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Nachrichtentechnik

(305 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[English Version] . Im weitesten Sinne umfaßt N. die gesamte Technik der Erzeugung, Übertragung und Verarbeitung von Nachrichten einschließlich der Steuer- und Regeltechnik, im eigentlichen Sinne aber nur die elektrische N. als Optimierung der Zeichenübermittlung mit Hilfe elektrischer Signale. Nach Erfindung des ersten elektrischen Telegraphen (Morse) ermöglichte später das Telefon die Fernkommunikation als Alltagsphänomen. Die rasante Entwicklung der Funktechnik führte zur medialen Massenkommuni…

Syntax

(345 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[German Version] (from Gk σύνταξις/ sýntaxis, “ordering together”) is a term used in linguistics for the system of rules of a natural language (I) governing the correct formation of clauses and sentences of that language from individual words. It is an aspect of grammar. Classical grammar already made a distinction between the collocation of concrete morphemes and the analysis of their abstract syntactical usage, as is found in L. Wittgenstein’s distinction between deep grammar and surface grammar (“…

Gaia Theories

(350 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[German Version] regard the earth as a self-regulating system that behaves like an organism. The British atmo-¶ spheric chemist, James E. Lovelock, justified this view in the 1960s. He pointed out that, in contrast to the inactive Mars, the earth, even viewed from outer space, already seems to be a “living” system because of its oxygen-rich atmosphere apart from its chemical balance. Its atmosphere, however, is a result of the process of respiration of earth's smallest living beings. Contrary to traditional Darw…

News Technology

(358 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[German Version] In the broadest sense, the term news (or communication) technology covers the total technology of producing, transmitting, and processing news, including the technology of control and regulation; in the strict sense, though, the term refers just to electronic communication technologies as tools for optimizing the transmission of tokens with the help of electronic signals. First the invention of the electric telegraph by Samuel F.B. Morse, then later the telephone enabled remote co…

Law/Natural Law

(1,619 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. Natural Science – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Natural Science The term “natural law” refers to a general norm of the order of nature that reveals regularities or causal relationships between the phenomena of a specific process area. A natural law has an explanatory and prognostic function, and thus constitutes the basis of calculated intervention in the processes it describes. In the natural sciences, a natural law is understood as the norm of a constant relationship between different classes of natural phenomena that can be depicte…

Syntax

(332 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[English Version] (von griech. συ´n̆ταξις/sýntaxis, »Zusammenordnung«) ist in der Sprachwissenschaft als Teil der Grammatik Bez. für das Regelsystem einer natürlichen Sprache (: I.), das die korrekte Bildung der Sätze der Sprache aus einfachen Wörtern bestimmt. Schon in der antiken Grammatik findet sich die Unterscheidung zw. der Zusammenstellung der konkreten Morpheme und der Analyse ihrer syntaktisch-abstrakten Verwendungsweise, wie sie in L. Wittgensteins Unterscheidung von Tiefengrammatik und Ob…

Unendlichkeit

(1,415 words)

Author(s): Hühn, Lore | Evers, Dirk
[English Version] I. Philosophisch U. ist ein Schlüsselbegriff der antiken Philos., der unter dem Titel α῎πειροn̆/ápeiron ein breites Bedeutungsspektrum auf sich vereinigt: Grenzenlosigkeit und Unbestimmtheit des Ursprungs, aus dem das Werden entsteht, Grundprinzip der physischen Welt und ihrer Gegenstände (Anaximander); das negativ zu bewertende Unbegrenzte, das dem positiv Begrenzenden der Zahl, des Maßes widerstreitet (Pythagoras); das in der vorsokratischen Philos. zuerst in seiner Entgegensetzung zur Grenze (πε´ρας/péras) gedachte Unendliche wird seiners…

Naturgesetz

(871 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Rudolph, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Naturwissenschaftlich N. bringen regelmäßige Zusammenhänge zw. Naturphänomenen zum Ausdruck mit dem Idealziel der mathematischen Modellierbarkeit. Je nachdem, ob dieser Zusammenhang unbedingt gilt oder nur Wahrscheinlichkeiten beschreibt, kann man zw. deterministischen und statistischen N. unterscheiden. In der klassischen Physik wird alles Naturgeschehen durchgängig von Kausalgesetzen (Kausalität) determiniert, nur epistemische Zufälligkeit in bezug auf den Kenntnisstand des B…

Natural Law/Law of Nature

(972 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Science Natural laws express regular connections between natural phenomena, with the ideal aim of potential mathematical modeling. Depending on whether the connection is unconditionally valid, or merely describes probabilities, a distinction can be made between deterministic and statistical natural laws. In classical physics, all natural events are consistently determined by laws of causality; only epistemic chance in relation to the state of the observer’s knowledge is allowed (…

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…

Annihilation

(939 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Thomas, Günter
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Dogmatics I. Philosophy of Religion The concept of annihilation has its roots in the scholastic theology of creation; it also belongs to the vocabulary of German mysticism, which speaks of the soul as being “reduced to nothing” in its union with God. In the first context, it addresses the problem of how a reversal of the creation process leading from existence to non-existence can be understood, and whether this can be ascribed to God alone (as the creator). Unlike mere corruptio, “annihilation” in scholastic theology …

Infinity

(1,645 words)

Author(s): Hühn, Lore | Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Dogmatics I. Philosophy Infinity is a key concept of ancient philosophy that combines a wide spectrum of meanings under the title ἄπειρον/ ápeiron: boundlessness and indeterminacy of the origins from which becoming emerged, that is, the fundamental principle of the physical world and of its objects (Anaximander); the limitlessness, to be evaluated negatively, which stands in opposition to the positive delimitation effected by number or measure (Pythagoras); t…

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 den der Regelmäßigkeit,…

Vernichtung

(786 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Thomas, Günter
[English Version] I. Religionsphilosophisch Der Begriff der V. ist zum einen die dt. Übers. des in der Scholastik geprägten schöpfungstheol. Begriffs der Annihilation, zum anderen gehört er zum Wortschatz der dt. Mystik und meint dort das Zunichtewerden der Seele in der Vereinigung mit Gott. In seiner ersten Bedeutung markiert er das Problem, wie ein die Schöpfung umkehrender Übergang vom Sein zum Nicht-Sein verstanden und ob er allein Gott als dem Schöpfer zugeschrieben werden kann. Im Unterschied…

Field Theory

(1,046 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Lück, Helmut E.
[German Version] I. Classical Field Theory – II. Quantum Field Theory – III. Field Theory in the Social Sciences I. Classical Field Theory Field theories have an ancient forerunner in the Stoic theory of the pneuma; however, in the history of modern science they have their origin in the difficulties in applying the principles of discrete particles in Newtonian mechanics (I. Newton) to the behavior of deformable solid or liquid continua. In his writings on hydrodynamics, Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) was the first to b…

Materialism

(2,549 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Hüttemann, Andreas | Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Philosophy – III. Theology I. History of Religion In one of the earliest usages in the German language, materialism was described as an “error,” i.e. “when a person denies the spiritual substance and refuses to recognize any other than the physical” (J.G. Walch, Philosophisches Lexikon, 1726, quoted from HWP V, 1980, 842). This negative characterization is the result of the philosophical and theological belief in the existence of spiritual entities (God, soul, eternal life) that transcend matter by vir…

Emergence

(723 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip | Evers, Dirk | Leiner, Martin
[German Version] I. Theology and Science – II. Systematic Theology – III. Ethics I. Theology and Science Emergence (from Lat. emergere, “to arise”), an idea that describes the appearance of novel and higher forms, represents an alternative to mechanistic, vitalist (Vitalism and mechanism), reductionist, and preformationist explanations. Emergence claims that complex structur…

Probability

(716 words)

Author(s): Kober, Michael | Evers, Dirk | Gräb-Schmidt , Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Philosophy Objectively, probability is the measure of the chance that a particular event will take place (ontological probability); subjectively, it is the measure of the certainty or credibility of a statement (epistemic probability). The interest in ontological probability arising from decision theory, as in games of chance, led to the mathematical theory of probability (Andrey N. Kolmogorov; Chance). But we must distinguish the logical ( a priori) ¶ probability of throwing a six, namely 1/6, from its empirical ( a posteriori) probability, i.e. its actua…

Cybernetics

(1,190 words)

Author(s): Herzfeld, Noreen | Evers, Dirk | Seitz, Manfred
[German Version] I. Science – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Science Cybernetics denotes the science of the control and communication processes in machines and biological systems. Of particular interest for cybernetics are those systems that can regulate or organize themselves through feedback processes. Norbert Wiener coined the term cybernetics in 1947. It is the transliteration of the Greek κυβερνητική/ kybernētikḗ, “the helmsman's art.” Plato used this term both for the regulation of people and for the steering of a boat. To…

Communications

(1,627 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Geissner, Hellmut K. | Fechtner, Kristian
[German Version] I. Theory – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Theory “Communications” in the broadest sense encompasses the interdisciplinary study of communication in biological, technological, and social systems, insofar as it manifests itself as a purposeful exchange of information through a system of signs. The subject of study is ultimately the communication process as a whole, including both its mutually interacting components (communicator, medium, recipient) and …
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