Classical Texts in Psychology
PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY
JAMES MARK BALDWIN (1901)
Naïve [Lat. nativus, native, natural]: Ger. naiv; Fr. naïf, naïve; Ital. semplice, ingenuo. Unreflective, unaffected; the naïve is 'a child-like ingenuousness which is encountered where it is not expected' (Schiller).
Applied in a specifically aesthetic use by Schiller to ancient poetry in contrast with the more reflective modern poetry. This latter he styles 'sentimental,' as making direct appeal to feeling and setting forth conspicuously the feelings of the poet himself. 'The ancients felt naturally; we feel what is natural' (i.e. feel our separation from the natural and make the natural the conscious object of sentiment).
Literature: SCHILLER, On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry, in Essays
Aesthetical and Philosophical. (J.H.T.)
The function of naming seems, apart from its use for social communication by
means of language, to have the utility of affording a system of symbols which
abbreviate and sum up experience, and so serve, in Bacon's phrase, as 'counters
of the mind.' See NAME (in logic), and SYMBOLIC FUNCTION; and cf. LANGUAGE FUNCTION.
Name (in logic). Two quite different sorts of terms are called in logic names. A proper name serves to call to mind an individual object of experience well known both to the speaker and hearer (for if the object is not known to the hearer it is only just beginning to fulfil for him the function of a proper name), and to show that it is that object concerning which information is furnished or desired. Many proper names are names of collective individuals; and a few are grammatically plural, as the Gracchi. A common name, usually now called a class-name in logic, though common name is better, has a signification as well as a denotation. That is to say, it conveys the idea that whatever it may be that is spoken of it is of a certain indicated general description, which may be in some sense negative.
Abstract names are common names of fictitious objects which correspond to predicates. At first sight they appear to be mere convenient superfluities; for to say that opium has a soporific virtue, is precisely the same thing as to say that opium puts people to sleep. But closer examination shows that abstract words enable us to express relations which could not otherwise be expressed. A relation is something true of a set of objects. But abstractions enable us to express a fact true of a set of sets of objects. Every collective name is an abstract name; and it would be a want of discrimination to say that numbers are superfluities. Moreover, when we see what the true nature of abstract names is, we must confess that their objects may be just as real as the objects of concrete names. They are fictitious only in the sense of having been made up out of concrete names. An abstract name may be regarded as the name of a fictitious individual; and when this individual is perfectly indescribable, like the quality of a simple sensation, the abstract name may perhaps be more like a proper name than like a common name.
Names are divided into names of first imposition and names of second imposition,
which latter are names applicable to words, as pronoun, conjunction, &c.
The precise definition is given by Ockham, Logica, Pars I, cap. xi. Names
are also divided into names of first and of second intention. See TERM. (C.S.P.)
Narcosis [Gr. narkwsiV,
a benumbing]: Ger. Betäubung, Narkose; Fr. narcose;
Ital. narcosi. Lessening or complete deadening of sensibility to pain
by means of a narcotic agent, as opium, morphine, chloral hydrate. See NARCOTICS.
The tendency is to use the term narcotics to include all substances having a marked influence on the nervous system, thus including the sedatives, the hypnotics or soporifics, those which, like curari, produce immobility by paralysing the nerve-endings, and such substances as strychnine, digitalis, &c. Narcotic in the more special sense refers to an intense hypnotic. Among narcotics, sometimes termed direct narcotics, may be mentioned opium, morphine, cannabis indica. Cf. PSYCHIC EFFECTS OF DRUGS. (J.J.)
'Narcotics are substances which lessen our relationships with the external world' (T.L. Brunton).
Narcotic is a word rapidly giving place in scientific uses to terms of more
exact signification, such as anaesthetic, analgesic, hypnotic, somnifacient,
and delirifacient (H.C. Wood). Great confusion also exists at present as to
the proper classification of the various substances. (C.F.H.)
Nascent [Lat. nascere, to be born]: Ger. anfangend, wachsend (steigende Vorstellung, Herbart - K.G.); Fr. naissant; Ital. nascente. Germinal: applied to a developing thing or psychological state before it reveals its positive character.
The term incipient is used with a similar meaning, but the emphasis is rather on the undeveloped than on the hidden character of what is incipient.
Nascent was more in use (e.g. by Spencer) before the rise of the theory of
the SUBCONSCIOUS (q.v.). The postulate of 'nascent' psychological states was
especially convenient in association theories in cases where clear and positive
psychological elements could not be discovered (cf. James' criticism of Spencer
in Princ. of Psychol., i. 148 ff.). Writers of other schools find
equal convenience in the use of the terms implicit and potential. (J.M.B.-
National Wealth: Ger. Nationalvermögen; Fr. richesse des nations; Ital. ricchezza nazionale. (1) Measured as a 'fund' (capital), the amount of useful things existing in a country at a given time. (2) Measured as a 'flow' (income), the goods produced and services rendered during a given period. (3) Popular, the money value of (1).
Also called public or social wealth; distinguished from property, which consists of rights or titles to parts of national wealth.
We must beware of confounding public wealth with public property. Waterworks and railroads owned by private companies are just as much part of the national wealth as municipal waterworks or national railroads.
We must also beware of treating an increase or diminution of private property
at any point as clearly indicating a corresponding change in national wealth.
If a useful article becomes abundant, it means a great increase in national
wealth; but the price of the article in question may fall as fast as the abundance
increases, and leave no apparent effect on private wealth. (A.T.H.)
Nationality [Lat. nationalis, pertaining to birth]: Ger. Nationalität, Volksthum; Fr. nationalité; Ital. carattere nazionale. The term expresses properly the quality of being a nation or belonging to a nation; it is improperly used as the equivalent of nation.
It is not easy to say what constitutes a nation, although a common language
and the belief, at least, in a common origin seem to be the most essential elements
in nationality. To occupy, or rather to have occupied, at some period of history,
a common territory seems only a less important requisite. A common national
character and common institutions have often been produced by community of race,
language, and territory, and have in turn deepened nationality. Some of the
best known nations fulfil very imperfectly these conditions. The inhabitants
of the United States are a nation; but although they occupy a common territory
and speak a common language, they are of different descents. The Scottish nation
is made up of two peoples very different in their origin, which down to quite
recent times spoke totally distinct languages. The Swiss nation is made up out
of fragments of the German nation, of the Italian nation, and of a Romance population
akin to the French, each speaking its own language and notoriously of different
origins. The Belgian nation is similarly composed of Flemings and Walloons.
In these cases unity of territory, unity of political institutions, and unity
of patriotic feeling serve to constitute an artificial nationality. On the other
hand, the Hebrews, who for many centuries past have not inhabited the same territory
or been subject to the same government, and who have learnt to speak many alien
tongues, still constitute a nation bound together partly by common descent,
but much more by a religion of the antique tribal type. Thus we see that nationality
is not merely an affair of race or of language, or of a common territory, or
of common political institutions, or of common civilization, but depends in
different cases more or less upon each or some of these unifying circumstances.
Indeed, any large mass of human beings which feels itself to be one for any
great purpose not merely spiritual is on the way to become a nation. Down to
the time when Christianity as first preached, most religions had been national
and had tended to strengthen nationality, but Christianity, and after it Mohammedanism,
appealed to mankind at large. In the 19th century it was often laid down that
every nation ought to enjoy political independence, but this feeling is very
recent. In the ancient world the political unit was not the nation, but the
city, canton, or tribe. In the mediaeval world states were based not on nationality,
but on the principles of feudal law. In modern times the stronger and better
organized nations have subjugated and sometimes absorbed their weaker neighbours.
The Socialists very generally decry nationality and propose to found political
institutions on a totally different basis. Surveying history as a whole, we
cannot say that either political unity and independence, or even the conscious
wish for them, is essential to nationality. (F.C.M.)
Nativism [Lat. natus, from nasci, to be born]: Ger. Nativismus; Fr. nativisme; Ital. nativismo. The theory according to which, in the several departments in which it is advocated, this or that is native, inherent, or constitutional. See the next topic.
Cf. A PRIORI, KANTIANISM, INNATE IDEAS, and INTUITION (nativism of knowledge);
EXTENSION, SPACE, and TIME (nativism of space and time); ACQUIRED AND CONGENITAL
CHARACTERS, and CONNATE (nativism in biology). (J.M.B.)
Nativism (1) and (2) Empiricism (in epistemology): for foreign equivalents see the separate topics. (1) Nativism seems to be a convenient name for the common theory that certain assignable parts of our knowledge are caused by mental properties which are connate with every mind and the same in all.
This theory has generally been held in opposition to the theory that all our knowledge is due to or caused by experience, but it is in reality only one of several alternatives which might be opposed to that theory. Thus it is no mark of nativism to hold: (i) the generally admitted theory that the knowledge of any individual mind is not wholly due to its own experience, and is therefore partly caused by its native constitution; (ii) that the native constitution of any individual mind is not wholly or even at all due to the inherited results of its ancestors' experience, but partly or wholly to what is called accidental variation or to other unknown causes not included under that description; (iii) that all knowledge, including experience itself, is partly caused by such a native constitution.
It is essential, however, to nativism proper that it should hold, in distinction from (ii), that either every mind or every human mind has some native properties, which are the same in all, and cannot therefore have been gradually acquired by the successive action of various causes; and in distinction from (iii) that part of our knowledge can be distinguished as in no degree caused by the native properties which it asserts to be the cause of another part. The part of our knowledge which it thus asserts to be due to the native constitution of our minds is our knowledge of necessary truths, and the part which it asserts to be in no degree due to the same cause consists of sense impressions or perceptions (see Empiricism, below).
Thus understood, the term will obviously apply to the well-known 'theory of innate ideas'; and perhaps it may also properly include Kant's transcendentalism, although it may be contended that, according to this theory, the universal properties of mind, to which knowledge is partly due, do not exist in time, and cannot therefore be properly said to be native or congenital. However that may be, transcendentalism and nativism have in common this difficulty, that they allow sense-impressions to be the necessary occasion even for the knowing of those truths, the knowledge of which they assert to be due to the native or essential constitution of the mind. This admission would seem to imply that the native or essential constitution of the mind is not the sole cause of any cognition whatever, but that its joint action with sense-impressions is necessary for the production of our knowledge of necessary truths, whereas that part of our knowledge which consists in or is produced by sense-impressions is entirely independent of its action.
It must be admitted, however, that the supporters of both doctrines do not seem generally to have recognized this as a consequence of their admission. They seem to wish to maintain that there is something in our knowledge of necessary truths which is solely due to the constitution of the mind and entirely independent of the action of sense-impressions. Their theory would seem to be that the occurrence of sense-impressions is only necessary to make us conscious of something of which the complete cause was present in the mind before their occurrence. Thus the 'theory of innate ideas' seems to hold this complete cause to consist in the 'idea' of that truth whereof we afterwards become conscious. Against this view it must be urged that our consciousness of anything is not divisible into two distinct parts: (a) the mere being-conscious, (b) that which distinguishes this instance of consciousness from another, such that the one part might have one cause and the other a totally different one. Some particular consciousness and not mere consciousness is the smallest mental element for which a distinct cause can be assigned; nor do the supporters of either doctrine expressly deny this. If, therefore, we are to say that there is something in the consciousness of necessary truths, in the production of which sense-impressions do not in any way co-operate, this can only be the truth itself. This certainly cannot be in any way due to the occurrence of sense-impressions, since it is not a thing which exists at any particular moment of time. But then, for the same reason, it can have no cause at all.
There seems good evidence, however, that it is the nature of necessary truths themselves which makes the supporters of nativism and transcendentalism anxious to maintain that there is something in our knowledge of them entirely independent of the influence of sense-impressions. Both doctrines, in fact, strenuously maintain that necessary truths are logically independent of sense-impressions, and both frequently fail to distinguish this contention from that by which they are to be defined, namely, that our knowledge of necessary truths is causally independent of sense-impressions; that is, both contentions remain undistinguished in the usual form in which their common creed is expressed: 'necessary knowledge is independent of experience or a priori.' The definition of nativism is, then, perhaps best completed by the proviso that 'parts of our knowledge' is sometimes to be understood as equivalent to 'some of the truths which we know.'
(2) EMPIRICISM (q.v., 2) is a term in much more common use, and would seem to be best defined (a) as a characteristic of some philosophical disquisitions consisting in the fact that their arguments and conclusions largely presuppose the principle that all known truths assert something about what exists at one or more moments of time.
(b) The definition in Webster's English Dictionary (ed. 1891) -- 'The philosophical theory which attributes the origin of all our knowledge to experience' -- is, however, commoner. Cf. EMPIRICISM (1).
To definition (b) it may be objected (i) that empiricism is not a theory, because there would seem to be no one express principle or combination of principles which is enunciated by all empiricists and rejected by all other philosophers. An empiricist is recognized rather by the general character of his arguments and conclusions than by any principle from which he professes to deduce them. (ii) That this general character consists in the fact that his arguments or conclusions, very various in other respects, exhibit the constant influence of some principle, of which he may or may not be conscious, would perhaps be generally admitted. But a principle can only be said to influence arguments and conclusions where there is either an actual or an apparent logical relation between them and it. But even where one proposition only appears to have a logical relation to another, it really has this relation to some other proposition which may be easily confused with that to which it appears related; and further, in a continuous philosophical disquisition, not only that which appears to have this relation, but also that which really has it, will in general be expressly stated. It may, therefore, be fairly assumed that wherever philosophic reasoning is influenced by a principle, this principle will be actually presupposed by many of the propositions occurring in its course. (iii) That empirical reasonings can only be defined by the fact that they largely presuppose a certain principle, is due to the fact that they always also presuppose others contradictory of this one, and that they do not at all points presuppose this. Thus an empiricist can only be distinguished from other classes of philosophers by the degree of frequency with which this presupposition occurs. (iv) That the principle, by the presupposition of which empiricism must be defined, is not 'that experience is the origin of all our knowledge,' needs longer discussion. This principle would, indeed, be commonly held to characterize empiricism, either as presupposition or as theory. Objection must, however, be taken to it in the first place on the ground of its ambiguity. 'Experience' would be admitted by all to be an ambiguous word; and the words 'origin' and 'knowledge' involve the twofold ambiguity, pointed out in the definition of nativism, as to whether 'cause' or 'logical premise' be meant by the one, mental state or that which is known by the other. When, however, all ambiguity is removed, it will be found that the only part of its meaning which will really serve to characterize empiricism is the principle given in the definition first given.
History. (1) Nativism. The early Greek philosophers, notably Heraclitus, had already made that distinction between truths of reason (logoV) and truths of sense (aisqhsiV) which was ultimately to be connected with nativism; but they seem to have seen no reason to assign a different origin to the knowledge of these different kinds of truth. Their theory of the origin of knowledge was that the mind (generally conceived as material) and the object always co-operated in producing it; and they attributed to the mind no greater share in producing the one kind than the other. Protagoras and the Sophists, however, used this theory in order to draw sceptical consequences; and Plato, while he seems to have accepted both it and these consequences with regard to sensation, was therefore bound to give some other account of the origin of true knowledge (episthmh nohtwn), which it was his main aim to vindicate against scepticism. Hence his famous theory of anamnhsiV, viz. that our knowledge of necessary truths or 'ideas' is a remembrance of truths learnt by the soul before birth -- a remembrance which is excited by sensations, but which, since its objects are not temporary, cannot be caused in the same way. It is, however, doubtful how far he himself intended this theory to be allegorical, since he always concerned himself rather with the truth of necessary knowledge and its intrinsic difference from sense-knowledge than with its origin. In Aristotle, speculations as to the origin of knowledge are even less prominent; but there seems to be no doubt that he seriously held the view that every man was endowed from his birth with a reasoning faculty, which was the same in all men, and was the source and potentially (dunamiV) of abstract knowledge, although it required the stimulation of sense to actualize this knowledge. It is from the Stoics that the word 'innate' (emfutoV, innatus), as applied to truths, seems to be derived. They seem to have applied it to truths of reason (especially to moral principles), and they undoubtedly held that we were only able to know this kind of truths, owing to the immanence in us of the universal reason; but in harmony with their materialistic conceptions of reason, they seem to have thought that truths of this kind were logically identical with sensible truths, and hence they seem to have regarded the innate logos not even, like Aristotle, as a virtual knowledge of truths different from those of sense, but merely as a power of recognizing what was given in sense. Nevertheless, their doctrine, through its extreme popularity and adoption by the Romans, seems to have been the chief means of perpetuating a nativistic theory of rational knowledge. In the middle ages, again, interest was centered rather upon the nature of what is known than upon the causes of our knowing it. The realists, however, who contended for the separate reality of universals as something different from sensible objects, always tended to defend nativistic doctrines against the nominalists, who, adopting the view which Aristotle opposed to Plato, that the universal is real only in the particular, unintentionally went very much further than Aristotle in maintaining as his doctrine 'Nihil esse in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit in sensu.' In modern philosophy nativistic theories of the origin of necessary knowledge were strongly held by Descartes and by Leibnitz; the latter, especially, in opposition to Locke, gives to the theory far greater precision than it had hitherto possessed. Kant differs from him chiefly in supposing that the innate cause of necessary knowledge does not resemble that knowledge itself, and the great influence of his theory in this respect finally put an end to the doctrine of 'innate ideas' as such. It was only in the latter half of the 19th century that the question of nativism was connected with that of inheritance. It has never before been clearly recognized that the knowledge of a single individual, even if entirely attributable to experience, could certainly not be attributed solely to his own. But, this once recognized, the doctrine that it could be attributed to the inherited results of ancestral experiences was seen to be inconsistent with the famous theory of Weismann that no acquired characteristics can be inherited. Accordingly there arose a new division between theories of the origin of knowledge, according as Weismann's view was adopted or denied, and it is mainly in connection with this question that the term 'nativism' has been used.
(2) Empiricism. In the sense defined it is plain that all the early Greek philosophers, with the possible exception of the Eleatics, were empiricists. But that there was possible in philosophy that kind of difference in principle, which is vaguely denoted by the term empiricism, was first recognized by Plato, in consequence of the irreconcilable differences of Socrates and the Sophists, which were not, like the differences of earlier philosophers, capable of being specified as differences of opinion as to what existed, but seemed to proceed from something which was equally compatible both with agreement and with difference on such points. Plato uses the word empeiria to denote that way of acquiring knowledge, as to a thing's effects, which consists in frequent use of the thing -- a sense more closely analogous to that preserved in the word 'empiric' than to that of the philosophical term 'empiricism.' He opposes it to logismoV; and the knowledge thus acquired to episthmh. But his term for 'experience,' in the sense above defined, is rather aisqhsiV; empeiria denoting the manner in which experience gives rise to other knowledge, without the intervention of inference. Much the same use of terms is continued by Aristotle, but in him it has not the same importance as a method of classifying philosophies. The Stoics are a good instance of non-empirical philosophers, who nevertheless appear to have expressly held the theory generally taken to be characteristic of empiricism: they recognized constantly truths different from objects of experience, without recognizing that these truths were thus different. The Epicureans, on the other hand, were both actual and avowed empiricists. >From the extinction of the Epicurean school till the close of the middle ages there was no empirical philosophy. The nominalist School-men, as has been said, sometimes avowed a principle similar to that of empiricism; but just as they falsely thought this principle was held by Aristotle, so they agreed with him in many respects in which he is very far from empirical. Bacon, in pleading the cause of experimental inquiry, could not but avow empirical tenets; but his philosophy, so far as he has any, cannot be classed as empirical. Hobbes is probably the first noted empirical philosopher of modern Europe, but in the history of empiricism the influence of Locke is far more important. He not only definitely avows, but continually implies the principle, that all the knowledge of every individual is caused by the action of objects upon his mind; and though he admits that we have some necessary knowledge, it is only such as he could easily believe to be analytical. The theory that objects cause our knowledge of them was expressly given up by Berkeley and by Hume; but they did not cease to imply it; and both their avowed and their implied views of necessary truths are the same as Locke. It was Kant who, by his recognition of necessary synthetic truths, first brought into prominence the necessary distinction between the causal and the logical origin of knowledge: accordingly it is since his time that the term empiricism has been most commonly and significantly used in the classification of philosophers, although never yet with a clear recognition that the sole basis of the classification is the logical and not the causal question. English philosophy has continued to be empirical during the greater part of the century; but owing to the influence of Kant's proof that some necessary truths, particularly the law of causation, are synthetic, the interpretation of them as universal has been more commonly adopted by empiricists, especially by J. S. Mill. At the same time, while it is generally held that experience is due to the action of objects upon our minds, the theory that the constitution of our minds has no influence upon the character of our knowledge has been generally seen to be absurd.
Literature: PLATO, Meno, Phaedo, Theaetetus; ARISTOTLE, De Anima; ZELLER,
Stoics; LEIBNITZ, New Essays; LOCKE, Essay on the Human Understanding; KANT,
Krit. d. reinen Vernunft; J. S. MILL, Logic; W. JAMES, Princ. of Psychol., chap.
The birth of Christ occurred probably four years prior to the date fixed by current chronology. The season of the year is conjectural. According to the Scriptural account and the belief of the Church the conception of Christ was miraculous. Early in the history of the Church the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was broached, and became a subject of controversy throughout the middle and later centuries of church history, being finally promulgated as the accepted doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1854 by a bull of Pius IX. The date of Christmas, the official commemoration of the Nativity, was fixed by the Romish Church on evidence that at best yields only a degree of probability.
Literature: see JESUS CHRIST, and ADVENT. (A.T.O.)
The principle has new meaning in view of the theory of EVOLUTION (q.v.). (J.M.B.)
While the term is derived from and associated, philosophically as well as etymologically,
with the term NATURE (q.v.), it has selected especially one side of the meaning
of that term, namely, that which is regular, stated, and usual. The sense of
physical has thus dropped into the background, though still apparent in such
phrases as natural science and natural philosophy. A double meaning, that is,
a higher and a lower sense, corresponding to similar connotations of nature,
still persists, however, in its ethical implication. (1) On one side, that which
is regular and uniform is that which is to be expected; it is the normal, that
from which as a standard all departures are measured, and is opposed to the
artificial as the purely factitious and strained. As norm, the word gets a highly
ideal import, often being the highest term of commendation, as in popular aesthetic
judgment of a picture, or in social intercourse, in judgment of a personality.
(2) In its theological use, however, it is identified with the carnal, base,
or worldly -- thus the term 'natural man' in the writings of St. Paul, and through
him in theology generally. (3) In a midway or neutral sense the term natural
is simply opposed to that which is supernatural or revealed, and then may be
further supplied with a good or bad sense, according to the disposition of the
writer -- as natural religion, natural theology. (4) It is also defined as that
which belongs to men, by and from birth, as opposed to that which has been acquired
historically or conferred by political authority -- as NATURAL RIGHTS (q.v.)
distinguished from POSITIVE RIGHTS (q.v.). (J.D.)
Natural History: Ger. (1) Naturwissenshaft
(wider than natural history), (2) Naturgeschchte; Fr. histoire naturelle;
Ital. storia naturale. (1) Description of the objects found in terrestrial
nature. The term is still used as a convenient collective designation for physiography,
geology, mineralogy, botany, zoology, and anthropology, with emphasis on the
biological sciences, especially since 'history' has become illuminated by the
theory of evolution. Consequently an easy transition is made to the following
meaning. (2) Record or history of natural occurrences; in this sense sometimes
applied to the development and evolution of mind. (C.S.M.-
Natural Law or Law of Nature (in political philosophy): Ger. Naturrecht; Fr. loi naturelle; Ital. legge naturale. (1) A law of which the precepts are not of deliberate human institution, but arise spontaneously, in the manner of instincts. (2) A law which, however it arises, is the fulfilment of implanted instincts and capacities, and is the condition or way of their development.
Most of the ambiguities attaching to the term NATURE (q.v.) attach also to the Law of Nature. The German distinction between Naturrecht and Naturgesetz is inadequately rendered by our 'principles of law' and 'enactment.' There is the further difficulty of so interpreting 'law' as to avoid the suggestion of a legislator or the analogy of the uniformities of physical science.
The most imposing use of the term was made by the Stoics. The term was revived by Grotius when he based international law on law of nature. Hobbes and Spinoza recur to the first sense more bluntly. The second is the sense in which the term and idea have been defended by Krause, Stahl, Lorimer, Ahrens, T. H. Green, and Herbert Spencer. Bentham, Lewis, and Stephen are the chief critics. (J.B.)
Literature: HERBERT SPENCER, Man versus the State, 87 ff.; JAS.
LORIMER, Inst. of Law (1880); KRAUSE, Syst. d. Rechtsphilos.; STAHL, Philos.
des Rechts; AHRENS, Cours de Droit naturel; T. H. GREEN, Works ii, Political
Obligation; BENTHAM, Mor. and Legisl., chap. ii; CORNEWALL LEWIS, Use and Abuse
of some Political Terms; LESLIE STEPHEN, English Thought in the 18th Cent.;
ARDIGÒ, Sociologia. (J.B.)
Natural Realism: Ger. natürlicher Realismus; Fr. réalisme naturel; Ital. realismo naturale. The theory that in the fact of perception, as a veracious datum and testimony of consciousness, a knowledge both of mind and matter is indubitably given. The same as Natural Dualism. Cf. REALISM, PRESENTATIONISM (1), and COMMON SENSE.
The term is defined as used by Hamilton. See his edition of Reid, Note A, § i, and Discussions on Philos., 55. (J.D.)
Such natural realism as is held by the naïve (i.e. unreflecting) or ordinary
man is called 'naïve realism.' (J.M.B.)
Natural Religion: Ger. natürliche Religion; Fr. religion naturelle; Ital. religione naturelle. Religion in so far as it may be derived from nature and reason and from the constitution of man, without the aid of supernatural revelation.
Natural stands contrasted here with supernatural and includes rational. It excludes but does not deny supernaturalism. The naturalistic theory of religion does, however, deny the supernatural, and derives all religious truth from natural sources. But natural religion does not need to occupy this exclusive ground. It may simply rest on the assumption, which all will concede, that man is either a religious being by nature or that he is capable, by the exercise of his unaided power, of apprehending certain religious ideas and of developing a religious experience.
Literature: see RELIGION, and SUPERNATURALISM; the Bridgewater Treatises;
SEELEY, Nat. Religion. (A.T.O.)
The expression played a part in early Greek speculation among the Sophists,
who appealed to natural rights as founded on natural law in the sense of elementary
instincts of human nature. In Locke's writings and in the political creed of
the United States and the French Revolutinaries something of the second sense
of NATURAL LAW (q.v.) is mingled, and in the background (as long before with
Hobbes) there is a supposed STATE OF NATURE (q.v.). (J.B.)
Natural Selection: Ger. natürliche Auslese (or Züchtung); Fr. sélection naturelle; Ital. selezione naturale. The theory that the struggle for life due to the rate of multiplication of animals and plants and to other conditions, results in the survival of those individuals having the most advantageous variations; and thus leads, by accumulation through a series of generations, to evolution. See SELECTION (in biology), and EVOLUTION; and cf. EXISTENCE (struggle for), EXCESS, PRODIGALITY OF NATURE, MALTHUSIANISM, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, and VARIATION.
The two men whose names will always be associated with this great hypothesis, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, were led independently to the same conclusion by their memory of the Essay on Population by Malthus. Darwin had reflected much on evolution during the voyage of the Beagle (1831-6), and on his return home opened a notebook, in July, 1837, in which to record all facts bearing on the process and its possible causes. He says in his Autobiography: 'I soon perceived that selection was the keystone of man's success in making useful races of animals and plants. But how selection could be applied to organisms living in a state of nature remained for some time a mystery to me.' Various possible causes of change passed through his mind and were dismissed as inadequate, until, in October, 1838, he read Malthus, and the idea of the survival of favourable and the extinction of unfavourable variations at once occurred to him. In 1842 he wrote a short account of the theory, which he expanded into an essay of 231 folio pages in 1844, but continued to observe and experiment, and could not be induced by his friends to publish until on June 8, 1858, he received a manuscript essay from Wallace, who was then at Ternate in the Molucca Islands. In this essay, entitled 'On the Tendency of Varieties to depart indefinitely from the Original Type,' Darwin found a complete exposition of his own hypothesis. 'If Wallace had my manuscript sketch written out in 1842, he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as heads of my chapters,' he wrote to Lyell. Sir Charles Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker, whose advice Darwin sought, decided that Wallace's essay should at once be published, but that it should be accompanied by an abstract of Darwin's own work. The joint paper was read before the Linnean Society of London, July 1, 1858, with the title, 'On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection.' Thus the phrase 'natural selection' first came before the world.
Probably the essential difference between this and all other theories of the motive cause of evolution is the clear appreciation of the intensity of the struggle for existence as well as its significance in the origin of species. On this point the minds of the two discoverers ran in such parallel grooves that Darwin insists on the 'struggle for life,' Wallace on the 'struggle for existence.' A brief account of 'sexual selection' is included in Darwin's essay. This most memorable episode was the beginning of a life-long friendship between the two men. Wallace, like Darwin, had been convinced of the truth of evolution itself before natural selection occurred to him. The hypothesis flashed across him suddenly in Feb. 1858, when he was lying ill in bed with fever and was thinking of the 'positive checks' described by Malthus. In two hours after this he had 'thought out almost the whole of the theory,' and in three evenings had finished his essay. Darwin's chief work appeared on Nov. 24, 1859, with the exact title, On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The whole edition of 1,250 copies was sold on the day of issue. The plan of the book is remarkable: it begins with an account of natural selection, then considers special difficulties in the way of a belief in natural selection and in evolution, and ends with the evidences for evolution. In this arrangement there is the recognition of the fact that it was hopeless to expect a belief in evolution until some intelligible motive cause had first been suggested.
It is especially noteworthy that the theory makes no attempt to explain the origin of the individual variations upon which it is based. It rests upon the demonstrable fact of their existence. Furthermore, the variations which form the material for the operation of selection are inherent and hereditary, thus differing from the 'acquired' characters or MODIFICATIONS (q.v.) upon which Lamarck based his hypothesis. Although Darwin incorporated a certain element of LAMARCKISM (q.v.) in his conception of evolution, it formed no part of his own theory of natural selection.
Natural selection has been criticized by those who suppose that a non-useful stage is an early but essential phase in the development of every character. Thus the Duke of Argyll spoke in this sense of 'prophetic germs.' Dohrn was the first to meet this difficulty by the hypothesis of 'change of function' (Functionswechsel), in which he suggested that new organs are rarely formed de novo, but are produced by modification of the function and subsequently of the structure of pre-existing organs. The recent hypothesis of ORGANIC OR INDIRECT SELECTION (q.v.) also materially assists in early beginnings and transitional stages. It has furthermore been objected that the process of natural selection is necessarily so slow that geological time would have been wholly insufficient for evolution thus caused. This objection does not take into account the very different rates at which evolution by natural selection must be supposed to have proceeded when a change in the organic or geographical conditions has upset a pre-existing equilibrium between the inhabitants, animal and vegetable, of any district. In those areas upon the earth's surface where such an organic balance is, from the nature of the case, less exposed to disturbance, evolution has proceeded at a slower rate. Thus certain islands still contain the forms which have been replaced by more modern products of evolution upon the adjacent continental areas. In the greatest depths of the ocean the conditions, both organic and inorganic, have been more persistent than in any other part of the globe, and there evolution has been slowest. In the branchiopods especially we meet with forms which appear to have undergone no progressive evolution since Cambrian times. This association between persistent conditions and arrested evolution is explained by the followers of Buffon on the ground that variation is the direct effect of changed conditions, and is at its minimum when conditions are constant, while Lamarckians believe that variation is the indirect effect of the same cause through its operation as a stimulus to individual desire and effort. The convinced natural-selectionist holds that arrested evolution is not due to the absence of sufficiently large individual variation, but a natural result of the successful adaptation of a species to conditions which remain permanent, when the average fertility of the species exactly compensates for the average loss. He holds that the characters relied on by the followers of Buffon and Lamarck are 'acquired,' and incapable of hereditary transmission, and can only assist evolution indirectly by means of 'organic selection.' Cf. ACQUIRED AND CONGENITAL CHARACTERS, and HEREDITARY.
The natural-selectionist further holds that such beneficial acquired modifications are themselves due to one of the highest reaches of natural selection in rendering the individual capable of an adaptive response to the stimulation provided by external conditions or its own activities. Cf. PLASTICITY.
Evolution normally proceeds from the selection of the ordinary minute differences which distinguish the individuals of a species, and which are present during a state of evolutional arrest no less than in one of rapid progress. Changed conditions lead to progress by establishing a new or a higher selective 'mean' rather than by acting directly upon the selected material. This, at least, is the conclusion to be reached by a study of the animal world.
There are, however, many facts and observations which lead to the conclusion that changed conditions may evoke hereditary variation in plants. It may well be that evolution by selection operates in two ways upon the higher groups of the vegetable kingdom, with their comparatively passive relation to environment, and the liability of species to be driven out of existence by environmental change. In the first place, there is the ordinary operation of selection upon the ever-present individual differences; in the second, the germinal constitution of such plants may have been rendered by natural selection especially sensitive to changed conditions, so that fresh hereditary material may be afforded to selection by the very changes which might otherwise have been fatal to the existence of the species.
Quite apart from this special question, affecting a certain proportion of the vegetable kingdom, the character of the variational material upon which selection operates has been the subject of much difference of opinion. Darwin originally believed that large variations like those made use of in artificial selection played a part, although not a very important one, in evolution. Fleeming Jenkin's essay convinced him that their effect is nothing as compared with that of ordinary minute individual differences. The belief in large variations has been recently revived by Bateson, and has been supported by F. Galton in connection with the idea of a prepotent hereditary influence. Evolution by the selection of large variations would be discontinuous (Bateson) or transilient (Galton) as contrasted with the smooth continuous history of change dependent on the selection of minute individual differences. Under the topic MUTATION (q.v.) it is shown that the paleontological record, wherever complete, represents such a history rather than the discontinuous advance demanded by the former conception.
T. H. Huxley was never completely convinced of the efficacy of natural selection, because the domestic breeds or races produced by man, while differing in structure far more than many natural species or even genera, are still completely fertile inter se. Until this usual characteristic of natural species could also be reproduced by experimental selection he was unable to give more than a qualified assent to the theory of natural selection. But Darwin never believed that mutual sterility was produced by direct selection in nature, so that, if he is right, the production of mutual sterility by experiment, although most interesting in itself, would be the production of a common natural result by means which are not adopted in nature. Darwin looked on mutual sterility as an incidental rather than a direct result of species separation, and pointed out that it was most irregular in its occurrence, so that an immense number of plants considered to be true species are still perfectly fertile inter se. The late G. J. Romanes, in his hypothesis of PHYSIOLOGICAL SELECTION (q.v.), on the other hand, placed mutual sterility as the basis, instead of the climax, of a large amount of species formation, viz. of all cases in which interbreeding was not prevented in some other way. The fact that so many natural species can still produce hybrids, while others are even perfectly fertitle when brought together, supports the Darwinian conception, and leads to the belief that our domestic breeds will need separation until some immensely remote epoch before the same incidental results can be expected to manifest themselves. If they did so now they would furnish no experimental verification of the natural condition.
The following interpretation of sterility between species is consistent with Darwin's views. The germ substances which meet in fertilization are of infinite complexity, and require the most exact adjustment the one to the other if the union is to be fertile. The adjustment is often inexact between individuals of the same species, but natural selection rigidly keeps up the standard among the individuals of a species so long as these constitute a single organic whole interbreeding together. As soon, however, as a species separates into two groups of individuals which do not interbreed, natural selection can only keep up the standard of fertility within each group, and not between the two groups; for while unfertile unions within each group are rigidly excluded by selection, those which would have been unfertile between the two groups, but are nevertheless fertile within each group, are encouraged by selection. We witness a condition in which complete sterility between the two groups is certain to be attained after the lapse of an immense period of time in consequence of the mere cessation of selection. Cf. FERTILITY, STERILITY, and REPRODUCTIVE SELECTION. (E.B.P.)
The accompanying diagram may serve to illustrate the theory of evolution
which makes exclusive use of the principle of natural selection. In its
'pure,' or Neo-Darwinian, or Weismannian form, it is contrasted with LAMARCKIANISM
or ORTHOGENESIS (q.v.) and with ORTHOPLASY (q.v.). Under those terms similar
diagrams are given, with which this may be compared.
Among the questions which arise in the interpretation of natural selection are: (1) In what sense is this principle a 'force' or 'motive force'? (cf. Darwin's discussion with Asa Gray, given in Poulton, Charles Darwin): cf. FORCE AND CONDITION, and BIONOMIC FORCES. (2) What relation does this principle sustain to others which claim to be FACTORS OF EVOLUTION (q.v.)? (3) That of the operation of natural selection in MENTAL EVOLUTION (q.v.). (J.M.B., E.B.P.)
Literature: CHARLES DARWIN, Life and Letters (London, 1887); Origin
of Species; Linn. Soc. J., 1858; A. R. WALLACE, Linn. Soc. J., 1858; Tropical
Nature and Natural Selection; and Darwinism; T. H. HUXLEY, Life and Letters
(1900); Anonymous, Quart, Rev., art. on Huxley (Jan., 1901); E. B. POULTON,
Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection (London, 1896); W. BATESON,
Materials for the Study of Variation (London, 1894); FLEEMING JENKIN, North
Brit. rev., June, 1867; H. F. OSBORN, From the Greeks to Darwin (N.Y., 1894).
For recent expositions see ROMANES, Darwin and after Darwin, i; CONN, The Method
of Evolution (1900); HEADLEY, Problems of Evolution (1901); GROOS, The Play
of Animals (Eng. Trans.); COPE, Primary Factors of Organic Evolution (Lamarckian.
The authors cited under LAMARCKISM nearly all criticize natural selection. (E.B.P.-
Natural Theology: Ger. natürliche Theologie; Fr. théologie naturelle; Ital. teologia naturale. The systematic treatment of the problems of God's existence, nature, and relations, in so far as it proceeds upon natural and unrevealed data.
The idea of natural theology is positive and proceeds on the assumed possibility of obtaining knowledge of God from the natural resources of human reason. It is opposed to agnosticism on the one hand and to the claims of an exclusive supernaturalism on the other. The science is as old as Socrates and the design argument. The earliest modern treatise on natural theology is the Theologia Naturalis of Raymond de Sabunde in the 15th century. The 18th century was prolific of works in natural theology, that of Paley standing pre-eminent. The criticism of Kant was supposed to have given the science its death-blow, and later the design argument was thought to have received its quietus from Darwin. But the result has been revolution and reconstruction along profounder and more comprehensive lines rather than destruction.
Literature: HUME, Dialogues on Natural Religion; KANT, Criticism of
Theistic Proofs, in Critique of Pure Reason; FLINT, Theism and Anti-Theistic
Theories; PHYSICUS, Candid Exam. of Theism; the Bridgewater Treatises; JANET,
Final Causes; LE CONTE, Evolution of Religious Thought; STIRLING, Philos. and
Naturalism [Lat. naturalis, natural]: Ger. Naturalismus; Fr. naturalisme; Ital. naturalismo. (1) The theory that the whole of the universe or of experience may be accounted for by a method like that of the physical sciences, and with recourse only to the current conceptions of physical and natural science; more specifically, that mental and moral processes may be reduced to the terms and categories of the natural sciences. It is best defined negatively as that which excludes everything distinctly spiritual or transcendental. In this meaning it is about equivalent to POSITIVISM (q.v.). (J.D.)
(2) Synonymous with MATERIALISM (q.v.).
(3) There is a growing use of the term to indicate a view which simply limits itself to what is natural or normal in its explanations, as against appeal to what transcends nature as a whole, or is in any way supernatural or mystical.
This is established in the case of the adjective NATURAL (q.v.), as in the claim that the mental and moral sciences should be classed with the 'natural' as opposed to the physical sciences. The term naturalist is also used for a scientific investigator in the biological and psychological, not in the physical, sciences. Besides this demand for the term naturalism as the theory of what is natural, including the mental and moral, from the side of science, a similar usage has come from theological study, where we have naturalism in interpretation and in doctrine opposed to supernaturalism; that is, naturalism is the appeal to natural occurrences of the mental and moral order as opposed to miracles, divine enlightenment, &c. Cf. also NATURALISM (in art).
It is extremely desirable that this distinction of usages should be recognized.
Note the controversy occasioned by Balfour's Foundations of Belief, arising
from the protests of naturalists (sense 3) against his description of naturalism
(sense 1). In view of the oscillation of the philosophical term (cf. Ward, Naturalism
and Agnosticism), the third usage is in many respects to be preferred. For
the other meanings we have POSITIVISM and MATERIALISM covering the whole ground.
And it is a false position from the start, as the development of science shows,
to limit nature to physical nature, and that minus animated nature. Indeed,
the development in the meaning of natural to include man is so firmly established
that it were better to yield up the word naturalism altogether to go with it.
Naturalism (in art). A theory which holds it to be the true end of art to 'follow nature.' The rendering of a landscape or human character without subjective idealization; without omission of elements that are opposed to the personal or average taste and conscience. It is, however, distinguished from realism by implying faithfulness to the forces at work rather than minute copying of details. (J.H.T.- J.D.)
The term has had a varying meaning according to varying interpretations of the phrase 'follow nature' (see ART, II). At present the naturalistic school of art is characterized especially by individualism -- emphasis upon the CHARACTERISTIC (q.v.) and often upon the unpleasant aspects of nature (by way of emphasizing the significant as over against the formally beautiful). It has been defined as 'science applied to literature,' since both science and art are by it regarded as seeking 'truth.'
In German, however, 'minute copying' is the rather associated with naturalism, not with realism; but usage is not well fixed. Alt (Syst. d. Künste, 1888, 19) says, 'The method which aims at the complete reproduction of all the details of sense-phenomena is, in our as yet incompletely developed terminology, called naturalism in contrast to realism, which aims to construct a picture only of the most striking phases of the object.' (K.G.)
Literature: VOLKELT, Aesth. Zeitfragen (1895), chap. v; STEIN, Entsteh.
d. neueren Aesth. (1886), 81-270, 325 ff.; HÖFFDING, Rousseau (1897), 104
ff.; ZOLA, Le Roman expér.; GUYAU, L'Art au point de vue sociol. (1889),
143 ff.; BRANDES, Die Hauptströmungen in d. Literatur (1892); BRAITMEYER,
Gesch. d. poet. Theorie u. Krit. (1888-9); M. PILO, Estetica (1898). (J.H.T.)
Naturalism (in theology). The doctrine which excludes the supernatural from the religious realm, and refers the facts of religion either to the operation of natural agencies and laws, or to the divine conceived as identical with the natural order of the world. Cf. NATURALISM.
The naturalistic tendency in religion has been greatly strengthened by the doctrine of evolution. The tendency of naturalism is not so much to deny the divine agency as to merge that agency in the operations of nature.
Literature: H. BUSHNELL, Nature and the Supernatural (1876); WARD, Naturalism
and Agnosticism (1899). See SUPERNATURALISM. (A.T.O.)
Nature [Lat. natura, from nasci, to be born or produced; an equivalent of the Gr. fusiV, from fuein]: Ger. Natur; Fr. nature; Ital. natura. The word has a primary double sense, each of these meanings having in turn a number of subdivisions. (1) In the first place, nature means whatever (literally or figuratively) is born with the thing, and hence belongs originally to its own being instead of being acquired or superadded.
It thus means (a) the constitution, native structure, essence, or very being of a thing. Thus we speak of the nature of anything -- of a horse, stone, man, star, thought, soul, God, &c. The Scholastics used the term as equivalent, objectively or as regards the existence concerned, to essence, but as connoting more especially not the being in itself, but (b) considered as the active source (or principle) of the operations by which the being realized its destined end. Here is the transition to the second meaning.
(2) Nature is the sum total of forces which animate the created world, or the aggregate of events and changing things which make it up.
In this conception two quite distinct meanings are obviously contained. In one meaning, nature is conceived (a) as the dynamic agent concerned in bringing about the changes in the world. It is at least semi-personified. Thus the Scholastics talked of nature doing this and that; of various forces and qualities as the various modes of the operation of nature, &c. This use of nature, as a cause at large, was seized upon by Comte (see POSITIVISM) as a sign of the 'metaphysical' stage of thought, distinguished equally from the theological, where God is the active cause, and the positive or scientific, where search for efficient agents is given up, and simple sequences and coexistences are traced. Under (2, a) we again have a subdivision, according as nature is conceived (a) as an independent, self-active agent, as in various forms of pantheism and mysticism, or as (b) a subordinate principle, a secondary cause, intervening between God as efficient principle and the details of existence. In its other meaning (b) -- under (2) -- nature is regarded as simply the name given to the sum total or phenomena in time and space; the physical world as presented to the senses. It is expressly restricted to phenomena, in their material relations to one another; and the idea of productive or formative agency is excluded. It is equivalent to the physical world, the realm of things and events with which physical science deals.
Few terms used in philosophy have a wider or a looser use, or involve greater ambiguity. While often used as equivalent to the mechanical and material world, as a system of particular objects and changes, it rarely quite loses its sense of primordial, primitive, intrinsic, or, indeed, of something dynamic and productive; and so the term is used in an active or passive, a spiritual or material sense, about as the writer pleases. It is not surprising, then, that historically we find it used to mark off, in a most definite way, the world from God, and again to identify the world with God, and once more to afford a connecting principle between God and the details of the world. Its various sub-meanings can, however, best be brought out in connection with the history of the term.
It is perhaps the oldest of all formulated and general philosophic concepts -- that is, in its Greek form fusiV. Aristotle expressly calls the earlier philosophers (particularly the Ionic school) physicists (fusikoi) and physiologists (fusiologoi) to express their pre-occupation with nature as the object of philosophy. Peri fusewV (concerning nature) is the putative, traditional, or actual title of the writings of Xenophanes, Melissus, Parmenides, and Heraclitus. The term began with that wide and vague sense which has always hung about it -- something designating the whole world, considered not as a chaos of particular things, but as referred to some general principle for explanation or to account for its production. Thus the statement of Windelband (Hist. of Philos., 73, Eng. trans.) that the 'constitutive mark of the concept fusiV was originally that of remaining ever like itself,' its contrary being the transient, is altogether too narrow. While the chief object of interest to the 'physiologues' was what we should term the physical world, and their categories are, to us, of a physical sort (fire, air, water, &c.), yet it must be remembered that no clear distinction of mind and matter had yet been made; nature was conceived of as living and, in so far at least, as psychical; the scheme, in a word, was HYLOZOISM (q.v.), not materialism. It was with Plato that the distinction between the physical and the metaphysical was clearly stated, and thus the tendency initiated to use the term nature in a restricted sense which marked it off from the spiritual; it was the sphere of becoming, as distinct from that of being, and hence was contingent, and the object of probable knowledge only. (God as distinct from fusiV was the oqin fuetai.) But it was far from being identical with what we should term nature in the purely physical sense, the term swma much more nearly expressing that. Moreover, in general and in detail, a teleological explanation of nature was required by which it was subjected to the good and to reason (see NOUS). In Aristotle, this Platonic conception of nature joined with a strain derived from the Sophists, and the term got for the first time a complete, explicit statement -- the term, though not the idea, being rather incidental in Plato. In their political and ethical discussions, the Sophists (Hippias, see Xenophon, Mem., iv. 14 ff.) had raised the question as to whether obligation exists by nature (fusei) or by institution or convention (fesei or nomw). This gave rise to the conception of nature as a standard or norm that could be used to justify objective validity as distinct from arbitrary assertion or merely subjective convenience. The dramatists (Sophocles, Antigone) had already developed the conception of a law of nature which was universal and eternal, and the ethical industry of Socrates was devoted to establishing the existence and worth of such a law-giving nature. Hence, in Aristotle we have the conception of nature as, on one hand, the system of moving, changing things so far as directed to realizing an end, or (in their totality) the end, the absolute good; and, on the other, as the standard by reference to which all particulars of a given class, as well as all failures, deviations, and abnormalities, are to be measured; while it is distinguished from art because its efficient cause is internal, and not external. It is in this sense, for example, that man is, by nature, a political animal, and that the state is, by nature, prior to the individual citizen.
This conception, like the rest of the Aristotelian philosophy, was reformulated by the Scholastics, and thus has become (in the popular sense of nature as at once a productive force and the standard of order and regularity) a part of the ordinary view of the world. But there are two elements involved in the Aristotelian conception; and even if we grant that his own synthesis was adequate, it was hardly possible that later writers should not emphasize one factor or the other. On the one hand, there is the mechanical element -- the physical is just the realm of extended and movable bodies, being thus distinguished from both the metaphysical and the teleological (Met., vi. 1, and De Caelo, i. 1).
In the Epicurean philosophy, this conception becomes dominant and exclusive; the teleological factor, the reason or end, which, according to Aristotle, had animated the complex of moving bodies, is absolutely eliminated; and nature is simply the sum total of the mechanical impacts and arrangements of the purely quantitative elements, the atoms. This is the view which found its classical expression in the De rerum Natura of Lucretius, a poem which perhaps had done more than any one other cause to give to the term its limited, purely physical, content.
But all the order and uniformity and system (orderly unity) of nature is due, according to Aristotle, to the fact that it represents the transition of the potential to completion, under the teleological influence of forms, and of the supreme FORM (q.v.), God. In it, so far as it is really nature, nothing is superfluous, nothing perverted, nothing happens just by accident. It is an organic whole (zwon). This aspect is emphasized by the Stoics (Strato being the connecting link, Windelband, 179), save that, denying the transcendence of form and nous, nature is regarded as self-moved, both efficiently and teleologically. Nature is not merely ordered and attracted to perfection by God; it is God. It is itself law, cause, standard, and providence. 'To live in accordance with nature' is the sum of all virtue. Nature is also used by the Stoics, in a restricted sense, as the peculiar animating principle of the plant, as distinct from the exiV of the inorganic, the yuch of the animal, or the nouV of man (Erdmann, Hist. of Philos., i. 189, trans., and Zeller).
With Plotinus, nature again assumes a definite intermediate position, established, however, on the basis of emanations, not upon a teleological one. As NOUS (q.v.) comes below the supreme and ineffable One, so nous subdivides into a higher and lower soul (yuch), the higher which contemplates and enjoys the rational forces (noi) which make up the nouV: the lower, which after the archetype thus contemplated, carries them into act and thus creates the objective world. This lower soul is nature -- equivalent practically to the world soul of Plato and the logoV spermatikoV of the Stoics. In the middle ages three stains appear. One is the orthodox scholastic, following Aristotle, expressly defining nature as the essence of anything, so far as it operates in a regular way to bring the thing to its appointed end. Another is the mystic, which continued the Platonic and Neo-Platonic sense, but in a more pantheistic way, tending to make nature the mysterious, vital creative energy of God. The third is the Arabian interpretation of Aristotle. Averroes, like the Stoics, interpreted Aristotle so as to deny the transcendent nous; form and purpose are wholly immanent in nature. Hence the distinction of nature (De Caelo) into Natura naturans, equivalent to God, the one reality viewed as active, as form and force, and into Natura naturata, the world as materialized form, as effect (see Siebeck, Arch. f. Gesch. d. Philos., iii. 370, for origin of this distinction). The two terms made their way both among the Mystics and the Scholastics, being adapted to their respective uses. They appeared with Cusanus and Giordano Bruno, and (probably) from them made their way into Spinoza. With him, in scholastic fashion, the nature of a thing is its essence and its idea (Ethica, iv. def. 8); and so the supreme essence is also Natura, Natura naturans, or Deus, while the world of modified existences is Natura naturata (i. pr. 29, schol.). In his earlier writings he distinguishes the latter into generalis and particularis, but abandons this in the Ethics.
Modern thought has added no essentially new elements to the concept of nature. It has, however, clearly brought out the homogeneity of nature, its identical structure and operation in all its parts, mundane and stellar, thus effectually doing away with the ancient conception of a diversity of grades, values, and qualities, a conception which, more than any other, is the philosophical idea underlying modern science (Windelband, loc. cit., 402). So far as science is concerned, the mechanical conception of nature may be said to have become, through the writings of Descartes, Galileo, Hobbes, and Newton, completely victorious as against the Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions. The problem still remains, however, whether, taken as a totality and system, nature does not demand a rational and teleological valuation; and thus at the Renaissance, in the 17th and again in the 19th century, have arisen philosophic systems which have insisted that nature as a totality or system is an expression of thought, and which have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to combine a modified Aristotelianism with the detailed results of contemporary science.
This found its most ambitious expression in the so-called Naturphilosophie
of Oken, Schelling, and Hegel, in the early part of the 19th century. In another
connection the names of Rousseau and Goethe need special mention. Rousseau's
motto and warcry was 'Return to Nature,' and in his treatment of the idea all
the various senses and ambiguities were rolled into one. Nature meant at once
the historically primitive and original; that which is distinct from art and
the artificial; that which is opposed to the politically instituted; and that
which is normative and ideal. In formulating the opposition between nature and
culture he stimulated Herder and Schiller (as well as many others), and was,
indirectly, an important factor in the development of the Modern German philosophy
of history and society. Goethe, moved by the discussion, was led back to Spinoza;
revived Spinoza's conception of nature, giving it, however, a thoroughly dynamic
and organic interpretation, and by embodying it in his poetry, as well as in
his prose criticism and his scientific efforts, influenced not only the Naturphilosophie
movement already referred to, but all modern literature and aesthetic theory.
Nature (moral): Ger. (sittliche) Natur; Fr. nature morale; Ital. natura morale. The constitution of man as a being capable of morality, i.e. as a being at once sentient and rational, whose sentient nature can be rationalized.
Plato held that human nature is an economy or constitution, like a state, in which each part has its appropriate work to do for the nature as a whole. Human virtue or excellence accordingly consists in the harmonious activities of all the parts in the interest of the total welfare of the soul. Aristotle held that the proper or characteristic activity of any being is determined by its specific nature, and that, since man's specific nature is rationality, his true life is an activity 'according to right reason.' The Stoics regarded human nature as part of the nature of things, and held that to live 'according to nature' or according to the reason which is the pervading nature of the universe, is the sum and substance of morality. The early British rationalists (Cudworth, More, Clarke) also held that man as a moral or rational being was capable of discerning the rational nature of things, and that moral distinctions are 'eternal and immutable.' Butler returned to the Platonic or psychological view of moral nature as a constitution, in which there are various principles, differing in rank or authority, as well as in power, among which conscience occupies the supreme place. According to the associationist and utilitarian school, the moral, like the intellectual nature of man, is derivative, not original; complex, not simple. The evolutionists see in it the changing product of the evolutionary process, the result of the action and reaction of man and his environment, physical and social. The idealists seek to establish the ultimateness and absoluteness of the moral nature, Kant regarding it as noumenal or transcendent, Hegel and his followers finding in it the highest expression of the principle of thought of the universe. Cf. ETHICS, and ETHICAL THEORIES.
Literature: many general works on ETHICS (q.v.), also BIBLIOG. F, i,
Nature (philosophy of): Ger. Naturphilosophie; Fr. philosophie de la nature; Ital. filosofia della natura. That branch of fundamental philosophy which deals with NATURE (q.v.): co-ordinate with theology (philosophy of God) and with rational psychology or philosophy of spirit (as philosophy of man). Often used synonymously with cosmology.
For the earlier history see NATURE. Kant first connects it expressly with the modern scientific view of the world, and defines it as the attempt to carry back the facts and forces of physical science to a limited number of forces -- in his own theory, attraction and repulsion. His own philosophy is dynamic, but in a mechanical sense. Schelling emphasizes, on the side of method, the self-contained, non-empirical character of Naturphilosophie; and, in content, the dynamic-organic concept. According to Hegel, it takes up into itself all the results and methods of physics, but develops them, showing they do not have their basis in experience, but constitute a self-included, necessary whole derived from thought itself (Begriff).
The content of the system is found in the dialectic sequence which takes us
from the extreme externalization of thought (space and time) to its internalization
in sentient life -- living and feeling organisms. With the latter, the philosophy
of spirit takes up its tale, since thought is now coming to conscious recognition
of itself. The philosophy of nature soon fell into disrepute, partly because
of the arbitrary and artificial use made of its categories; and even more largely
because the manifold results of the continually multiplying specialisms in science
defied all attempts at reduction to a few fundamental principles. Spencer has
revived the notion (though not the term) in his attempt to connect the phenomena
of life, mind, and society by the formula of evolution, in a way which reduces
all facts to terms of integration of motion and differentiation of matter. There
are many signs of attempts to reinstate a philosophy of nature in connection
with the idea of evolution, often in a sense quite divergent from Spencer; but
the special sciences still lack organization, both themselves and in relation
to one another, to an extent which makes the problem the most baffling of all
the phases of philosophy to-day. Among recent English-speaking authors, Tyndall,
Huxley, John Fiske, Cope, and Le Conte have occupied themselves particularly
with the philosophic interpretation of scientific phenomena. In Germany the
names of Lotze, Fechner, Haeckel, Wundt, Ostwald, and Mach are prominent. (J.D.)
Religions are classifiable under the categories of nature and ethics. The objects of worship in the nature-religions are fundamental forces of nature to which the processes of hypostatization and ethical personalization have been applied in various degrees.
Literature: ANDREW LANG, art. Religion, Encyc. Brit. (9th ed.). (A.T.O.)
Naturism [Lat. natura, nature]: Ger. Naturismus;
Fr. naturisme; Ital. naturismo. The theory that the primitive
form of religion was the deification of nature. See the works cited under RELIGION
(philosophy of). (J.M.B.)
Nazarites [Gr. NazarithV; Heb. nazar, to separate oneself]: Ger. Nazariten; Fr. Nazaréens; Ital. Nazareiti. Among the ancient Hebrews, devotees of either sex who had taken an oath to abstain from wine and strong drink, from cutting the hair, and from ceremonial uncleanness.
The vow of the Nazarite was either limited or for life. For its conditions
and the mode of its fulfilment see Number vi in the Old Testament Scriptures.
Nebular Hypothesis: Ger. Nebular-Hypothese; Fr. hypothèse de la nébuleuse primitive; Ital. ipotesi della nebulosa. The doctrine that the primaeval form of the matter composing the bodies of the universe was that of a glowing gas or nebular, and that the earth, sun, planets, stars, and all other seemingly solid bodies of the universe were formed by the cooling and consequent condensation of this gas.
Somewhat obscurely conceived by Swedenborg; more definitely outlined by Kant
and Laplace (Système du Monde); developed by Herbert Spencer as
one of the general processes of evolution; and reduced to the form of a physical
theory by Geo. H. Darwin. (S.N.)
Necessaries [Lat. necessarius, indispensable]: Ger. Gegenstände des Lebensbedarfs; Fr. le nécessaire (sing.); Ital. il necessario (sing.). Commodities whose use is indispensable for the maintenance of economic efficiency (cf. LUXURIES).
It follows from this definition that things which are necessaries for one man, increasing his economic efficiency more than in proportion to their cost, may be luxuries to another with whom their use is not accompanied by such increase of efficiency.
We must beware of defining necessaries as things which a man needs in order
to keep alive. This definition rests on a very superficial view of the distinctions
involved. Those who use a definition of this kind are compelled to create a
class of 'decencies' intermediate between necessaries and luxuries. A decency
is a commodity which is not necessary in the superficial sense, but which the
experience of the community has so far proved to be necessary in the deeper
sense that it insists on having it without really stating or knowing the reason
Necessary (1) and (2) Sufficient Condition: Ger. (1) nothwendige und (2) hinreichende Bedingung; Fr. (1) condition nécessaire et (2) condition suffisante; Ital. (1) condizione necessaria e (2) condizione sufficiente. An event, p, is a sufficient condition of another event, q, if whenever p happens q happens; p is a necessary (or essential, or, better still, indispensable) condition of q if q does not happen unless p happens.
These are phrases which the mathematicians find indispensable; it would add greatly to clearness on the part of writers on logic if they were to become familiar phrases with them as well.
These relations are, as far as their logical significance is concerned, nothing
more than those which are expressed, for terms, by the first two forms of the
simple PROPOSITION (q.v.), (a) All a is b and (u) None
but a is b. To say that all citizens are voters is the same thing for logic
(that is, as statements that are to constitute the premises and the conclusions
of arguments) as to say that being a citizen is the sufficient and necessary
condition of being a voter; and, again, it is the same as to say, in terms of
extension instead of intension, that citizens are-identical-with voters. Another
name for indispensable condition is conditio sine qua non. As proof of
the urgent necessity for more exact nomenclature in connection with these two
relations, see the remarkable footnote in Sigwart's Logik, 286 (Appendix
II in the English translation). Usually a condition is used as meaning an indispensable
condition, and the condition as meaning, more or less loosely, the necessary
and sufficient condition. (C.L.F.)
Something more than brute compulsion is, therefore, involved in the conception; there is a general law under which the thing takes place. Thus necessity, in the philosophical sense, is quite opposed to any 'Noth' that 'kennt kein Gebot.' Springing from law, and thus being essentially rational, it would perhaps be more accurately described as persuasive than as compulsive.
The Stoics defined the necessary as 'that which, being true, is not susceptible of becoming false, or, if it be so, is prevented from ever becoming false' (Diog. Laer., vii. 75). Kant defines the necessary as that which is a priori certain (Krit. d. reinen Vernunft, 1st ed., 125).
Necessary adjunct: a phrase which a very improper usage makes to signify a property, that is, an inessential predicate, not only belonging at all times to every individual of the species of which it is a necessary adjunct, but further, belonging to nothing else.
Necessary cause: one which acts by a necessity of its nature and is not free.
Necessary object, says Kant, is one which is determined according to concepts by the connection of perceptions (Krit. d. reinen Vernunft, 1st ed., 234).
Necessary sign: a sure indication. (C.S.P.)
Necessitarianism [Lat. necessitas,
necessity]: Ger. Necessitarianismus, Nothwendig keitsgläubiger
(a necessitarian, Barth); Fr. nécessitarisme; Ital. (not in
use). See DETERMINISM. (J.S.)
(2) The principle in virtue of which the condition of the universe as a whole, or any particular part of it, is rendered, both as to its existence and quality, inevitable. Opposed to both freedom and chance, but especially, in its strictly philosophical use, to CHANCE (q.v.) or contingency. That which has the property of necessity is said to be necessary.
It is frequently used to designate the chief principle of those philosophies which admit only the principle of cause and effect, and which deny purposiveness to the universe. Technically, various forms of it have been recognized. (1) Logical (also metaphysical) necessity: the necessity of thought in virtue of which a truth, either immediate or inferential, must be conceived in such and such a manner; thus freedom itself would be a logical necessity if it followed, in accordance with the principles of identity and non-contradiction, from conceded premises. (2) Mathematical necessity: the similar logical relationship of parts of a demonstration or construction in mathematical reasoning. (3) Physical (also natural) necessity: that which arises from laws of nature or which arises in the course of nature from the principle of causation: mechanism, the 'reign of law'; invariable sequence, according to modern writers, e.g. J.S. Mill. (4) Moral necessity: that required by moral law, by the moral order of the universe; that which follows from the nature of God as a moral governor; also used in a narrower sense, as equivalent to 'practical' necessity, which is neither logical nor physical, but the result of a certain need or demand regarded as of fundamental importance (see POSTULATE).
These distinctions we owe directly to Leibnitz, and they are most fully developed in his Théodicée. According to him there are three main types. (a) Metaphysical, logical, geometrical: that which cannot be otherwise than as it is without self-contradiction; absolute necessity. (b) Physical necessity: that of the order of nature, which might conceivably be otherwise, but which follows from the will of God, who has chosen the best world; hypothetical necessity. (c) Moral necessity: that which animates a moral being, even God himself, in the choice of good. Since a perfectly moral being would have a perfectly adequate conception of the good, it would by moral necessity choose it. In this sense, physical necessity depends upon moral necessity. The term is also used in a strictly logical sense, equivalent to APODICTIC (q.v.), and also to designate the opposite of those theories which assert free will (necessitarianism: see DETERMINISM, and WILL).
In the Pre-Socratics, necessity was a quasi-mythical expression for the law or order of the cosmos, as in the teaching of Parmenides that the goddess at the centre of the world is Necessity -- an (apparently) Pythagorean conception which finds expression in the myth of Er (Plato, Rep., Bk. X), where the entire universe is made to revolve upon an axis of necessity. Heraclitus used the idea (in the form of destiny) to account for the fact that a certain balance and system is observed in all change. With the Atomists (Leucippus) it becomes (anagkh) a definite philosophical concept; the atoms, darting about at random, impinge upon one another; from the aggregations thus formed, there is, of necessity, a whirling motion set up. With Plato (aside from incidental and non-technical use of it as equivalent to the force of proof and demonstration) necessity is the co-author, with nouV, of the sensible world; as irrational it is blind, indifferent to good, since nouV alone is the principle of ends, or of the good, and hence that which keeps the world in a state of partial non-being and which prevents its arriving at completion (Timaeus, 48, 56, 68). Aristotle repeats the same idea (De An. part., IV. ii. 677). Matter resists form, and thus hinders NATURE (q.v.) from arriving at its actualization. (The idea seems to be that in part matter lends itself to the realization of purposes, but in part has an impetus of its own which is quite indifferent to ends.) In this indifference matter is thus contingent -- it may or may not present certain traits. As such it is tuch, chance; so that necessity in the physical sense, and chance in the teleological, are practically one and the same thing. Hence, in his logical writings necessity has quite another meaning. Of future events, we cannot make a necessary assertion; the general tendency of nature may be thwarted by chance. Hence our judgment is not of determinate truth. On the other hand, of universals, of past events, &c., any judgment is either necessarily true or false. Here the tendency comes out to identify necessity with the immanent logical rationale or any subject, that from which perfectly definite consequences follow. The Stoics fuse the various senses of necessity -- that of (a) the source of physical world-order, (b) the universal of reason form which determined conclusions result, and (c) the natural (or temporal) causal antecedent (Zeller, Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics, 170-82, and Windelband, History, 181). Since the Atomists did not work out their own idea systematically, and even presupposed a more or less random movement upon which necessity supervened, we may fairly regard the Stoics as the authors of the conviction that everything, everywhere, is controlled by necessity admitting of no exception -- in other words, of the idea of the universality of natural causation, which is fate. This conception is common to what is called fatalism, also, in oriental philosophies: the hypothesis of a fixed and immutable world decree.
Spinoza carries the fusion still further by expressly identifying the whole causal relationship with the logical or mathematical -- the world follows from the nature of God by the same necessity that various truths follow from a geometrical definition. (It was partly in reaction from Spinoza that Leibnitz made the distinctions referred to above.) It was characteristic of the whole rationalistic school (see RATIONALISM) to identify reality with the requirements of logical necessity, as manifested in the principles of identity and non-contradiction; and if, like Leibnitz, they made a distinction between truths of reason and truths of matter of fact (which are empirical), and thus avoided the Spinozistic identification of logical relationship with natural sequence, it was a concession to common sense rather than a philosophic implication of their system. Kant introduces a new motive. On the one hand, growing natural science had given to the conception of necessity (causal relationship) in nature a solidity and concreteness which it could not have had in earlier writers; on the other hand, he rejects the dogmatic identification of the laws being with those of logical thought. Hence his theory makes causality and thus necessity absolutely true of all nature, or the world of phenomena, by regarding causation as a category involved in the presentation of the world of sense to an experiencing subject. The source of necessity is thus found in the understanding as applied to sense; so that it may fairly be said that Kant restores in a critical and constructive way that which he had rejected in a dogmatic and formal way, namely, the origin of necessity in reason. At least, this path was followed by his idealistic successors, finding its outcome in the expression of Hegel (Logic, § 158), that 'freedom is the truth of necessity,' that is to say, that the determination of one phase of the objective world by another is at bottom but the self-determination of conscious mind, so that the necessary object, when experienced completely, appears as a co-operating factor in the development of free spiritual life. (J.D.)
The following distinctions are usual:
Internal necessity springs from the nature of the subject of the necessity; external necessity comes from the outside.
Internal necessity is either absolute or secundum quid. Absolute necessity belongs to that whose being otherwise would involve contradiction. Necessity secundum quid is that which depends upon some matter of fact. Thus the Aristotelians held that a body falls to the ground by a necessity of its own nature, without external force or agency; yet it is easily prevented from falling.
External necessity, also called necessity ex hypothesi, because depending on an external condition, is distinguished in whatever ways the necessary is distinguished in the doctrine of the MODAL (q.v.), and, in particular, in reference to the sensus compositus and sensus divisus. In addition, external necessity is divided according as the realization of the condition precedes, is contemporaneous with, or follows after, the necessary result. Necessity from a previous condition is either that due to God's fore-knowledge or it is causal. Causal necessity (used also in modern logic) is either necessity of compulsion or necessity of determination.
Necessity determined by a subsequent condition is either ex hypothesi finis or ex hypothesi eventus (as the apostle says, 'it is necessary that offences should come'). Necessity ex hypothesi finis is either ad esse or ad bene esse.
Another common distinction is between necessity in causando, in essendo, and in praedicando, phrases which explain themselves.
Still another threefold distinction, due to Aristotle (I Anal. post., iv), is between necessity de omni (to kata pantoV), per se (kaq auto), and universaliter primum (kaqolou prwton). The last of these, however, is unintelligible, and we may pass it by, merely remarking that the exaggerated application of the term has given us a phrase we hear daily in the streets, 'articles of prime necessity.' Necessity de omni is that of a predicate which belongs to its whole subject at all times. Necessity per se is one belonging to the essence of the species, and is subdivided according to the senses of per se, especially into the first and second modes of per se.
Among modern distinctions we may mention that of Benno Erdmann between predicative and deductive necessity. The former seems to be necessity for a judgment being as it is in order to express what is in its immediate object.
Logical necessity is determined by the laws of the understanding, according to Kant (Krit. d. reinen Vernunft, 1. Aufl., 76).
Metaphysical necessity is that of God's existence.
Simple = absolute necessity. See above.
The adjectives by which different kinds of necessity are usually distinguished
include absolute, antecedent, causal, comitant, composite, consequent, deductive,
disjunct, disjunctive, external, formal, hypothetical, immediate, internal,
logical, material, mediate, metaphysical, modal, moral, physical, practical,
predicative, prime, simple, teleological, unconditional. (C.S.P.)