Vocabulary of Knowledge, Thought, and Reason

This informal paper attempts to clarify the meanings and usages of the terms related to knowledge, thought, and reason. Too frequently, public discourse is horribly marred by really sloppy vocabulary and misuse of terms.

Part of the problem is that traditional definitions are somewhat vague and sloppy, even in a decent dictionary.

Actual usage has been even sloppier, with a lot of these terms treated and used as synonyms.

It is not the intention of this paper to give a full treatment of thought and reason, but only enough to support the full treatment of knowledge, since knowledge, the primary focus of this paper, is so dependent on thought and reason.

Meaning

Knowledge, by definition, includes meaning, at least basic meaning and various levels or layers of meaning.

There may be additional levels or layers beyond those included in knowledge per se, such as subjective meaning that is not shared by everyone who shares the basic, objective meaning of particular knowledge.

Or layers of subjective meaning that are shared by some individuals or groups but not by others.

This paper takes the position that all of those layers or levels of meaning are still by definition part of knowledge, even though they may not be shared by all who possess that same knowledge. That may feel a little odd, but the simple fact of life is that knowledge possessed by more than one person is not necessarily exactly 100.000% identical for each of those persons. Even if they all read the same exact definition, they may each interpret it slightly differently.

Truth

Truth itself is a very slippery topic. It is indeed touched on in a variety of ways in this paper, but not in great depth. At best, beliefs, facts, and knowledge seek to approximate truth, but frequently fall short or even entirely miss the mark. In any case, aspects of truth are included in this paper to the extent that they hinge on knowledge itself.

Various theories of truth, such as correspondence, coherence, realism, and pragmatism are not covered per se, but elements of all such frameworks that have filtered into everyday and professional discourse will of course be covered, just not tied directly to any particular framework of truth.

It is worth noting that truth and knowledge are not strict synonyms. The nuances are beyond the scope of this paper. Sometimes ultimate truth is not accessible by even the best of human intentions. And sometimes interpretations are more important in human discourse than actual reality.

Reality

Reality refers to all that exists, the physical world, the natural world, life, human life, human social structures, and any artifacts created by the efforts of humans.

Technically, reality would include human knowledge, but simply as any other physical artifacts, rather than asserting that the ideas embedded within human knowledge are real per se.

Imagination or the products of imagination would not be considered reality unless or to the extent the imagined products are actually created in the real world.

Truth and reality are not strict synonyms. There are a number of theories concerning the relationship between truth, knowledge, and reality. The nuances are beyond the scope of this paper, which is focused on knowledge. But certainly elements of truth and reality will be included as they relate directly to knowledge.

Generally, the best we can hope for is that our knowledge approximates reality. Sometimes we can get very close or even occasionally happen to be exactly correct, but very frequently we are far off base.

Popper’s three worlds for reality

Philosopher Karl Popper had a three-world model of how we relate to reality:

  1. World 1. The physical world. Reality. Animals and people exists in the physical world, but merely as objects which happen to move around and their knowledge exists only as electrical signals and markings on objects, devoid of any meaning in World 1 pr se.
  2. World 2. The mental world. Our models of what we perceive the physical world to be and how we think about it. Our beliefs, models, theories, feelings, creative urges, and imagination.
  3. World 3. Knowledge and media artifacts which represent our World 2 beliefs, which we believe correspond to the objective reality of the physical world. Real-world objects which are products of the human mind.

Knowledge exists in our minds, in World 2.

Knowledge can be represented, communicated, and shared as World 3 knowledge artifacts and media artifacts.

Relation to intelligence

Knowledge, thought, and reason are inexorably intertwined with intelligence. As such, a fair amount of terms related to intelligence are included in this paper. But not all terms related to intelligence will be included here, only those which reasonably intersect with knowledge, thought, and reason per se.

Relation to logic

Knowledge and reason certainly relate to logic. A modest amount of terms related to logic are included in this paper, but not all terms related to logic will be included here, only those which are reasonably necessary to understand and discuss knowledge and reason per se.

Relation to science

Knowledge, thought, and reason and science are also very intertwined. A modest amount of terms related to science are included in this paper, but not all terms related to science will be included here, only those which are reasonably necessary to understand and discuss knowledge, thought, and reason per se.

Relation to epistemology

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of knowledge. The terms discussed in this paper will certainly overlap with epistemology, but there is no intention to fully explore epistemology here, just to the extent that it hinges on the vocabulary of knowledge, thought, and reason.

Relation to metaphysics

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of existence. The terms discussed in this paper will certainly overlap with metaphysics, but there is no intention to fully explore metaphysics here, just to the extent that it hinges on the vocabulary of knowledge, thought, and reason.

Deeper discussion of existence and essence are contained in a companion paper, Model for Existence and Essence.

Relation to ethics

Ethics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of human nature and social interaction. The terms discussed in this paper will certainly overlap with ethics, but there is no intention to fully explore ethics here, just to the extent that it hinges on the vocabulary of knowledge, thought, and reason.

Relation to communication

Communication is essential to the sharing of knowledge, but the means and methods of communication are neutral with respect to the actual knowledge and meaning transmitted and received via communication. A subset of the terms related to communication will be included in this paper, but only to the extent that they directly hinge on the knowledge, thought, and reason itself.

Relation to media

Media and communication are tightly related.

Media has only one real purpose, to enable and facilitate communication.

Actually, media has two roles, to communicate knowledge and to record knowledge, but the recording of knowledge is for the purpose of communicating that knowledge.

Books, papers, audio recordings, and videos simultaneously record and communicate knowledge, content, and meaning.

This paper does not endeavor to provide a full treatment of media, but simply to cover it enough to discuss its relationship to knowledge.

Relation to language

Language is clearly essential to sharing of knowledge, but it is meaning that is most relevant here, not the syntax, grammar, punctuation, or spelling and pronunciation of words. A subset of the terms related to language will be included in this paper, but only to the extent that they directly hinge on issues related to meaning and knowledge.

Relation to knowledge representation and knowledge artifacts

Knowledge representation is an important, even essential, matter.

Knowledge is commonly represented as knowledge artifacts such as words in language and imagery and other forms of media, embodied in media artifacts.

Communication requires knowledge representation and knowledge artifacts and media artifacts.

But a full treatment of knowledge representation and knowledge artifacts is well beyond the scope of this paper. Knowledge representation and knowledge artifacts are treated here only to the degree needed to provide a full treatment of knowledge.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

The notions of human knowledge and intelligence intersect with machine intelligence, also known as artificial intelligence or AI. The intersection is explored in greater depth in a companion paper, Untangling the Definitions of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Intelligence, and Machine Learning.

To be clear, the vocabulary of knowledge elaborated here is equally applicable to the human and machine domains.

Domains of truth

There are many distinct domains of knowledge, each having its own distinctive concepts and vocabulary, even if they all still share the same basic natural language (English or whatever.) Truth and meaning in one domain don’t necessarily mean the same thing in different domains.

This matter is discussed and detailed in much greater detail in a companion paper, Domains of Truth.

Entities

This paper takes an expansive view of entity, treating the concept as referring to anything that could be referred to in the propositions of knowledge. More than solely tangible objects, entity is used to refer to intangibles as well, including ideas and concepts — anything someone might seek to refer to in a statement or proposition.

A partial list of things that would be considered entities in the vocabulary of this paper include:

  • Object
  • Inanimate object
  • Machine
  • Living creature
  • Person
  • Place
  • Thing
  • Idea
  • Concept
  • Thought
  • Decision
  • Plan
  • Topic
  • Area
  • Event
  • Matter
  • Action
  • Phenomenon
  • Situation
  • Environment
  • Conditions
  • Computational entity. Computer software program, object, or data. Robotic or artificially intelligent computer software.
  • Anything of unspecified or even vaguely specified nature that has some sort of significance.
  • A group of closely related entities can also be considered collectively as a larger entity, such as a family, partnership, team, business, nonprofit organization, or a country.
  • Entities with some characteristics in common can constitute a category or class, which itself is an entity.
  • Qualities, characteristics, attributes, details, and metadata of entities are themselves entities.

Generally, an entity is anything that would be referred to using a noun.

All of that said, the term entity has a more strict meaning for entities which have a significant sense of independence, in contrast with subsidiary entities which have a significant meaning only within the context of a larger, umbrella entity.

Short of details

The goal here is to define the vocabulary needing to talk about knowledge, thought, and reason, but not to detail knowledge about anything other than knowledge, thought, and reason themselves. As such, the vocabulary stops at the level of the concept of detail, so that language needed to elaborate detail is excluded, such as:

  • Color
  • Size
  • Height
  • Width
  • Depth
  • Weight
  • Texture
  • Shape
  • Structure
  • Purpose
  • Function
  • Substance
  • Emotions
  • Intentions
  • Gender
  • Types of objects
  • Types or forms of life
  • Details of life
  • Specific actions
  • Specific activities
  • Specific values
  • Specific senses
  • Specific intentions
  • Specific emotions
  • Specific feelings
  • Specific drives
  • Specific attitudes
  • Details of logic
  • Details of truth
  • Structure of the universe.
  • Nature of the physical world.

Deeper discussion of existence and essence are contained in a companion paper, Model for Existence and Essence.

This paper does not delve into:

  • Specific entities.
  • Specific classes or types of entities.
  • Specific details or metadata of classes of entities.
  • Specific details of specific entities.
  • Any domain-specific entities.
  • Any domain-specific metadata.

The goal here is to be as general and abstract as possible.

Entity details — metadata

Details of entities are referred to as metadata or entity metadata in this paper.

The point of this paper is not to define the details of entities, but to treat such details in an abstract manner and simply to acknowledge that entities have details which themselves are referred to as entities and that those details are referred to as entity metadata in an abstract sense — no detail to be described in this paper.

Sapient entity — people and robots

This paper aims to address knowledge, thought, and reason from both the perspective of people or human beings, and intelligent robots or artificial intelligence (AI) as well. The common term for both people and intelligent robots is sapient entity. Sapient meaning intelligent or wise, and entity meaning a person or object.

Many terms defined in this paper will use this term, sapient entity, rather than human being, person, people, or individual.

Sentient entity — animals and dumb robots

Not all perception and communication strictly requires human-level intelligence. Animals and dumb robots can both perceive, sense, feel, and react to the world around them. That ability is known as sentience.

People and intelligent robots are sapient (intelligent and wise) as well, but some forms of perception and basic information about the world only require sentience rather than full-blown sapience.

Your personal robot could whip out an umbrella for you when it starts raining, but that requires only sentience rather than sapience.

Why not simply quote from the dictionary?

As stated in the introduction, many terms in the vocabulary of knowledge, thought, and reason are vague, sloppy, and frequently misused. The raw dictionary simply adds to the confusion. This paper attempts to correct the flaws of the dictionary and common usage by providing term definitions that are tailored and streamlined to focus on the needs of engaging in concise and accurate discourse about knowledge, thought, and reason.

Basic terms for knowledge, thought, and reason

Before diving into the full, detailed list of terms, here are the basic terms for knowledge, thought, and reason, in alphabetical order:

  1. Assertion. An assumption that is strongly believed to be true.
  2. Assumption. A proposition which is presumed to be true, but not offering proof.
  3. Basic fact. A proposition which can be verified by simple, direct observation, measurement, simple calculation, a statistic, or looking it up in commonly accepted reference materials. No reasoning or faith required. Should also include the details and method of the observation, measurement, calculation, or reference and their provenance (source.) See also: fact, conclusion.
  4. Belief. One or more related propositions which are believed to be true. Includes all meaning associated with those propositions. A willingness to accept or agree with a purported fact, not necessarily backed by a strong justification. Includes all knowledge and facts which a sapient entity accepts as true, even if the truth of such matters is more firmly supported than the individual who believes in them can demonstrate themselves. All knowledge is a belief, while not all beliefs are knowledge.
  5. Claim. A statement or proposition made as if fact, and not allowing for any possibility that the claim might not be true.
  6. Communicate. Communication. The process of conveying beliefs, opinions, information, knowledge and meaning, or feelings between sapient entities (people or robots), represented in some language, nonverbal gestures, or nonlinguistic vocal expression. May be direct, from sapient entity to sapient entity, or indirectly via knowledge artifacts (e.g., books, videos, or other media artifacts.)
  7. Concept. An organized and formalized notion with associated deep meaning developed from thought. Beyond an unorganized thought or rough idea. May be represented as a term or one or more propositions.
  8. Conclusion. A proposition that is considered true as a result of reasoning and possibly experimentation. Follows from premises. A conclusion is the knowledge produced by reasoning. It is the objective of reasoning. See also: foregone conclusion.
  9. Conjecture. A proposition which may be believed to be true on reasonable argument, but which has not been substantiated.
  10. Data. Raw information without any significant structure or significance.
  11. Definition. A term whose meaning is given.
  12. Description. Elaboration of observable and measurable details or characteristics of an entity. See also: adjective.
  13. Detail. Some aspect of an entity. Synonyms are aspect, feature, attribute, characteristic, quality, and property. Part of metadata for an entity. See also: adjective, minutiae, technicality.
  14. Entity. An object, person, place, thing, idea, concept, thought, decision, plan, topic, area, event, matter, action, phenomenon, situation, environment, conditions, or anything of unspecified or even vaguely specified nature that has some sort of significance. Details and statistics about an entity are themselves entities, although in a more strict sense an entity would tend to have a relatively independent existence rather than being wholly dependent on a larger entity. Something to be referred to in a statement, proposition, or thought, commonly using a noun. Commonly a person, place, or thing. May be a computational entity. A group of closely related entities can also be considered collectively as a larger entity, such as a family, partnership, team, business, nonprofit organization, or a country. Animals, people, organizations, and robots are entities. Entities with some characteristics in common can constitute a category or class, which itself is an entity. Details about an entity are referred to as entity metadata.
  15. Evidence. Basic evidence, fact, testimony, argument, or proposition, or the collection of basic evidence, facts, arguments, testimony, and propositions which supports a proposition or conclusion. May not be definitive proof. May be weak or strong. Alternatively, a widely accepted conclusion. See also: circumstantial evidence, direct evidence.
  16. Explanation. The causal factors for a phenomenon or event — focus on why and how rather than merely what happened. Description may be included with an explanation, but is incidental to the causal factors.
  17. Express. Expression. The ability of a sapient entity to communicate or convey knowledge, meaning, and feelings, commonly using language and gestures, either directly to other sapient entities such as with speech or through the creation of knowledge artifacts such as written text that can later be examined and understood by a sapient entity.
  18. Fact. Either a basic fact or a conclusion that is relatively widely recognized and accepted as true. Should also include the reasoning, evidence, and justification in support of the fact, as well as its provenance (source.) Alternatively, a belief that is part of general knowledge, which is presumed to be fact but whose provenance is unclear. See also: asserted fact.
  19. Hypothesis. A proposition made with an expectation of evaluation as soon as possible, typically to validate a theory.
  20. Hypothetical. Possible or suggested entity or proposition. May or may not be an actual entity or proposition. See also: naive hypothetical.
  21. Information. A collection, sequence, or structure of symbols and images. May be a representation of knowledge and meaning. Knowledge stripped of its significance or meaning. Sometimes used as a synonym for knowledge.
  22. Just plain wrong. An emotional subjective reaction to a statement which is considered unacceptable and treated as absolutely false without question. The statement is likely to be false, but the reaction may simply indicate a disagreement over interpretation.
  23. Justification. Reasoning and evidence used to arrive at a conclusion. May be weak or strong.
  24. Justification. Reasoning and evidence used to arrive at a conclusion. May be weak or strong.
  25. Justified true belief. JTB. Belief with strong enough justification to warrant status as knowledge. A belief that is justified and happens to be true.
  26. Knowledge. What is known by one or more sapient entities, including both information and skills. What is believed to be true. True beliefs. More formally, justified true beliefs (JTB). Alternatively, the sum total of the beliefs, facts, and memories of an individual. Or all individuals. Or all members of a group. Includes meaning, to some degree, but there may be additional levels of meaning based on interpretation and context in which the knowledge is considered. May be detailed knowledge, limited knowledge, or only casual knowledge. May be objective knowledge or subjective knowledge.
  27. Language. The means by which knowledge and meaning can be represented by a sapient entity, either to simply record that knowledge and meaning, or to communicate it to another sapient entity. Language can be spoken or written or transmitted in electronic form. See also: writing, communication.
  28. Meaning. The understanding, significance, and feeling that a sapient entity associates with knowledge, a concept, feeling, or an event. May have any number of levels, both shallow and deep. The simplest meaning being the dictionary meaning of a term. See also: multiple meanings.
  29. Measurement. An assessment of the number of units of some physical quantity such as size, weight, or length.
  30. Object. Something that exists or at least appears to have form, substance, shape, or can be detected in some way, or can be experienced with the senses or imagination, or manipulated by a computer, either as a real-world object or an imaginary object, such as a media object, mental object, or computational object, and can be distinguished from its environment. See also: entity, a subset of which are objects. Whether liquid and gaseous matter should be considered to be objects is debatable, but they are under this definition. A storm could certainly be treated as an object even though it consists only of air and water. Alternatively, the entity at which an action is being directed — see also: subject.
  31. Observation. What can be seen, heard, felt, or otherwise directly experienced by a sentient entity.
  32. Promise. Commitment, assurance, assertion, or claim that some entity will be in a designated state or some proposition will remain or become true for some definite or indefinite point or period of time in the future. Can vary in clarity or specificity from vague to crystal clear and precise.
  33. Proof. Evidence which is sufficient to indicate that a conclusion is justified.
  34. Proposition. A statement which may or not be true. Including the meaning of the statement.
  35. Reason. Abstract process of reasoning through rational thought, to reach a conclusion, result, goal, decision, judgment, assessment, understanding, or other outcome that is thoroughly and convincingly justified by the reasoning process. Alternatively, a proposition which provides specific support for an argument, conclusion, or explanation for a fact. Alternatively, a credible explanation, ground, or motive for an action or belief, as opposed to a mere excuse which may be based on nothing more than emotion.
  36. Sapient. Intelligent, capable of wisdom. Primarily people, but may include some but not all robots.
  37. Sentient. Able to perceive, feel, and experience the real world. Includes animals and robots.
  38. Statement. Any declarative sentence in natural language. No implications as to its truth per se. Includes the meaning of the statement.
  39. Strong belief. A belief that one has a lot of passion for, although that passion may or may not be matched with an equally strong justification.
  40. Theory. A coherent explanation of a phenomenon, capable of fully explaining the phenomenon, consistent with past observations, and able to predict future observations. Alternatively, and more loosely, a proposed explanation for some matter, such as who or what caused a particular outcome, without necessarily offering definitive proof of that explanation.
  41. Truth. Truth of propositions or truth of existence. A proposition that is true, in accord with reality. Reality as it exists.
  42. Wisdom. Knowledge, experience, and judgment which permit sound reasoning and intelligent behavior.

Terms related to knowledge, thought, and reason

The terms related most directly to knowledge, thought, and reason are listed here in alphabetical order:

  1. Accept on faith. Acceptance of a belief on the word of another with absolutely no reliance on evidence, proof, reason, or justification. See also: faith.
  2. Abstraction. A concept which represents more than one entity, either because the concept represents what the entities have in common, or that the entities are parts of a whole. Excludes details which are not in common for the former. The former is a generalization abstraction, the latter a aggregation abstraction.
  3. Acceptance. Willing to go along with claim that a proposition is true, possibly without proof and possibly with reservations. See also: agreement.
  4. Account. Synonym for story or record. Alternatively, the cause, origin, or explanation for some entity.
  5. Action. Movement or motion of an entity.
  6. Activity. A set of actions that a sentient entity engages in for some purpose.
  7. Actual truth. The real truth of any matter, in contrast with speculation, perception, or interpretation. Synonym for ultimate truth. Close synonym for ground truth, but ground truth can still be only an approximation of actual or ultimate truth. See also: eternal truth, ground truth, objective truth. May still be subjective and may not be eternal.
  8. Adjective. One or more words representing an attribute, property, or characteristic of an entity. See also: noun, verb.
  9. Aggregation abstraction. An abstraction (concept) which represents more than one entity which are parts of a whole.
  10. Agreement. Concurrence with the judgment of others on some matter or proposition. Alternatively, a commitment between two or more entities to act or behave in a designated manner in the future.
  11. Allegation. Synonym for claim, assertion.
  12. Alternative fact. Fact based on a different source, perspective, or reasoning process. Alternatively, euphemism for a false statement or lie. See also: disputed fact.
  13. Ambiguity. Ambiguous. Statement or proposition which may have more than one interpretation as to its meaning, particularly conflicting interpretations as opposed to mere nuances of interpretation. Alternatively, an entity which may have more than one interpretation as to its meaning, particularly conflicting interpretations as opposed to mere nuances of interpretation. Alternatively, a proposition which explicitly represents the inherent ambiguity of some matter that is ambiguous by its nature no matter how unambiguous statements and propositions about it are. See also: unambiguous.
  14. Analogy. Comparison between two things, either for the purpose of illustrating or explaining something, or as a form of argument to justify a conclusion.
  15. Analyze. Analysis. Study a matter to determine the facts.
  16. Anecdote. Simple, short story about a single incident of what is considered a larger class of events.
  17. Anecdotal evidence. Asserting a larger truth by generalizing from one or more anecdotes. Alternatively, the specific evidence from those particular anecdotes.
  18. Answer. Response to a question. See also: exchange.
  19. Antithesis. Opposite or contrast to something, especially a concept.
  20. Any. A nonspecific entity or member of a class or category. Alternatively, a nonspecific number of entities or members of some class or category.
  21. Anything. Any entity.
  22. Apocryphal. Indicates that a story or proposition has dubious authenticity but is still widely circulated and treated as true due to its appeal.
  23. Apprehension. Understanding, comprehension, or grasp of something.
  24. Approximate. Approximation. Specification or quantification of something without full precision or exact accuracy. Close but not exact. See also: estimate, heuristic.
  25. Area. Spatial region or topic.
  26. Argument. Loose, casual reasoning. A list of reasons cited to support some belief or conclusion. Alternatively, a single reason or step of a larger argument. An argument may be weak or strong, in whole or in any part. Commonly rhetorical and possibly even heated or inflammatory. Alternatively, a reference to reasoning as well.
  27. Argumentation. Process of persuading another party to accept a belief or conclusion by the presentation of a sequence of arguments, commonly to influence a decision or judgment. See also: reason.
  28. Article. A discourse concerning an entity.
  29. Artifact. An object created by a sapient entity for some utilitarian purpose. See also: knowledge artifact, media artifact.
  30. Aspect. A clearly discernible subset of something, some entity. Synonyms are detail, feature, attribute, characteristic, quality, and property. Part of metadata for an entity.
  31. Asserted fact. A proposition that is being asserted as true, but without justification that fully validates its veracity. May not have any justification other than the assertion of its validity.
  32. Assertion. An assumption that is strongly believed to be true.
  33. Assessment. Conclusion or propositions about some matter based on reasoning, including analysis and judgment.
  34. Assumption. A proposition which is presumed to be true, but not offering proof or a strong justification.
  35. Attribute. Synonym for detail. Part of metadata for an entity.
  36. Authoritative source. Source of information or a proposition which is widely recognized as being reliable for knowledge in some area. See also: official source.
  37. Authority. Person or organization with the power and control to set standards of behavior as well as to permit specific instances of behavior. Also, an authoritative source for information and knowledge.
  38. Awareness. Perception or knowledge of something by a sentient entity. Its existence at a minimum, but possibly details as well.
  39. Axiom. Definition in formal logic.
  40. Basic evidence. An object, observation, measurement, image, recording, imprint, raw information or data, calculation, or technical report which is purported to support or disprove a proposition or conclusion. See also: direct evidence, testimonial evidence, and circumstantial evidence. Basic evidence does not include testimonial evidence, but direct evidence does include testimonial evidence. Essentially a synonym for basic fact.
  41. Basic fact. A proposition which can be verified by simple, direct observation, measurement, simple calculation, a statistic, or looking it up in commonly accepted reference materials. No reasoning or faith required. Should also include the details and method of the observation, measurement, calculation, or reference and their provenance (source.) See also: fact, conclusion. Essentially a synonym for basic evidence. Similar to direct evidence, except that the latter includes witness testimony.
  42. Basis. Synonym for precondition. More properly the full set of preconditions for something.
  43. Behavior. Action of a sentient entity. Alternatively, action of a phenomenon.
  44. Belief. One or more related propositions which are believed to be true. Includes all meaning associated with those propositions. A willingness to accept or agree with a purported fact, not necessarily backed by a strong justification. Includes all knowledge and facts which a sapient entity accepts as true, even if the truth of such matters is more firmly supported than the individual who believes in them can demonstrate themselves. All knowledge is a belief, while not all beliefs are knowledge.
  45. Belief system. Collection of beliefs and principles held by a particular sapient entity, a group, or general consensus for some topic, area, or field of study. Also, as the basis for a religion or moral or ethical code. See also: ideology, dogma.
  46. Best. Better than all other alternatives.
  47. Beyond doubt. Beyond a doubt. Beyond all doubt. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. Beyond all shadow of a doubt. Belief in the certitude of a proposition, with no doubts or even minor reservations.
  48. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Significant level of certainty in a proposition, even if not quite absolute certitude. No significant doubts. At worst, only minor reservations. In contrast to beyond all doubt.
  49. Bias. Preference driven by prejudice rather than reason.
  50. Bias. Preference driven by prejudice rather than reason.
  51. Big lie. A big lie. The big lie. An outrageous falsehood, a gross misrepresentation of facts, stated with such boldness, confidence, and intensity as well as extended repetition that people feel compelled to accept it, afraid, unwilling, or unable to match its intensity and persistence. Commonly in the form of social and political propaganda. Alternatively, a more modest falsehood which gradually gains belief through extended repetition that either goes unchallenged or where the challenge gradually dissipates as the repetition continues.
  52. Bold statement. Synonym for claim. Insistent about truth, but not necessarily with strong justification.
  53. Bright line. Bright line distinction. Very clear distinction between two or more entities, in contrast to a fuzzy distinction.
  54. Blurred distinction. Synonym for fuzzy distinction.
  55. Calculation. Developing a fact based on a mathematical calculation from existing facts.
  56. Casual knowledge. Knowledge limited to the existence of something and no more than only a modest amount of its details.
  57. Category. Subset of entities which share some specified characteristics. See also: abstraction, class. Commonly named.
  58. Category name. Noun or name for a category.
  59. Cause. Causation. Causality. Causal relationship. Causal link. A correlation or relationship between entities in which an event involving one causes an event involving another. More than simple correlation, and more than mere influence. Might the second event have occurred without the first event? Yes, which makes causality difficult to prove. Or, a third event might have caused the second event anyway. Or, maybe both the first and third events might have to occur to cause the second event. It can get complicated. Correlation is much easier to demonstrate; it can be evidence of a causal relationship, but is not proof.
  60. Certain. Certainty. Facts and truth of some matter are known with a high degree of confidence, beyond any real doubt, and without any real dispute. Preferably with validation, and corroboration. More about confidence than truth per se. May or may not rise to the absolute level of certitude.
  61. Certitude. Highest and most perfect level of certainty. Absolute certainty. No doubt.
  62. Characteristic. Synonym for detail. Part of metadata for an entity.
  63. Characterize. Characterization. Description of an entity in terms of its most notable characteristics. Alternatively, to describe an entity in less than favorable terms by focusing on characteristics which show the entity in less than the most favorable light. See also: mischaracterize.
  64. Cherry picking. Selectively choosing a subset of data, facts, or anecdotes to fit a preferred conclusion.
  65. Choose. Choice. Select from alternatives. Something which is selected as a result of a decision.
  66. Chronicle. Synonym for story, record, or article.
  67. Circumstances. Synonym for situation or context.
  68. Circumstantial evidence. Evidence which requires an inference to connect it to the asserted conclusion. In contrast to direct evidence.
  69. Claim. A statement or proposition made as if fact. May or may not allow for any possibility that the claim might not be true.
  70. Class. Synonym for category.
  71. Class name. Noun or name for a class or category of entities.
  72. Class of entities. A group or category of entities which share some common characteristics. See also: particular entity.
  73. Clause. The major structural unit of a statement. A sequence of phrases.
  74. Close-minded. A sapient entity unwilling to consider new ideas, existing ideas in new ways, or reconsider previous judgments. See also: open-minded.
  75. Clue. Proposition or fact that suggests a larger proposition but is insufficient to provide definitive proof or sufficient justification. Synonym for evidence.
  76. Cognition. Cognitive skills. Cognitive processes. Process of acquiring knowledge. Synonym for knowledge acquisition. Debatable whether it includes all mental processes, such as creativity, reflection, speculation, imagination, memory, planning, speech, and motor control.
  77. Coherent. Coherence. A proposition, argument, reasoning, theory, or explanation which is logical, rational, consistent, and sufficiently transparent and easy to follow that a sapient entity can easily and fully comprehend it.
  78. Collaboration. Two or more individuals cooperate in a joint effort to perform some activity or develop knowledge in some area, sharing knowledge in the process.
  79. Collateral fact. A fact which is unconnected, or only remotely connected, with the issue or matter in dispute. Something that is secondary and subordinate to the main issue. As no fair and reasonable inference can be drawn from such facts, they are inadmissible in evidence in a court matter.
  80. Command. Statement directing an action to be performed. May be an authoritative order. Do this. Synonym for directive. See also: instruction.
  81. Common sense. Sound judgment of even average individuals, based of general experience, general knowledge, and good sense.
  82. Communicate. Communication. The process of conveying beliefs, opinions, information, knowledge and meaning, or feelings between sapient entities (people or robots), represented in some language, nonverbal gestures, or nonlinguistic vocal expression. May be direct, from sapient entity to sapient entity, or indirectly via knowledge artifacts (e.g., books, videos, or other media artifacts.) See also: media.
  83. Comprehend. Generally a synonym for understand.
  84. Computing environment. A computer or a computer embedded within a device, machine, or other object, including desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, wearable computers, servers, the cloud, smart devices, smart appliances, smart vehicles, smart homes, smart buildings, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, or network of any of the above.
  85. Computational environment. Synonym for computing environment.
  86. Computational entity. An imaginary entity created as a computational object. It may be intended to accurately or approximately represent a real-world object, mental object, or media object, or be entirely imaginary and exist only in the computing environment.
  87. Computational object. An imaginary object constructed within a computing environment using software and data. It may be intended to accurately or approximately represent a real-world object, mental object, or media object, or be entirely imaginary and exist only in the computing environment.
  88. Concept. An organized and formalized notion with associated deep meaning developed from thought or received via communication. Beyond an unorganized thought or rough idea. May be represented as a term or one or more propositions.
  89. Conceptual framework. Collection of related concepts that describe and explain some larger entity, as well as context for framing those concepts and their relationships. Includes theory and organizing principles for the collection.
  90. Concern. An issue or a matter surrounded by some degree of uncertainty, such that either the issue needs to be resolved or the uncertainty needs to be dispelled.
  91. Conclusion. A proposition that is considered true as a result of reasoning and possibly experimentation. Follows from premises. A conclusion is the knowledge produced by reasoning. It is the objective of reasoning. See also: foregone conclusion.
  92. Condition. Qualitative evaluation of the state of an entity.
  93. Conditions. State, environment, situation, or circumstances in which an entity exists.
  94. Confidence. The psychological and emotional strength of belief in a proposition. May be based on reasoning, evidence, or intuition, or even bias. Confidence does not imply truth of the matter. Alternatively, confidence may be a technical assessment of the strength of a proposition — technical confidence. See also: emotional confidence, psychological confidence, and technical confidence.
  95. Conflation. Treating two or more concepts as if they were the same. May be acceptable and reasonable in some situations, but not in others. Generally risky and to be avoided.
  96. Confusion. Wide variance in the uncertainty as to the truth of a proposition or belief. Discomfort over the truth of a matter.
  97. Conjecture. A proposition which may be believed to be true on reasonable argument, but which has not been substantiated or validated.
  98. Connect the dots. A rudimentary form of inference in which an inferential leap is made to connect one dot (proposition) to another dot (proposition) based merely on the fact that the two propositions seem connected, possibly merely by no more than physical or semantic proximity or to fit a perceived pattern. Commonly used when available information is incomplete. Commonly more wishful thinking than strong reasoning. A dubious form of inference at best.
  99. Connection. A relationship between two or more entities or phenomena. May be a strong correlation or even a causal link, but none is necessarily implied. May simply be an informal, psychological or emotional association.
  100. Consensus. A majority of the individuals in a group share certain knowledge and beliefs.
  101. Consequence. Result or effect of an action, event, or phenomena.
  102. Constraint. Limitation or restriction for some proposition, belief, or knowledge.
  103. Contemplate. Contemplation. Consider knowledge possessed by an individual, or some matter.
  104. Contemporaneous event. Event that is either currently in progress or occurred recently. Could include events that are expected to occur in the near future.
  105. Content. Information, knowledge, and meaning transmitted via communication or in knowledge artifacts or media artifacts.
  106. Context. The situation, environment, or conditions immediately surrounding an entity, or in which a proposition is presented or evaluated.
  107. Contradiction. A proposition which appears to indicate the opposite of another proposition, or at least suggests some degree of inconsistency between propositions.
  108. Contrast. Comparison between two or more entities, highlighting both similarities and differences. Alternatively, emphasizing differences — synonym for opposite.
  109. Controversy. Synonym for dispute.
  110. Convention. Norm of behavior, not enforced, but expected and typical.
  111. Conventional wisdom. Generally accepted beliefs. May or may not be strong knowledge or even wisdom per se, but simply beliefs which are strongly held by even average individuals. Alternatively, generally accepted beliefs of experts in some field, regardless of whether they are indeed strong knowledge or even wisdom per se. Frequently used in a pejorative sense to acknowledge weakness in the justification for such presumed knowledge or wisdom.
  112. Conversation. Casual, informal interaction and communication between two or more parties about some matter or possibly no specific matter at all, with no specific intention of any party learning anything. Sometimes a euphemism for more serious discussion under the guise of being casual and informal to encourage one or more parties to let their guard down in order to get them to disclose more valuable information or to get them to be more receptive to input, feedback, and advice, or possibly even for purposes of deception. See also: discussion, interaction.
  113. Convey. Transmit information or meaning between entities, or movement of entities from one location to another.
  114. Conviction. Firmly held belief or opinion, independent of its truth. Strong psychological and emotional confidence. Confidence in a belief.
  115. Correlation. A one to one correspondence between two or more entities.
  116. Corroboration. More than one source for a given piece of information or proposition.
  117. Count. Integral quantity of objects or phenomena.
  118. Counterargument. An argument intended to rebut or refute an argument.
  119. Creativity. The ability to create new beliefs and images, unconstrained by memories of what exists and is known.
  120. Creature. Synonym for animal. Sentient by definition, but may or may not be sapient.
  121. Credibility. Confidence in a source.
  122. Credible. Believable. Rational. Inspiring confidence. Based on more than a very minimal degree of reason. A belief may be credible. A source of information may be credible. In stark contrast to incredible.
  123. Credible rationale. Rationale that which is reasonably credible.
  124. Criteria. Propositions which must be satisfied to make a decision or select something.
  125. Crowdsource. Collaboration involving a potentially very large number of individuals, such as over the Internet.
  126. Culture. Values, qualities, practices, and norms of a society.
  127. Curiosity. Desire and passion for discovering and acquiring new knowledge.
  128. Cyberwarfare. Using information technology to disrupt information systems and information of an adversary. Alternatively, the use of information technology to disrupt military and civilian infrastructure and services. See also: psychological warfare.
  129. Data. Raw information without any significant structure or significance or deep meaning. Raw observations and raw measurements.
  130. Data tables. Data organized in tabular form of columns in rows, for ease of visual processing and publication. Also a form used for processing by a computational entity.
  131. Dataset. Collection or list of data or information relevant to some entity or class of entities. May vary in size but could be very large. See also: statistic.
  132. Deceived. An individual or group that has an incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading perception of some matter due to malevolent intent of another party. Alternatively, a direct synonym for misinformed, although being misinformed can also be due to being ignorant or incompetent, or the misinformation may simply be due to an inadvertent misunderstanding.
  133. Deception. Intent to convey information which is not factually true. Intent to lead a sapient entity into accepting a false belief. To deceive. See also: disinformation. May be a synonym for disinformation, but the latter may be misleading but true, while deception is false by definition.
  134. Decide. Decision. Transition from contemplating some action or choice between alternatives to forming an intention to take the action or accept the chosen alternative. Culmination of formulation of intention. Alternatively, to simply make a choice about an action or to choose between alternatives.
  135. Decision-making. The process leading up to the making of a decision. May or may not include the decision itself, but the focus is on the process leading up to the decision.
  136. Deduction. A conclusion reached by identifying facts and proven propositions that justify the conclusion.
  137. Deductive reasoning. Reasoning which employs deduction. See also: inductive reasoning.
  138. Deep meaning. All levels of meaning associated with something or knowledge.
  139. Definition. Basic meaning for a word, term, or idiom. There may be additional levels of meaning beyond the basic meaning. Commonly recorded in a dictionary or glossary. See also: vocabulary.
  140. Definition truth. Proposition which is simply a definition for a term.
  141. Definitive proof. Redundant, but emphasizes that evidence alone is not necessarily proof.
  142. Denial. Claim that a proposition is false, especially when the proposition is true.
  143. Derivation. Developing knowledge on the basis of existing knowledge.
  144. Description. Elaboration of observable and measurable details of an entity.
  145. Detail. Some aspect of an entity. Synonyms are aspect, feature, attribute, characteristic, quality, and property. Part of metadata for an entity. See also: adjective, minutiae, technicality.
  146. Detailed knowledge. Knowledge of many or most of the details of something.
  147. Detection. Able to sense the existence of something.
  148. Determiner. Word or phrase which specifies which of something is being referred to in a sentence. Includes all quantifiers as well. Examples include the, a, some, all, my, your, which, this, that, both. See also: parts of speech.
  149. Dictionary. Catalog of words, terms, and idioms with their definitions or basic meanings.
  150. Dictionary meaning. The basic meaning of a word, term, or idiomatic phrase as commonly found in a dictionary. Excludes deeper meaning or detail such as found in an encyclopedia or book on the subject.
  151. Dictum. Noteworthy, authoritative statement or principle. Common wisdom.
  152. Different. Two or more entities which are not identical or the same. Some fraction of their characteristics are not the same. See also: identical, same, similar, equal, equivalent, dissimilar, distinct.
  153. Difference. Characteristic which is not identical between two or more entities.
  154. Direct evidence. Evidence which directly implies the asserted conclusion. In contrast with circumstantial evidence which requires an inference. Includes basic evidence and testimonial evidence. See also: basic fact.
  155. Directive. Statement directing an action to be performed. May be an authoritative order. Do this. Synonym for command. See also: instruction.
  156. Discourse. A somewhat organized collection of propositions on one or more related topics.
  157. Discover. Find something unexpected.
  158. Discussion. Interaction and communication between two or more parties about some matter(s), with the intent for at least one party to learning something. See also: conversation, interaction.
  159. Dishonest. Dishonesty. Intent to deceive. Tendency to communicate untruthfully.
  160. Disinformation. False or misleading information, presented with a malicious intent to deceive — nothing innocent about it. May be technically true but presented in a way or context that misleads or deceives. Deliberate attempt to mislead or deceive, regardless of whether true. Alternatively, it may not involve conscious intent to deceive per se, but beyond being mere misinformation it may be colored by a very cavalier disregard for whether or not it is true — it may simply be hoped to be true with no checking. Sometimes legitimate information may be labelled as disinformation as a result of an ideological or intellectual dispute over the truth of the matter under discussion, especially if the truth is subjective or subject to assumptions over which there may be some significant and unresolvable dispute. May be treated as a synonym for deception, but deception is usually false, while disinformation could be misleading even if technically true. See also: red herring, misinformation.
  161. Disinformation campaign. An intentional effort to disrupt a group, society, or country by sowing disinformation. See also: cyberwarfare, psychological warfare.
  162. Dispute. Disputed. Not everyone agrees as to the certainty of a matter or proposition. Synonym: controversy.
  163. Disputed fact. Fact which lacks a universal consensus, typically a fairly significant minority challenges the fact. See also: alternative fact.
  164. Dissimilar. Two or more entities differ in some fraction of their characteristics so that they are not similar. See also: same, identical, equivalent, equal, different, distinct.
  165. Distinct. Distinction. Difference between two or more entities. Extent or degree to which two or more entities can be distinguished. May be a bright line distinction or a fuzzy distinction.
  166. Dogma. Belief system for a particular group, established by the authorities of that group, decreed to be taken as articles of faith by members of that group.
  167. Domain. Discrete area which is very distinct from other areas.
  168. Doubt. Limitation on confidence in the veracity of a proposition. May be specific or merely vague anxiety. See also: reservation, beyond doubt.
  169. Education. Facilitated learning, through a teacher, classes, textbooks, reading, and guided experiences.
  170. Education. Facilitated learning, through a teacher, classes, textbooks, reading, and guided experiences.
  171. Effect. Synonym for result.
  172. Electronic communication. Communication using wires, optical cable, or radio waves, as opposed to speech or physical knowledge artifacts such as paper, books, and newspapers.
  173. Electronic knowledge artifact. Knowledge artifact represented in electronic or digital form, such as a file on computer or the Internet. See also: physical knowledge artifact.
  174. Electronic data. Data existing within a computer, computer network, or electronic device, represented using electrons, photons, or magnetism, as opposed to some non-electronic medium such as paper.
  175. Electronic medium. Use of electrons, photons, or magnetism to represent information, as opposed to non-electronic medium such as paper.
  176. Electronic object. Synonym for computational object, or media object in an electronic medium.
  177. Emotional confidence. Confidence in a proposition that is based on the emotional strength of belief in the proposition. See also: psychological confidence and technical confidence.
  178. Emphasis. Higher level of importance, meaning, prominence, or conviction associated with something or a belief or knowledge. May or may not be warranted by facts and reason.
  179. Empirical evidence. Evidence gathered from observation, measurement, and experimentation. Direct sensory evidence.
  180. Empirical validation. Confirmation of a proposition or theory by testing it in the real world.
  181. Encyclopedia. A collection of essays or articles on a wide and comprehensive range of topics, by experts in those topics.
  182. Enlightenment. Great knowledge, insight, and wisdom in some area.
  183. Entity. An object, person, place, thing, idea, concept, thought, decision, plan, topic, area, event, matter, action, phenomenon, situation, environment, conditions, or anything of unspecified or even vaguely specified nature that has some sort of significance. Details and statistics about an entity are themselves entities, although in a more strict sense an entity would tend to have a relatively independent existence rather than being wholly dependent on a larger entity. Something to be referred to in a statement, proposition, or thought, commonly using a noun. Commonly a person, place, or thing. May be a computational entity. A group of closely related entities can also be considered collectively as a larger entity, such as a family, partnership, team, business, nonprofit organization, or a country. Animals, people, organizations, and robots are entities. Entities with some characteristics in common can constitute a category or class, which itself is an entity. Details about an entity are referred to as entity metadata.
  184. Entity details. Synonym for entity metadata.
  185. Entity metadata. See metadata.
  186. Environment. All entities, phenomena, features, and conditions of the natural world in either a relatively small area or a much larger area. Alternatively, includes manmade structures and artifacts as well. Alternatively, includes the human social environment as well.
  187. Epistemology. Study of the nature of knowledge. A branch of philosophy.
  188. Equal. Two or more entities which are either Identical or have very comparable value. See also: same, similar, equivalent, equal, different, distinct.
  189. Equivalent. Two or more entities which are not Identical or equal but have a reasonable degree of comparable value. See also: same, similar, equal, different, dissimilar, distinct.
  190. Error. Synonym for mistake.
  191. Essay. A discourse that focuses on selected aspects of some topic.
  192. Essence. Core details of an entity that are essential for its existence and that distinguish it from other entities or other types of entities.
  193. Estimate. Estimation. Specification or quantification of something without full precision or exact accuracy. May be close but not exact. See also: approximate, heuristic.
  194. Eternal truth. Propositions which are true for for all things in all places in all situations for all times, in contrast with subjective and objective truth. See also: objective truth, ultimate truth.
  195. Ethics. Study of the nature of human nature and social interaction. Including morality. A branch of philosophy.
  196. Etiology. Study of causation, origination, and reasons for the state of entities. Alternatively, the specific cause, origin, or reason for the particular state of a particular entity. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiology.
  197. Evaluation. Synonym for assessment.
  198. Event. An instance of a phenomenon or a specific element or subset of elements of behavior within a phenomenon. Classically characterized with the Five W’s — the five questions Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
  199. Evidence. Basic evidence, fact, testimony, argument, or proposition, or the collection of basic evidence, facts, arguments, testimony, and propositions which supports a proposition or conclusion. May not be definitive proof. May be weak or strong. Alternatively, a widely accepted conclusion. See also: circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, inculpatory evidence, exculpatory evidence.
  200. Exaggerate. Exaggeration. A proposition which misleads by asserting that something is significantly more or significantly less than it really is. Amplify positive qualities and minimize negative qualities.
  201. Example. Examples. Sample from a population of entities which exhibits a reasonably representative set of aspects common to that population. Multiple examples help to show the diversity of the population. Also used to exemplify a principle or rule. Synonym for illustration.
  202. Exchange. Simple, brief interaction, typically between only two parties. Not as involved or extensive as a conversation or discussion. Possibly as simple as a question and an answer. May be a nonverbal interaction, such as using gestures.
  203. Exculpate. Exculpatory evidence. Evidence which tends to disprove or undermine a proposition, primarily to free an entity from responsibility or blame for some particular outcome or incident. In legal proceedings, evidence which exonerates or frees a defendant from responsibility or blame for some misdeed. In contrast with inculpatory evidence, which tends to indicate that a particular entity is responsible for or the cause of some particular outcome or incident.
  204. Excuse. An expression of justification for a belief or action or inaction which is too weak to constitute a fully justified reason.
  205. Expected. In accord with one’s beliefs.
  206. Experience. Exposure of an individual or group to sensory input and involvement in actions and activities.
  207. Experience. The collective sensory perception and emotional response to an event or phenomenon.
  208. Experimentation. Attempt to validate a hypothesis. Or possibly simply an attempt to discover facts and make observations about a phenomenon.
  209. Expertise. Practical knowledge, experience, and judgment possessed by an individual or group.
  210. Expert. Individual with a recognized level of knowledge and expertise in a field or area which is well above the average for a group, stemming from some significant combination of native ability, specialized education, general education, specialized training, reading, study, research, work experience, general experience, developed skills, sound judgment, track record of recognized accomplishments, college degrees, credentials, certifications, licenses, sterling reputation, very positive ratings, professional or academic accolades, and glowing recommendations.
  211. Explanation. The causal factors for a phenomenon or event — focus on why and how rather than merely what happened. Description may be included with an explanation, but is incidental to the causal factors.
  212. Explicit. Proposition which is stated literally, to avoid any possible confusion, in contrast to implicit.
  213. Express. Expression. The ability of a sapient entity to communicate or convey knowledge, meaning, and feelings, commonly using language and gestures, either directly to other sapient entities such as with speech or through the creation of knowledge artifacts such as written text that can later be examined and understood by a sapient entity.
  214. Extrapolation. Inferring a purported fact as an extension from one or more known facts, either because of close proximity or a linear relationship between two or more known facts. Logically equivalent to extending a line between X and Y to a point Z which lies on the line between and Y.
  215. Fabricate. Construct a statement or story that is not true in significant ways.
  216. Facsimile object. An object which is intended to be a copy of all or a significant portion of the essential qualities of another object. Includes photos and other media objects.
  217. Fact. Either a basic fact or a conclusion that is relatively widely recognized and accepted as true. Should also include the reasoning, evidence, and justification in support of the fact, as well as its provenance (source.) Alternatively, a belief that is part of general knowledge, which is presumed to be fact but whose provenance is unclear. See also: asserted fact.
  218. Fact pattern. Fact situation. All of the facts relevant to a particular matter, such as a court case or life situation. Alternatively, the essential or most important facts of a matter that describe it in the abstract so that other matters with different specific details but the same overall fact pattern can be treated in a similar manner.
  219. Factoid. A fact which is relatively trivial but has some appeal to the general populace. Alternatively, a purported fact which is not necessarily true but is treated as if true due to its appeal to either the general populace or some significant segment of the population.
  220. Faith. Acceptance of a belief on the word of another with absolutely no reliance on evidence, proof, reason, or justification.
  221. Fake news. Satirical take on news, for entertainment. Alternatively, deliberate intent to mislead under the guise and appearance of news.
  222. Fallacy. Flaw in reasoning (logical fallacy) or mistaken belief. See Fallacy.
  223. Familiarity. Knowledge of something. May be detailed knowledge or casual knowledge.
  224. Fantasy. Speculation not intended to have practical utility.
  225. Feature. Synonym for detail.
  226. Features of the natural world. Aspects of land, water, atmosphere, life, planets, stars, and galaxies. From the subatomic to the microscopic to the geologic to the astronomical. Can loosely be treated as objects.
  227. Feeling. How an individual feels about some matter.
  228. Fiction. Fantasy that is not intended to become reality, but may be useful as a story. Could be intended for entertainment, education, or to deceive.
  229. Figure of speech. Word or phrase used to associate a figurative (nonliteral) meaning rather than the literal meaning for emphasis or dramatic effect. See Figure of speech. See also: metaphor.
  230. First-order logic. First-order predicate calculus. Predicate logic. Basic formal logic. See: First-order logic.
  231. Five W’s. The five questions Who, What, When, Where, and Why classically used to characterize an event.
  232. Flawed logic. Reasoning whose conclusion cannot be trusted due to errors or fallacies in its logical structure.
  233. Flawed reasoning. Reasoning whose conclusion cannot be trusted due to mistakes at some stage of the reasoning process, such as logical fallacies.
  234. Folk tale. Story of dubious veracity commonly passed down through the generations by word of mouth. See also: tall tale, old chestnut, old wives’ tale.
  235. Folk wisdom. Perceived wisdom in the form of propositions of dubious veracity accepted in popular culture and commonly passed down through the generations by word of mouth.
  236. Foregone conclusion. An outcome which is strongly believed and accepted as inevitable, without the need to engage in a formal reasoning process to justify such a belief.
  237. Form. Physical manifestation of an entity, as distinct from its function and purpose.
  238. Formal fallacy. Flaw in the logical structure of a formal argument. See Formal fallacy.
  239. Foundation. Collection of propositions, principles, and concepts used as the basis for something. See also: conceptual framework, organization.
  240. Frame. Framing. Provide context for one or more concepts or propositions.
  241. Framework. See conceptual framework.
  242. Function. The reason and benefit of an entity or action. What the entity does or the action accomplishes.
  243. Future. The prospects of events which have not yet occurred.
  244. Fuzzy distinction. Inability to clearly distinguish between two or more entities, in contrast to a bright line distinction.
  245. General. Generality. Concerning most entities and matters. Not specific or particular.
  246. General knowledge. Knowledge expected to be possessed by even average individuals.
  247. General wisdom. Wisdom expected to be possessed by even average individuals. See also: conventional wisdom.
  248. Generalization. Proving or presuming that if a proposition is true for one or more particular instances of a population then the proposition will be true for all instances within that population which share any characteristics which are needed for the proof for the particular instances. See also: induction, mathematical induction.
  249. Generalization abstraction. An abstraction (concept) which represents more than one entity, representing what the entities have in common. Excludes details which are not in common to all of the entities.
  250. Gesture. Simple, nonverbal form of communication, involving facial expressions, hand movements, or other body language. See also: nonlinguistic vocal expression.
  251. Gist. A very brief, terse summary of some matter, typically of some written text or action, typically in a very clipped style of writing not intended to be a full, formal summary, but simply easy and fast to read while conveying the essence or most significant or most relevant aspect(s) of the matter. As a verb, to create a gist of some matter.
  252. Glossary. An abbreviated dictionary of terms relevant to a particular topic, area, matter, or discourse.
  253. Goal. The desired outcome for an action or activity.
  254. Good. Acceptable condition.
  255. Good cause. Credible rationale for deciding on a course of action or to hold a belief. May or may not rise to the level of sound reasoning.
  256. Gossip. Propositions obtained informally from an individual’s social network. Commonly but not exclusively about a person. Dubious veracity, but not infrequently true. Synonym for rumor.
  257. Government. Organizational body and structure which governs society, creating, enforcing, and administering laws and regulations, and providing a variety of services to the members of society.
  258. Grain of salt. That a claim be viewed with skepticism as to whether it represents the whole truth or even literal truth. With a grain of salt.
  259. Grammar. Rules for constructing sentences in a language, from words, phrases, clauses, and punctuation, collectively known as syntax, as well as morphology and phonology, which refer to how individual words and sounds are formed, but the latter are beyond the scope of this paper, which focuses on knowledge and meaning. Synonym for syntax, presuming that morphology and phonology of words are not of interest. See also: parsing.
  260. Ground truth. As close to actual truth or ultimate truth for a matter as can humanly and practically be achieved. Synonym for ultimate truth, but more of a close approximation for ultimate truth — ultimate truth is the ideal while ground truth is the best we can do. Sometimes used in contrast to speculation, what we perceive or estimate truth to be versus what really is true.
  261. Group. A collection of individuals who interact in some way involving activities and communication. Knowledge and meaning can be shared among members of the group.
  262. Half true. Quality of a statement which is partially true but partially false, in roughly equal measures. Not necessarily an attempt to deceive. See also: half-truth, mostly true, mostly false, outright false.
  263. Half-truth. A statement which is partially true but partially false, in roughly equal measures, usually in an attempt to deceive. May be mostly false, but just barely true enough to escape being labeled as outright false. See also: half true, mostly true, mostly false, outright false.
  264. Healthy skepticism. Skepticism that is based on sound reason or good cause. In contrast to irrational skepticism.
  265. Hearsay evidence. A statement given to a party by a second party which is alleged by the second party to have been made by a third party. The difficulty is that the first party has no way to validate the veracity of the purported statement.
  266. Heuristic. A mental or computational shortcut for reasoning or calculation that approximates a correct conclusion or result at a fraction of the effort of more careful reasoning or a more comprehensive and complete calculation. No guarantee of absolute correctness, but generally sufficient for immediate needs. Must be used with care. See also: intuition.
  267. Hierarchy. Nested classification of entities into subclasses, with an arbitrary number of levels of subclasses. See also: taxonomy.
  268. Higher-order human intelligence. Higher-order human-level intelligence specifically limited to human beings, excluding non-human sapient entities, such a robots or AI systems.
  269. Higher-order human-level intelligence. Synonym for higher-order intellectual capacity.
  270. Higher-order intellect. Individual possessing higher-order intellectual capacity. Synonym for higher-order intellectual capacity.
  271. Higher-order intellectual activity. Higher-order intellectual capacity in action. Synonym for higher-order intellectual capacity.
  272. Higher-order intellectual capacity. Human-level intelligence. Beyond animal intelligence. Includes wisdom, reasoning, planning, creativity, speculation, intuition, judgment, critical thinking, natural language, and storytelling. Excludes the more mundane basic human intellectual capacities such as basic perception, basic communication, basic language skills, simple information transfer, simple transactions, basic planning, basic reasoning, and basic decision-making. Synonym for sapience. Synonym for higher-order human-level intelligence.
  273. Hint. Provide a clue or suggestion of a proposition without stating it explicitly, or to provide a proposition without sufficient justification and promising or implying that justification will or may come in the future.
  274. History. A representation of the flow of events for a collection of interacting entities. May range from a small number of entities over a short period of time to a very large number of entities over a very long period of time.
  275. Honest mistake. Inadvertent mistake. No intent to mislead. Good faith attempt to be honest. Not negligent, either.
  276. Honesty. Tendency to communicate truthfully.
  277. Human creation. Any object or substance which has been created or constructed by human beings.
  278. Human existence. People who are alive now or have lived in the past. May or may not include their creations. May or may not include their impact.
  279. Human impact. Changes to the natural world as a result of human activity.
  280. Human natural language. Natural language of human beings, as distinct from languages specific to machines.
  281. Human social environment. All entities, phenomena, features, and conditions related to human social activity. In contrast to the features of the natural world, both inanimate and living. May include manmade structures and artifacts, or exclude them.
  282. Hypothesis. A proposition made with an expectation of evaluation and validation as soon as possible, typically to validate a theory.
  283. Hypothetical. Possible or suggested entity or proposition. May or may not be an actual entity or proposition. See also: naive hypothetical.
  284. Idea. A partially organized notion that results from considering a thought. Recognition that a thought has some potential value. Synonym for thought, loosely.
  285. Ideal. Best possible alternative, outcome, or goal. Alternatively, highly valued principle.
  286. Identical. Two or more entities share their characcteristics so that they cannot be differentiated. See also: same, similar, equivalent, equal, different, distinct.
  287. Ideology. Synonym for belief system. Commonly associated with political beliefs.
  288. Idiom. A phrase or sequence of words or terms which have a meaning somewhat different from the meaning of the individual words or terms that comprise the phrase. For example, it’s raining cats and dogs.
  289. Ignorance. Ignorant. Lack of knowledge. May be innocent, negligent, willful, or malevolent.
  290. Illustration. Drawing. Alternatively, synonym for example.
  291. Imaginary entity. An entity which exists other than in the real world — a mental entity, media entity, or computational entity. It may also exist in the real-world.
  292. Imaginary object. An object which exists other than in the real world — a mental object, media object, or computational object, in contrast to a real-world object. It may also exist in the real-world.
  293. Imaginary world. A world that we construct in our minds, media, or in a computing environment, from our imaginations, or in a computer, using a model.
  294. Imagination. Knowledge, beliefs, images, and sounds that we construct in our minds. The ability to construct knowledge, beliefs, images, and sounds in our minds.
  295. Implicit. Unstated proposition which is assumed, in contrast to explicit.
  296. Imply. Lead another party to believe an unstated proposition without there being an explicit and proven proposition, or to believe a stated proposition without adequately justifying its truth.
  297. Inanimate object. Nonliving object.
  298. Inculpate. Inculpatory evidence. Evidence which tends to prove or support a proposition, primarily to blame or assign responsibility to an entity for some particular outcome or incident. In legal proceedings, evidence which incriminates or helps to convict a defendant for some misdeed. In contrast with exculpatory evidence, which tends to indicate that a particular entity is not responsible for or the cause of some particular outcome or incident.
  299. Incredible. Not credible or difficult to believe. Nonetheless, an incredible proposition might actually be true.
  300. Indirect evidence. Evidence which requires an inference to fully justify an asserted conclusion (fact.) Evidence which by itself does not fully justify a particular fact, but from which that fact may be inferred (or concluded), possibly or probably in conjunction with other facts and evidence. In contrast with direct evidence which by itself justifies a fact. An inference is required. Synonym for circumstantial evidence.
  301. Individual. A single sapient entity. Member of a group. Typically but not necessarily human. See also: person.
  302. Induction. Reasoning which infers a generalized conclusion from one or more particular instances for which the conclusion can be shown to be true, the presumption being that what holds true for one instance should necessarily hold true for all instances of a general pattern. See also mathematical induction.
  303. Inductive reasoning. Reasoning which employs induction. See also: generalization.
  304. Inference. A fact which implies the truth of a proposition.
  305. Influence. Communicate with the intent of gently causing someone to believe something or change their mind about something.
  306. Inform. Communicate with simply the intention of sharing information or knowledge and meaning.
  307. Informal argument. Casual approach to reasoning. No sense of rigor, but not necessarily weak either.
  308. Information. A collection, sequence, or structure of symbols and images. May be a representation of knowledge and meaning. Knowledge stripped of its significance or meaning. Sometimes used as a synonym for knowledge.
  309. Information warfare. An intentional effort to disrupt an adversary using information, such as propaganda, disinformation campaigns, psychological warfare, espionage, hacking, trolling, and cyberwarfare.
  310. Inquiry. Synonym for investigation. Alternatively, to request information or ask a question.
  311. Insight. Deep understanding in some area, especially nuances of which others are unaware.
  312. Instance. Particular entity which is a member of a class of entities.
  313. Instruction. Instructions. Sequence of directives to accomplish some task or to reach some goal.
  314. Intellectual. Relating to mental objects and the processes of the mind, especially reasoning.
  315. Intellectual object. Synonym for mental object.
  316. Intelligence. The ability of an intelligent entity to engage in mental processes which enable it to perceive sensory input and collect, remember, recall, communicate, analyze, synthesize, create, plan, act, react, and use knowledge. Also applies to animals to a limited degree. More simply, capacity for intellectual thought — perception, cognition, and communication. Mental processes may be informed by emotions and drives as well as intellectual thought. Alternatively, a body of collected knowledge or information considered of strategic or tactical value, such as for the military (military intelligence), relations between countries, political campaigns, commercial competition, and operations within an organization (e.g., business intelligence.) Beyond the scope of this paper. See Untangling the Definitions of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
  317. Intelligent entity. Entity capable of perception, cognition, and communication — focusing on thought and reason, coupled with memory and knowledge. Synonym for sapient entity.
  318. Intent. Intention. Formulate, accept, and place some degree of focus on a goal. Purpose or desired outcome for a belief, decision, or action.
  319. Intentional mistake. Willful mistake made in an effort to deceive.
  320. Interaction. Communication between two or more parties on one or more matters. Conversation, discussion, or exchange. May be a nonverbal interaction, such as using gestures.
  321. Interpolation. Inferring a purported fact between two or more facts on the presumption of a linear relationship between those known facts. For example, if X and Y are true, all points on a presumed logical line between X and Y must be true.
  322. Interpretation. An extension of facts, inferring beliefs, based on subjective considerations.
  323. Intimate. Intimation. Hint at a claim or proposition without stating it explicitly. Synonym for imply and implicit.
  324. Intuition. Ability to arrive at a reasonable conclusion without the use of explicit, conscious reasoning.
  325. Investigation. Research, study, and analysis of some entity to ascertain the facts of the matter.
  326. Irrational. Not rational. Thought, belief, expression, or action which is not based on reasonable thought. Thought that is marred by fallacious reasoning, flawed logic, or excessive intrusion of emotion and passion. Ill-considered.
  327. Irrational belief. A belief that is not based on rational thought.
  328. Irrational skepticism. Skepticism that is not based on sound reason or good cause, such as bias or emotion. See also: healthy skepticism.
  329. Irrational thought. Thought that is irrational.
  330. Issue. A matter which is considered problematic, a problem in need of a solution.
  331. It stands to reason. Assertion that a fact or conclusion is obvious, that the assertion or inference should be accepted as true without formally providing the justification for that belief. Alternatively, asserting that a fully justified argument could be made in support of a conclusion (fact), but is being skipped as an expediency.
  332. Judgment. Ability, skill, experience, and degree of competence at reasoning and making decisions. A decision on some matter.
  333. Just plain wrong. An emotional subjective reaction to a statement which is considered unacceptable and treated as absolutely false without question. The statement is likely to be false, but the reaction may simply indicate a disagreement over interpretation.
  334. Justification. Reasoning and evidence used to arrive at a conclusion. May be weak or strong.
  335. Justified belief. A belief with sufficient justification to be accepted as true.
  336. Justified true belief. JTB. Belief with strong enough justification to warrant status as knowledge. A belief that is justified and also has been shown to be true.
  337. Know. To possess knowledge about something. Alternatively, to possess a belief.
  338. Knowledge acquisition. Process of developing and accepting knowledge, through perception, communication, or independent thought. Synonym for cognition.
  339. Knowledge artifact. An object created to represent knowledge. Such as a book, a letter, a note, a paper, a document, a memo, a song, a picture, a diagram, a recording, or a video. Frequently using language or some other form of symbols. May be physical (objects) or electronic. See also: media, media artifact.
  340. Knowledge representation. Knowledge expressed in a form that can be conveyed to a sapient entity, such as language and knowledge artifacts or speech.
  341. Knowledge. What is known by one or more sapient entities, including both information and skills. What is believed to be true. True beliefs. More formally, justified true beliefs (JTB). Alternatively, the sum total of the beliefs, facts, and memories of an individual. Or all individuals. Or all members of a group. Includes meaning, to some degree, but there may be additional levels of meaning based on interpretation and context in which the knowledge is considered. May be detailed knowledge, limited knowledge, or only casual knowledge. May be objective knowledge or subjective knowledge.
  342. Known. Knowledge possessed by a sapient entity, group, or society.
  343. Language. The means by which knowledge and meaning can be represented by a sapient entity, either to simply record that knowledge and meaning, or to communicate it to another sapient entity. Language can be spoken or written or transmitted in electronic form.
  344. Law. Behavior which is required or prohibited or otherwise regulated as a result of legislative action of the government.
  345. Learning. Acquiring knowledge through education or experience.
  346. Legal entity. Any entity that has legal standing. Namely individuals and organizations.
  347. Lexicon. Synonym for vocabulary or dictionary.
  348. Lie. Intentionally make a statement which is known by the speaker to be false, but with the intent that the listener will believe it to be true. A false statement which was represented as being true. See also: interpretation.
  349. Life. Living entity. Alternatively, all living entities. Alternatively, all stages and characteristics of a living entity, from the moment of its conception until it no longer is alive. Alternatively, all stages and characteristics of a nonliving entity during which it has utility, such as for a machine or structure.
  350. Life story. A representation of the flow of events for the entire lifetime, to date, for a single entity.
  351. Limit. Bound for an entity or proposition.
  352. Limited knowledge. Knowledge of only some of the details of something.
  353. Limited scope. Propositions which are not universal, only being applicable for some specified region, area, or parameters.
  354. Linguistics. Linguist. Formal or even scientific study of language, including form, function, structure, sound, meaning, origin, evolution, and usage.
  355. Listening. Receiving communication in the form of the spoken word via hearing.
  356. Living entity. Biota. Plants and animals, including humans. Organisms. Microorganisms.
  357. Living object. Living entity.
  358. Living thing. Living entity.
  359. Location. Spatial or geographic position. There may or may not be anything at that position. Synonym for place, where. May be specified indefinitely as in somewhere, everywhere, nowhere, some place, no place, almost everywhere, almost nowhere.
  360. Logic. Very tight, rule-based reasoning, used to prove a proposition or matter. May or may not be correct, but can be difficult to understand. Alternatively, loosely, the thought processes used to arrive at a conclusion, even if they may not be valid. See also: first-order logic.
  361. Logical fallacy. Flaw in the logic used in reasoning, such as a formal fallacy. See Fallacy.
  362. Mark. Synonym for symbol, sign. In some philosophy systems there may be more nuanced distinctions between symbol, sign, and mark, but that’s beyond the scope of this paper.
  363. Math. Mathematics. Technical means and methods for justifying propositions and performing calculations or computations to form facts from raw data, especially numbers, typically representing quantities or measurements of entities in the real world or imagined worlds. See also: logic.
  364. Mathematical induction. Proof of a mathematical theorem for all elements in a (possibly infinite) sequence based on proving the theorem for the first element and then proving that if it is true of any element then it is true for the next element of the sequence. See also: induction, generalization.
  365. Mathematical methods. Methods which use mathematics, such as to evaluate and assess confidence in a proposition or theory.
  366. Mathematical relationship. Correlation based on formal mathematical methods, such that results for different inputs can be calculated rather than requiring reasoning, observation, or measurement.
  367. Matter. An entity of interest. Something related to the entity. Anything of interest for which some inquiry or judgment is desired.
  368. Meaning. The understanding, significance, and feeling that a sapient entity associates with knowledge, a term, a concept, feeling, an event, or a matter. May have any number of levels, both shallow and deep. The simplest meaning being the dictionary meaning of a term. See also: multiple meanings.
  369. Measurement. An assessment of the number of units of some physical quantity such as size, weight, length, or number of entities.
  370. Media. Means and methods for communicating. Such as books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, telephone calls, recordings, videos, movies, and the Internet. Alternatively, media outlets. See also: medium.
  371. Media artifacts. Knowledge artifacts used in the process of communicating via media and media outlets. Includes newspapers, books, audio, videos, shows, magazines, and podcasts. See also: media object.
  372. Media entity. An imaginary entity that exists as a representation in media, such as an image or video. The entity may or may not also exist as a real-world entity, mental entity, or computational entity, either as an accurate or approximate representation.
  373. Media object. An imaginary object that exists as a representation in media, such as an image or video. The object may or may not also exist as a real-world object, mental object, or computational object, either as an accurate or approximate representation. See also: facsimile object, media artifact.
  374. Media outlet. Organization focused on distributing or broadcasting content, information, knowledge, and meaning in the form of media artifacts to a relatively broad audience, or possibly a limited, narrow, or specialized audience.
  375. Medium. Object used to represent information. May be electronic or non-electronic, such as paper. Used for media artifacts and knowledge artifacts in general.
  376. Meme. An idea, concept, knowledge, or narrative that spreads rapidly and widely across a diverse and dispersed audience.
  377. Memory. The totality of knowledge, beliefs, images, and sounds as experienced, learned, or imagined by a single individual. Alternatively, information stored in a computer, on a computer network, or on an electronic device.
  378. Mental entity. An imaginary entity that exists in the mind of a sentient entity. The entity may or may not also exist as a real-world entity, media entity, or computational entity, either as an accurate or approximate representation.
  379. Mental object. An imaginary object that exists in the mind of a sentient entity. The object may or may not also exist as a real-world object, media object, or computational object.
  380. Mental state. Context within the mind in which a sapient entity engages in cognition.
  381. Metadata. Information about an entity that is considered distinct from the entity itself. Metadata may be embedded, attached, or kept separately. Metadata can correspond to actual attributes and descriptive characteristics of the entity as it is, or attributes and descriptive characteristics which are associated with the entity by a separate intelligent entity, possibly in a subjective rather than clearly objective manner. Aspect, attribute, characteristic, detail, feature, property, and quality are all metadata. Also, statistics related to the entity. Common metadata includes name, title, author, owner, publisher, interesting dates and times in history of the entity, description, origin, current location, notable physical characteristics, packaging, summary and indexing, relationships to other entities, statistics, supplemental information, etc.
  382. Metaphor. Figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used to informally associate its literal meaning with an unrelated entity as an analogy or for emphasis or dramatic effect.
  383. Metaphysics. Study of the nature of existence. A branch of philosophy. Includes ontology.
  384. Method. Technique and intentions used to perform an action or activity.
  385. Mind. Source and seat of sapience in a sapient entity.
  386. Minutiae. Very small detail, not considered very important or very relevant. See also: technicality.
  387. Mischaracterize. Mischaracterization. Inaccurate description of an entity by misrepresenting its characteristics. Alternatively, a selective characterization which is designed to be misleading. See also: characterize.
  388. Misinformation. Information that is false, inaccurate, or misleading, usually due to ignorance, incompetence, sloppiness, or negligence, or inadvertent, or simply a misunderstanding or innocent error with no conscious or malicious intent to deceive, but sometimes intentional deception. Misinformation passed with a malicious intent to deceive is more properly termed disinformation, but disinformation which is strictly false, inaccurate, or misleading is still misinformation as well. Misinformation may originate as disinformation with a malicious intent to deceive, but once received by another party may be passed along as mere misinformation since subsequent parties may lack any malicious intent to deceive. Depending on the context, the original intent of the original source of the information (or some intermediate party along the way) might be used to guide whether the information is judged to be disinformation or merely misinformation due to innocent error.
  389. Misinformed. An individual or group that has an incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading perception of some matter. They may have been intentionally deceived or misled, such as through disinformation, or may simply be ignorant or incompetent, or the misinformation may simply be due to an inadvertent misunderstanding. See also: deceived.
  390. Mislead. Intent for the recipient of a communication to form a perception that is false.
  391. Misperception. A perception that is not true or inaccurate in some way, that is not in absolute correspondence with reality. Alternatively, a misunderstanding or incorrect, improper, or inappropriate interpretation of some matter.
  392. Misrepresent. Misrepresentation. Convey information which is not factually true. May or may not be intentional. See also: lie, mislead, deceive.
  393. Misunderstanding. Failed communication. The person receiving information is unable to interpret its meaning as was intended by the sender.
  394. Mistake. Incorrect, inappropriate, or missing proposition, or treatment of a false proposition as true or a true proposition as false. May be honest, negligent, or intentional. Synonym for error.
  395. Model. A representation that approximates how some portion of the real world or an imaginary world is believed to work. Rarely clear whether the real world or imaginary world actually works exactly as modeled. May be used to manually step through simulations of how the real or imaginary world works, or developed as a computer model which automates operation of the model.
  396. Modeling. Using a model to develop facts from existing facts and assumptions, via simulations of scenarios.
  397. Moment. Discrete point in time, typically when some event occurs.
  398. Mostly false. Quality of a statement which is more false than true. Usually but not necessarily an attempt to deceive. See also: half true, half-truth, mostly true, outright false.
  399. Mostly true. Quality of a statement which is more true than false. Sometimes but not necessarily an attempt to deceive. See also: half true, half-truth, mostly false, outright false.
  400. Motive. Psychological reason for a belief, decision, or action, which may lean towards bias rather than strong reasoning. May be based on emotion or self-interest.
  401. Multiple meanings. A proposition, knowledge, word, phrase, or term may have more than one meaning, due either to multiple senses, multiple interpretations, or ambiguity.
  402. Myth. Traditional story from the history of a culture which may be rooted in some fact, but has an exaggerated and incredible nature so that it at least seems false. Alternatively, a widely held belief that is demonstrably false.
  403. Naive hypothetical. Overly-simplistic hypothetical. A possible or suggested entity or proposition which is unlikely to be valid.
  404. Name. Some combination of words and terms used to identify a particular entity, to distinguish it from other entities. See also: proper noun.
  405. Narrative. A story focusing on a deeper or higher level of meaning than on superficial details. Also commonly treated as synonym for story.
  406. Natural language. Languages used by sapient entities. Generally used to refer to human language, as distinct from language used by machines or non-sapient animals. Technically, machines can use human natural language as well, and specialized machine languages could rival the complexity and power of human natural language.
  407. Natural phenomenon. An integrated pattern of activity or behavior of objects and processes in the natural world, excluding human activity, such as weather systems and geologic events.
  408. Natural world. All entities, features, and phenomena of the real world exclusive of sapient entities and anything that they may have created. Synonym is physical world.
  409. Negligent. Negligence. Not exercising proper diligence and good judgment. Synonym: careless.
  410. Negligent mistake. Mistake due to negligence, in contrast to an honest mistake or intentional mistake.
  411. News. Reports of contemporaneous events.
  412. Neutral. Not taking a position on the meaning or value of something.
  413. Non-electronic medium. Medium other than electronic medium, such as paper or non-electronic recordings.
  414. Nonlinguistic vocal expression. A sound uttered as if speech, but not comprised of words, commonly as an expression of emotion or feeling as its meaning. Such as a sigh, gasp, growl, cry, howl, laugh, giggle, clicking or clucking sound, or mimicking an animal. See also: nonverbal gestures.
  415. Nonrational. Thought, conclusions, and actions which do not require careful reasoning, but are not marred by irrational thought either. Includes desires and interests.
  416. Nonsense statement. Statement devoid of any significant sensibility. Incomprehensible statement. Not necessarily false, but may be too incomprehensible to evaluate its veracity.
  417. Nonverbal gestures. Redundant — all gestures are nonverbal, although gestures can also be combined with speech for reinforcement or nuances of communication. See also: nonlinguistic vocal expression.
  418. Nonverbal interaction. Exchange between entities using only gestures or nonlinguistic vocal expressions.
  419. Norm. Norms. Standard, usual, or typical expected behavior in society, an organization, or an environment.
  420. Nothing. Lack of entities, phenomena, or anything else of significance.
  421. Notion. Informal reference to a thought, idea, or concept. No sense of formality or specificity. Synonym for something. Anything that could be present in the mind.
  422. Noun. Any word used to identify a class of entities. A proper noun would be used to identify or refer to a particular entity. See also: adjective, verb.
  423. Now. Moment of the present.
  424. Number. Representation of a quantity. May be integral or fractional.
  425. Object. Something that exists or at least appears to have form, substance, shape, or can be detected in some way, or can be experienced with the senses or imagination, or manipulated by a computer, either as a real-world object or an imaginary object, such as a media object, mental object, or computational object, and can be distinguished from its environment. See also: entity, a subset of which are objects. Whether liquid and gaseous matter should be considered to be objects is debatable, but they are under this definition. A storm could certainly be treated as an object even though it consists only of air and water. Alternatively, the entity at which an action is being directed — see also: subject.
  426. Objective. A proposition is true for all individuals and all situations. Alternatively, able to separate out personal and group feelings and bias when judging some matter. Alternatively, synonym for goal.
  427. Objective knowledge. Knowledge that is true for all sapient entities, in contrast to subjective knowledge which may vary between sapient entities. Levels or layers of meaning may differ between sapient entities, in which case those layers that are shared can be considered objective knowledge and meaning, while those layers which are not shared among all sapient entities would be considered subjective knowledge and meaning.
  428. Objective meaning. Meaning which is shared between all sapient entities which possess the particular knowledge associated with that meaning, in contrast with subjective meaning, which may vary between sapient entities.
  429. Objective truth. All propositions which are true for all individuals in all situations, in contrast to subjective truth. See also: ultimate truth, eternal truth.
  430. Observation. What can be seen, heard, felt, or otherwise sensed or directly experienced by a sentient entity.
  431. Official source. Source of information or a proposition which has been appointed to have responsibility for activities and knowledge in some area.
  432. Old chestnut. Traditional belief of dubious veracity. May have been true at one time, but now more clearly not true or not as true as it might once have been. See also: old wives’ tale.
  433. Old wives’ tale. Traditional belief of very dubious veracity at best. Presumed to be true in the past even though it was not likely to have ever been true, and is now clearly false or of minimal truth, but may remain popular anyway. See also: old chestnut.
  434. Omitted. Omission. Left out or excluded. May be intentional or inadvertent.
  435. Ontology. Study of the nature of existence. Part of the metaphysics branch of philosophy. Defining classes and hierarchies of entities, their characteristics, and their relationships and connections.
  436. Open-minded. A sapient entity willing to consider new ideas, existing ideas in new ways, or reconsider previous judgments. See also: close-minded.
  437. Opinion. A belief held by an individual that does not require confirmation from any outside source or any other individual.
  438. Opposite. Opposition. Two entities or propositions which are very different, possibly as different as possible. See also: contrast.
  439. Organization. Arrangement of entities or concepts to achieve desired functions, goals, or purpose.
  440. Organizing principle. Principle which provides at least part of the foundation for developing an organization. See also: conceptual framework.
  441. Origin. The time and place of the first instance of something. Alternatively, the cause of something.
  442. Outcome. The result of an action, activity, or event. Either the intended result or the actual result. May or may not be expected.
  443. Outright false. Quality of a statement which is unequivocally false, with not even a hint of truth (or at least no more than a slight hint of truth.) May or may not also be a lie depending on whether there is malicious intent to deceive, or merely ignorance of the truth of a matter. See also: half true, half-truth, mostly false, mostly true, outright lie.
  444. Outright lie. A statement which is unequivocally false and made with the malicious intent to deceive. See also: half true, half-truth, mostly false, mostly true, outright false.
  445. Paradigm. Model, pattern, method, or example representing a larger class of entities.
  446. Parse. Parsing. Analyze the text of a proposition, statement, or sentence in a language, to determine its linguistic structure and meaning. See also: grammar, syntax.
  447. Particular. Instance of a class or a group of entities. Alternatively, a detail of an entity.
  448. Particular entity. Instance of a class of entities. May or may not have a name (proper noun.)
  449. Parts of speech. Categories of words used to structure the meaning of a sentence in natural language — noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection or exclamation, numeral, article, quantifier, and determiner.
  450. Party. One of the sapient entities participating in an interaction.
  451. Past. Events which have occurred and entities and context involved with them.
  452. Pattern. Recurrence or regularity of some entity, either spatially or temporally.
  453. Perception. The experience of the real world, from the perspective of a sentient entity, primarily as experienced directly through their senses, but also through communication with other sentient entities. Perception of sapient entities is more of interest here but they do intersect. In many cases the raw sensory perception abilities of animals can exceed those of sapient entities, in particular human beings. Alternatively, a sentient entity’s understanding and interpretation of some matter. See also: misperception.
  454. Perfection. Could not be better. Synonym for ideal.
  455. Period. Range of time, with a start and end.
  456. Person. Human sapient entity. Individual.
  457. Personal. The truth of a proposition will be dependent on the individual.
  458. Personal knowledge. The knowledge possessed by an individual, which may or may not be shared by other entities.
  459. Perspective. Variation in context which may affect the meaning or veracity of a proposition or the view on an entity.
  460. Persuade. Persuasion. Stronger form of influence, resulting in a change of views by the persuaded entity or entities.
  461. Phenomenon. An integrated pattern of activity or behavior of one or more entities. May be a natural phenomenon, such as weather systems and geologic events. May involve sapient, sentient, or non-sentient entities of the natural world.
  462. Philosophy. Study of the nature of knowledge, existence, human behavior and social interaction, power, and beauty — epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and aesthetics.
  463. Phrase meaning. The meaning of a phrase to a sapient entity if different from the meaning of the individual words and terms that comprise the phrase. Especially idiom.
  464. Phrase. The basic building block for the structure of a statement. A sequence of words or terms. Part of a clause.
  465. Physical knowledge artifact. Knowledge artifact which is a physical object, such as a letter, book, newspaper, or magazine or journal. See also: electronic knowledge artifact.
  466. Physical manifestation. The extent to which an object has some sensible, observable, measurable, or detectable presence in the physical world. Quality of a physical object. Question: Does dark matter have a physical manifestation if it cannot be either observed or detected?
  467. Physical object. Object which has a physical manifestation in the real-world, as opposed to an imaginary object. It may or may not also exist as an imaginary object, such as a mental object, media object, or computational object. Synonym for real-world object.
  468. Physical world. Synonym for natural world, the real world exclusive of sapient creatures (humans.) Technically, the physical world would include anything created by sapient creatures, just not the sapient creatures themselves. Whether intelligent robots would be considered part of the physical world is debatable. Context will determine whether natural world or physical world is the more appropriate term — whether to include manmade objects, structures, and materials.
  469. Place. Location for an entity. Synonym for where.
  470. Plan. Develop and propose a sequence of actions to achieve some goal. Synonym for scheme.
  471. Poll. Approximation of truth by querying a sample of the total population.
  472. Population. Full set of entities of a given type in a given area of interest, in contrast to a sample. Alternatively, the count or specific quantity of the full set of entities of a given type in a given area of interest.
  473. Postulate. Assumption used as a step in a reasoning process. May or may not be true. May or may not be proved later in the reasoning process.
  474. Practical knowledge. Knowledge which has utility in daily life or is needed to perform various activities.
  475. Practical meaning. Utility of knowledge. Its practical application in everyday life or specific activities. See also: pragmatism.
  476. Pragmatic meaning. Synonym for practical meaning.
  477. Pragmatism. Philosophical tradition focused on the pragmatic or practical meaning of knowledge.
  478. Predicate. Basis for a proposition — what it is predicated on. Alternatively, what a proposition states about its subject — what it is asserting about its subject. Alternatively, a function or proposition that is being evaluated relative to the assertion of a proposition. Usage can vary and depends on context.
  479. Predicate logic. Synonym for first-order logic and first-order predicate calculus. Basic formal logic. See: First-order logic.
  480. Prediction. The ability of a theory to forecast a phenomenon or event or details of a phenomenon or event in the future. Alternatively, a belief about something in the future, but without any firm theory of causation. Alternatively, a conjecture about what might transpire in the future.
  481. Preference. Liking something more than the alternatives.
  482. Prejudice. Preconceived, irrational, or unreasonable emotional opposition to something. Synonym for bias.
  483. Premise. Proposition used to reach a conclusion based on reasoning. A proposition or condition upon which a subsequent proposition, argument, or conclusion is to be based.
  484. Present. Events which are occurring right now and the entities and phenomena involved with them, as well as the environment right now.
  485. Presentation. One-way communication of information, knowledge, and narrative.
  486. Presumption. An assumption based on some reasonable evidence or belief.
  487. Principle. Principles. Highly-valued beliefs. Generally shared across a group, but may be strictly personal as well. Alternatively, a proposition or theory that supports a broad range of other beliefs or knowledge. See also: ideal.
  488. Probability. Likelihood that a proposition might be true. May be based on evidence or merely based on confidence.
  489. Promise. Commitment, assurance, assertion, or claim that some entity will be in a designated state or some proposition will remain or become true for some definite or indefinite point or period of time in the future. Can vary in clarity or specificity from vague to crystal clear and precise.
  490. Proof. Evidence which is sufficient to indicate that a conclusion is justified and true.
  491. Propaganda. Information expressed for the purpose of pursuing an agenda, commonly for a political or social cause. May be false or misleading, but may also be true and honest but biased in favor of an underlying agenda. May be part of the truth but frequently not the whole truth.
  492. Proper noun. Name of a particular entity.
  493. Property. Synonym for detail. Part of metadata for an entity.
  494. Proposal. A proposition, conjecture, or theory that is being advanced, proposed, for consideration, to be evaluated.
  495. Proposition. A statement which may or not be true. Including the meaning of the statement.
  496. Proposition meaning. The meaning that a sapient entity associates with a proposition.
  497. Provenance. Origin of something, information, an entity, a belief, knowledge, or claim.
  498. Psychological confidence. Confidence in a proposition that is based on the psychological strength of belief in the proposition. See also: emotional confidence and technical confidence.
  499. Psychological warfare. An intentional effort to disrupt an adversary by presenting information, stories, narratives, and media which prey on psychological vulnerabilities, most commonly intending to attack morale and confident to reduce motivation or willingness to continue fighting. See also: cyberwarfare, disinformation campaign.
  500. Purported. Synonym for claim, assertion.
  501. Purported fact. Alleged fact. Claimed fact. Fact which may not yet be widely accepted or may be subject to controversy.
  502. Purpose. The function or meaning of an entity or action. Sometimes simply a synonym for function, but sometimes a sense of higher meaning more than mere function. Could be a religious or spiritual sense of purpose, particularly for a person’s life.
  503. Qualify. Qualifications. Specify reservations, limitations, restrictions, or additional requirements on a proposition, such that the proposition may not be true or relevant without those qualifications.
  504. Quality. Synonym for detail. Part of metadata for an entity.
  505. Quantity. Numeric value which represents a one to one relationship with individual instances of some object. Synonym for count.
  506. Quantify. Specify exact quantity of some entity, or an indefinite quantity using a quantifier.
  507. Quantifier. Term representing an indefinite quantity, such as none, all, both, few, many, most, almost all, almost none, virtually all, virtually none, majority, supermajority, minority, etc. Technically includes specific quantity as well, such as 23 or twenty-three. Quantifiers are determiners as well. See also: parts of speech.
  508. Question. A request for information or for the truth of a proposition.
  509. Rational. Thought, belief, expression, or action based on reasonable thought, either because it was based on sound reasoning, or at least gives that appearance. Based on sensible thought, unmarred by any significant degree of irrationality.
  510. Rational belief. A belief resulting from rational thought.
  511. Rational thought. The underlying thought process that leads to rational belief, expression, or action.
  512. Rationale. Very informal or weak reasoning which tends not to qualify as strong reasoning. May or not be credible. Synonym for reasons. See also: excuse, credible rationale.
  513. Real world. Reality. Synonyms are natural world and physical world, although sometimes they exclude human existence and possibly human creations.
  514. Real-world entity. An entity which exists in the real world, as opposed to an imaginary entity. It may also exist as an imaginary entity, such as a mental entity, media entity, or computational entity, either as an accurate or approximate representation.
  515. Real-world object. An object that exists in the real world, as opposed to an imaginary object. It may also exist as an imaginary object, such as a mental object, media object, or computational object, either as an accurate or approximate representation.
  516. Reality. All that exists. Synonym for real world.
  517. Reason. Abstract process of reasoning through rational thought, to reach a conclusion, result, goal, decision, judgment, assessment, understanding, or other outcome that is thoroughly and convincingly justified by the reasoning process. Alternatively, a proposition which provides specific support for an argument, conclusion, or explanation for a fact. Alternatively, a credible explanation, ground, or motive for an action or belief, as opposed to a mere excuse which may be based on nothing more than emotion.
  518. Reasonable. A belief, conclusion, decision, or action which at least superficially seems in concordance with sound judgment, fairness, and sensibility. May or may not be based on strong reasoning. May not even be based on weak reasoning or any reasoning at all, but simply be considered acceptable and not in conflict with sound judgment.
  519. Reasoning. Rational intellectual process of arriving at a conclusion, result, goal, decision, judgment, assessment, understanding, or other outcome that is thoroughly and convincingly justified through a rational thought process grounded in facts, competent and credible analysis, and sound judgment which involves intentional, considered, thoughtful, orderly, credible, sensible, and otherwise rational steps or arguments, such as argumentation or logic, generally dispassionate but may be informed, influenced, shaped, or constrained or otherwise limited by emotional, social, or practical considerations, as well as shortcuts and leaps such as heuristics and intuition. Intuition can count for reasoning, provided it is based on and informed by some significant degree of experience and judgment. May also be based on common sense and general wisdom. The point or purpose of reasoning is to achieve an optimal, best, fair, just, and persuasive outcome. The process may start with observations, evidence, facts, assumptions, and possibly a desired or intended goal or proposed conclusion. The process may proceed wherever the evidence leads it, or may proceed by driving towards a desired result. May be informal or formal, weak or strong. May use informal argument, casual or rhetorical argumentation, or tight, formal logic, or even rigorous mathematical proof. By default, reasoning is presumed to be fairly rigorous — strong reasoning, but in practice tends to be somewhat weaker than rigorous logic. There is no universal, purely objective form of reasoning. Reasoning may be subjective and may be relative to the values of the individual or group engaged in reasoning. Assumptions and even logic itself may be influenced, constrained, or driven by values and other subjective considerations. A conclusion reached through reasoning is considered knowledge.The steps of the process are in themselves knowledge. Whether the reasoning behind a conclusion should be considered as part of the conclusion or distinct from the conclusion is not so clear, debatable, and may depend on the context in which the conclusion is used. See also: argumentation. See also: deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, scientific reasoning, rationale, and foregone conclusion.
  520. Reasons. Arguments given for belief in a proposition or course of action.
  521. Rebut. Rebuttal. To offer a counterargument or response to an argument. Does not necessarily refute the original argument. See also: refutation.
  522. Received information. Information representing knowledge and meaning conveyed to a sapient entity. Requires mental processing to deduce the knowledge and meaning represented in the information.
  523. Record. A knowledge artifact which represent a memory of one or more entities or beliefs. As a verb, to create a knowledge artifact.
  524. Red herring. A fact that is true but despite its truth is irrelevant, misleading, or distracting to the immediate situation, possibly or even typically by design.
  525. Reference materials. Books, documents, maps, indexes, databases, etc. in which a variety of knowledge, information, and data is recorded for easy access and easy reference. Effectively a large quantity of propositions whose truth is widely accepted. Includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guidebooks, atlases, etc.
  526. Reflect. Reflection. Synonym for contemplation.
  527. Refute. Refutation. To disprove an argument using facts and reason. Counterarguments may rebut an argument but not necessarily refute it. See also: rebut.
  528. Regulation. Behavior which is required or prohibited or otherwise regulated as a result of administrative regulatory action of the government. Alternatively, regulation of an entity by the environment in which it operates.
  529. Relation. A correlation that appears to have some meaning.
  530. Relationship. The correlation between two or more entities or phenomena.
  531. Reliable. Consistently available or trusted source for knowledge.
  532. Report. Presentation or communication of information, knowledge, and narrative on some matter.
  533. Representation. Knowledge, meaning, or one or more concepts presented in the form of language, imagery, other forms of media, or action in some medium, or within the mind. Alternatively, a term represents a concept.
  534. Reservation. Reservations. Not fully accepting some matter or proposition. See also: doubt, concern, beyond doubt.
  535. Resources. Sources of information and knowledge that can be used by a sapient entity to increase its personal knowledge.
  536. Result. The state of affairs upon completion of an action, activity, event, or phenomenon. How the world is different due to the impact of the action, activity, event, or phenomenon. Synonym for effect, consequence.
  537. Rule. Behavior which is required or prohibited or otherwise regulated by an organization or some other authority, or within a government facility.
  538. Rule of thumb. Heuristic for quickly approximating the value of a calculation.
  539. Rumor. Proposition obtained informally, not from an official or authoritative source. Dubious veracity, but not infrequently true. Synonym for gossip.
  540. Same. Two or more entities share their characteristics so that they cannot be differentiated. See also: identical, similar, equivalent, equal, different, distinct.
  541. Sample. A relatively small subset of the entities of a much larger population, with the expectation that the sample should be fairly representative of the full population, based on the presumption that the population is fairly well distributed.
  542. Sapience. Sapient. Intelligent, capable of wisdom. People and intelligent robots, but not animals or dumb robots.
  543. Sapient entity. An intelligent entity, capable of wisdom — sapience. A person or an intelligent machine or robot.
  544. Scenario. Hypothetical or real sequence of events, including relevant entities and context.
  545. Scheme. Systematic approach to organizing entities or actions. Synonym for plan.
  546. Science. The systematic development and organization of knowledge about the universe using the methods of science — observation, measurement, speculation, conjectures, theories, hypotheses, experimentation, empirical validation, reproducibility, statistical control, peer review, publication, and transparency.
  547. Scientific belief. A belief whose justification is based on the methods of science.
  548. Scientific consensus. Consensus for a group of scientists. Agreement that a proposition, explanation, or theory is valid.
  549. Scientific controversy. Theories, conjectures, propositions, and data for which there is some significant disagreement by scientists.
  550. Scientific knowledge. Knowledge developed as a result of pursuing the methods of science. See also: scientific belief.
  551. Scientific law. Proposition or mathematical relationship concerning the natural world which has been confirmed through empirical validation.
  552. Scientific reasoning. Reasoning in the pursuit of science, which by definition absolutely excludes emotion, passion, personal, subjective, social, and practical considerations.
  553. Self-awareness. Reflect on knowledge that one possesses of oneself.
  554. Scope. Limits, bounds, range, region, or conditions in which an entity operates or a proposition is valid.
  555. Self-awareness. Reflect on knowledge that one possesses of oneself.
  556. Semantics. The association of a symbol with meaning by a sapient entity.
  557. Semiotics. Study of how symbols (signs) and associated meanings are developed and used. See also: pragmatism.
  558. Sense. Senses. The various inputs that a sentient entity can perceive, including sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Animals may have other senses. Robots may have other sensing devices. As a verb, to perceive sensory input. Alternatively, the variety of distinct meanings that a word, phrase, or term may have, as in multiple dictionary entries for a word.
  559. Sensory input. Information received directly from the senses for a sentient entity.
  560. Sentence. Unit of expression of knowledge and meaning in natural language. See also: proposition, statement, word, parts of speech, phrase, clause, meaning.
  561. Sentience. Sentient. Able to sense, perceive, feel, experience, and react to the real world. Includes animals and robots, and human beings, of course. In contrast with sapience which adds intelligence and wisdom.
  562. Sentient creature. Synonym for sentient entity, although a robot could be a sentient entity but not a sentient creature since a creature is an animal.
  563. Sentient entity. A creature or machine able to sense, perceive, feel, and experience the real world. A person. Animals as well. May include robots. Easily confused with sapience — sorry, Buddhists.
  564. Sentiment. Feeling about some entity. Not necessarily reducible to reason. May be loosely represented as knowledge and in language, but not necessarily reliably since it may involve emotion and feelings.
  565. Sequence. Events or actions which succeed each other, one after the other, with a start and an end.
  566. Shallow meaning. Little more than the most rudimentary meaning of something, such as the dictionary meaning of a term plus optionally a little significance. No real depth. Antithesis of deep meaning. Synonym for surface meaning.
  567. Shared knowledge. Knowledge which is common to two or more sapient entities.
  568. Shared semantics. Two or more sapient entities comprehend the same concepts and feelings.
  569. Sign. Synonym for symbol, mark. In some philosophy systems there may be more nuanced distinctions between symbol, sign, and mark, but that’s beyond the scope of this paper.
  570. Sign language. Communication via visual gestures (signs) made with the hands.
  571. Significance. Generally a synonym for meaning. Another level or layer of meaning.
  572. Similar. Two or more entities share a significant fraction of their characteristics so that they seem related, but are still clearly not identical. See also: same, identical, equivalent, equal, different, dissimilar, distinct.
  573. Similarity. Characteristic which is the same between two or more entities. Alternatively, degree to which two or more entities have the same characteristics.
  574. Simulation. Running a model which mimics how a scenario from the real world or an imaginary world plays out. May or may not directly parallel the actual scenario in the real world or the imaginary world. At best it approximates how the actual scenario plays out.
  575. Situation. Recent, current, and imminent events in some area, as well as condition of the environment of that area. See also: context.
  576. Skepticism. Hesitance, reluctance, resistance, or refusal to accept the veracity of a proposition or fact. May be rational, or not — healthy skepticism, irrational skepticism.
  577. Skills. Ability to perform particular tasks and activities. Developed over time and with education, training, practice, and experience.
  578. Social behavior. The interactions between sentient entities. Alternatively, restricted to sapient entities of the same species. More simply, interactions in a society.
  579. Social environment. All entities, phenomena, features, and conditions related to social activity of living creatures. May be human or animal. In contrast to the physical features of the natural world. May include manmade structures and artifacts, or exclude them.
  580. Social media. Online, computer-based communication and collaboration, permitting rapid and widespread dissemination of information, media, and knowledge.
  581. Social truth. Propositions which are true for a given social group, but may not be true or even relevant for some other group.
  582. Society. The full population of individuals and groups in some geographical area.
  583. Something. Synonym for thing, or characteristic of an entity.
  584. Sound basis. Acceptable reasoning and evidence used to support and justify a proposition.
  585. Sound evidence. Evidence in which confidence is very strong.
  586. Sound judgment. Strong ability, skill, experience, and degree of competence at reasoning and making decisions. A decision on some matter based on sound judgment. Synonym for sound reason.
  587. Sound reason. Sound reasoning. Reasoning which is very credible since it has a very substantial rational basis and lacks any significant weakness. Synonym for strong reasoning. See also: good cause.
  588. Source. Where or who information or a proposition came from.
  589. Speech. Communication via the spoken word. See also: listening.
  590. Specific. Synonym for particular.
  591. Speculation. Thought process used to construct propositions and beliefs in our minds. Intended to have practical utility.
  592. Standard. Firm and significant level for criteria, measurement, and strength of belief.
  593. Standards. Collection of standards shared by a group or of an individual.
  594. State. All aspects of an entity at a particular moment.
  595. Statement. Any declarative sentence in natural language. No implications as to its truth per se. Includes the meaning of the statement. See also: proposition, command, question.
  596. Stat. Stats. Synonym for statistic.
  597. Statistic. Element of data which is found or calculated by analyzing a dataset. Interesting information about one or more entities.
  598. Statistical methods. Methods which employ statistics, such as to evaluate and access confidence in a proposition or theory.
  599. Statistics. Mathematics of collection and analysis of data about entities. Alternatively, plural of statistic.
  600. Story. Representation of the flow of events for a limited time period of a limited collection of entities. See also: Narrative.
  601. Strict scientific reasoning. Redundant — scientific reasoning is strict and absolute by definition.
  602. Strong argument. Argument with solid evidence and strong reasoning.
  603. Strong belief. Belief in which one has a lot of passion, although that passion may or may not be matched with an equally strong justification.
  604. Strong correlation. A correlation which is usually, almost always, or always clear.
  605. Strong feeling. An individual feels passionately about some matter.
  606. Strong justification. Robust, solid reasoning that fully supports a conclusion or belief.
  607. Strong reasoning. Robust process for arriving at a conclusion. Inspires great confidence. Commonly using relatively formal methods, based on sound evidence. Sufficiently transparent so that it can be understood by anyone.
  608. Strongly held belief. A belief in which there is a significant emotional investment. A strong belief, but it may be absent strong justification.
  609. Study. Focused attention on acquiring knowledge about some matter or area. Part of learning as well.
  610. Subclass. Nested class within a class, such that entities in the subclass share some additional characteristics which they do not share with entities in the larger class.
  611. Subject. Matter of interest, such as an entity. See also: object.
  612. Subjective. A proposition may be true for some sapient entities or groups but not for others.
  613. Subjective knowledge. Knowledge and meaning which may vary vary between sapient entities, in contrast to objective knowledge which will not vary between sapient entities which possess that knowledge. Levels or layers of meaning may differ between sapient entities, in which case those layers that are shared can be considered objective knowledge and meaning, while those layers which are not shared among all sapient entities would be considered subjective knowledge and meaning.
  614. Subjective meaning. Meaning which is not shared between all sapient entities which possess the particular knowledge associated with that meaning, in contrast with objective meaning, which is shared and does not vary between sapient entities who share the associated knowledge.
  615. Subjective truth. A proposition which is true for some sapient entities or groups but not for others, in contrast with objective truth and eternal truth.
  616. Subjective value. Value whose meaning is determined by the individual as distinct from other individuals, or by a group as distinct from other groups.
  617. Substance. Matter forming an object in the real world. Whether liquid and gaseous matter should be considered to be substance is debatable, but they are under this definition.
  618. Substantiate. Synonym for providing justification or proof.
  619. Surface meaning. The most rudimentary or shallow meaning of something, such as the dictionary meaning of a term. No real depth. Antithesis of deep meaning.
  620. Survey. Gathering and summarizing the behavior, preferences, and opinions of individuals in some area. Alternatively, review existing knowledge in some area.
  621. Suspicion. Feeling that a proposition might be true or false but not with solid evidence or strong reasoning.
  622. Symbol. A word, sign, or other form of marking that is used to associate that mark with the concept and meaning that a sapient entity associates with that mark. In the philosophical system of pragmatics, a symbol is called the signifier, and the concept is called the signified.
  623. Syntax. Rules for constructing sentences in a language, from words, phrases, clauses, and punctuation. Synonym for grammar. See also: parsing. Technically, grammar is more than just syntax (morphology and phonology, how individual words and sounds are formed), but that’s beyond the scope of this paper, which focuses on knowledge and meaning.
  624. Synthesize. Synthesis. Develop a model or knowledge or theory of a matter from the basic facts and existing knowledge.
  625. System of belief. Collection of beliefs used as a foundation. Such as a religion, a field of study, a profession, or a country or a society.
  626. Tacit knowledge. Knowledge or expertise possessed by an individual, typically an expert, which cannot be readily or easily communicated or transferred to others.
  627. Tall tale. Exaggerated story of dubious veracity, but may be popular due to its colorful language.
  628. Taxonomy. Method for organizing entities into a hierarchy of subclasses.
  629. Technical confidence. Confidence in a proposition or conclusion that is based on technical assessment of the propositions, evidence, and reasoning which purport to support the proposition or conclusion. May be based on reasoning and evidence, especially mathematical methods, including statistical methods. See also: emotional confidence and psychological confidence.
  630. Technicality. A detail or fact about a matter which is considered true but relatively minor or insignificant and may be considered relatively irrelevant. May be a matter of dispute as to how important or relevant it may be. See also: minutiae.
  631. Term. One or more words which signify a concept or other type of entity. A term is a symbol representing a concept or other type of entity. Commonly defined in a dictionary of some sort. See also: term definition, term meaning, vocabulary.
  632. Term definition. The basic meaning of a term to a sapient entity. As found in a dictionary or more specialized catalog of terms. See also: term meaning, vocabulary, dictionary, glossary.
  633. Term meaning. The meaning of a term to a sapient entity. Includes term definition, as found in a dictionary or more specialized catalog of terms and may include additional levels or layers of meaning beyond the term definition.
  634. Terminology. The terms or vocabulary for a particular domain or area of interest. All of the terms one must comprehend to engage in discourse about a domain or area of interest. These terms may or may not be unique to that particular domain, but are of particular interest to that domain. See also: glossary.
  635. Testable hypothesis. A hypothesis for which empirical validation is being proposed which should confirm or reject the hypothesis, helping to confirm or reject a theory.
  636. Testimonial evidence. Testimony. Statement by a witness attesting to the truth of a claim.
  637. Text. Representation of information or knowledge as textual information, words in natural language.
  638. Theorem. Proposition and the formal reasoning that proves it in mathematics.
  639. Theoretical knowledge. Knowledge which has does not have immediate practical utility in daily life or is needed to perform various activities, but may have utility in the future or in areas other than those of current interest.
  640. Theory. A coherent explanation of a phenomenon, capable of fully explaining the phenomenon, consistent with past observations, and able to predict future observations. Once validated via empirical validation it becomes a validated theory. Alternatively, and more loosely, a proposed explanation for some matter, such as who or what caused a particular outcome, without necessarily offering definitive proof of that explanation.
  641. Thesis. A conjecture or claim that is intended to be developed into a theory. A proposal that has not yet been developed into a full-blown theory. Alternatively, the conjectural portion of a theory or explanation.
  642. Thing. Synonym for entity. Alternatively a passionate interest in something. Commonly synonym for object, especially an inanimate object. See also: something.
  643. Think. Thinking. To work through the significance of some received information, to contemplate existing knowledge and information, or to work towards a conclusion, form a belief, or develop an opinion.
  644. Thought. The basic unit of processing in a conscious mind of a sapient entity. The mental object of the process of thinking. Alternatively, all processing in a conscious mind of a sapient entity.
  645. Thought experiment. An experiment carried out entirely in the mind or in words and images. Simulating an experiment in the mind or on paper.
  646. Time. Progression of events. Alternatively, the moment in time of a particular event. Time can also be referenced in indefinite form such as all time, always, for all time, never, sometimes, most times, usually, rarely, almost always, almost never, soon, sooner, later, recently, recent past, near future, distant past, distant future.
  647. Time period. Span of time between two moments or events.
  648. Topic. An area of interest. A designated subset of the real world or an imaginary world.
  649. True. In accord with reality.
  650. Truth. Truth of propositions or truth of existence. A proposition that is true, in accord with reality. Reality as it exists. See also: Domains of Truth.
  651. Truth of existence. Existence of something. It’s existence is its own truth. As it exists in the real world, regardless of our perception of its existence, or whether we are even aware of its existence.
  652. Truth of propositions. Whether a proposition is true or not, whether it is in accord with reality.
  653. Trust. Belief that an individual can be depended on for performance, judgment, availability, reliability, honesty, integrity, and veracity of knowledge.
  654. Trusted source. Source of knowledge which other entities accept without further justification.
  655. Type. Synonym for category, class.
  656. Ultimate truth. The actual truth of any matter. May not be known or even accessible. See also: eternal truth, objective truth. Not necessarily an eternal truth or even apply to more than a narrow situation. Synonym: actual truth, ground truth.
  657. Unambiguous. No ambiguity about a statement, proposition, or matter. Only a single meaning. See also: uncertain.
  658. Uncertain. Uncertainty. Unclear what the truth of some matter is. The truth may be known or believed to be known, but without sufficient confidence to be certain.
  659. Understand. Ability to ascertain the meaning and significance of an event, perception, or communication.
  660. Unexpected. Not in accord with one’s beliefs and expectations.
  661. Unique. Different from all other entities, or at least all entities in some area or category. One of a kind. Unlike anything else. See also: distinct.
  662. Universal. Universal truth. A proposition is true for all observers, in all places, at all times, and for all situations. See also: eternal truth.
  663. Utilitarian purpose. Function or purpose, exclusive of religious or spiritual purpose.
  664. Valid. A proposition has a sound basis.
  665. Validate. Validation. Process of establishing the truth of a proposition using empirical methods or finding a source which can confirm the proposition.
  666. Validated theory. A theory whose predictive ability has been confirmed through empirical validation.
  667. Value judgment. A judgment on some matter based on values.
  668. Value. Values. Beliefs and behaviors which are highly valued and shared by a group or of an individual sapient entity. Includes principles. See also: subjective value, virtue.
  669. Veracity. Truth of a proposition. Alternatively, how closely a proposition conforms to the truth of the matter covered by the proposition. Alternatively, reputation of an individual sapient entity or group for honesty and truth.
  670. Verb. Word representing activity, existence, or change of state of an entity. See also: noun, adjective.
  671. Verification. Synonym for validation.
  672. View. Belief, position, posture, or attitude adopted, possessed, pursued, and promoted by an individual entity or group.
  673. Virtue. Highly valued quality or behavior of an entity. See also: value.
  674. Vocabulary. The words, terms, phrases, and idioms and associated meanings used in a particular language, that a sapient entity comprehends, or that a topic or area requires. Sapient entities will have difficulty communicating and sharing knowledge to the extent that they don’t share the same vocabulary, and a sapient entity may have difficulty comprehending a matter if it does not possess the full vocabulary required for the knowledge of that matter. Synonym for lexicon.
  675. Weak argument. Argument with minimal or no evidence or reasoning.
  676. Weak belief. A belief based on only weak justification.
  677. Weak correlation. A correlation that is not always clear and not infrequently not clear.
  678. Weak evidence. Evidence in which confidence is not very strong or that only partially supports a belief.
  679. Weak justification. Argument or evidence that only partially supports a conclusion or belief.
  680. Weak reasoning. Weak or dubious process for arriving at a conclusion. Fails to inspire great confidence. Commonly using relatively informal methods, based on weak evidence. Insufficiently transparent so that it cannot be easily and readily understood by everyone.
  681. Weasel words. Words used as a caveat to assert the possibility that a proposition might be true even though there is not definitive evidence and justification of its truth, and there is a credible risk that the proposition might be false. For example, presumably, arguably, possibly, may, maybe, could, might, likely, alleged, purported, apparently, suspected.
  682. Where. Location of an entity. Synonym for place.
  683. Wiki. Online, computer-based collaboration tool and effort for developing shared text and incorporating other media as well. For example, the Wikipedia.
  684. Wisdom. Knowledge, experience, and judgment which permit sound reasoning and intelligent behavior.
  685. Wise. An entity possessing knowledge, experience, and good judgment. A choice made using knowledge, experience, and good judgment.
  686. With a grain of salt. That a claim be viewed with skepticism as to whether it represents the whole truth or even literal truth.
  687. Word. The basic building block of a statement. See also: phrase, clause, parts of speech.
  688. Word meaning. The basic meaning of a word to a sapient entity. As found in a dictionary.
  689. Writing. Knowledge, meaning, and feeling represented in the form of symbols in some language on some medium such as paper or electronic communication.

Work in progress

The analysis described here remains a work in progress. It is as complete as I know at this time, but it will be enhanced and revised as I become aware of new information.

For more of my writings on artificial intelligence, see List of My Artificial Intelligence (AI) Papers.

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Freelance Consultant

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