This is my a–z raw text file of terms that are of general application to my philosophical study of design, and of course it reflects my desire just to understand complex meanings of terms.

1 the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events : topics will vary in degrees of abstraction.
• something that exists only as an idea : the question can no longer be treated as an academic abstraction.
2 freedom from representational qualities in art : geometric abstraction has been a mainstay in her work.
• an abstract work of art.
3 a state of preoccupation : she sensed his momentary abstraction.
4 the process of considering something independently of its associations, attributes, or concrete accompaniments :

afflux noun archaic
a flow of something, esp. water or air.

combative; polemical.
• Zoology (of animal behavior) associated with conflict.
• Biochemistry of, relating to, or acting as an agonist.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: via late Latin from Greek agōnistikos, from agōnistēs ‘contestant,’ from agōn ‘contest.’

recollection, in particular
• the remembering of things from a supposed previous existence (often used with reference to Platonic philosophy).
• Medicine a patient's account of a medical history.

a comment or brief reference that makes an illuminating or entertaining point.

clearly established or beyond dispute.

Aporia (Gk"impasse, difficulty of passing, lack of resources, puzzlement")
an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory

apothegm noun
a concise saying or maxim; an aphorism.
modern Latin apothegma, from Greek, from apophthengesthai ‘speak out.’

supposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck :

Appreciable: large or important enough to be noticed :

Ataraxia ("tranquility") is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry.[1]

atopic (as opposed to utopia)

auratic Characterized by or relating to an aura.
Of or relating to the distinctive quality or essence of a person, work of art, or object.

Autogamy (self-fertilization) is a similar process that occurs in one organism. In cytogamy, another type of self-fertilization, two organisms join together but do not undergo nuclear exchange.

Auxotrophy (Gr. αὐξάνω "to increase"; τροφή "nourishment") is the inability of an organism to synthesize a particular organic compound required for its growth (as defined by IUPAC). An auxotroph is an organism that displays this characteristic;

noun ( pl. -cies)
a system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives.
• a state or organization governed or managed according to such a system.
• the officials in such a system, considered as a group or hierarchy.
• excessively complicated administrative procedure, seen as characteristic of such a system : the unnecessary bureaucracy in local government.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French bureaucratie, from bureau (see bureau, -cracy ).

relating to a prison.

noun Psychoanalysis
the concentration of mental energy on one particular person, idea, or object (esp. to an unhealthy degree).
ORIGIN 1920s: from Greek kathexis ‘retention,’ translating German Libidobesetzung, coined by Freud.

noun Philosophy
the doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences.

critical theory
a philosophical approach to culture, and esp. to literature, that seeks to confront the social, historical, and ideological forces and structures that produce and constrain it. The term is applied particularly to the work of the Frankfurt School.

noun Philosophy
(in Hegelianism) existence or determinate being; (in existentialism) human existence.

noun (also dialectics) [usu. treated as sing. ]
1 the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.
2 inquiry into metaphysical contradictions and their solutions.
• the existence or action of opposing social forces, concepts, etc.
The ancient Greeks used the term dialectic to refer to various methods of reasoning and discussion in order to discover the truth. More recently, Kant applied the term to the criticism of the contradictions that arise from supposing knowledge of objects beyond the limits of experience, e.g., the soul. Hegel applied the term to the process of thought by which apparent contradictions (which he termed thesis and antithesis) are seen to be part of a higher truth (synthesis).

dialectical materialism
the Marxist theory (adopted as the official philosophy of the Soviet communists) that political and historical events result from the conflict of social forces and are interpretable as a series of contradictions and their solutions. The conflict is believed to be caused by material needs.
The main idea of dialectical materialism lies in the concept of the evolution of the natural world and the emergence of new qualities of being at new stages of evolution.

conceal or disguise (one's thoughts, feelings, or character) : a country gentleman who dissimulates his wealth beneath ragged pullovers | [ intrans. ] now that they have power, they no longer need to dissimulate.
from Latin dissimulat- ‘hidden, concealed,’ from the verb dissimulare.

noun Medicine
an abnormal or disordered state of the body or of a bodily part.
dyscrasic |-ˈkrazik| adjective
ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting an imbalance of physical qualities): via late Latin from Greek duskrasia ‘bad combination,’ from dus- ‘bad’ + krasis ‘mixture.’

Entropy is a rough measure of randomness and disorder, or the absence of pattern in the structuring of a system. Negative entropy, or negentropy, roughly refers to the degree of order or organization within a closed system.

The negentropy, also negative entropy, syntropy, extropy, ectropy or entaxy,[1] of a living system is the entropy that it exports to keep its own entropy low; it lies at the intersection of entropy and life. The concept and phrase "negative entropy" was introduced by Erwin Schrödinger in his 1944 popular-science book What is Life?[2] Later, Léon Brillouin shortened the phrase to negentropy,[3][4] to express it in a more "positive" way: a living system imports negentropy and stores it.[5] In 1974, Albert Szent-Györgyi proposed replacing the term negentropy with syntropy. That term may have originated in the 1940s with the Italian mathematician Luigi Fantappiè, who tried to construct a unified theory of biology and physics. Buckminster Fuller tried to popularize this usage, but negentropy remains common.
In a note to What is Life? Schrödinger explained his use of this phrase.
“[...] if I had been catering for them [physicists] alone I should have let the discussion turn on free energy instead. It is the more familiar notion in this context. But this highly technical term seemed linguistically too near to energy for making the average reader alive to the contrast between the two things.

the realization of potential.
• the supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization.
• Philosophy the soul.

intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest : esoteric philosophical debates.

noun Philosophy
a belief that things have a set of characteristics that make them what they are, and that the task of science and philosophy is their discovery and expression; the doctrine that essence is prior to existence. Compare with existentialism .
• the view that all children should be taught on traditional lines the ideas and methods regarded as essential to the prevalent culture.
• the view that categories of people, such as women and men, or heterosexuals and homosexuals, or members of ethnic groups, have intrinsically different and characteristic natures or dispositions.

Eutrophication (Greek: eutrophia—healthy, adequate nutrition, development; German: Eutrophie) or more precisely hypertrophication, is the ecosystem's response to the addition of artificial or natural substances, mainly phosphates, through detergents, fertilizers, or sewage, to an aquatic system.[1] One example is the "bloom" or great increase of phytoplankton in a water body as a response to increased levels of nutrients. Negative environmental effects include hypoxia, the depletion of oxygen in the water, which may cause death to aquatic animals.

a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.
Generally taken to originate with Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, existentialism tends to be atheistic (although there is a strand of Christian existentialism deriving from the work of Kierkegaard), to disparage scientific knowledge, and to deny the existence of objective values, stressing instead the reality and significance of human freedom and experience. The approach was developed chiefly in 20th-century Europe, notably by Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Simone de Beauvoir.

ORIGIN translating Danish existents-forhold ‘condition of existence’ (frequently used by Kierkegaard), from existential .

(esp. of a doctrine or mode of speech) intended for or likely to be understood by the general public : an exoteric, literal meaning and an esoteric, inner teaching. The opposite of esoteric .
• relating to the outside world; external : the exoteric and esoteric aspects of life.
• current or popular among the general public.


leadership or dominance, esp. by one country or social group over others

hermeneutic |ˌhərməˈn(y)oōtik|
concerning interpretation, esp. of the Bible or literary texts.
a method or theory of interpretation.
hermeneutics (i.e., the art of understanding meaning)

a pause or break in continuity in a sequence or activity. L> gaping

Historical revisionism In historiography, the term historical revisionism identifies the re-interpretation of the historical record, of the orthodox views about a historical event, of the evidence of the event, and of the motivations and decisions of the participant people; as such, historical revisionism is a continual process of developing and refining the writing of history.
The revision of the historical record is to reflect the contemporary discoveries of fact, evidence, and interpretation, which produce a revised history; however, the scholarly review of history also is misapplied as historical negationism, a form of historical revisionism that presents a re-interpretation of the scholarship of the historical record, which is meant to deny the reality of the historical event in question, and usually contradicts the collective memory of society.
Homologous having the same relation, relative position, or structure.

Homologation (Greek homologeo, ὁμολογέω, "to agree") is the granting of approval by an official authority. This may be a court of law, a government department, or an academic or professional body, any of which would normally work from a set of strict rules or standards to determine whether such approval should be given. The word may be considered very roughly synonymous with accreditation,
In today's marketplace, for instance, products must often be homologated by some public agency to assure that they meet standards for such things as safety and environmental impact.

Type Approval or Certificate of Conformity is granted to a product that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements. Generally, type approval is required before a product is allowed to be sold in a particular country, so the requirements for a given product will vary around the world. Processes and certifications known as Type Approval in English are generally called Homologation, or some cognate expression, in other European languages.
Compliance to type-approval requirements can be denoted by a third-party marking on the back of the product (e.g. UL, TUV, CSA), or by a Type-Approval certificate obtained by a manufacturer and kept on file. The CE mark found on the back of many electronic devices does not mean that the product has obtained Type Approval in the European Union. The CE mark is the manufacturer's declaration that the system/assembly meets the MINIMUM safety requirements of all the Directives (laws) applicable to it, and of itself, does not signify any Third Party involvement in the design or testing of a system/assembly.
Type Approval is not a term confined to a particular industry. Type Approval requirements exist for products as diverse as marine equipment, mobile phones, automotive industry, or medical equipment. Type approval simply means that the product is certified to meet certain requirements for its type, whatever that may be.To standards

verb [ trans. ] formal
treat or represent (something abstract) as a concrete reality.

existing or operating within; inherent : the protection of liberties is immanent in constitutional arrangements.
• (of God) permanently pervading and sustaining the universe. Often contrasted with transcendent

characterized by the inference of general laws from particular instances :
characterized by the inference of particular instances from a general law :
• based on reason and logical analysis of available facts : I used my deductive powers.

infra below; further on

in nuce
in a nutshell; briefly stated

interpellation In Marxist theory, is the process by which ideology, embodied in major social and political institutions, constitutes the nature of individual subjects' identities through the very process of institutions and discourses of 'hailing' them in social interactions.

the relationship between texts, esp. literary ones : every text is a product of intertextuality.

(of a verb or a sense or use of a verb) not taking a direct object, e.g., look in look at the sky. The opposite of transitive .
an intransitive verb.
ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from late Latin intransitivus ‘not passing over,’ from in- ‘not’ + transitivus (see transitive ). reciprosity. mutual action or relationship,

very complicated or detailed : an intricate network of canals.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin intricat- ‘entangled,’ from the verb intricare, from in- ‘into’ + tricae ‘tricks, perplexities.’

using or characterized by irony : his mouth curved into an ironic smile.
• happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this : [with clause ] it was ironic that now that everybody had plenty of money for food, they couldn't obtain it because everything was rationed.
ironical |aɪˈrɑnəkəl| adjective
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French ironique or late Latin ironicus, from Greek eirōnikos ‘dissembling, feigning ignorance,’ from eirōneia (see irony 1 ).

• (also dramatic or tragic irony) a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character. (bit like life_RC) No plot either

irrecusable primacy
(of evidence or a statement) not able to be challenged or rejected.

an unfilled space or interval; a gap

lingua franca also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language or vehicular language, is a language or dialect systematically (as opposed to occasionally, or casually) used to make communication possible between persons not sharing.

Kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics which describes the motion of points, bodies (objects) and systems of bodies (groups of objects) without consideration of the causes of motion. Kinematics as a field of study is often referred to as the "geometry of motion".

Legitimate - made lawful

plural noun [usu. treated as sing. ]
the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
• abstract theory or talk with no basis in reality : his concept of society as an organic entity is, for market liberals, simply metaphysics.

Metaphysics has two main strands: that which holds that what exists lies beyond experience (as argued by Plato), and that which holds that objects of experience constitute the only reality (as argued by Kant, the logical positivists, and Hume). Metaphysics has also concerned itself with a discussion of whether what exists is made of one substance or many, and whether what exists is inevitable or driven by chance.

the doctrine that universals or general ideas are mere names without any corresponding reality, and that only particular objects exist; properties, numbers, and sets are thought of as merely features of the way of considering the things that exist. Important in medieval scholastic thought, nominalism is associated particularly with William of Occam. Often contrasted with realism

relating to or denoting certain principles, such as laws of nature, that are neither logically necessary nor theoretically explicable, but are simply taken as true.
• another term for nomothetic .

the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known.

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from earlier obscurant, denoting a person who obscures something, via German from Latin obscurant- ‘making dark,’ from the verb obscurare.

occultation an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. The word is used in astronomy (see below). It can also refer to any situation wherein an object in the foreground blocks from view (occults) an object in the background.

an instrument of thought, especially a means of reasoning or a system of logic.
 from Greek, literally ‘instrument, organ’. Organon was the title of Aristotle's logical treatises.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An orthography is a set of conventions for how to write a language. It includes rules of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word breaks, emphasis, and punctuation.
Most significant languages in the modern era are written down, and for most such languages a standard orthography has developed, often based on a standard variety of the language, and thus exhibiting less dialect variation than the spoken language. Sometimes there may be variation in a language's orthography, as between American and British spelling in the case of English orthography. If a language uses multiple writing systems, it may have distinct orthographies, as is the case with Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian, Inuktitut, Azerbaijani and Uzbek. In some cases orthography is regulated by bodies such as language academies, although for many languages (including English) there are no such authorities, and orthography develops through more democratic processes.
Orthography is distinct from typography, which is concerned with principles of typesetting.

paralogic in nature-that is,
beyond codification or systematization-

Parole. Linguistics; the actual linguistic behavior or performance of individuals, in contrast to the linguistic system of a community. Contrasted with langue .

adjective technical
of or relating to the open sea : the kittiwakes return from their pelagic winter wanderings.
• (chiefly of fish) inhabiting the upper layers of the open sea. Often contrasted with demersal .
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: via Latin from Greek pelagikos, from pelagios ‘of the sea’ (from pelagos ‘level surface of the sea’ ).

the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages.
• literary or classical scholarship.

The belief that all space is full of matter.

noun Philosophy
1 a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism. [ORIGIN: from French positivisme, coined by the French philosopher Auguste Comte .]
• a humanistic religious system founded on this.
• another term for logical positivism .
2 the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law.
3 the state or quality of being positive : in this age of illogical positivism, no one wants to sound negative.

noun |ˈpredikət| Grammar
the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject (e.g., went home in John went home): : [as adj. ] predicate adjective.
• Logic something that is affirmed or denied concerning an argument of a proposition.
verb |ˈpredəˌkāt| |ˈprɛdəˈkeɪt| |ˈprɛdɪkeɪt| [ trans. ]
1 Grammar & Logic state, affirm, or assert (something) about the subject of a sentence or an argument of proposition : a word which predicates something about its subject | aggression is predicated of those who act aggressively.
2 ( predicate something on/upon) found or base something on : the theory of structure on which later chemistry was predicated.

1.Rhetoric. the anticipation of possible objections in order to answer them in advance.
2.the assigning of a person, event, etc., to a period earlier than the actual one; the representation of something in the future as if it already existed or had occurred; prochronism.
3.the use of a descriptive word in anticipation of its becoming applicable.
4.a fundamental conception or assumption in Epicureanism or Stoicism arising spontaneously in the mind without conscious reflection; thought provoked by sense perception.
5.Pathology. the return of an attack of a periodic disease or of a paroxysm before the expected time or at progressively shorter intervals.

ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin proletarius (from proles ‘offspring’ ), denoting a person having no wealth in property, who only served the state by producing offspring.

in the capacity of; as being : he's hard to pin down if you get him on entertainment qua entertainment.

Reasoning, conscious deliberate inference; the activity or process of reasoning.  [quotations ▼]
Thought or reasoning that is exact, valid and rational.
A proposition arrived at by such thought.

verb [ trans. ]
1 attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate : she couldn't rationalize her urge to return to the cottage. See note at lie .
2 make (a company, process, or industry) more efficient by reorganizing it in such a way as to dispense with unnecessary personnel or equipment :

noun often derogatory
the practice of analyzing and describing a complex phenomenon, esp. a mental, social, or biological phenomenon, in terms of phenomena that are held to represent a simpler or more fundamental level, esp. when this is said to provide a sufficient explanation.

2 (of an action) performed as a reflex, without conscious thought : at concerts like this one, standing ovations have become reflexive.
3 Logic (of a relation) always holding between a term and itself.
4 (of a method or theory in the social sciences) taking account of itself or of the effect of the personality or presence of the researcher on what is being investigated.

Reification (fallacy) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reification (also known as concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity.[1][2] In other words, it is the error of treating as a concrete thing something which is not concrete, but merely an idea.
Another common manifestation is the confusion of a model with reality. Mathematical or simulation models may help understand a system or situation but real life will differ from the model (e.g. 'the map is not the territory').
Rhetoric The anticipation and answering of possible objections in rhetorical speech.
Example sentences
Drexler's book Engines of Creation is an extraordinary exercise in prolepsis: he meticulously refutes every technical objection he can anticipate.

(psychology) According to some psychoanalytic theories, the mental ability to delete and forget a trauma or overwhelming event.

verb [ trans. ] Philosophy. assimilate (a smaller entity) into a larger one :

1 beyond; transcending :

Syncretism is the combining of different (often seemingly contradictory) beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture (known as eclecticism) as well as politics (syncretic politics).
synoptic of or forming a general summary or synopsis.----------------------

of or denoting the relationship between two or more linguistic units used sequentially to make well-formed structures. Contrasted with paradigmatic .
paradigmatic |ˌparədigˈmatik|
1 of the nature of a paradigm or model : they offer this database as a paradigmatic example.
2 of or denoting the relationship between a set of linguistic items that form mutually exclusive choices in particular syntactic roles. Contrasted with syntagmatic .

telluric adjective
of the earth as a planet.
• of the soil.

1 Grammar (of a verb or a sense or use of a verb) able to take a direct object (expressed or implied), e.g., saw in he saw the donkey. The opposite of intransitive .
2 Logic & Mathematics (of a relation) such that, if it applies between successive members of a sequence, it must also apply between any two members taken in order. For instance, if A is larger than B, and B is larger than C, then A is larger than C.

Transitivism is a psychoanalytic concept suggested by Charlotte Buhler to designate a special kind of identification often observed with small children. With transitivism we identify with the other in a manner that mirrors (that is reversing) our own image. Lacan associated this reversal with the function of what he called "the mirror stage". He argued that trasivitism demonstrates the confusion between the I and the other which is a part of imaginary identification.  
Child psychologist Charolotte Bühler observed that very young children often do not distinguish sharply between their own experiences and those of others--if one child falls and is injured, for example, another child may cry. In this respect, transitivism can be compared with Roger Caillois's notion of legendary psychasthenia, in which the external environment and the internal psychical and physiological systems of the individual are melded.
Lacan presents all of these references to external, formative influences on the development of the ego to support his argument that ego does not emerge sui generis--out of itself--but is the product of a dialectical interaction between the psyche and the external world (Umwelt)--an interaction perpetuated throughout life between the subject and the other.


In Marxism, the valorisation or valorization of capital is the increase in the value of capital assets through the application of value-forming labour in production. The German original term is "Verwertung" (specifically Kapitalverwertung) but this is difficult to translate, and often wrongly rendered as "realisation of capital", "creation of surplus-value" or "self-expansion of capital" or "increase in value".[1]
In German, the general meaning of "Verwertung" is the productive use of a resource, and more specifically the use or application of something (an object, process or activity) so that it makes money, or generates value, with the connotation that the thing validates itself and proves its worth when it results in earnings, a yield. Thus, something is "valorised" if it has yielded its value (which could be use-value or exchange-value). Similarly, Marx's specific concept refers both to the process whereby a capital value is conferred or bestowed on something, and to the increase in the value of a capital asset, within the sphere of production.
In modern translations of Marx's economic writings, such as the Penguin edition of Capital and the English Marx-Engels Collected Works, the term valorisation (as in French) is preferred because it is recognized that it denotes a highly specific economic concept, i.e., a term with a technical meaning.
Note: "Valorisation" is nowadays also a term used in the vocational training community, in academia and in project management. In this sense, it refers to getting the maximum value and usefulness out of education programmes and managed projects, by generalizing what has been learnt from the specialist experiences to other, related fields. In this modern sense of the word, the European Commission defines the term as "a process of exploiting project learning and outcomes (training products and processes, methodology, course materials etc.) with a view to optimising their value and impact in existing and new contexts (target groups, companies, sectors, training institutions and systems etc.).[2] This meaning is unrelated to Marx's concept, other than the reference to making the best use of an activity or getting the best value out of it for all concerned. The modern meaning relates not to capital, but to spreading the benefits of upskilling.

Using Format