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Reason

(2,628 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Falk | Brown, Robert F.
1. Term and Issues The term “reason” derives from Lat. ratio. Earlier in history Gk. nous and logos expressed some of the same meanings. Reason is usually said to be an intellectual or mental ability or faculty, one distinguished from other psychological or bodily powers or activities of will, emotion, and sensation. Philosophers work with diverse concepts of reason and use the term in different ways. A number of issues arise in considering the nature, operations, and limitations of human reason. Is it a theoretical faculty, an ability to grasp the natures o…

Modern Period

(1,722 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Falk
1. Basic Structures The term “modern period” (Ger. Neuzeit), which has been in general use only since the mid-19th century, refers to the period from the end of the Middle Ages to the present. Since the 16th century it has also been accompanied by the consciousness of belonging to a new epoch. In discussion from the time of the Enlightenment, independence and self-assertion are thus basic features. Independence indeed does not exclude the late medieval or Renaissance and Reformation roots. But the basi…

Analogy

(970 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Falk
1. Definition In general the word “analogy” means correspondence or similarity between two or more entities that are neither completely the same nor completely different. Scientifically the term is used (analogia nominum) with reference not only to the comparable things themselves but also to the relations within which they may be said to be comparable. Hence analogy takes on its strictest form as proportionality ( analogia proportionalitatis: a : b = c : d; e.g., 9 : 3 = 6 : 2). The difference between this and simple proportion (analogia proportionis) is that the analogy here invol…