Friday, February 18, 2005

Philosophical Lexicon

Thanks to Tony Flood for pointing out that Daniel Dennett's Philosophical Lexicon is online. To be booked under HUMOR on my sidebar.


alvinize, v. To stimulate protracted discussion by making a bizarre claim. "His contention that natural evil is due to Satanic agency alvinized his listeners."

anscombe, v. (1) To gather for safe-keeping. "She anscombed with all the notes and letters." (2) To go over carefully, with a fine-tooth comb, in an oblique direction.

armstrong unit, n. Measure of the wavelength of belief (= 10 micro-smarts).

a rortiori, adj. For even more obscure and fashionable Continental reasons.

arthurdantist, n. One who straightens the teeth of exotic dogmas. "Little Friedrich used to say the most wonderful things before we took him to the arthurdantist!" - Frau Nietzsche

assearltion, n. A speech act whose illocutionary force is identical with the speaker. "He assearled himself across the room."

austintatious, adj. Displaying in a fine sense the niceties of the language. "I'm not sure what his point was, but his presentation was certainly austintatious."

ayer, v. (from Spanish, ayer, meaning yesterday) To oversimplify elegantly in the direction of a past generation. "Russell, in the Analysis of Mind, ayers a behaviorist account of belief."

bahm, v. To devastate with reprints. "He bahmed the country with his latest piece."

bergson, n. A mountain of sound, a "buzzing, blooming confusion".

blanshard, v. To turn deathly pale at the sight of an external relation.

TRIVIA QUESTION FROM BV: One of these 'daffynitions' is based on the name of a philosopher who was the teacher of Edward 'Cactus Ed' Abbey when the latter was an M.A. student of philosophy. Who was the name of that philosopher?