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Abductive reasoning (also called abduction, abductive inference, or retroduction) is a form of logical inference formulated and advanced by American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce beginning in the last third of the 19th century. It starts with an observation or set of observations and then seeks to find the simplest and most likely conclusion from the observations. This process, unlike deductive reasoning, yields a plausible conclusion but does not positively verify it. Abductive conclusions are thus qualified as having a remnant of uncertainty or doubt, which is expressed in retreat terms such as “best available” or “most likely”. One can understand abductive reasoning as inference to the best explanation, although not all usages of the terms abduction and inference to the best explanation are exactly equivalent.
Active listening is a technique of careful listening and observation of non-verbal cues, with feedback in the form of accurate paraphrasing, that is used in counseling, training, and solving disputes or conflicts. It requires the listener to pay attention, understand, respond and remember what is being said in the context of intonation, timing, and non-verbal cues (body language). This differs from other listening techniques like reflective listening and empathic listening.
Reflective listening is a communication strategy involving seeking to understand a speaker’s idea, then offering the idea back to the speaker, to confirm the idea has been understood correctly. Empathic listening is about giving people an outlet for their emotions before being able to be more open, sharing experiences and being able to accept new perspectives on troubled topics that cause emotional suffering. Listening skills may establish flow rather than closed mindedness.
Admiration is a social emotion felt by observing people of competence, talent, or skill exceeding standards. Admiration facilitates social learning in groups. Admiration motivates self-improvement through learning from role-models.
Sara Algoe and Jonathan Haidt include admiration in the category of other-praising emotions, alongside awe, elevation, and gratitude. They propose that admiration is the emotion we feel towards non-moral excellence (i.e., witnessing an act of excellent skill), while elevation is the emotion we feel towards moral excellence (i.e., witnessing someone perform an act of exceeding virtue). Other authors term both these emotions as admiration, distinguishing between admiration for skill and admiration for virtue. Richard Smith categorises admiration as an other-focused assimilative emotion, leading people to aspire to be like (assimilate to) those they admire. He contrasts admiration with envy (an other-focused contrastive emotion), proposing that envy leads us to feel frustrated about the competence of others, while admiration is uplifting and motivating.
Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. “Aerobic” means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time. What is generally called aerobic exercise might be better termed “solely aerobic”, because it is designed to be low-intensity enough so that all carbohydrates are aerobically turned into energy. When practiced in this way, examples of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise are medium to long distance running or jogging, swimming, cycling, and walking.
Aesthetics, or esthetics (/ɛsˈθɛtɪks, iːs-, æs-/), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines subjective and sensori-emotional values, or sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.
Aesthetics covers both natural and artificial sources of aesthetic experience and judgment. It considers what happens in our minds when we engage with aesthetic objects or environments such as in viewing visual art, listening to music, reading poetry, experiencing a play, exploring nature, and so on. The philosophy of art specifically studies how artists imagine, create, and perform works of art, as well as how people use, enjoy, and criticize their art. It deals with how one feels about art in general, why they like some works of art and not others, and how art can affect our moods or even our beliefs. Both aesthetics generally and philosophy of art especially ask questions like “What is art?,” “What is a work of art?,” and “What makes good art?”
Scholars in the field have defined aesthetics as “critical reflection on art, culture and nature”. In modern English, the term “aesthetic” can also refer to a set of principles underlying the works of a particular art movement or theory (one speaks, for example, of a Renaissance aesthetic).
Affect, in psychology, refers to the underlying affective experience of feeling, emotion or mood.
Affection or fondness is a “disposition or state of mind or body” that is often associated with a feeling or type of love. It has given rise to a number of branches of philosophy and psychology concerning emotion, disease, influence, and state of being. “Affection” is popularly used to denote a feeling or type of love, amounting to more than goodwill or friendship. Writers on ethics generally use the word to refer to distinct states of feeling, both lasting and spasmodic. Some contrast it with passion as being free from the distinctively sensual element.
Even a very simple demonstration of affection can have a broad variety of emotional reactions, from embarrassment, to disgust, pleasure, and annoyance. It also has a different physical effect on the giver and the receiver.
Affective computing is the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science. While some core ideas in the field may be traced as far back as to early philosophical inquiries into emotion, the more modern branch of computer science originated with Rosalind Picard’s 1995 paper on affective computing and her book Affective Computing published by MIT Press. One of the motivations for the research is the ability to give machines emotional intelligence, including to simulate empathy. The machine should interpret the emotional state of humans and adapt its behavior to them, giving an appropriate response to those emotions.
Affective neuroscience is the study of the neural mechanisms of emotion. This interdisciplinary field combines neuroscience with the psychological study of personality, emotion, and mood. The putative existence of ‘basic emotions’ and their defining attributes represents a long lasting and yet unsettled issue in psychology.
Affective neuroscience developed at a time when cognitive neuroscience focused on non-emotional cognition, such as attention or memory. It might be called the cognitive neuroscience of emotions.
Affective science is the scientific study of emotion or affect. This includes the study of emotion elicitation, emotional experience and the recognition of emotions in others. Of particular relevance are the nature of feeling, mood, emotionally-driven behaviour, decision-making, attention and self-regulation, as well as the underlying physiology and neuroscience of the emotions.
Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture.
Alertness is the state of active attention by high sensory awareness such as being watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency, or being quick to perceive and act. It is related to psychology as well as to physiology. A lack of alertness is a symptom of a number of conditions, including narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, Addison’s disease, or sleep deprivation. Pronounced lack of alertness can be graded as an altered level of consciousness. The word is formed from “alert”, which comes from the Italian “all’erta” (on the watch, literally, on the height; 1618)
Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings or other animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of “others” toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. In an extreme case, altruism may become a synonym of selflessness, which is the opposite of selfishness.
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Amusement, from the old French à muser – to put into a stupid stare, is the state of experiencing humorous and entertaining events or situations while the person or animal actively maintains the experience, and is associated with enjoyment, happiness, laughter and pleasure. It is an emotion with positive valence and high physiological arousal. Amusement is considered an “epistemological” emotion because humor occurs when one experiences a cognitive shift from one knowledge structure about a target to another, such as hearing the punchline of a joke. The pleasant surprise that happens from learning this new information leads to a state of amusement which people often express through smiling, laughter or chuckling.
Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.
A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion which triggers part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force. The English term originally comes from the term anger of Old Norse language.
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Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 micrometres (0.00033 in) to 33.6 metres (110 ft). They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The kingdom Animalia includes humans. The scientific study of nonhuman animals is known as zoology.
Animal cognition encompasses the mental capacities of non-human animals. The study of animal conditioning and learning used in this field was developed from comparative psychology. It has also been strongly influenced by research in ethology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary psychology; the alternative name cognitive ethology is sometimes used. Many behaviors associated with the term animal intelligence are also subsumed within animal cognition.
Researchers have examined animal cognition in mammals (especially primates, cetaceans, elephants, dogs, cats, pigs, horses, cattle, raccoons, and rodents), birds (including parrots, fowl, corvids, and pigeons), reptiles (lizards, snakes, and turtles), fish and invertebrates (including cephalopods, spiders, and insects).
Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, and societies, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of behaviour, while cultural anthropology studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. Linguistic anthropology studies how language influences social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans. Visual anthropology, which is usually considered to be a part of social anthropology, can mean both ethnographic film (where photography, film, and new media are used for study) as well as the study of “visuals”, including art, visual images, cinema etc. Oxford Bibliographies describes visual anthropology as “the anthropological study of the visual and the visual study of the anthropological”.
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Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. It includes subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events.
Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and worry, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration. Anxiety is closely related to fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat; anxiety involves the expectation of future threat. People facing anxiety may withdraw from situations which have provoked anxiety in the past.
Anxiety disorders differ from developmentally normative fear or anxiety by being excessive or persisting beyond developmentally appropriate periods. They differ from transient fear or anxiety, often stress-induced, by being persistent (e.g., typically lasting 6 months or more), although the criterion for duration is intended as a general guide with allowance for some degree of flexibility and is sometimes of shorter duration in children.
Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern about something. It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, virtual, or physical life and the world.
Appetite is the desire to eat food, sometimes due to hunger. Appealing foods can stimulate appetite even when hunger is absent, although appetite can be greatly reduced by satiety. Appetite exists in all higher life-forms, and serves to regulate adequate energy intake to maintain metabolic needs. It is regulated by a close interplay between the digestive tract, adipose tissue and the brain. Appetite has a relationship with every individual’s behavior. Appetitive behaviour also known as approach behaviour, and consummatory behaviour, are the only processes that involve energy intake, whereas all other behaviours affect the release of energy. When stressed, appetite levels may increase and result in an increase of food intake. Decreased desire to eat is termed anorexia, while polyphagia (or “hyperphagia”) is increased eating. Dysregulation of appetite contributes to anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, cachexia, overeating, and binge eating disorder.
The concept of an archetype (/ˈɑːrkɪtaɪp/; from Greek: ἄρχω, árkhō, ‘to begin’ + τῠ́πος, túpos, ‘sort, type’) appears in areas relating to behavior, historical psychology, and literary analysis. An archetype can be:
a statement, pattern of behavior, prototype, “first” form, or a main model that other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy, emulate, or “merge” into. Informal synonyms frequently used for this definition include “standard example,” “basic example,” and the longer-form “archetypal example;” mathematical archetypes often appear as “canonical examples.”
the Platonic concept of pure form, believed to embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing.
a collectively-inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., that is universally present, in individual psyches, as in Jungian psychology
a constantly-recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, or mythology. This definition refers to the recurrence of characters or ideas sharing similar traits throughout various, seemingly unrelated cases in classic storytelling, media, etc. This usage of the term draws from both comparative anthropology and from Jungian archetypal theory.
Archetypes are also very close analogies to instincts, in that, long before any consciousness develops, it is the impersonal and inherited traits of human beings that present and motivate human behavior. They also continue to influence feelings and behavior even after some degree of consciousness developed later on.
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Architectural engineering, also known as building engineering or architecture engineering, is an engineering discipline that deals with the technological aspects and multi-disciplinary approach to planning, design, construction and operation of buildings, such as analysis and integrated design of environmental systems (energy conservation, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, fire protection, acoustics, vertical and horizontal transportation, electrical power systems), structural systems, behavior and properties of building components and materials, and construction management.
Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. Other activities related to the production of works of art include the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art. The three classical branches of art are painting, sculpture and architecture. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences. In modern usage after the 17th century, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.
Artificial general intelligence
Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the hypothetical ability of an intelligent agent to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can. It is a primary goal of some artificial intelligence research and a common topic in science fiction and futures studies. AGI can also be referred to as strong AI, full AI, or general intelligent action. Some academic sources reserve the term “strong AI” for computer programs that can experience sentience, self-awareness and consciousness. Today’s AI is speculated to be decades away from AGI.
In contrast to strong AI, weak AI (also called narrow AI) is not intended to perform human-like cognitive abilities and personality; rather, weak AI is limited to the use of software to study or accomplish specific pre-learned problem solving or reasoning tasks (expert systems).
As of 2017, over forty organizations are actively researching AGI.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, unlike the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals, which involves consciousness and emotionality. The distinction between the former and the latter categories is often revealed by the acronym chosen. ‘Strong’ AI is usually labelled as artificial general intelligence (AGI) while attempts to emulate ‘natural’ intelligence have been called artificial biological intelligence (ABI). Leading AI textbooks define the field as the study of “intelligent agents”: any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is often used to describe machines that mimic “cognitive” functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.
As machines become increasingly capable, tasks considered to require “intelligence” are often removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect. A quip in Tesler’s Theorem says “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.” For instance, optical character recognition is frequently excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology. Modern machine capabilities generally classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic game systems (such as chess and Go), and also imperfect-information games like poker, self-driving cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks, and military simulations.
An artisan (from French: artisan, Italian: artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative art, sculpture, clothing, food items, household items and tools and mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.
An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse refers to a practitioner in the visual arts only. However, the term is also often used in the entertainment business, especially in a business context, for musicians and other performers (although less often for actors). “Artiste” (the French for artist) is a variant used in English in this context, but this use has become rare. Use of the term “artist” to describe writers is valid, but less common, and mostly restricted to contexts like that used in criticism.
Astronomy (from Greek: ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain their origin and evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets. Relevant phenomena include supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, quasars, blazars, pulsars, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, astronomy studies everything that originates outside Earth’s atmosphere. Cosmology is a branch of astronomy that studies the universe as a whole.
Attachment theory is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans. The most important tenet is that young children need to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for normal social and emotional development. The theory was formulated by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby.
Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether considered subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. It is a state of arousal. As William James (1890) wrote, “[Attention] is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration, of consciousness are of its essence.” Attention has also been described as the allocation of limited cognitive processing resources.
In psychology, attitude is a psychological construct, a mental and emotional entity that inheres in, or characterizes a person. They are complex and are an acquired state through experiences. It is an individual’s predisposed state of mind regarding a value and it is precipitated through a responsive expression towards oneself, a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object) which in turn influences the individual’s thought and action. Prominent psychologist Gordon Allport described this latent psychological construct as “the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology.” Attitude can be formed from a person’s past and present. Key topics in the study of attitudes include attitude strength, attitude change, consumer behavior, and attitude-behavior relationships.
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The auditory system is the sensory system for the sense of hearing. It includes both the sensory organs (the ears) and the auditory parts of the sensory system.
In the fields of sociology and political science, authority is the legitimate power that a person or a group of persons consensually possess and practice over other people. In a civil state, authority is made formal by way of a judicial branch and an executive branch of government.
In the exercise of governance, the terms authority and power are inaccurate synonyms. The term authority identifies the political legitimacy, which grants and justifies the ruler’s right to exercise the power of government; and the term power identifies the ability to accomplish an authorized goal, either by compliance or by obedience; hence, authority is the power to make decisions and the legitimacy to make such legal decisions and order their execution.
Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) or self-education (also self-learning and self-teaching) is education without the guidance of masters (such as teachers and professors) or institutions (such as schools). Generally, autodidacts are individuals who choose the subject they will study, their studying material, and the studying rhythm and time. Autodidacts may or may not have formal education, and their study may be either a complement or an alternative to formal education. Many notable contributions have been made by autodidacts.
Awe is an emotion comparable to wonder but less joyous. On Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions awe is modeled as a combination of surprise and fear.
One dictionary definition is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures.” Another dictionary definition is a “mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might: We felt awe when contemplating the works of Bach. The observers were in awe of the destructive power of the new weapon.”
In general, awe is directed at objects considered to be more powerful than the subject, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Grand Canyon, the vastness of the cosmos, or God.
Axiology (from Greek ἀξία, axia, “value, worth”; and -λογία, -logia) is the philosophical study of value. It is either the collective term for ethics and aesthetics, philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields, and thus similar to value theory and meta-ethics. The term was first used by Paul Lapie, in 1902, and Eduard von Hartmann, in 1908. Axiology studies mainly two kinds of values: ethics and aesthetics. Ethics investigates the concepts of “right” and “good” in individual and social conduct. Aesthetics studies the concepts of “beauty” and “harmony.” Formal axiology, the attempt to lay out principles regarding value with mathematical rigor, is exemplified by Robert S. Hartman’s science of value.