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Intellectual Origins of the Western World concepts and terms

Etiologies Proposed explanations for why things happen. Works and Days
Animism Belief that a living spirit animated elements of the natural world (all aspects of nature have a soul). hesiod aristotle
Monotheism Belief in a single God.
Henotheism Belief in multiple Gods
Parochialism Narrow or closed-mindedness. exodus
Theocracies Law that came from the divine (opposite of the polis in Greece). Exodus
Democracy Ideology that the will of the population should determine what choices are to be made.
Theologi those who saw the world as controlled by 'impetuous' forces
Physici Believed that the world could be explained by simple rules that governed the universe. The world is not manipulated by Gods but organized by a set of natural principles.
Monism Belief in one substance or "original thing" that makes up the universe.
Universalism A universal code meant for all humans. Any concept that applies to all of humanity. exodus. Cicero
Material World (According to Plato) Defined by impermanence and experienced through the bodily senses
Intellectual World Immaterial, non-spatial and permanent. It can only be experienced by the soul.
Dialectic An argument of opposing sides to test ideas.
Meritocracy Form of government characterized by breeding programs, social hierarchies, producing the best offspring, and avoiding lineages and dynasties.
Substance (according to Aristotle) the fundamental category of being
Primary Substance That which cannot be predicated (the individual). Can be described through the quantity, quality, relation, place time, position, state, action, and affection.
Secondary Substances The class of a concept or object (the genus and species)
Perverted Government (according to Aristotle) When people govern for self-interest
Aristocracy Government of the few. It was a 'true' and ideal government for Aristotle.
Ataraxia Untroubledness ; focus is on achieving serenity and being free from worry. Associated with Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism. Cicero
Atomism Atoms are the smallest indivisible unit in the universe. Their assembly is what creates objects and death of person is simply is the disassembling of them. Nothing perishes in nature, it just reforms. Materialist theory. Lucretius
Natural Law vs. positive law Law created by humans and society vs. law universal and eternal? Cicero
Natural Law (according to Cicero) Must adhere to universal justice. Just because something is a law against something, doesn't mean it's right.
Mosaic Law Laws of Moses; includes instructions and messages from the Old Testament.
Mythopoeic myth-making (outdated term now)
rationalism Belief that one can acquire knowledge through internal thinking alone.
Polis The Greek-city state. Can refer to the citizenship of a Greek city state. Aristotle
Theocracy State ruled by religious officials or precepts. Exodus
Empiricism Belief that knowledge is obtained from sensory experience and observation. Roger Bacon
Timarchy State ruled only by men who are usually property owners or military officials. They chosen through some sort of public acclamation. Plato
Oligarchy State ruled by a few people. They are usually chosen through wealth, group, property, kinship, prestige, or religion. Plato
Polity Aristotelian government where a small group of rulers are moderately wealthy and fall between the rich and poor economically.
Materialism metaphysical view that the nature of the world is all physical or made of matter.
Dualism Metaphysical perspective that the mind and body are distinct entities. They are both fundamental components of the world. Plato
Free Will Philosophical belief that people have the capacity to choose from different options. Stoics
Fatalism Belief that all outcomes are predetermined according to the will of the gods/God or some kind of teleological divine force. It does not see predestination as caused by laws of the natural world or cause and effect.
Determinism Belief that all outcomes are caused by other outcomes and the law of nature. The idea that everything can be explained and that everything has a legitimate reason for its existence. Stoics
Universal or Natural Law The principles for morality are derived from human nature and the nature of the world. Cicero
Positive Law AKA Positivism The view that the existence of law is dependent on the social context, not on merit/universal concept of justice. Not based on divine commandments, reason, or human rights. Cicero
Synoptic Gospels Refers to the similar content, wording, and framework of Mark, Matthew, and Luke in their portrayal of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Apocalypticism The eminent of end of the present order, time, or universe. From a Judeo-Christian POV it can refer to the fight between light and darkness. Some believed it would be the fall of the Roman Empire and returning of Jesus. Revelation
Manichaeism Followers of Mani who took a radical dualist faith focused on the conflict between spirit and matter and mind and body. Based on a cosmogony of two Divine beings in eternal conflict. St. Augustine
Ontological Proof of God An argument that employs a series of logical (and not empirical) arguments for the existence of God. Thinkers associated include Aquinas, Descartes, and St. Anselm.
Exegesis A critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly; a religious text. aquinas
Predestination Belief that all events have already been determined by God and cannot be changed. (John Calvin)
Deduction A form of argument that guarantees a valid conclusion given that the premises are true. If premises are true=conclusion is true. Aquinas
Aristotelian Syllogism Argument that consists of 3 propositions. First two are the premises, the next is the conclusion which must logically follow the premises.
Scholasticism School of thought that was prominent in Western European Christian education in the medieval period. It emphasizes the use of logic via Aristotelian methods. People are encouraged to reason from experience, reason, and authority. Aquinas
Trivium The medieval categorization of branches of knowledge. The trivium consists of grammar, rhetoric and dialectic, all of which are considered to be the foundation for education and the bible. Boethius, Isidore of Seville
Quadrivium The medieval categorization of branches of knowledge, along with the Trivium it is known as the seven branches of knowledge. Usually consisted of astronomy/astrology, geometry, mathematics and music.
Quaestio A format common in medieval books for arguing in response to a certain problem. Involves presenting opposing arguments, each based on reason and authority. St. Augustine
Integral Aristotelianism Belief that all of Aristotle's works are appropriate and applicable for theology and philosophy. Despite the contradictions that it has with the Bible, it is used and advocated by thinkers like Averroes.
Conservative Aristotelianism The view that the only works of Aristotle that should be studied are those that are evidently in accord with scripture. Advocated by Thomas Aquinas
Collectivism A view where one 's group or community is considered as a priority over oneself. Social, economic or political principles should look at the communities needs over the individual. New Testament
Individualism Prioritizing the self over the community. Social, economic, and political principles should favour the self over the group.
Natural Theology Belief that theology and God can be improved through facts and natural experience, rather than divine revelation.
Extramission Theory of medieval optics and perspective. Believes that the eye emits light in order to see the world. Popularized by Islamic philosophers. Averroes
Intromission Light reflected from an object goes into the human eye.
Humanism The study of humanity: Developed in the later middle ages and focuses on different areas. It can look at state policy, social relations, literary analysis etc...Petrarch
Sacral Power Related to the sacred and religious. Often referring to Medieval western Europe, it includes the church and papacy. Council of Trent
Temporal Power Broad term referring to the worldly secular spheres in Medieval Europe such as the power of monarchs, republics and empires. Machiavelli
Royal Absolutism AKA Absolute Monarchy, it is government that has unlimited control of the sovereign state and its people. Machiavelli
Political Realism Perspective that a leaders primary goal is to gain and maintain power. It makes the assumption that political actors always strive towards maintaining and maximizing power. Machiavelli
Classical Republicanism A broad term referring to a philosophy that advocates civic virtue, political participation, and the benefits of the rule of law. It draws on Ancient Rome for examples. Machiavelli
Raison d'etat Actions that are entirely politically motivated without regard to justice or morality. Italian Renaissance humanists described true political prudence and false self-interest forms of raison d'etat. Machiavelli
Heresy A belief or opinion that contradicts the doctrine of a religion. Martin Luther vs. Catholic Church
Conciliarism AKA Conciliar movement. theory associated with the Roman Catholic Church. States that the council should have authority over the papacy and dispose of the pope if necessary. Council of Protestants
Transubstantiation Fundamental belief in the Catholic Church in reference to the sacrament of the communion. It states that components of the communion retain an outward appearance but through miracle of the consecration of the mass, became the true body of Christ. ML
Doctrine of Justification by Grace In Protestant theology, the belief that justification (the removal of sins) can be achieved only through God’s grace; it cannot be achieved through works or human merit & must be taken on faith. ML
Calvinist Doctrine of Predestination A foundational belief in Calvinist Christian belief in which humans are entirely unable to merit salvation on the basis of their own faith or works; it is a process entirely decided by God and considered a gift of God’s grace
Hueguenots a term usually applied to early modern French Protestants associated with the teachings of Calvinism
Encomienda A legal system in Spanish territories in the Americas. Allowed a Spanish conqueror or official to exact tribute from the indigenous living within an area. Those granted encomiendas had to provide instruction in the (Catholic) Christian faith. BDLC
Imperialism political and economic control over a dependent territory, often through settlement, sovereignty, or indirect mechanisms of control. BDLC
Colonialism A practice of domination, involving the subjugation of people, usually involves the transfer of population to a new territory, where the arrivals live as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to their country of origin. Xavier
Noble Savage an idealized concept of the “uncivilized” human; one who symbolizes the innate goodness of one not exposed to the corrupting influences of civilization; the idea of an existence in a blissfully ignorant state of nature. Jean de Lery
Reason Plato
Rationalism Plato
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