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Philosophical 'Isms'

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From the Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind: A class of  theories according to which behavior is the proper subject matter of psychology and/or the denotation of meaningful psychological vocabulary.   Behaviorists typically repudiate inner mental states on methodological, ontological, or semantic grounds.

Excerpt from an essay by Jesse Prinz:

Historically, behaviorism had two mains forms:

Psychological behaviorists claim that the proper domain of psychology is the study of behavior.  Appeals to unobservable inner states are both methodologically intractable (e.g. the inconsistent first person reports of introspectionists) and unnecessary (we can control and predict behavior by appeal to external variables that systematically induce behavioral responses as a consequence of conditioning or reinforcement)...

In its strongest form, philosophical behaviorism (also called `analytic behaviorism' and `logical behaviorism') is the view that psychological terms can be translated without loss of meaning into behavioral terms...



From the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning website:

Based on the thought process behind the behavior. Changes in behavior are observed, but only as an indicator to what is going on in the learner's head.

Site Includes:

isms Brief Introduction; - The scope of this CSCL project 
isms Psychological theories; A brief survey of the changing views of learning 
isms CSCL; - Summary of the main points in the class CSCL literature 
isms CSCL Links; - Projects, articles, software etc. 
isms Collaboration a la Salamon 
isms Concepts & References 
isms Graphical overviews - Find the way.. 


In the Constructivism verses Instructivism debate. 

Articles include:

isms Resources for computer usage Education teachers k-12 tcams This page will connect you to others regarding issues in using computers in the classroom, constructivism, learning, Papert "the children Machine", special education, and more…
isms Applications of Fuzzy Logic to Educational Practice, Research, and Evaluation Suzanne Damarin a research proposal that may lead to better clarity in education - assessment and objectives.
isms Mr. C's Philosophy and Pedagogy: Constructivism Constructivism - defined and links to other great resources - such as: ILTweb: Publication
isms Learning Theories - Funderstanding Web site that has an array of resources and information on learning - including: How people learn; what should be learned - curriculum issues, learning design - instruction; how will we know learning has occurred - assessment; and how should schools be designed - organizational theory.
isms Some Thoughts About Applying Constructivist Theories of Learning to Guide Instruction Yuan Feng - University of Washington - Paper discussing the constructivism revolution and theories involved
isms Educational PsychologyA GREAT resource for research in Psychology and learning with interesting links
isms SEDLETTER: The Practice Implications of ConstructivismEssay on Practicing constructivism and resources (Be sure to search NEXT!)
isms Discovery Learning"Theory and Technology: Design consideration for hypermedia/discovery learning environments" - paper on hypermedia and instructional design with links to many resources and other papers on constructivism and use of hypermedia within education.
isms Essays on constructivism and educationList collected by Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation
isms Dr. Holton from USC gives his bit



From the Darwin and Darwinism website.

Site Includes:

isms Books
isms Debates on Evolutionary Theory
isms Evolution on the WWW
isms Creationism and Evolution

Archives of Charles Darwin:

isms On the Origin of Species
isms The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
isms The Voyage of the Beagle
isms The Descent of Man

Archives of Alfred Russel Wallace:

isms On the Law that has Regulated
isms the Introduction of New Species (1855)
isms On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely
isms From the Original Type (1858)

Thomas Henry Huxley


Autobiography and Selected Essays

Andrew Dickson White


History of the Warfare of Science With
Theology in Christendom

William James


The Varieties of Religious Experience:
A Study in Human Nature


This website is by the World Union of Deists. 

Site includes:

isms Deism vs. Atheisism & Christianity
isms Deism Defined
isms Thomas Paine
isms Tax Religions!
isms Think
isms Stump the BiBible Thumpers
isms Free Thinkers' Yellowow Pages & Book Offers
isms World Union of Deists
isms Quotes



From the Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind: Most generally, the view that reality consists of two disparate parts. In philosophy of mind, the belief that the mental and physical are deeply different in kind: thus the mental is at least not identical with the physical. See occasionalism, doctrine of preestablished harmony, substance dualism, property dualism, Cartesian interactionist dualism, mind-body problem, monism.

There's a short essay on Dualism at this site by Chris Eliasmith.



From the Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind: In its strong form, the thesis that there is no reality behind appearances. Thus, it is the job of science to catalog the formal relations which hold between appearances without claims of describing reality. See phenomenalism.

A weaker form of empricism admits of the existence of a reality which is, however, trans-empirical. The transcendent nature of reality determines that we can have no knowledge of it and thus must simply catalog the formal relations between appearances.

Empricism is very much like phenomenalism. However, empiricism is a term more commonly used in philosophy of science than philosophy of mind. In either case, these positions are most commonly contrasted with realism.

By Chris Eliasmith


(British) Empiricism

British Empiricism on the PRB.



This web page introduces Epicureanism to both the serious student of philosophy and to anyone seeking useful and inspiring ideas. Epicurus helped lay the intellectual foundations for modern science and for secular individualism, with many aspects of his system still highly relevant some twenty-three centuries after they were first taught to Epicurus's students in the Garden at Athens. Follow the links below to learn more about Epicurus and his philosophy!

Site Includes:

isms What are the beliefs of Epicureans?
isms How is Epicureanism related to other Greek philosophies?
isms What is the history of Epicurus and his school?
isms Where can I find classical Epicurean texts?
isms Where can I find other Epicurean resources?



Part of the Philosophy Research Base.


isms Kierkegaard
isms Nietzsche
isms de Beauvoir
isms Sartre
isms Marcel
isms Camus
isms Jaspers
isms Tillich



 The Hedonistic Imperative:  Site by David Pearce, BLTC Research.


The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life.

This project is ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and ethically mandatory. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved only because they once served the fitness of our genes. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. The world's last aversive experience will be a precisely dateable event.

Site Includes:

isms HI Abstract
isms HI Table of Contents
isms The Hedonistic Imperative



From the Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind:  A brand of monism, first forwarded by Berkeley, in which everything is mental, as contrast to materialism. See also phenomenalism.



In the debate between Construtivism and Instructivism.

Artiles on Instructivism:

isms Educational Reform "Instruction: the tyranny of dogma" - an essay supporting instuctivism and the criticism of constructivism
isms Direct Instruction: making waves by Elizabeth Duffrin; a critique of Direct Instruction
isms What the Data Really Show: Old FashionedTeaching Works!
isms The Informed Instruction Project: Preliminary Findings and Implications for Future Research in Mathematics for Students with Learning Disabilities by John Woodward



From the Philosophy Research Base. 

Page includes:

isms Study Guide for The Communist Manifesto
isms Fredric Jameson- A Bibliography
isms Marxist Media Theory
isms A Short History of the Marxist Literary Group
isms Introduction to Marxism
isms Contemporary Marxist Materials
isms Voice of the Shuttle-  Marxist Theory
isms Mediations
isms Marxism and Socialism Links
isms Marxist Glossary
isms The Marxist-Leninist Theory of History
isms Texts online



Philosophical Materialism, essay by Richard C. Vitzthum.


Materialism is the oldest philosophical tradition in Western civilization. Originated by a series of pre-Socratic Greek philosophers in the 6th and 5th centuries before the Christian era, it reached its full classical form in the atomism of Democritus and Epicurus in the 4th century BCE. Epicurus argued that ultimate reality consisted of invisible and indivisible bits of free-falling matter called atoms randomly colliding in the void. It was on this atomic hypothesis that the Roman poet Lucretius wrote the first masterpiece of materialist literature around 50 BCE, the 7400-line philosophical poem De Rerum Natura, or, as it's usually translated, The Nature of Things.



From the Dictionary of the Philosophy of Mind:  The thesis that all of reality is of one kind. In philosophy of mind, monism is usually contrasted with the dualist position that mind and matter are deeply different. Thus, monism is the claim that mind and matter essentially the same. However, this 'sameness' has come in a number of different and contradictory varieties. For example, Hobbes felt that the mental is merely and epiphenomena of the physical, thus the physical is the one real substance (Contemporary materialism is also a form of physicalistic monism (see Churchland, 1996). In direct contrast, Berkeley postulated that the physical is just a collection of ideas (hence, idealism) and thus the mental is the only thing that really exists. Finally, there are a number of positions similar to Spinoza's property dualism, often referred to as dual-aspect theory. Spinoza held a position in which the mental and the physical are simply two modes of a more basic substance (it should be noted that strictly speaking, Spinoza was not a property dualist as he held that the mental and the physical were two of a possible infinite number of modes of the basic substance, nevertheless he is typically labelled as one). For Spinoza, this basic substance was God. Thus the only real thing is God, who is neither physical nor mental. Spinoza's position is similar to that of Russell's neutral monism, however the latter is not committed to the belief that a supreme being is the more basic substance.

See materialism, idealism, neutral monism, dualism.


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