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Encyclopedia > The Absolute

The Absolute is the totality of things, all that is, whether it has been discovered or not. It is usually conceived of as a unitary of the external Kosmos and internal spiritual conscious — at least insofar as it can be acknowledged by the human mind — and as intelligible. In some varieties of philosophy, The Absolute describes an ultimate being. It contrasts with finite things, considered individually. Look up one in Wiktionary, the free dictionary 1 (one) is a number, numeral, and glyph. ... For other uses of the word, see cosmos (disambiguation) The cosmos is the universe, especially when thought of as an orderly or harmonious system. ... Spirituality is, in a broad sense, a concern with matters of the spirit, but it is also a wide term with many available readings. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... The Greek word λόγος or logos is a word with various meanings but which is often translated into English as word but can also mean thought, speech, reason, principle, standard, or logic among other things. ... Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. ... A being, in the most general sense, is anything that is alive. ...

Heraclitus concerned himself with the knowable portion of the Absolute with his Logos. Plotinus, a Neo-Platonic philosopher, saw all forms of existence as emanating from "The All". The concept of the Absolute was re-introduced into philosophy by Hegel, Schelling, and their followers; it is associated with various forms of philosophical idealism. The Absolute, either under that name, or as the "Ground of Being," the "Uncaused First Cause," or some similar concept, also figures in several of the attempted proofs of the existence of God, particularly the ontological argument and the cosmological argument. Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek Herakleitos) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure, was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Ephesus in Asia Minor. ... The Greek word λόγος or logos is a word with various meanings but which is often translated into English as word but can also mean thought, speech, reason, principle, standard, or logic among other things. ... Plotinus Plotinus (ca. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is an ancient school of philosophy beginning in the 3rd century A.D. It was based on the teachings of Plato and Platonists; but it interpreted Plato in many new ways, such that Neoplatonism was quite different from what Plato taught, though not many Neoplatonists would... G.W.F. Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (January 27, 1775 - August 20, 1854) was a German philosopher. ... In general parlance, idealism or idealist is also used to describe a person having high ideals, sometimes with the connotation that those ideals are unrealisable or at odds with practical life. ... This article is in the process of being merged with Arguments against the existence of God. ... In theology and the philosophy of religion, an ontological argument for the existence of God is an argument that Gods existence can be proved a priori, that is, by intuition and reason alone. ... The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God. ...

The concept was adopted into neo-Hegelian British idealism (though without Hegel's complex logical and dialectical apparatus), where it received an almost mystical exposition at the hands of F.H. Bradley. Bradley (followed by others including Timothy L.S. Sprigge) conceived the Absolute as a single all-encompassing experience, rather along the lines of Shankara and Advaita Vedanta. Likewise, Josiah Royce in the United States conceived the Absolute as a unitary Knower Whose experience constitutes what we know as the "external" world. British idealism was a philosophical movement that was influential in Britain during the mid to late nineteenth century and the early days of the twentieth century. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος (logos), originally meaning the word, or what is spoken, but coming to mean thought or reason) is most often said to be the study of arguments, although the exact definition of logic is a matter of controversy amongst philosophers (see below). ... Broadly speaking, a dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a disagreement. ... Mysticism (ancient Greek mysticon = secret) is meditation, prayer, or theology focused on the direct experience of union with divinity, God, or Ultimate Reality, or the belief that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge. ... Francis Herbert Bradley (30 January 1846 - 18 September 1924) was a British philosopher. ... Timothy L.S. Sprigge (1932- ) is a British idealist philosopher who has spent most of his career at the University of Edinburgh. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... Advaita Vedanta is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. ... Josiah Royce (1855-11-20 - 1916-09-14) was an American objective idealist philosopher. ...

Recently, certain philosophers have attempted to reconceive Christianity as a Gnostic religion (see Mary Magdalene). Here "The Absolute" is referred to as "The All." A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers. ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge) that only a few possess. ... Mary Magdalene is described, both in the canonical New Testament and in the New Testament apocrypha, as a devoted disciple of Jesus. ...

The concept need not be taken to imply a universal unitary consciousness, however. American philosopher Brand Blanshard, for example, conceived the Absolute as a single overarching intelligible system but declined to characterize it in terms of consciousness or experience. Brand Blanshard (1892-1987) was an American philosopher known primarily for his defense of reason. ...

See also

The Absolute Infinite is Georg Cantors concept of an infinity that transcended the transfinite numbers. ... The cosmos is thought of as an orderly or harmonious system. ... Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. ... The Ultimate is a general term embracing the concept of an ultimate supernatural reality which transcends material reality and from which, according to a broad spectrum of Eastern philosophies and religions, material reality derives. ... The deepest visible-light image of the cosmos. ... Ken Wilber Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Absolutism (1014 words)
Absolutism was represented here as a consequence of the Enlightenment's replacement of Christianity as the commonly agreed source of rights by the concept of enlightened natural law.
Absolutism was also believed to be a consequence of the rise of the modern centraliz ed state since the 16th century and the destruction of the Medieval civil order based on clear hierarchies and estates.
Especially after Hegel's representation of the state as an appearance of the "absolute," the historical era of absolute monarchy was regarded as an early form of the modern state.
Absolutism - LoveToKnow 1911 (160 words)
ABSOLUTISM, in aesthetics, a term applied to the theory that beauty is an objective attribute of things, not merely a subjective feeling of pleasure in him who perceives.
The fact that, in practice, the judgments even of connoisseurs are perpetually at variance, and that the so-called criteria of one place or period are more or less opposed to those of all others, is explained away by the hypothesis that individuals are differently gifted in respect of the capacity to appreciate.
(See Aesthetics.) In political philosophy absolutism, as opposed to constitutional government, is the despotic rule of a sovereign unrestrained by laws and based directly upon force.
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