Leibniz. -- R.A.
Ontological Object: (Gr. onta, existing things + logos, science) The real or existing object of an act of knowledge as distinguished from the epistemological object. See Epistemological Object. -- L.W.
Ontologism: (Gr. on, being) In contrast to psychologism, is called any speculative system which starts philosophizing by positing absolute being, or deriving the existence of entities independently of experience merely on the basis of their being thought, or assuming that we have immediate and certain knowledge of the ground of being or God. Generally speaking any rationalistic, a priori metaphysical doctrine, specifically the philosophies of Rosmini-Serbati and Vincenzo Gioberti. As a philosophic method censored by skeptics and criticists alike, as a scholastic doctrine formerly strongly supported, revived in Italy and Belgium in the 19th century, but no longer countenanced. -- K.F.L.
Ontology: (Gr. on, being + logos, logic) The theory of being qua being. For Aristotle, the First Philosophy, the science of the essence of things. Introduced as a term into philosophy by Wolff. The science of fundamental principles, the doctrine of the categories. Ultimate philosophy; rational cosmology. Syn. with metaphysics. See Cosmology, First Principles, Metaphysics, Theology. -- J.K.F.
Operation: "(Lit. operari, to work) Any act, mental or physical, constituting a phase of the reflective process, and performed with a view to acquiring1 knowledge or information about a certain subject-nntter. -- A.C.B.
In logic, see Operationism.
In philosophy of science, see Pragmatism, Scientific Empiricism.
The doctrine that the meaning of a concept is given by a set of operations.
1. The operational meaning of a term (word or symbol) is given by a semantical rule relating the term to some concrete process, object or event, or to a class of such processes, objectj or events.
2. Sentences formed by combining operationally defined terms into propositions are operationally meaningful when the assertions are testable by means of performable operations. Thus, under operational rules, terms have semantical significance, propositions have empirical significance.
Operationism makes explicit the distinction between formal (q.v.) and empirical sentences. Formal propositions are signs arranged according to syntactical rules but lacking operational reference. Such propositions, common in mathematics, logic and syntax, derive their sanction from convention, whereas an empirical proposition is acceptable (1) when its structure obeys syntactical rules and (2) when there exists a concrete procedure (a set of operations) for determining its truth or falsity (cf. Verification). Propositions purporting to be empirical are sometimes amenable to no operational test because they contain terms obeying no definite semantical rules. These sentences are sometimes called pseudo-propositions and are said to be operationally meaningless. They may, however, be 'meaningful" in other ways, e.g. emotionally or aesthetically (cf. Meaning).
Unlike a formal statement, the "truth" of an empirical sentence is never absolute and its operational confirmation serves only to increase the degree of its validity. Similarly, the semantical rule comprising the operational definition of a term has never absolute precision. Ordinarily a term denotes a class of operations and the precision of its definition depends upon how definite are the rules governing inclusion in the class.
The difference between Operationism and Logical Positivism (q.v.) is one of emphasis. Operationism's stress of empirical matters derives from the fact that it was first employed to purge physics of such concepts as absolute space and absolute time, when the theory of relativity had forced upon physicists the view that space and time are most profitably defined in terms of the operations by which they are measured. Although different methods of measuring length at first give rise to different concepts of length, wherever the equivalence of certain of these measures can be established by other operations, the concepts may legitimately be combined.
In psychology the operational criterion of meaningfulness is commonly associated with a behavioristic point of view. See Behaviorism. Since only those propositions which are testable by public and repeatable operations are admissible in science, the definition of such concepti as mind and sensation must rest upon observable aspects of the organism or its behavior. Operational psychology deals with experience only as it is indicated by the operation of differential behavior, including verbal report. Discriminations, or the concrete differential reactions of organisms to internal or external environmental states, are by some authors regarded as the most basic of all operations.
For a discussion of the role of operational definition in phvsics. see P. W. Bridgman, The Logic of Modern Physics, (New York, 1928) and The Nature of Physical Theory (Princeton, 1936). "The extension of operationism to psychology is discussed by C. C. Pratt in The Logic of Modem Psychology (New York. 1939.)
For a discussion and annotated bibliography relating to Operationism and Logical Positivism, see S. S. Stevens, Psychology and the Science of Science, Psychol. Bull., 36, 1939, 221-263. -- S.S.S.
Ophelimity: Noun derived from the Greek, ophelimos useful, employed by Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) in economics as the equivalent of utility, or the capacity to provide satisfaction. -- J.J.R.
Opinion: (Lat. opinio, from opinor, to think) An hypothesis or proposition entertained on rational grounds but concerning which doubt can reasonably exist. A belief. See Hypothesis, Certainty, Knowledge. -- J.K.F-
Opposition: (Lat. oppositus, pp. of oppono, to oppose) Positive actual contradiction. One of Aristotle's Post-predicaments. In logic any contrariety or contradiction, illustrated by the "Square of Opposition". Syn. with: conflict. See Logic, formal, § 4. -- J.K.F.
Optimism: (Lat. optimus, the best) The view inspired by wishful thinking, success, faith, or philosophic reflection, that the world as it exists is not so bad or even the best possible, life is good, and man's destiny is bright. Philosophically most persuasively propounded by Leibniz in his Theodicee, according to which God in his wisdom would have created a better world had he known or willed such a one to exist. Not even he could remove moral wrong and evil unless he destroyed the power of self-determination and hence the basis of morality. All systems of ethics that recognize a supreme good (Plato and many idealists), subscribe to the doctrines of progressivism (Turgot, Herder, Comte, and others), regard evil as a fragmentary view (Josiah Royce et al.) or illusory, or believe in indemnification (Henry David Thoreau) or melioration (Emerson), are inclined optimistically. Practically all theologies advocating a plan of creation and salvation, are optimistic though they make the good or the better dependent on moral effort, right thinking, or belief, promising it in a future existence. Metaphysical speculation is optimistic if it provides for perfection, evolution to something higher, more valuable, or makes room for harmonies or a teleology. See Pessimism. -- K.F.L.
Order: A class is said to be partially ordered by a dyadic relation R if it coincides with the field of R, and R is transitive and reflexive, and xRy and yRx never both hold when x and y are different. If in addition R is connected, the class is said to be ordered (or simply ordered) by R, and R is called an ordering relation.
Whitehcid and Russell apply the term serial relation to relations which are transitive, irreflexive, and connected (and, in consequence, also asymmetric). However, the use of serial relations in this sense, instead ordering relations as just defined, is awkward in connection with the notion of order for unit classes.
Examples: The relation not greater than among leal numbers is an ordering relation. The relation less than among real numbers is a serial relation. The real numbers are simply ordered by the former relation. In the algebra of classes (logic formal, § 7), the classes are
partially ordered by the relation of class inclusion.
For explanation of the terminology used in making the above definitions, see the articles connexity, reflexivity, relation, symmetry, transitivity. -- A.C.
Order type: See relation-number.
Ordinal number: A class b is well-ordered by a dyadic relation R if it is ordered by R (see order) and, for every class a such that a ⊂ b, there is a member x of a, such that xRy holds for every member y of a; and R is then called a well-ordering relation. The ordinal number of a class b well-ordered by a relation R, or of a well-ordering relation R, is defined to be the relation-number (q. v.) of R.
The ordinal numbers of finite classes (well-ordered by appropriate relations) are called finite ordinal numbers. These are 0, 1, 2, ... (to be distinguished, of course, from the finite cardinal numbers 0, 1, 2, . . .).
The first non-finite (transfinite or infinite) ordinal number is the ordinal number of the class of finite ordinal numbers, well-ordered in their natural order, 0, 1, 2, . . .; it is usually denoted by the small Greek letter omega. -- A.C.
G. Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers, translated and with an introduction by P. E. B. Jourdain, Chicago and London, 1915. (new ed. 1941); Whitehead and Russell, Princtpia Mathematica. vol. 3.
Orexis: (Gr. orexis) Striving; desire; the conative aspect of mind, as distinguished from the cognitive and emotional (Aristotle). -- G.R.M..
Organicism: A theory of biology that life consists in the organization or dynamic system of the organism. Opposed to mechanism and vitalism. -- J.K.F.
Organism: An individual animal or plant, biologically interpreted. A. N. Whitehead uses the term to include also physical bodies and to signify anything material spreading through space and enduring in time. -- R.B.W.
Organismic Psychology: (Lat. organum, from Gr. organon, an instrument) A system of theoretical psychology which construes the structure of the mind in organic rather than atomistic terms. See Gestalt Psychology; Psychological Atomism. -- L.W.
Organization: (Lat. organum, from Gr. organon, work) A structured whole. The systematic unity of parts in a purposive whole. A dynamic system. Order in something actual. -- J.K.F.
Organon: (Gr. organon) The title traditionally given to the body of Aristotle's logical treatises. The designation appears to have originated among the Peripatetics after Aristotle's time, and expresses their view that logic is not a part of philosophy (as the Stoics maintained) but rather the instrument (organon) of philosophical inquiry. See Aristotelianism. -- G.R.M.
In Kant. A system of principles by which pure knowledge may be acquired and established.
Cf. Fr. Bacon's Novum Organum. -- O.F.K.
Oriental Philosophy: A general designation used loosely to cover philosophic tradition exclusive of that grown on Greek soil and including the beginnings of philosophical speculation in Egypt, Arabia, Iran, India, and China, the elaborate systems of India, Greater India, China, and Japan, and sometimes also the religion-bound thought of all these countries with that of the complex cultures of Asia Minor, extending far into antiquity. Oriental philosophy, though by no means presenting a homogeneous picture, nevertheless shares one characteristic, i.e., the practical outlook on life (ethics linked with metaphysics) and the absence of clear-cut distinctions between pure speculation and religious motivation, and on lower levels between folklore, folk-etymology, practical wisdom, pre-scientiiic speculation, even magic, and flashes of philosophic insight. Bonds with Western, particularly Greek philosophy have no doubt existed even in ancient times. Mutual influences have often been conjectured on the basis of striking similarities, but their scientific establishment is often difficult or even impossible. Comparative philosophy (see especially the work of Masson-Oursel) provides a useful method. Yet a thorough treatment of Oriental Philosophy is possible only when the many languages in which it is deposited have been more thoroughly studied, the psychological and historical elements involved in the various cultures better investigated, and translations of the relevant documents prepared not merely from a philological point of view or out of missionary zeal, but by competent philosophers who also have some linguistic training. Much has been accomplished in this direction in Indian and Chinese Philosophy (q.v.). A great deal remains to be done however before a definitive history of Oriental Philosophy may be written. See also Arabian, and Persian Philosophy. -- K.F.L.
Origen: (185-254) The principal founder of Christian theology who tried to enrich the ecclesiastic thought of his day by reconciling it with the treasures of Greek philosophy. Cf. Migne PL. -- R.B.W.
Ormazd: (New Persian) Same as Ahura Mazdah (q.v.), the good principle in Zoroastrianism, and opposed to Ahriman (q.v.). -- K.F.L.
Orphic Literature: The mystic writings, extant only in fragments, of a Greek religious-philosophical movement of the 6th century B.C., allegedly started by the mythical Orpheus. In their mysteries, in which mythology and rational thinking mingled, the Orphics concerned themselves with cosmogony, theogony, man's original creation and his destiny after death which they sought to influence to the better by pure living and austerity. They taught a symbolism in which, e.g., the relationship of the One to the many was clearly enunciated, and believed in the soul as involved in reincarnation. Pythagoras, Empedocles, and Plato were influenced by them. -- K.F.L.
Ortega y Gasset, Jose: Born in Madrid, May 9, 1883. At present in Buenos Aires, Argentine. Son of Ortega y Munillo, the famous Spanish journalist. Studied at the College of Jesuits in Miraflores and at the Central University of Madrid. In the latter he presented his Doctor's dissertation, El Milenario, in 1904, thereby obtaining his Ph.D. degree. After studies in Leipzig, Berlin, Marburg, under the special influence of Hermann Cohen, the great exponent of Kant, who taught him the love for the scientific method and awoke in him the interest in educational philosophy, Ortega came to Spain where, after the death of Nicolas Salmeron, he occupied the professorship of metaphysics at the Central University of Madrid. The following may be considered the most important works of Ortega y Gasset:
- Meditaciones del Quijote, 1914;
- El Espectador, I-VIII, 1916-1935;
- El Tema de Nuestro Tiempo, 1921;
- España Invertebrada, 1922;
- Kant, 1924;
- La Deshumanizacion del Arte, 1925;
- Espiritu de la Letra, 1927;
- La Rebelion de las Masas, 1929;
- Goethe desde Adentio, 1934;
- Estudios sobre el Amor, 1939;
- Ensimismamiento y Alteracion, 1939;
- El Libro de las Misiones, 1940;
- Ideas y Creencias, 1940;
Although brought up in the Marburg school of thought, Ortega is not exactly a neo-Kantian. At the basis of his Weltanschauung one finds a denial of the fundamental presuppositions which characterized European Rationalism. It is life and not thought which is primary. Things have a sense and a value which must be affirmed independently. Things, however, are to be conceived as the totality of situations which constitute the circumstances of a man's life. Hence, Ortega's first philosophical principle: "I am myself plus my circumstances". Life as a problem, however, is but one of the poles of his formula. Reason is the other. The two together function, not by dialectical opposition, but by necessary coexistence. Life, according to Ortega, does not consist in being, but rather, in coming to be, and as such it is of the nature of direction, program building, purpose to be achieved, value to be realized. In this sense the future as a time dimension acquires new dignity, and even the present and the past become articulate and meaning-full only in relation to the future. Even History demands a new point of departure and becomes militant with new visions. -- J.A.F.
Orthodoxy: Beliefs which are declared by a group to be true and normative. Heresy is a departure from and relative to a given orthodoxy. -- V.S.
Orthos Logos: See Right Reason.
Ostensible Object: (Lat. ostendere, to show) The object envisaged by cognitive act irrespective of its actual existence. See Epistemological Object. -- L.W.
Ostensive: (Lat. ostendere, to show) Property of a concept or predicate by virtue of which it refers to and is clarified by reference to its instances. -- A.C.B.
Ostwald, Wilhelm: (1853-1932) German chemist. Winner of the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1909. In Die Uberwindung des wissenschaftlichen Materialistmus and in Naturphilosophie, his two best known works in the field of philosophy, he advocates a dynamic theory in opposition to materialism and mechanism. All properties of matter, and the psychic as well, are special forms of energy. -- L.E.D.
Oupnekhat: Anquetil Duperron's Latin translation of the Persian translation of 50 Upanishads (q.v.), a work praised by Schopenhauer as giving him complete consolation. -- K.F.L.
Outness: A term employed by Berkeley to express the experience of externality, that is the ideas of space and things placed at a distance. Hume used it in the sense of distance Hamilton understood it as the state of being outside of consciousness in a really existing world of material things. -- J.J.R.
Overindividual: Term used by H. Münsterberg to translate the German überindividuell. The term is applied to any cognitive or value object which transcends the individual subject. -- L.W.