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Reflection

(469 words)

Author(s): Schnepf, Robert
[German Version] In everyday language, reflection is synonymous with contemplation or critical consideration. In this usage, it loses the specific element of reflexivity (self-reference) that it has by etymology (Lat. reflectere, “bend back”) and has been central to its philosophical use. Reflectio was used in this sense in the High Middle Ages (e.g. by Thomas Aquinas) as an alternative to reditio in seipsum to translate Greek epistrophḗ, which Neoplatonists like Proclus used for the return of the mind to itself. Later thinkers like Nicholas of Cusa could make reflectio an organiz…

Subject and Object

(1,014 words)

Author(s): Schnepf, Robert
[German Version] Today the terms subject and object usually denote the person who knows (the epistemic subject) as distinct from what is known (the object of cognition). Most of the common meanings of subjective derive from this definition of subject (Subjectivity). In everyday usage, though, objective usually describes something that is not subjective, the thing as it truly is. This everyday usage was preceded by a complex history of subject and object as technical philosophical terms, closely tied to the development of epistemology and metaphysics. Subject derives from Latin subie…

Speculation

(1,498 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schnepf, Robert | Danz, Christian
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The use of the term speculation in religious studies is not divorced from its use in philosophy (see II below) and everyday language, but – especially in the phenomenology of religion – it has been used in a sense specific to religious studies, particularly to denote reflective, rationalizing, and systematizing deliberations regarding a particular religion, such as have arisen in certain historical situations (e.g. cultural upheavals) and various theoretical context…