tabula rasa

Literally "blank slate"; in philosophy, John Locke's term for the state of the human mind prior to the knowledge gained via experience.







The Tacit Dimension

A key term in the thought of Michael Polanyi referring to that aspect of knowledge which lies outside of rationality and logic. For Polanyi, all knowledge is grounded in the tacit; we always "know more than we can tell."








"Tantalus was the son of Zeus and was the king of Sipylos. He was uniquely favored among mortals since he was invited to share the food of the gods. However, he abused the guest-host relationship and was punished by being "tantalized" with hunger and thirst in Tartarus: he was immersed up to his neck in water, but when he bent to drink, it all drained away; luscious fruit hung on trees above him, but when he reached for it the winds blew the branches beyond his reach" [Encyclopedia Mythica].








In the Chinese religion known as Taoism, the "way": the course nature follows beyond the rational understanding or manipulation of the human mind.







Teachers College

A distinguished affiliate of Columbia University in New York.








In Anthroposophy, referring to the earth and its evolution.








I. A. Richards' term for that part of a metaphor which the figurative language is meant to illuminate. When Shakespeare compares his love ("thee") to "a summer's day" in Sonnet 18, "thee" is the tenor and "a summer's day" is the vehicle.







tenor and vehicle

Terms used by the New Criticism for the (respectively) unknown and known terms of a metaphoric equation.







tertium quid

For the third time or in the third instance.








The five letters(YHWH) in Hebrew which make up the name of god (Yahweh).








"Teutons, ancient Germanic tribe, dwelling originally on the Cimbric Peninsula (now Jutland). About 120 BC, the Teutons joined the Cimbri in their migration southward; the two peoples separated in 105 BC. The Teutons lived in Gaul from that year until 102 BC when they were annihilated by the Roman general Gaius Marius at Aquae Sextiae (modern Aix-en-Provence, France). The word Teutonic survives as a synonym for Germanic" [Microsoft Encarta].







textual criticism

A careful examination of the actual publication of a work of literature, seeking to ascertain the author's original, intended text.








"Greek personification of death who dwells in the lower world. In the Iliad he appears as the twin brother of Hypnos ("sleep"). Both brothers had little to no meaning in the cults" [Encyclopedia Mythica].







That Hideous Strength

1945 science fiction novel by C. S. Lewis, the final installment in his SF trilogy (Out of This Silent Planet, Perelandra).







Theatre of the Absurd

A dramatic movement in post-War Europe and America emphasizing the existentialist absurdities of human existence; its chief adherents included Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, and Albee.








A believer in a personal god, a follower of theism.








Occult philosophical movement, founded by Madame Blavatsky, which counted among its members Rudolf Steiner until he broke with Theosophy to found Anthroposophy.








"Theseus was a king of Athens famous for many exploits, and appearing in works by many authors and on countless vases. There is some confusion about Theseus' parentage, some say he is the son of Aegeus and Aethra, and others the son of Poseidon and Aethra. Apollodoros and Hyginus say Aethra waded out to Sphairia after sleeping with Aegeus, and lay there with Poseidon" [Encyclopeida Mythica].







Till We Have Faces

Novel by C. S. Lewis retelling the story of Psyche and Eros.







"Tintern Abby"

Poem by William Wordsworth.








"In Greek mythology, the Titans are a race of godlike giants who were considered to be the personifications of the forces of nature. They are the twelve children (six sons and six daughters) of Gaia and Uranus" [Encyclopedia Mythica].








In Derrida's concept of deconstruction, trace signifies "that there is no simple sense in which linguistic signs are either present or absent" [Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory].







"Tradition and the Individual Talent"

1917 essay by T. S. Eliot famous for its argument for the inseparability of the writer from his past and his insistence that the writer and the individual should be completely separate.








See transcendentalism.








"19th-century movement of writers and philosophers in New England who were loosely bound together by adherence to an idealistic system of thought based on a belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of man, and the supremacy of insight over logic and experience for the revelation of the deepest truths" [from Britannica Online]







Treatise on the Astrolabe

Complex prose work concerning a medieval astronomical device by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in the 14th century.








the branch of mathematics that deals with the ratios between the sides of a right triangle with reference to either acute angle (trigonometric functions), the relations between these ratios, and the application of these facts in finding the unknown sides or angles of any triangle, as in surveying, navigation, engineering, etc. [New World Dictionary].








See Trinity.







the trinity

The central Catholic teaching that God is triune in nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.







Trojan War

The decade long battle, told of in Homer's Iliad,  provoked by Paris' abduction of Menelaus' wife Helen, between the Greeks and the Trojans.







2001: A Space Odyssey

1968 Sci-Fi film, directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, about the first discovery of intelligent life in the universe and its role in the evolution of human intelligence.