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(1,641 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
1. The ancient Cynics were shadowy figures. The word “cynic” has never been explained etymologically, though it was usually thought to be the teaching place of the founder of the school, Antisthenes (b. ca. 445 b.c., a student of Socrates, who taught in the gymnasium Kynosarges), or to be grounded on a nickname: with Diogenes of Sinope (d. ca. 320 b.c.), a shameless and sarcastic pupil of Antisthenes, philosophy seemed to have gone “to the dogs” (Gk. kyōn, adj. kynikos). As “Socrates gone mad,” according to Plato, Diogenes attacked with a “quixotically evil tongue” …


(7,222 words)

Author(s): Laubscher, Matthias Samuel | Moxter, Michael | Recki, Birgit | Haigis, Peter | Herms, Eilert | Et al.
[German Version] …


(4,048 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Kaiser, Otto | du Toit, Andrie | Beißer, Friedrich | Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies / History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Religious Studies / History of Religions Various versions of the Greek Prometheus myth characterize hope ( elpís) a…


(1,931 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion What is perfect lacks nothing that would make it better. It can surpass only itself. As a fundamental concept in logic and metaphysics, the idea of perfection, especially in the school metaphysics of Leibniz and Wolff, plays a leading part in defining the absolute: all positive attributes that pertain to God pertain to God in the highest degree (completely, without any limitation), together and by very nature, notwithstanding the simplicity of God’s being (Unity, Divine). The creature, subject to finitude, can participate in such perfection ( perfectiones), but only in a qualitatively graduated hierarchy of being, directed toward a final aim. Thus all being is “good” in its kind, but God is perfect goodness and also the “highest good.” It follows that the concept of God is the concept of a supremely all-perfect being ( ens perfectissimum). Early forms of such a concept of God are already found in Greek antiquity in Parmenides, Plato, and Aristotle, using such expressions as “self-sufficiency,” “lacking nothing,” “pure reality,” and “self-thinking thought,” and in images suc…


(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because it is existentially imperiled, it needs constantly to be preserved through special spiritual or ritual means. As part of a larger, cosmic context, it transcends the indiv…


(18,301 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Religious Studies – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. As a Theological Discipline – VI. As a Philosophical Discipline (Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Economic Ethics, Ethics, Bio-Medical Issues, Ethics Commissions, Ethics Education, Ethics of Conviction, Ethics of Duty, Ethics of Goods, Ethics of Responsibility, Evolutionary Ethics, Fraternal Ethics, Individual Et…

Discourse Ethics

(699 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[German Version] is the name given by Karl-Otto Apel (born 1922) and Jürgen Habermas (born 1929) to their common program of using discourse theory to renew the ethics of I. Kant. Discourse ethics seeks to base universal norms of correct action solely on the formal basis of rational generalizability. Unlike Kant…


(1,678 words)

Author(s): Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Moxter, Michael | Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Because the term life-world (Ger. Lebenswelt) usually refers to the concrete world of our everyday life experiences, it has sometimes been equated with everyday life. This interpretation overlooks the fact that it is a highly ambitious concept of theoretical philosophy, which has, however, taken on greatly different forms. Historically, the first hints of its conceptual development appear in the studies …

Critical Theory

(1,635 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter | Moxter, Michael | Junker-Kenny, Maureen
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Critical theory is the designation for the philosophical program of the Frankfurt School, a group of philosophers and social scientists belonging to the Institut für Sozialforschung (Institute for Social Research) founded in 1923 in Frankfurt am Main. The term traces to an essay by M. Horkheimer, Traditionelle und kritische Theorie (1937; ET: “Tr…

Vollkommenheit (Gottes/des Menschen)

(1,704 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
[English Version] I. Religionsphilosophisch Was vollkommen ist, dem fehlt nichts, wodurch es optimiert werden könnte. Es kann sich nur selbst übertreffen. Als logisch-metaphysischer Grundbegriff dirigiert der Vollkommenheitsbegriff v.a. in der Leibniz-Wolffschen Schulmetaphysik die Bestimmung des Absoluten: Alle positiven Attribute, die Gott zukommen, gehören ihm im höchsten Maße (vollständig, ohne jede Einschränkung), gemeinsam und gleich wesentlich, unbeschadet der Einfachheit seines Wesens (Einh…