129 Most Important Literary Terms in Literary Criticism | You Need to Know

129 Most Important Literary Terms in Literary Criticism

Literary Terms in Literary Criticism

Table of Contents

For better understanding and clear idea on Literary criticism it is very essential to have a clear idea about a few important literary terms used extensively in English Literature. Given below are a list of 129 most important literary terms in literary criticism you should be familiarized.

  1. Aestheticism  

It is a doctrine which holds the beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard of art and life. It is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as “critical reflection of art culture and nature”. The word is derived from the Greek which means sensitive, perceptive and sentient. Aesthetic is for the artist as ornithology is for birds, says Barnett Newman.

  1. Modernism

Modernism refers to the broad movement in Western arts and literature that gathered pace from around 1850. It is characterized by a deliberate rejection of the styles of the past, emphasizing instead innovation and experimentations in forms, materials and techniques in order to create art works that could reflect modern society better. It rejected conservative, old values and techniques. It has also driven by various social and political agendas.

  1. Post-modernism

Post-modernism was a late 20 century movement in arts, literature and criticism. It was a departure from modernism. It included skeptical interpretations of culture, art, philosophy, history and literary criticism. It is associated with deconstruction and post structuralism.

  1. Colonialism/Post-colonialism

Colonialism is the establishment of exploitation, maintenance and expansion of colony by a political power. it is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony. Post-colonialism refers to a set of theories in philosophy and literature that grapple with the legacy of the colonial rule. Said and Spivak are major post-colonialist thinkers and literary theorists.

  1. Post-structuralism

Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of mid-20h century French and continental philosophers and critical theorists It is a response to structuralism. It argued that human culture can be understood by means of a structure. Post structuralism rejects the self-sufficiency of the structures. Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, Foucault are the major post-structuralists.

  1. Ambiguity

Ambiguity occurs when words carry double or more meanings. Figurative language is often ambiguous. William Empson in Seven Types of Ambiguity discusses ambiguities. Two meanings may be contradictory and show the division in the mind of the author. Verbal nuances bring about poetic richness but ambiguities must be avoided.

  1. Archetype

‘Arche’ means “primitive’ and ‘types’ means ‘form’. So, archetype is a primitive form. Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst used the term to characterize a pattern of plot or character racial memory. The voyage in The Rime of Ancient Mariner is an arche-type of spiritual journey of all. Jung said that primordial images lie in collective human consciousness, Northrop Frye discussed common archetypes in all literatures.

  1. Baroque

Baroque is an artistic style that used exaggerated motion and easily interpreted details to produce drama, sculpture painting. architecture, dance etc. It began around 1600 A.D. in Rome, Italy and spread in Europe. The word “baroque simply means that something is elaborate and detailed. It was used derogatively in the beginning to underline excess and redundancy. At present, it is used for ornate, complex and detailed works of art.

  1. Classicism

Classical is something that pertains to Greek or Roman antiquity. It conforms to ancient Greek and Roman models of art. It denotes restraint, order, symmetry and repose. It is valued on account of its traditions and antiquity. It is long-established, time-tested, eternally and universally appealing

  1. Collective Consciousness

This term is used in sociology and psychology. It refers to the knowledge and beliefs shared by all the members of a particular race, group of society. Humans are social animals. French sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the term in 19 century. He proposed that collective consciousness results from strong positive and negative pressure on the individual. Carl Jung proposed that there was collective unconscious in addition to collective consciousness. He said that archetypes are inherited rather than learned.

  1. Cubism

Cubism was one of the most influential art style of early 20th century. It was created by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and George Braque. It revolutionized European painting and sculpture. In Cubist art work, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint. The artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.

  1. Dadaism

It was a movement in art that started in 1914 during the Fort World War. The artists showed their disgust at the propaganda being spread and how the public accepted and propagated it. They displayed their disgust through disturbing images that depicted no definite object. Different media attempted to shock the readers/viewers

  1. Bildungsroman

In literary criticism, the term was used as the novel of education or culture. It is German word meaning “coming of age story. It is a literary genre that focuses on psychological or moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood.

  1. Bourgeois

The term is used in Marxist philosophy. The word bourgeoisie means the social class who owns the means of production and whose social concerns are the value of property and the preservation of capital, to ensure the perpetuation of the economic supremacy in the society. It refers to the quality of snobby-without realizing upper middle class sensibilities.

  1. Proletariat

It is posited with bourgeois as anti-thesis. Proletariat is a general working class that occupies the bottom tier of the society. It drives economy and produces real profit through its labour. They sell their labour in the workplace the owner get the lion’s share of profit.

  1. Dissociation of Sensibility

T.S. Eliot used the term dissociation of sensibility in his essay ‘The Metaphysical Poet.’ Donne and other metaphysical poets mingled thoughts with feelings. Donne produced feelings pregnant with intellectual touch. Eliot simply did not mean by sensibility, a feeling but synthetic faculty which can unite thought and feeling, which can fuse the disparate experiences into a single whole.

  1. Existentialism

Existentialism is a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining his/her own destiny, through an act of will. Existentialists stressed the fact that we are all free and responsible for what we can make of ourselves. This responsibility brings anguish and dread. Sartre and Kierkeguard were the pioneers of existentialist philosophy. It affected modern absurd literature and poetry

  1. Expressionism

It is a style of painting, music and drama in which the artist seeks to express emotional experience rather than the impressions of the external world. It departs from realism and naturalism. The highly personal visions communicated in the paintings of Van Gogh are examples of expressionism. It is a modernist movement that originated in Germany in the beginning of 20 century.

  1. Four Levels of Meaning

I.A. Richards in his book Practical Criticism (1926) discussed four kinds of meanings particularly in poetry. (a) Sense (2) feeling (3) tone (4) intention. The total meaning of the poem consists of the interplay of the four meanings which a reader should apprehend in order to appreciate a work of art.

  1. Imagism

It was a movement that took place in early 20 century English and American poetry that sought clarity of expression through the use of precise images. The movement derived in part from the aesthetic philosophy of T.E. Hulme and involved Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Amy Lowell and others. They emphasized on the use of common speech, new rhythms, unrestricted subject matter and clear and precise images

  1. Gothic

Gothic people were East Germanic tribe. In 18 century, it was used to define barbarous, uncouth and uncultured. Gradually, its meaning broadened to signify Teutonic or Germanic and then medieval in general. It applied to literature, architecture and other arts. Gothic fiction is a subgenre of literature that combines fiction, horror and romanticism. Horace Walpole wrote a novel The Caste of Otranto. Mary Shelley also wrote ‘Frankenstein.’ The works of E.A. Poe can also be classed as Gothic.

  1. Hellenism

Hellenism refers to ancient Greek culture or ideals. It can be defined as the national character of Greek culture and art. It also applies to the study of ancient Greek culture or its imitation. John Keats was profoundly influenced by Hellenism. He believed like the Greeks that beauty was synonymous with truth. Hellenism influenced the aesthetic movement of 18 and 19″ century England and Germany focusing on art for art’s sake.

  1. Historicism

Historicism is a mode of thinking that assigns major significance to a specific context, such as historical periods geographical place and local culture. Historicism also comprises of artistic styles that draw inspiration from recreating historic styles. This is especially prevalent in architecture. New historicism in literary criticism emphasises the historicity of a text by relating it to the configurations of power, society or ideology in a given time.

  1. Humanism

It is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or the supernatural. Humanists believe that man is at the centre of the universe. They believe in this world’ rather than the other world’. They emphasize common human needs, seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. The Renaissance movement revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought that focused on human welfare. They rejected otherworldliness’ and importance of a belief in God. They devoted themselves to the study of humanity.

  1. Gestalt Philosophy

Gestalt is a German word meaning form, figure or shape. It refers manner of literary composition. Herbert Read states: “Coleridge contends that in both prose and poetry, there is a characteristic construction what we should now (and what Schelling even then did) call a gestalt.

  1. Impressionism

It was a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860’s. It is characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and colour. It sought to recreate the artists or viewer’s general impression of a scene. It was applied to literature and films also.

  1. Judicial Criticism

It seeks to pronounce judgments on works of literature on the basis of certain rules. If a work is found to adhere to these rules, it is good. If not, it is condemned as worthless. Such rules were derived from ancient Greek and Roman masters. Dr. Johnson can be called the exponent of judicial criticism. 28. Mysticism: It is a constellation of distinctive practices, discourses, texts, institution and traditions aimed at human transformation. It is a belief that union with the absolute can be attained through contemplation or self-surrender. It is often characterized by self-delusion and dreamy state of mind. It believes in attaining oneness with all human beings and nature.

  1. Naturalism

It was a literary movement or tendency from 1880’s to 1930’s that used detailed realism to suggest that social conditions, heredity and environment had inescapable force in shaping human character. Emile Zola was the pioneer of this movement in France. The characteristics of naturalism are determinism, the opposite of free will and pessimism. It is characterized by detachment from the story in literary works.

30. Neo-classicism

It was a revival of a classical style in art, literature and music. It originated in Rome in the mid-18 century. It was a reaction against the late baroque and rococo with a new interest in antiquity. It spread over Europe and during the Augustan Age, it became a prominent trend in literature.

  1. New Criticism

It was a trend in criticism that took place in 20 century. It is the way of looking at the analyzing literature. In 1939, I.A. Richards began teaching at Harvard and influenced new American literary theory. It was an Anglo-American critical theory that emphasized close reading of the work itself.’ It rejected old historicism’s attention to other external factors.

  1. Nihilism

It is a rejection of all religious and moral principles. It also believes that life has no meaning. In philosophy. It is extreme skepticism maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence. It can be called ‘SHUNYAVAD’. It disapproved of all social order. It denied any objective ground for truth and morality.

  1. Objective correlative

The term was used by T.S. Eliot in his work Tradition and the Individual Talent. It refers to a pattern of objects, actions or events which can serve effectively to awaken in the reader the emotional response which the author intends to give without giving a direct statement of that emotion, T.S. Eliot believed that great art is always objective and impersonal and therefore a great artist evokes emotional response in the readers indirectly.

  1. Obscurantism

It is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of some matter from becoming known. There are two common historical and intellectual denotations of obscurantism-opposition to spread of knowledge and deliberate obscurity of style in art or literature.

  1. Oedipus Complex

The term Oedipal complex is a term used by Freud. It explains the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious via repression that concentrates upon a child’s desire to have sexual relations with the parent of the opposite sex. Males are attracted to mothers and daughters to fathers.

  1. Paganism

It is a term that developed among the Christian community of Southern Europe during antiquity to describe religions other than their own. In 19 century, it was re-adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. It was used pejoratively for polytheists.

  1. Pantheism

Pantheism is a belief that universe is identical with divinity or that everything composes an all encompassing immanent God. Pantheists don’t believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god. The term was used by Irish thinker John Tolard (1705) and constructed from the Greek roots ‘pan’ (all) and ‘theos’ (god). It believes that everything and everyone is god.

  1. Pathetic Fallacy

It is a literary term for attributing of human emotion and conduct to all aspects within nature. It is a kind of personification that is found in poetic writing when, for example, clouds look sullen, leaves dance or rocks seem indifferent. It attributes human emotions to inanimate objects.

  1. Monotheism/ Polytheism

Monotheism is a belief that there is only one powerful god, an opposed to religions that believe in many gods. Hinduism is the example of polytheistic philosophy.

  1. Positivism

A philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof. It rejects metaphysics and theism. It is a philosophy of science that positive facts, information derived from sensory experience interpreted through rational, logical or mathematical treatments form exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge.

  1. Primitivism

It is a belief in the value of what is simple and unsophisticated, expressed as a philosophy of life or through art or literature. It was a Western art movement that borrows visual forms form Non-Western or pre-historic peoples. It is the pursuit of ways of life running counter to the development of technology.

  1. Provincialism

It is the way of life or mode of thought characteristic of the regions outside the capital city of the country. It is lack of sophistication and attitude. It is a state of having concern for purely local matters or having a narrow outlook.

  1. Psycho-analysis

It is a system of psychological theory and therapy that aims to treat disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the mind and bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind by techniques such as drama interpretation and free association.

  1. Realism

It is the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly. In literature and art, it refers to the subjects and treatment in realistic manner instead of imaginative or idealized. It is also an approach to life that means dealing with the way things are. It is the act of unidealizing the subject and the presentation.

  1. Rationalism

It is a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response. It focuses on exercise of reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief or conduct. It is the view that regards reason is the chief source and test of knowledge.

  1. Scholasticism

It is a system of theology or philosophy taught in medieval European universities based on Aristotelian logic and the writing of the early Church fathers. It stresses on traditions and dogmas. They believe that reason and faith are compatible. It is a method of critical thought which dominated teachings by the academics and schoolmen.

  1. Semiotics

Semiotics or semiology can be defined as the study of signs; how they work and how we use them. Saussure developed the principles of semiology as they applied to language. It refers to general theory of symbolism including semantics (word meanings), syntactics (Structural relations among symbols) and pragmatics (relation between behavior and symbols).

  1. Sentimentalism

It is an excessive expression of the feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia in behaviour, writing and speech. Sentimentality is a reliance on feelings as guide to truth. In literature, it is a device to induce a tender emotional response disproportionate to the situation at hand.

  1. Sigmatism

Defective pronunciation or excessive use of sibilants like s, z, j, sh, zh etc. The word is derived from Greek word for ‘s’ sigma. The hissing sounds are harsh and annoying to hear.

  1. Simplistic

Over-simplified or made too easy or plain.

  1. Solecism

Substandard Construction or expression in violation of the conventional usage of grammar and composition.

  1. Stoicism

It is an ancient Greek School of philosophy founded in Athens. It taught that virtue, the highest good is based on knowledge and the wise life in harmony with the divine reason (also identified with Fate or Providence). Zeno of Citium was propagator of this ideology. It teaches self control, fortitude and surrender to the Divine will.

  1. Intension

It was used by Allen Tate referring to stretching out or straining. All the qualities or attributes are compressed. All the qualities or attributes are compressed in the general term or general notion in formal logic. It refers to the meaning of language or semantics. It is the opposite of extensional which concern on how its output depends on its input.

  1. Symbolism

It is an artistic and poetic movement or style using symbolic images and indirect suggestion to express mystical ideas, emotions and state of mind. It originated in the late 19 century in France and Belgium. Its pioneers were Mallarme, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Maeterlink and Redon. It also refers to a system of symbols or representation certain symbols are generally accepted such as dove for peace, rose for love.

  1. Synaesthesia

It is the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. ‘Syn’ means together’ and ‘aesthesis’ means ‘sensation’. It is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pataway leads to automatic, involuntary experience in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

  1. Tension

Allen Tate used the word ‘Tension to refer to intension and extension. He removed the prefix and says that poetry attains its totality in ‘tension -A poem has both literal and metaphorical meanings. Extension is denotative, intension is connotative. The combination of both result in tension. The presence of tension is the touchstone of good poetry.

  1. Transcendentalism

It is an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. It was influenced by romanticism, Platonism and Kantian philosophy. It taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity. Its members had progressive views on feminism and communal living. R.W. Emerson and Thoreau were the central figures of the movement.

  1. Zeitgeism

The German world meaning the spirit of time.

  1. Xenophobia

Unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners, strangers or their customs and attitudes.

  1. Dystopia

Opposite of Utopia. An imaginary place or state in which everything in unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

  1. Utopia

Greek word meaning ‘Nowhere’. A kind of literature in which perfectly ideal society is depicted. Plato’s Republic. Thomas More’s Utopia are the examples.

  1. Apocalyptic

Writings that aim to reveal the future history of the world and the ultimate destiny of the earth and its inhabitants.

  1. Atheism

It is a disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God. Atheist denies the existence of God. Atheist denies the existence of deity or divine beings. It is the absence of belief in god. It is contrasted with theism, the belief in god.

  1. Agnosticism

It is the view that the truth values of certain claims especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not god, the divine or the supernatural exist-are unknown and perhaps unknowable. Agnostic is one who does not believe or disbelieve in the existence of God.

  1. Behaviourism

It is the theory of human and animal behavior. It is a branch of psychology focusing on an individual behavior. It combines the elements of philosophy, methodology and theory. It emerged in the early 20″ century as a reaction to mentalistic psychology, John B. Watson was one of the pioneers. Later Skinner developed it as radical behaviourism.

  1. Determinism

It is a doctrine that all events including human actions are ultimately determined by causes external to the will some thinkers believe that human beings have no free will and therefore cannot be held responsible for their actions. They believe that all occurrences in nature are determined by preceding events or natural laws.

  1. Metaphysics

It is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. It attempted to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms: ultimately what is there? And what is it like? It attempted to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms. Ultimately what is there? And what is it like? It attempts to clarify fundamental notions like existence, time, cause and effect and possibility.

  1. Cognition

It is a mental action or the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and senses. It includes aspects like perception reasoning and judgement. It is a conscious mental activities like thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering.

  1. Connectionism

It is a set of approaches in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, cognitive science. Neuro-science and philosophy of mind that models mental or behaviourial phenomena as the emergent process of interconnected networks of simple units.

  1. Temporal

Related to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs. It also means related to time as opposed to eternity. For example, our time on earth is limited, or temporal.

  1. Spatial

That which is related to space. It is something related to space. Some arts are temporal and some are spatial. They occupy space while temporal involves time.

  1. Constructivism

It is basically a theory based on observation and scientific study about people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.

  1. Cosmology

It is a science of origin and development of the universe. Modern astronomy is dominated by Big Bang theory which brings together observational astronomy and particle physics. It describes a theory or doctrine describing the natural order of the universe.

  1. Cosmopolitanism

Cosmopolitanism is an ideology that all human beings belong to a single community based on a shared morality. A person who adheres to this ideology is called cosmopolitan. He is the citizen of the world free from local, provincial or natural bias.

  1. Creationism

Creationism is the belief that the universe and life originated from specific acts of divine creation. It also refers to the myths of creation or to a concept of the origin of the soul. There are several types of creationism such as Young Earth creationism, Gap creationism, Progressive creationism etc.

  1. Daoism

Taoism or Daoism is a philosophical, ethical or religious tradition of Chinese origin. It emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao the Absolute Reality. It focuses on the ability of the ordinary people to relate to the basic cosmic forces.

  1. Epistemology

It is a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity. It investigates the origin, nature methods and limits of human knowledge. It asks-what are the necessary and sufficient condition of knowledge? What are its sources ? What is its structure?

  1. Dialectical School

It is an offshoot of the Megarian school. It was an important precursor of stoic logic. Its leading members were Diodorus Cronus and Philo. It was related to Socratic tradition of theories of conditions and modal logic. Dialectical method is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject.

  1. Discourse

It is communication of thought by words. It is a formal discussion on any subject. It also means any unit of connected speech or writing longer than a sentence. In semantics, it is a generalization of the concept of conversation within all modalities and contexts. Foucault describes it as an entity of sequences of signs in a statement.

  1. Sign Language

Sign Language is a system of signs made up of signifier and signified. The sign is associative total of the signifier and the signified. Sign includes both the signifier and the signified.

  1. Signifier

Signifier means the sound image or its graphic equivalent When we speak the word ‘cat’ or write it as ‘C…A…T’. It is the signifier. Saussure used this terms for language.

  1. Signified

The Signified is the meaning that the signified suggests. There is no physical connection between the signifier and the signified. It is arbitrary and depends on difference for example, ‘cat’ and ‘mat’, or ‘cat’ and ‘car

  1. Langue

Ferdinand de Saussure used the term ‘langue’ for formal language. Language encompasses the abstract, systematic rules and conventions of a signifying system. It pre-exists individual users.

  1. Parole

Parole is the actual use of the language by the individual speaker. It is the psychical manifestation of speech. Difference between things is what makes people understand what is said and depicted and therefore how we communicate.

  1. Free Will

Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action. It is closely linked to the concept of responsibility, praise, guilt and sin. If there is no free will, there is no retributive justification for rewarding or punishing anybody for action. Existentialists believed that we are condemned to choose.

  1. Dualism

The division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects. It is a philosophical view that the world consists of dual things e.g. mind and matter, good and evil. Moral dualism is the belief that there is eternal conflict between the good and the evil. Duality is not always opposite but complementary.

  1. Binary

In mathematics and digital electronics, a binary number is the number expressed in the binary system or base-2 numeral system which represents numerical values of two different symbols typically o (zero) and 1 (one). Derrida used the word binary opposition for deducing meaning in deconstruction.

  1. Empathy

Empathy means ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is an ability to identify with other’s feelings. The word comes from Greek word ’empathic’ meaning “physical affection, passion and partiality. The term was used by Hermann Lotze and Robert Vischer first.

  1. Fatalism

It is a belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. It is a submissive outlook resulting from a fatalistic attitude. It believes that human beings are powerless before fate.

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  1. Pragmatism

It is philosophical tradition that began in the USA around 1870. It rejects the idea that function of thought is to describe, represent or mirror reality, Pragmatists consider thought as an instrument or tool for prediction, problem solving and action. It focuses on practical aspects, success and utility.

  1. Bioethics

It is the study of the typically controversial ethical issues emerging from new situation and possibilities brought about by science, in biology, medicine etc. It relates to medical policy, practice and research.

  1. Emotive language

It is the language designed to excite emotion in regard to subject, as opposed to referential language such as the language of science-which is intended to carry only denotative meanings. L.A. Richards discussed them in the Meaning of Meanings (1923).

  1. Functionalism

It is a belief in practical application of a thing. In arts, It is a doctrine that the design of an object should be divided by its function rather than aesthetic considerations. In social science, it is a theory that all aspects of society have a function and are necessary for their survival.

  1. Causality

It is a causal quality or agency. It is a relation between a cause and its effect or between regularly corrected events or phenomena.

  1. Language and testimony

In the testimony, language is a process and in trial it does not possess itself as a conclusion as constitution of a verdict or self-transparency of knowledge. Testimony in other words is a discursive practice as opposed to theory.

  1. Individualism

It is the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant. It is also a social theory that favours freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control. It believes that the government or society must not interfere in individual’s life and affairs.

  1. Intentionality

Intentionality refers to the notion that consciousness is always the consciousness of something. It refers to consciousness “Stretching out” towards its object. Consciousness occurs as the simultaneity of a conscious act and it object. Thus intentionality is ‘ABOUTNESS’.

  1. Intuition

Intuition in phenomenology refers to the cases where the intentional object is directly present to the intentionality at play. If the intention is filled by the direct apprehension of the object, one has an intuited object.

  1. Libertarianism

Libertarianism is an extreme laissez faire (free trade) political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of the citizens. It advocates freewill, antinomy and freedom of choice.

  1. Life World

Life world is the meaning of the German word ‘Lebens welt’. It is the world each one of us lives in. It can be called the background or horizon of experience. It is personal and intersubjective.

  1. Linguistics

It is a scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of morphology, syntax, phonetics and semantics Specific branches of linguistics includes sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, historical comparative linguistics and applied linguistics. The earliest activities in the description of language have been attributed to Panini (4h century B.C.) in Sanskrit in his book Ashthadhyayi.

  1. Pluralism

It is a condition or systems in which two or more states, groups, principles, sources authority exist. It is a practice of holding more than one office or church benefice at a time. It denotes a diversity of views and stands rather than a single approach a method of interpretation.

  1. Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is a body of thought in political philosophy about the proper way to respond to cultural and religious diversity. It describes the existence, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction. It advocates equal respect to the various cultures in a society.

  1. Platonism

Platonism is a view that there exist such things as abstract objects. It does not exist in space or time. It is non-physical and non-mental. It is the philosophy of Plato. The primary concept is the Theory of Forms. The only true being is founded upon the forms, the eternal, unchangeable and perfect of which particular objects of senses are imperfect copies.

  1. Analogy

Analogy means a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation and clarification. It is an allegory between the workings of nature and those of human societies. It is also the process of arguing from the point of view of similarity. 106. Syllogism: A logical presentation of an argument through a formula. It aims at a method whereby the logic of an argument is demonstrated through analysis. There are three steps: (1) Major premise (2) Minor premise (3) Conclusion.

  1. Monotheism

Monotheism refers to belief in one God only. It is the opposite of polytheism. The belief in many/multiple gods or divisions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam believe in monotheism.

  1. Skepticism

Skepticism is generally any questioning attitude towards unempirical knowledge or opinions or beliefs stated as facts or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere. In ordinary sense, it means to doubt. It is a doctrine that true knowledge is uncertain and in suspended judgement.

  1. Negritude

Negritude is a literary and ideological philosophy developed by African intellectuals, writers and politicians in France in 1930’s. Aime Cesaire, Leopald Sedar Sengher were the pioneers. It was meant to be provocative. It is the self affirmation of black peoples and the values of their civilization. It was a revolt against colonialism.

  1. Noema

Noema refers to an intentional act. It derives from the Greek word ‘nous mind. Noesis is always related to Noema, Noesis is an ideal content, noema is an intentional act.

  1. Ontology

Ontology is a philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and grouped into hierarchies with similarities and differences.

  1. Pacifism

It is a belief that any violence, including war is unjustifiable under any circumstances, and that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means.

  1. Semantics

It is a branch of linguistics that deals with the meaning of words and especially with historical changes in the meanings. It also means the study of relation between sign and their meanings.

  1. Surrealism

It was a movement in art and literature that originated in France in 1920’s. Andre Breton pioneered the movement. In 1924, its manifesto was issued. It aimed at an expression of the unconscious by freeing mind from logic and rational control. In painting, Dali, Picasso and Tanguy adopted the surrealist technique.

  1. Being and Becoming

Being and becoming explore the social system built on fear, a key that allows one to look at life. Being is the essence, becoming is a process. Being can be described as existing, living, nature and essence. Maslow describes it as contemplation and enjoyment of inner life. ‘Becoming’ means ‘coming to indicating sense of development or process, evolution in time and space.

  1. Structuralism

In sociology, anthropology and linguistics, structuralism is the theory that element of human culture must be understood in terms of their relationships to larger, overreading system or structure. It works to uncover the structure that underlies all things that human do, think, perceive, and feel structuralism developed in the early 1900’s in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and others. It is applied to diverse range of fields and areas of knowledge.

  1. Mimesis

Greek word meaning imitation’ Aristotle used it for literature. Plato said that the whole material world was a copy of the absolute. Aristotle in Poetics called all arts mimetic. He said that tragedy is a skillful selection and presentation of imitation of life. In tragedy, the characters are better then the real; while in comedy, they are inferior.

  1. Unitarianism

It is a belief that God exists in one person and not three. It is the denial of the doctrine of Trinity as well as the full divinity of Jesus. It is a Christian theological movement named for the affirmation that God is one entity.

  1. Deconstruction

It is a method of critical analysis of philosophical or literary language. It emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems. Derrida presented the concept in his book of Grammatology. It is related to linguistics, humanities, social sciences, anthropology etc. He said that texts outlive their authors and become part of a set of cultural habits. Deconstruction denotes the pursuing of the meaning of a text to the point of exposing the supposed contradictions and internal oppositions.

  1. Phenomenology

Edmund Husserl believed that the proper object of philosophical investigation is the contents of our consciousness and not the objects of the world, Phenomenology thus claims to show us the underlying nature of human consciousness and of phenomena.

  1. Noesis

Noesis means ideal content and noema an intentional act. Neosis is the part of the act that gives it a particular sense or character. Noesis is always related to noema. These terms were used by Edmund Husserl.

  1. Evidence

In phenomenology, the concept of evidence is meant to signify the subjective achievement of truth. It is the successful presentation of an intelligible object, the successful presentation of something whose truth becomes manifest in the evidencing itself.

  1. Hybridity

Hybridity is one of the important ideas of Homi Bhabha. He borrowed the term from Edward Said’s work. He does not see colonialism as something locked in the past but he shows how its histories and cultures constantly intrude on the present.

  1. Cultural Difference

Homi Bhabha presented cultural difference as an alternative to cultural diversity. In cultural diversity, a culture an object of empirical knowledge and pre-exists the knower while cultural difference sees culture as the point at which two or more cultures meet.

  1. Mimicry

Homi Bhabha‘s concept of mimicry is a metonym of presence. It takes place when the colonized people imitate the culture of the colonized. According to Lacan, the effect of mimicry is a camouflage. It is the sign of double articulation, and the sign of the inappropriate.

  1. Third Space

The third space is an ambiguous area that develops when two or more individuals or cultures interact. It challenges our sense of historical identity of culture as a homogenizing, unifying force authenticated by the past, kept alive in the national tradition of the people.

  1. Russian formalism

Russian formalism was an influential school of literary criticism in Russia from 1910’s to 1930’s. It devoted itself to the study of literariness i.e. the sum of devices that distinguish literary language from ordinary language. It was also called Prague School that include Shklovsky, Tyniarov, Roman Jakobson etc.

  1. Subaltern

Gayatri Spivak used the term subaltern in her postcolonial studies. She said that it is not just a classy word for a oppressed. In post-colonial terms, everything that has limited or no access to cultural imperialism is subaltern -a space of difference. Antonio Gramsci (18911937), an Italian intellect first used the term.

  1. Orientalism

Orientalism can be defined as a manner of regularized writing, vision and study dominated by imperatives, perspectives and ideological biases of ostensibly suited to the orient. Edward Said propagated the concept in his book Orientalism.

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