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Middle Axiom

(89 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] At the first plenary assembly of the World Council of Churches (Amsterdam, 1948), J.H. Oldham put forward the concept of a “responsible society” as a concrete goal to guide the churches' socioethical involvement in response to the social conditions of the day. He called this the “middle axiom.” The expression became common currency, in the sense of a “medium-range (socioethical) maxim: (II).” Eilert Herms Bibliography J.H. Oldham, “A Responsible Society,” in: The Church and the Disorder of Scoiety, publ. World Council of Churches, 1948, 120–154.

Creation, Order of

(1,032 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The revelation (V) of Christ discloses to faith that the meaning and truth of Jesus' life for human life in the present is creation in the process of realizing its goal, the consummation of God's kingdom. At the same time, it discloses the mystery of Jesus' person as the incarnate Logos of the Creator and thus the true nature of his work, grounded in the Creator's eternal will for ¶ communion, reconciliation, and consummation (Dogmatics: II): the work of creation that provides human life in the present. Its purpose …

Goods, Assessment of

(401 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The assessment of goods or benefits is often the last step in the formation of ethical judgments, as when the choice of a course of conduct cannot be derived from a general or specific directive for action. It is necessary when one of the available courses of action is not clearly preferable to others, whether because several appear equally preferable, a temporal sequencing of the goods to be achieved by them is impossible, so that other goods (Good) must be abandoned in favor of …

Sports

(735 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Generally, the term sport can be understood to cover all manifestations of regulated, agonal, motor interaction that qualify as ludic (Play) and as such subserve corporeal self-awareness (prowess, body control, achievement [II; Contest], pleasure) and corporeal expression of the participants’ sense of self. Such phenomena have been present in all ages and all cultures, though with varying public impact. In pre-Christian antiquity, sport played a major public role (the classical Olympic Games from 776 bce to 393 ce [Olympia]), which shrank as Christianity b…

Is/Ought

(593 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] In the culture of ethical argumentation, every inference of an “ought”-statement from an “is”-statement is today still largely rejected as a “naturalistic fallacy.” The prevailing standpoint is that the contents of all imperatives (universal, general, or pertaining to individual cases) can only be inferred from sets of premises, the maior of which is in turn an “ought”-statement. Consequently, contents of imperatives (Norms) and ¶ binding goals of action can no longer be justified in reference to natural law (to the nature of the object), but …

Ritschl

(1,383 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] 1. Albrecht (Mar 25, 1822, Stettin – Mar 20, 1889, Göttingen). After studies in Bonn (1839–1841 under K.I. Nitzsch), Halle (1841–1843 under F.A.G. Tholuck, Julius Müller, J.E. Erdmann, and K. Schwarz), Ritschl gained his doctorate in Halle ( Expositio doctrinae Augustini de creatione mundi, peccato, gratia, 1843). He took his first examination in 1844, continued his studies in Heidelberg (1845 under R. Rothe) and Tübingen (1845/1846 under F.C. Baur, E. Zeller, A. Schwegler, and F.T. Vischer), gained his Habilitation in Bonn (1846; diss. on Marcion and the o…

Hirsch, Emanuel

(693 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Jun 14, 1888, Benwitsch – Jul 17, 1972, Göttingen). After childhood and youth in a Berlin parsonage, Hirsch studied Protestant theology in Berlin (1906–1910; encounter with K. Holl, whom Hirsch acknowledged as his teacher; friendship with P. Tillich). He passed the first theological examination in 1911 and became a tutor, 1912–1915 inspector at the Theologische Stift of the University of Göttingen (friendship with P. Althaus), Habilitation in church history in Bonn (1915) and ass…

Hayek, Friedrich August von

(245 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (May 8, 1899, Vienna – Mar 23, 1992, Freiburg i.Br.), studied law and economics in Vienna, was director of the Östereichisches Institut für Konjunkturforschung (Austrian Institute for Economic Research) (1927–1931), held professorships in the London School of Economics (1931–1950), Chicago (1950–1962), Freiburg im Breisgau (1962–1968), and received the Nobel Memorial Prize from the Bank of Sweden in 1974. Beginning with studies on monetary and economic cyle theory, Hayek turned in ¶ the 1940s to the study of the theoretical, socio-philosophical and a…

Highest Good

(2,585 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Any understanding of “good” and “goods” is determined by an understanding of the highest good. 1 The so-called “good” is that which, as the perfection of the present, is experienced as attractive and thus as something to strive for (cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. 1094 a3, 1172b; Thomas Aquinas, In Metaphysicam Aristotelis commentaria, 1926, Liber IV, n. 317). Every present-action context defines the good in three configurations: (a) as a determination of the present-action context that has become world-immanent (the realized bonum); (b) as still outstanding possibiliti…

Criteriology

(500 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is the theory (the epitome of statements) of the necessary and sufficient conditions for the (given) presence of distinctions. We need a criteriology to carry out our praxis of distinction deliberately and responsibly – both for appropriate apprehension of distinctions already made (either through our own praxis or through processes for which we are not responsible), in other words, for our actions that construct symbols, and for our own appropri…

Ritschl

(1,183 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kaufmann, Thomas
[English Version] 1.Albrecht , (25.3.1822 Stettin – 20.3.1889 Göttingen). Nach Studium in Bonn (1839–1841 bei K.I. Nitzsch), Halle (1841–1843 bei F.A. G. Tholuck, Julius Müller, J.E. Erdmann, K. Schwarz), philos. Promotion daselbst (Expositio doctrinae Augustini de creatione mundi, peccato, gratia, 1843), erstem Examen 1844, weiterem Studium in Heidelberg (1845 bei R. Rothe) und Tübingen (1845/46 bei F. Ch. Baur, E. Zeller, A. Schwegler, F. Th. Vischer) Habil. in Bonn (1846 mit einer Arbeit über M…

Activity and Passivity

(1,353 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Härle, Wilfried
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatics I. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology From the perspective of fundamental theology, the relationship between activity and passivity thematizes the constitution of the christian certainty of Dasein. Its theoretical description in terms of consciousness or personhood must be examined for its ontological presuppositions and understood within their framework. Only …

Competition

(890 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Economics – II. Ethics I. Economics The term “competition” is linked with the idea of rivalry, but the Latin competere makes it clear that the notion ultimately has to do with several players seeking a prize together. As competitors they strive together in an activity that demands that they give their best. Everyone profits from their competition – in economics no less than in sports. Economic competition benefits society in general precisely when those involved do no…

Intuition

(740 words)

Author(s): Enskat, Rainer | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Systematic Theology I. Philosophy Intuition is a term used in epistemology and refers to a special, successful cognitive act. Accordingly, and following the typology of G. Ryle, “intuition” is thus a (cognitive) success word, but it also designates a special cognitive faculty. In many contexts, a performative quality is reserved for the intuitive act, as expressed by the characteristic feature that was probably first noted in Epicurean circles: its instantaneousness (ἀϑρόα/ athróa). Inasmuch as this instantaneousness is understood i…

Human Dignity

(1,961 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Historical Background – II. Theology I. Historical Background 1. Important terminology of modern legal culture was formed in antiquity: natural law , freedom , equality , justice , etc. Some terms, however, appeared in a different context in antiquity, or were less central and widespread than in the modern period. This is true of human rights ( ius humanum), freedom of religion ( libertas religionis), person ( persona; self), as well as human dignity ( dignitas hominis; dignity, dignity of life). The latter expression first appears in Cicero ( De officiis I 30.106;…

Dogmatics

(10,340 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. History – II. Systematics – III. Glaubenslehre (Doctrine of the Faith) I. History The term “dogmatics,” first used in the 17th century, refers to one of the oldest branches of theological endeavor: a coherent account of the content of the Christian proclamation, which in turn takes its orientation from the standard (“canonical”) paradigms of confession and proclamation. Other terms – “An exact exposition of the orthodox faith” (John of Damascus), “Sentences” (Peter Lombard), Summa Theologiae (Thomas Aquinas), Institutes of the Christian Religion (Calvin), L…

Media

(1,138 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Practical Theology I. Concept and Scope In its broad sense, the term media denotes all the material conditions that enable coexisting individuals (individual persons and social systems) to be effectively present to each other and to respond effectively. Media in this broad sense are the material conditions for intersubjectivity. Even archaic, undifferentiated societies are characterized by a – likewise undifferentiated – complex of media. Social differentiation leads to…

Certainty

(3,343 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Certainty may be either objective or subjective (Goclenius: certitudo rei cognitae or certitudo hominis cognoscentis). Objective certainty is expressed by “It is certain that p,” subjective certainty by “The epistemic subject S is certain that p.” Objective and subjective certainty are logically independent: one can be certain that p although it is not certain that p; and it can be certain th…

Embryo Research

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Schwinger, Eberhard | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. General Considerations – II. Ethics I. General Considerations The results of research carried out on animal embryos have greatly changed animal husbandry. Totipotent embryonic cells can be extracted from embryos at a very early stage (2nd–8th cellular stage). These individual cells divide anew to form functional embryos which do not differ from normally developed embryos. Pa…

Jurisprudence

(3,744 words)

Author(s): Starck, Christian | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. History – III. Present-day Issues – IV. Significance for Theology I. Terminology Jurisprudence means the scholarly study of law (Law and jurisprudence) as an academic discipline. The German term Rechtswissenschaft was coined by the German historical school in the early 19th century and was intended to emphasize the scientific nature of legal scholarship: iuris scientia ( Rechtswissenschaft, legal science) was to replace iuris prudentia ( Rechtsklugkeit, legal prudence). Scientia and prudentia represent the Aristotelian ¶ distinction …

Weltanschauung (Worldview)

(2,530 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Thiede, Werner
[German Version] I. History of the Concept With its very first appearance in the writings of I. Kant( Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790; ET: Critique of Judgment, 1951, 1987), the term Weltanschauung came to mark the difference between the empirical-scientific knowledge of individual phenomena in this world (or of an assortment thereof) and an all-encompassing conception of the world that fundamentally transcends this knowledge. While the expression “worldview” (Ger. Weltbild) has more or less established itself as the standard designation of the former, the latter …

Brentano

(781 words)

Author(s): Ströker, Elisabeth | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] 1. Franz (Jan 16, 1838, Boppard – Mar 17, 1917, Zürich). Amid the multitude of controversies in the last third of the 19th century over the philosophical foundations of science, Brentano came forward with a program that made him the founder of descriptive psychology and an influential precursor of phenomenological philosophy. As a pupil of F.A. Trendelenburg, he devoted himself initially to the study of Aristotle. After ordination to the priesthood in 1864, he …

Economics

(3,290 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Scope – II. History and Disciplines – III. Present Foci of Interest – IV. Significance for Theology I. Scope Traditionally economics has been defined primarily by its subject matter. It is the branch of inquiry that deals with economic phenomena (Economy: I). Methodologically, over a lengthy course of development (see II below) it has become increasingly autonomous, adopting the empirical and quantitative proce…

Vernunft

(3,528 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Philosophisch In der traditionellen Erkenntnislehre (Erkenntnistheorie) wird die V. vorwiegend als ein diskursives Vermögen gedacht (griech. δια´n̆οια/diánoia; λο´γος/lógos; lat. ratio), teilweise in Abgrenzung zum Verstand als intuitivem Vermögen. Mit dieser Unterscheidung wird zugleich eine Rangfolge indiziert: Das diskursive Vermögen geht entweder als syllogistisch verfahrende »Demonstration« (α᾿πο´δειξις/apódeixis) von letzten Prinzipien aus, die ihrerseits nicht durch Schlußfolgerung gefunden werden können (Arist.e.…

Tun-Ergehens-Zusammenhang

(1,757 words)

Author(s): Grund, Alexandra | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Biblisch 1. Als T. wird die bes. in der atl. und ao. Weisheitsliteratur, aber auch noch im NT wahrnehmbare Vorstellung von einer Entsprechung zw. dem (guten/bösen) Handeln und dem jeweiligen Ergehen des Handelnden bez. Umstritten ist die Art und Weise, auf die nach atl. Verständnis der T. zustandekommt. Nach Vorarbeiten von Karl-Hjalmar Fahlgren (1932) und J. Pedersen (1934) wurde die bis zur Mitte des 20.Jh. vorherrschende Annahme eines vermeintlich das AT durchziehenden Verge…

Weltanschauung

(2,093 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Thiede, Werner
[English Version] I. Begriffsgeschichtlich Schon das erste Auftreten von »W.« bei I. Kant (Kritik der Urteilskraft, § 26) markiert die Differenz zw. der erfahrungswiss. Erkenntnis von Einzelphänomenen in der Welt bzw. einer Zusammenstellung solcher Phänomene und einer dieser Erkenntnis prinzipiell übersteigenden Auffassung der Welt als Totalität. Für den Inbegriff der ersteren hat sich überwiegend der Ausdruck »Weltbild« durchgesetzt, für letztere hingegen »W.« (aber gelegentlich begegnet auch »Weltbild« im Sinne von W.: R.H. L…

Verstehen

(1,504 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Philosophisch Der Begriff des V. wird erst in der Moderne philos. bedeutsam. Er gewinnt Prägnanz, indem er das für die Geisteswissenschaften eigentümliche Erkennen (Erkenntnistheorie) bez. Verstanden wird das »hist. Material« (J.G. Droysen, Grundriß der Historik, 1868, § 9) und überhaupt jede Äußerung des menschlichen Lebens. Dabei tritt der Begriff in Kontrast zum Erklären (Erklärung), das auf die naturwiss. erkennbare Natur bezogen ist. W. Dilthey hat diesen Unterschied progr…

Würde des Menschen

(1,735 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Begriffsgeschichtlich (Antike) 1. Wichtige Begriffe neuzeitlicher Rechtskultur sind in der Antike ausgebildet worden: Naturrecht, Freiheit, Gleichheit, Gerechtigkeit u.a. Einige stehen in der Antike jedoch in einem anderen Zusammenhang, sind weniger zentral und verbreitet als in der Neuzeit. Dies gilt für »Menschenrecht« (ius humanum), »Religionsfreiheit« (libertas religionis), »Person« (persona, Selbst), aber auch für »W. des M.« (dignitas hominis; Würde, Würde des Lebens). Die…

Rechtswissenschaft

(3,267 words)

Author(s): Starck, Christian | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff R. bedeutet wiss. Beschäftigung mit dem Recht und ist Schöpfung der dt. hist. Rechtsschule der 1. Hälfte des 19.Jh. Mit ihm sollte die Wissenschaftlichkeit der Rechtsgelehrtheit betont werden; R. (iuris scientia) sollte Jurisprudenz (Rechtsklugheit) ersetzen. Scientia und prudentia sind lat. Ausdrücke für die aristotelische Unterscheidung von ε᾿πιστη´μη/epistē´mē und ϕρο´n̆ησις/phrónēsis; letzterer ordnete Aristoteles die Gesetzgebung, Rechtsprechung und Rechtsberatung zu. Jurisprudenz und R. werden heute in Deutschland zu…

Verbindlichkeit

(648 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Reinhard | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Dogmatisch V. kommt nach ev. Verständnis nur dem Wort Gottes (: VI.) zu, das in seiner selbst erschließenden Kraft auch zu tieferen Einsichten und »neuen Dekalogen« (Luther) führen kann; zu prüfen sind diese von der Kirche als Gemeinschaft in Bindung an den Kanon. Die Bekenntnisschriften beanspruchen V., sofern sie auf die Schrift als »einig Regel und Richtschnur« (BSLK 767,15) hinweisen; ferner abgeleitet, sofern in ihnen eine Verständigung über die sachgerechte Auslegung der Schrift erzielt wird, die aber ihrerseits stets an der Schrift zu überprüfen ist. U…

Notwendigkeit

(3,291 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Naturwissenschaftlich In naturwiss. Zusammenhängen erscheint N. zumeist als Implikat kausaler Naturgesetze, nach denen auf ein Ereignis A als Ursache ein Ereignis B als dessen Folge mit N. folgen muß. Dieser Notwendigkeitscharakter der Naturgesetze ist allerdings nicht unumstritten. Der bis auf D. Hume zurückgehende Empirismus leugnet die Möglichkeit menschlicher Einsicht in notwendige Kausalzusammenhänge und möchte den Begriff kausaler N. ersetzen durch de…

Necessity

(3,951 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences In the natural sciences, necessity usually appears as an implication of causal natural laws (Natural law/Law of nature), according to which by necessity an event A as a cause must be followed by an event B as its consequence. This necessity implied by laws of nature is not undisputed. Empiricism, which goes back to D. Hume, rejects the possibility of human insight into necessary causal connections, preferring to replace the concept of causal necessity with that of regularity, according to which a sufficient number of observations enables us to generalize universal connections inductively, which we merely perceive subjectively as necessity. This approach, however, leaves the task of finding criteria by which to distinguish merely chance regularities from regularities that are laws of nature. Formally we must require that the asserted regularities be given the form of a law that can be falsified and can also be traced back to increasingly fundamental basic laws and principles, like the law of conservation of energy. The supposed necessity of natural processes is then based on the internal structure of objects and our concepts of them. Others trace the distinction between accidental and necessary regularities back to the concept of action. I…

Culture State

(808 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Law – II. Social Ethics I. Law A culture state is a state that takes responsibility not only for the security and freedom of its citizens, but also their cultural concerns (Culture), nota bene, for ¶ the sake of its own cultural conditions. Legally, the culture state e…

Understanding

(1,637 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy It was not until the modern period that the concept of understanding became philosophically important. It gained currency by denoting the special kind of of knowledge in the humanities (Epistemology). What is understood is “historical material” (J.G. Droysen, ¶ Grundriss der Historik, 1868, §9; ET: Outline of the Principles of History, 1967) and any expression of human life. Thus the term “understanding” is used in contrast to explanation, which is used in connection with scientific, explicable nature. W. Dilthey made a programmatical formulati…

Deeds and Consequences

(2,134 words)

Author(s): Grund, Alexandra | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Systematic Theology I. Bible 1. The deeds-and-consequences link is the idea, found especially in the Old Testament and in ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature, but also in the New Testament, of a correspondence between (good/evil) action and the consequences for the doer. What is controversial is the manner in which deeds and consequences take …

Ideal

(1,690 words)

Author(s): Mirbach, Dagmar | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy The term ideal derives from Lat. idealis, idealiter, first used by Martianus Capella ( ad ideam pertinens); from the 13th century on, it was used in two senses: (1) as existing in the Platonic “idea” or “archetypally” in the divine spirit ( esse exemplariter), and (2) as existing only as a model in the mind ( esse in intellectu). Systematically, the ideal lies between the poles of ideas and empirical reality. The ideal differs from the universality of ideas inasmuch as it individualizes an idea in a sin…

Obligation

(801 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Reinhard | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics From a Protestant perspective, obligation (in the sense of binding authority) is assigned only to the Word of God (VI), the self-revealing power of which can lead to deeper insights and to “new Decalogues” (Luther); the latter must be examined by the church as a community with strict reference to the canon. The articles of faith assert binding authority insofar as they are based on Scripture as “the only rule …

Maxim

(511 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy The term originated in the expression propositio maxima, the designation of the major premise in a syllogism. It can denote an axiom or a practical principle. It attained relevance in I. Kant's moral philosophy. Kant describes any subjective motivation to initiate an action as a maxim, in contrast to the objectively valid, general law (Law and legislation). The categorical imperative requires that only those maxims be allowed which can also count as laws ( Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, Akademieausgabe, vol. IV, 4…

Reproductive Science

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Schwinger, Eberhard | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Medicine Reproductive medicine encompasses research into female and male sterility and its treatment. The importance of reproductive medicine has greatly increased in recent years owing to the introduction of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. It has long been known that various morphological changes (e.g. malformations of the uterus, occlusions of the Fallopian tubes and seminal ducts) lead to male and female sterility. One possible therapy is attempted correction of the…

Reason

(3,956 words)

Author(s): Neijenhuis, Jörg | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy Traditional epistemology considers reason primarily to be a discursive faculty (Gk διάνοια/ diánoia; λόγος/¶ lógos; Lat. ratio), in part to distinguish it from intellect as an intuitive faculty (Capacity). This distinction also implies a ranking: the discursive faculty either proceeds syllogistically as “demonstration” (ἀπόδειξις/ apódeixis) based on ultimate principles that cannot themselves be deduced by reasoning (Arist. Eth. Nic. 1139b) or else leads to them, roughly in the sense of movement from the presuppositions made…

Intention/Intentionality

(1,594 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy In the context of action theory, intention/ intentionality (from Lat. intentio) usually denotes an aim or purpose. Intentionality is understood both in the sense of the will that initiates actions and in the …

Evolution, Law of

(1,993 words)

Author(s): Kubon-Gilke, Gisela | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. History of Science – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. History of Science A fundamentally new understanding of human beings and nature from the end of the 16th century prepared the way for evolutionary thinking. In the new paradigm, which is regarded as one of the greatest scientific revolutions, a world without a final cause and which developed and changed ad infinitum was presumed. Since C.R. Darwin, the mechanism of evolution has been described as variation and natural selecti…

Democracy

(2,082 words)

Author(s): Letto-Vanamo, Pia | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. State and Governmental Forms – III. Presuppositions for Democracy. – IV. Democracy as a Universal Ideal of Life in Society – V. Democracy from a Christian Perspective. I. Concept and History “Democracy” designates a particular mode of legitimate political dominion. The literal translation of Gk δημοκρατία/ dēmokratía is “power/dominion of the people.” The prototype is ancient Greece, especially Athens. Aristotle understood democracy as a …

Voluntarism

(950 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Schröder-Field, Caroline
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion Voluntarism is a descriptive category in the history of ideas and society that came into use in Germany in the 1880s (first by F. Tönnies, VWPh 7, 1883, 169), and from there spread to the French- and English-speaking worldareas. The term can be applied to very different historical phenomena: to the behavior of individuals or groups, metaphysical views, and psychological models (Psychology). In politics it denotes procedures, attitudes, plans and programs that, regardless of current c…

Behaviorism

(1,343 words)

Author(s): Loder, James E. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics I. Concept Behaviorism has tried, like its historical antecedents, to explain human nature on the model of the animal or the machine. In 1913, John-Broadus Watson (1878–1958) established behaviorism as a modern research trend in psychology. Following Darwinist evolution theory, behaviorism argues that we can understand and control a…

Voluntarismus

(922 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Schröder-Field, Caroline
[English Version] I. Religionsphilosophisch »V.« ist eine Beschreibungskategorie der Ideen- und Sozialgesch., die im vorletzten Jahrzehnt des 19.Jh. in Deutschland aufkam (erstmals bei F. Tönnies, VWPh 7, 1883, 169) und sich von hier aus auch in den franz. und engl. Sprachraum ausgebreitet hat. Der Begriff kann auf verschiedenste gesch. Erscheinungen angewendet werden: auf Haltungen von einzelnen oder von Kollektiven, auf metaphysische Anschauungen oder auf Modelle der Psychologie. Im Blick auf die…

Achievement

(1,279 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Nipkow, Karl E.
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Education – III. Practical Theology I. Ethics With regard to processes in general, “achievement” refers to their efficacy. Ethics, however, speaks of achievement only with regard to actions (Action) – and not actions in general, but only actions that are ethically justified. This is possible only when two conditions are met. First: It must be possible …

Coherence

(1,778 words)

Author(s): Grube, Dirk-M. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Ethics I. Philosophy of Religion Coherence is essentially a syntactic relation that exists between various propositions, but not between propositions and reality. This relation is typically defined as an absence of contradictions between various propositions. More appropriate, however, is another definition of coherence as the logically and conceptually consistent integrability of certain propositions into a more comprehensive system of propositions. In a coherence theory of truth, truth is u…

Order

(2,247 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine | Sieckmann, Jan-R. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Law – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy The concept of order (Gk τάξις/ táxis, κόσμος/ kosmos; Lat. ordo) is employed in natural philosophy, epistemology, and cultural anthropology. It refers to an arrangement of elements that stand in a particular relationship to one other and form the structure of a larger whole. The concept of order is particularly fundamental to cosmology: for Hesiod, the genesis of the cosmos takes place within “theogony,” and for Plato ( Tim.) through the transition from an undifferentiated primal state to a w…

Infallibility

(2,805 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Baumann, Urs | Hünermann, Peter
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatics and History of Doctrine – III. Ethics – IV. Catholic Understanding I. Fundamental Theology Infallibility, understood as unswerving inerrancy or being held unshakably in the truth, is a theme of both Reformation and Roman Catholic theology. Both traditions of Western theology affirm the NT statement that the Holy Spirit will guide the faithful and the community of believers into all truth (John 14:16; 16:13) and that the church is therefore “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). 1. Reformation theology sees he…
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