On this page, I shall hence attempt to answer some of the questions related to the search terms directing people to this weblog. It can also be used as a(n incomplete) dictionary to some more or less technical terms I frequently use.
a priori and a posteriori or empirical
In a non-technical manner, ‘a priori’ simply means ‘from the previous’ or ‘from that which comes before’ and refers to reasoning (to a certain extent) independent of experience. It is usually contrasted with ‘a posteriori’ or ‘empirical’. The former means ‘from that which comes after’, the latter means ‘relating to experience’.
For further information see the entry ‘A Priori Justification and Knowledge’ in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/apriori/.
Written together, ‘ichbindaswortistich’ is my username on several platforms, sometimes shortened to ‘ichbindaswort’ (as on Twitter) because of a character limit. It is also, indeed, originally, the name of this very weblog: ‘Ich bin das Wort ist ich’. It consists of two German sentences, such that the end of the first sentence is the beginning of the second: ‘Ich bin das Wort’, meaning ‘I am the word’, and ‘Das Wort ist ich’, meaning ‘The word is I’.
A monocausal explanation is an (alleged) explanation of any phenomenon to be explained by referring to one and only one reason or cause, pretending that the very reason or cause can and does explain the respective phenomenon to be explained on its own. In the overwhelming majority of all cases, however, this kind of (alleged) explanation is completely insufficient to do what it is supposed to do.
Often, this mistake entails that of confusing correlation – the parallel occuring of two or more phenomena – with causation. That A and B occur simultaneously (in whatever sense), or shortly after one another, does not necessitate a causal relation between them: neither is A necessarily the cause of B, nor is B necessarily the cause of A. To give a concrete example, if I say, ‘It will start raining now’, and it starts raining the very moment I say it, the parallel occurence of these phenomena does not necessarily entail that my saying so is the reason for, or cause of, the rain starting to fall.
Notice that the difference between reason and cause is often subtle and not clear at all. Apparently, both concepts overlap each other at times, which I am not going to analyse in detail here, though.
Oxforddictionaries.com defines the term according to its historical routes as follows:
‘a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line’.
Etymologically, the term originates from old Greek ‘πατήρ’ (‘patér’) and entered the English language as well as other languages through the Latin ‘pater’, both words meaning ‘father’. A related term is old Greek ‘πάτρα’ (‘pátra’), Latin ‘patria’, both words meaning ‘fatherland’.
In both old Rome and the old Greek states, people gathered around the father as the central figure of society’s basic structure: the ‘οἶκος’, literally meaning ‘house’, later also including the entire house community, that is to say, father, mother, children, servants, and cattle. The father was the central and final authority in all matters concerning the οἶκος.
In our modern society, the term ‘patriarchy’ refers to the (important) remnants of this societal structure from antiquity. Oxforddictionaries.com correctly describes the modern meaning as:
‘a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it’.
In this modern sense, patriarchy often entails sexism. Accordingly, women (or females in general) are allegedly, not only traditionally, but ‘naturally’ inferior to men (or males in general). This prejudice survives, even though despite some significant biological differences, there have been and continue to be enough females with the same or even greater competences than males.