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(4,124 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
A. Concept and Problems This article does not deal with tolerance in the religious sense (see Religious Freedom) or with the juridical problems of tolerance in civil law or with the history of tolerance as it has in fact been. It is concerned with the problem of tolerance in social philosophy. For in spite of the claim to objectivity which every well-founded, judgment must put forward, there is and has been a bewildering juxtaposition of claims to truth, which conflict with or exclude each other. The philosophic…

Society - Public Opinion

(2,100 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. The concept, a) The concept of public opinion derives from the socio-political sphere and denotes the process as well as the result of the formation of opinions and attitudes on the part of the general public. It is expressed formally in certain constitutive acts (e.g., by means of elections), informally in special groupings (e.g., pressure groups) and, in the mass media, partly formally and partly informally. The objective ch…


(2,266 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
1. Concept and problems. The term, ideology first appears in the discussions carried on by the French Enlightenment with Napoleon Bonaparte. The “Idéologues” were looked on by the political reactionaries as unworldly doctrinaires. But the general view is that “ideology” has a history going back as far as Bacon. It is still hardly possible to give a strict definition of ideology. The term is used in many ways — from the popular way of identifying ideology with programmed lying, the sceptical treatme…

Marxism - System and History

(2,523 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
Part of Marxism: 1. System and History 2. Dialectical Materialism 3. Historical Materialism 1. Concept and general problem, a) Marxism is the philosophical term used to describe not only Marx’s teaching but also the numerous additions, developments, revisions and immanent criticisms of that teaching. Marxism is thus a collective concept under which many individual Marxisms may be subsumed, although they differ from one another, sometimes even considerably. Thus the name Marxism-Leninism is given to the modificat…


(1,160 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
1. Concept. The term “scepticism” in its classical sense comes from σϰέπτομαι, “to inspect”. One may distinguish between total (radical, absolute) scepticism and partial (moderate, relative) scepticism, the latter appearing as religious, ethical, aesthetic, etc., scepticism; there is also methodical scepticism or methodical doubt. 2. History. A partial scepticism appears in the West as early as the pre-Socratic philosophers (Xenophanes, Parmenides) and was built up to one of its first high-points by the Sophists, as a criticism of the naiv…


(1,437 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
1. This article is not a historical account, but an attempt at a formal definition of the persecution of Christians in its various aspects. 2. The first case of such a persecution, historically and typically, is the life of Christ himself. It is typical because the characteristic elements of a real persecution of Christians could never change thereafter, although of course the external circumstances have changed considerably in the course of history, so much so in fact that persecutions of Christians have taken place in the name of Christ himself. The persecution and execution of Chr…

Anthropomorphism - Biblical

(671 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
Part of Anthropomorphism: 1. Philosophical 2. Biblical Human attributes are often ascribed to Yahweh in the ОТ. He has hands, feet, eyes, lips, mouth, tongue, face, head, heart and inward parts, and is represented as a man (Exod 15:3; 22:19; Is 30:27; Ezek 1:26); be retains human traits even in prophetic visions (Is 6:1; Dan 7:9). This way of thinking of God is also characterized by the frequency with which human reactions are attributed to God: he laughs (Ps 2:4), is angry and whistles (Is5:25f.), sle…

Theory and Practice

(2,415 words)

Author(s): Werner Post
1. Concept and problems. The discussion of theory and practice is one of the primary themes of all philosophy. Since it examines the relation between idea and reality, word and deed, consciousness and being, concept and object, thought and action, purpose and history, the discussion of theory and practice could stand for philosophy itself. Where the relevance of theory to practice is denied in a radical scepticism or where they are merged in an undifferentiated identity, philosophy itself ceases to…

Religion - Concept of Religion

(10,460 words)

Author(s): Norbert Schiffers | Werner Post | Willi Oelmüller
Part of Religion: 1. Concept of Religion 2. Science of Religion 3. Theology of Religions A. Religion in General There can be no easy-going approach to the subject of religion today, above all if one considers it the quintessence of one’s relationship to God. The word religion seems to have fallen into discredit. But if one refuses to accept this devaluation, one must analyse the difficulties involved in the term and then offer philosophical and theological reasons for continuing to use it. 1 . The notion and its difficulties. The question of the theology of religion is now put expl…