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Faculty of Philosophy


Uxbridge Dictionary of Philosophy

Hugh Mellor

Uxbridge Dictionary of Philosophy

This dictionary, an illegitimate but fertile offspring of the

Uxbridge English Dictionary
and the
Philosophical Lexicon,
was started by Anthony Gottlieb, author of
The Dream of Reason (Penguin 2001) and The Dream of Enlightenment (Penguin 2016).
Suggestions for new entries should be sent to Hugh Mellor.

A fortiori: There are at least 40 papers on this already
A posteriori: He is talking out of his arse
A priori: Someone already said that
Abstraction: Stretching stomach muscles
Accidental property: Windfall
Aesthetic: Pain-inducing
Argumentum ad baculum: Back-stabbing
B-theory of time: Time is honey
Bad company objection: 'That's what they say'
Canonical form: Clergyman's track record
Chinese Room: Restaurant with effective but uncomprehending waiters
Chinese Room Argument: Dispute in a Chinese Room (q.v.)
Contingent proposition: Unnecessary remark
Converse: Prisoners' poetry
Copula: Small policewoman
Demiurge: Weak inclination
Determinist: Ambitious colleague
Disposition: Here (see also 'dat-position')

Dualist: Disputatious
Endurantist: Patient listener
Entailment: What Manx cats envy
Error theory: Your theory
Ex post facto: The proof is in the mail
Existential import: Cheap foreign philosophy
Extensional operator: Masseur
Extensionally adequate: Stinks but otherwise OK
External relation: Foreign family member
Fallacy: Male-dominated
Fictionalist: Liar
Formal ontology: Black tie metaphysics
Framework: Conceptual zimmer frame
Genidentity: Jennifer's essence
Goedel's Theorem: 'Every system of truths contains at least one misrepresented by popularisers'
Heterological: Preferring the other truth-value
Idealist: String of suggestions
Internal relation: Embryo
Intuition: Under instruction
Material conditional: A device for drawing material conclusions from immaterial premises
Mentalese: Dualist painkiller
Metaphysics: Just encountered a branch of science
Monist: Philosophical whinger
Naturalist: Bare particular
One over many: Head of Department
Ontic vagueness: Indeterminate credit
Ontological commitment: Longevity
Ostrich nominalist: Exotic meat menu
Overdetermined: Tries too hard
Paradox: Military airports
Physicalist: Muscular naturalist (q.v.)
Presentist: Generous gift-giver
Property dualism: 'What's yours is mine'
Propositional calculus: The science of pick-up lines
Reductionist: Administrator
Second order desire: Wish for a refill
Semantics: Sea-going parasites
Specious present: Gift-horse
Sorites Paradox: 'Philosophers never lose enough hair to become bald'
Supervenience: Large toilet
Surprise Test Paradox: Students are never ready for the exam
Theodicy: Companion piece to Theiliad
Third Man Argument: I can't see what's wrong with this, but X can
Thomist: Bibliophile
Transcendental Argument: Enables philosophers to endure the toothache
Transworld identity: Frequent flyer number
Two-place relation: Family member with a second home
Universalist: Academic poet

Updated 10 September 2019