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the cover of a book with the title Dogmatic Canons and Decrees
figure 1  


dogma. A principle or doctrine based on authority, as opposed to one based on experience or demonstration, specifically an authoritative religious doctrine taken on faith.reference 1

Dogma is not considered to be related to dogs, and unlike doggerel or dog Latin, both of which share roots with dogma (dogge, a clerical position), the doggy implications seem limited. Why include, it the reader may reasonably ask. As linguists—especially those who are interested in neuroscience—will tell you, the fact that the word includes the sound “dog” means that our brains will in some way relate the two concepts. It may be why dogma and dogmatism have fallen into disrepute. After all, certainty and authority have their value in life.



1. Whitney, William Dwight and Benjamin E. Smith. 1914. The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia; with a New Atlas of the World. New York: Century Co. Accessed from http://

About the illustration: This is the cover of the text: Dogmatic Canons and Decrees. At Catholic, they say of its contents, “These canons are infallible and absolutely unchangeable.” 2. Dogmatic Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Vatican Council I, Plus the Decree on the Immaculate Conception and the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius Ix. 2007. Catholic Home. Catholic Home. Accessed Feb 12 2008 from http:// scripts/ detail.asp? CatalogNumber= TBDCAD.
see also: dog Latin; doggerel
Last updated: July 5, 2008
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