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Horkheimer, Max (1895-1973)

German philosopher. Co-founder (with Adorno and Marcuse) of the Frankfurt School, Horkheimer proposed unification of abstract philosophy with social science in the practice of critical theory in Dialektik der Aufklärung (Dialectic of Enlightenment) (1947). Zur Kritik der instrumentellen Vernunft (Critique of Instrumental Reason) (1967), Eclipse of Reason (1974), and other late writings express Horkheimer's growing pessimism about the possibility of genuine progress.

Recommended Reading: Max Horkheimer, Between Philosophy and Social Science: Selected Early Writings, tr. by G. Frederick Hunter, Matthew S. Kramer, and John Torpey (MIT, 1995); Max Horkheimer, Critical Theory, tr. by Mathew J. O'Connell (Continuum, 1975); and Max Horkheimer: A Bibliography, ed. by Joan Nordquist (Ref. & Res. Serv., 1990).

Also see Douglas Kellner, SEP, EB, and Susana Raquel Barbosa.

Horney, Karen (1885-1952)

German-American psychoanalyst who emphasized the role of social conditions in the formation of personality. In New Ways in Psychoanalysis (1939), Horney showed that Freud's notion of "penis envy" is a misrepresentation of female psychology, generated in fact by phallocentric resentment of women. Horney was also the author of Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis (1945), Self-Analysis (1947), and Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization (1950).

Recommended Reading: Karen Horney, The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (Norton, 1994); Karen Horney, Feminine Psychology (Norton, 1993); The Unknown Karen Horney: Essays on Gender, Culture, and Psychoanalysis, tr. Bernard J. Paris (Yale, 2000); and Bernard J. Paris, Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst's Search for Self-Understanding (Yale, 1994).

Also see C. George Boeree, and EB.

υλη [hylê]

Greek term for wood or forest; hence, in the philosophy of Aristotle, the term is used for matter considered more generally. Among the four causes, ‘υλη is the material cause that underlies any sort of substantial change.

Recommended Reading: F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967).

Also see PP.


Belief that individual human beings are the fundamental source of all value and have the ability to understand—and perhaps even to control—the natural world by careful application of their own rational faculties. During the Renaissance, humanists such as Bruno, Erasmus, Valla, and Pico della Mirandola helped shift attention away from arcane theological disputes toward more productive avenues of classical study and natural science.

Recommended Reading: The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism, ed. by Jill Kraye (Cambridge, 1996); Impact of Humanism, ed. by Lucille Kekewich (Yale, 2000); Rebecca W. Bushnell, A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in Theory and Practice (Cornell, 1996); and John C. Olin, Erasmus, Utopia, and the Jesuits: Essays on the Outreach of Humanism (Fordham, 1994).

Also see IEP, SEP, EB, ISM, and Austria-Forum.

Hume, David (1711-1776)

Scottish philosopher who rigorously pursued the methods and principles of Locke and Bayle in order to show the skeptical consequences of empiricism and to propose that much of human belief and conduct rests upon custom or habit.

For a discussion of his life and works, see Hume.

Husserl, Edmund Gustav Albrecht (1859-1938)

German philosopher. Student of Brentano and teacher of Heidegger, Husserl pursued the development of phenomenology as a pure investigation into the nature and content of consciousness in Logische Untersuchungen (Logical Investigations) (1901-13) vol. 1 and vol. 2. This pursuit requires that we 'bracket' our natural beliefs in order to understand their structural sources. Husserl described his methods in Pure Phenomenology, Its Method and Its Field of Investigation (1917), his inagural lecture at Freiburg. As Husserl made clear in Meditations Cartésiennes (Cartesian Meditations) (1931), only the transcendental self thus remains as both the agent and the object of phenomenological study.

Recommended Reading: The Essential Husserl: Basic Writings in Transcendental Phenomenology, ed. by Donn Welton (Indiana, 1999); The Shorter Logical Investigations, abridged by Dermot Moran (Routledge, 2001); Joseph J. Kockelmans, Edmund Husserl's Phenomenology (Purdue, 1994); The Cambridge Companion to Husserl, ed. by Barry Smith and David Woodruff Smith (Cambridge, 1995); Leonard Lawlor, Derrida and Husserl: The Basic Problem of Phenomenology (Indiana, 2002); Marcus Brainard, Belief and its Neutralization: Husserl's System of Phenomenology in Ideas I (SUNY, 2002); Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Husserl at the Limits of Phenomenology, ed. by Leonard Lawlor with Bettina Bergo (Northwestern, 2002); Stanley Rosen, The Elusiveness of the Ordinary: Studies in the Possibility of Philosophy (Yale, 2002); Steven Galt Crowell, Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning: Paths toward Transcendental Phenomenology (Northwestern, 2001); Paul S. MacDonald, Descartes and Husserl: The Philosophical Project of Radical Beginnings (SUNY, 1999); and Victor Velarde, On Husserl (Wadsworth, 1999).

Also see IEP, SEP, Christopher Scott Wyatt, EB, ELC, and Andy Blunden.

Hutcheson, Francis (1694-1746)

Scottish philosopher. In his Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virue (1725), An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections with Illustrations on the Moral Sense (1728), and A System of Moral Philosophy (1755), Hutcheson introduced the notion of a "moral sense" by means of which we not only recognize the rectitude of particular actions but are also motivated to perform them, together with a formulation of the greatest happiness principle. These conceptions, also developed (in different directions) by Butler, Hume, and Bentham, became staples of British moral philosophy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His later work included a set of Remarks (1750) on Mandeville's Fable of the Bees.

Recommended Reading: Francis Hutcheson, Philosophical Writings, ed. by R. S. Downie (Everyman, 1994); William R. Scott, Francis Hutcheson: His Life, Teaching and Position in the History of Philosophy (Thoemmes, 1998); and Thomas Duddy, A History of Irish Thought (Routledge, 2002).

Also see Steven Darwall and EB.


Aristotle's theory that natural objects are irreducible composites of matter {Gk. ‘υλη [hyle]} and form {Gk. μορφη [morphê]}.

Recommended Reading: Aristotle, The Physics: Books I-IV, tr. by Philip H. Wicksteed and Francis M. Cornford (Harvard, 1986).

Also see EB and Abraham P. Bos.

Hypatia (370-415)

Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. Hypatia was a popular teacher and head of the neoplatonic philosophical community at Alexandria until her torture and death at the hands of a clergy-led Christian mob. The Alexandrian intellectual community declined significantly after her death.

Recommended Reading: Maria Dzielska, Hypatia of Alexandria (Harvard, 1996) and Charles Kingsley, Hypatia (Dent, 1968).

Also see David Fideler, ELC, EB, and MMT.


The variety of reification that results from supposing that whatever can be named or conceived abstractly must actually exist. When (in Through the Looking Glass) his Messenger declares "I'm sure nobody walks much faster than I do," the White King hypostasizes "Nobody" by responding that "He can't do that, or else he'd have been here first." Such philosophers as Plato, Hegel, and Heidegger are sometimes accused of similar flights of ontological whimsy.


A general principle, tentatively put forward for the purposes of scientific explanation and subject to disconfirmation by empirical evidence. For a more detailed discussion, see Logic.

Recommended Reading: Karl R. Popper, Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge, 1992); Henri Poincare, Science and Hypothesis (Dover, 1952); Errol E. Harris, Hypothesis and Perception: The Roots of Scientific Method (Prometheus, 1996); Larry Laudan, Science and Hypothesis: Historical Essays on Scientific Methodology (Reidel, 1982); David Weissman, Hypothesis and the Spiral of Reflection (SUNY, 1989); and Peter Achinstein and Owen Hannaway, Observation, Experiment, and Hypothesis in Modern Physical Science (MIT, 1985).

Also see EB.

hypothetical imperative

A conditional moral demand; see categorical / hypothetical imperative.

Hypothetical Syllogism (H.S.)

A rule of inference of the form:

	p ⊃ q

	q ⊃ r

	p ⊃ r

Example: "If Debbie is promoted, then Gene will be, too. But if Gene is promoted, then Kim will be angry. Therefore, if Debbie is promoted, then Kim will be angry."

A truth-table shows the validity of this inference.


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