Dagobert D. Runes, Dictionary of Philosophy, 1942.
Babism: An initially persecuted and later schismatizing
religious creed founded in Persia prior to the middle of the last century.
International in its appeal the number of its followers increased largely in
America. As a development against orthodox Mohammedanism, the Babis deny the
finality of any revelation. The sect's former extreme pantheistic tendency and
metaphysical hairsplittings have been effectively subordinated to more
pronounced ethical imperatives. -- H.H.
Background: (Ger. Hintergrund) In Husserl:
The nexus of objects and objective sense explicitly posited along with any
object; the objective horizon. The perceptual background is part of the entire
background in this broad sense. See Horizon. -- D.C .
Bacon, Francis: (1561-1626) Inspired by the
Renaissance, and in revolt against Aristotelianism and Scholastic Logic,
proposed an inductive method of discovering truth, founded upon empirical
observation, analysis of observed data, inference resulting in hypotheses, and
verification of hypotheses through continued observation and experiment. The
impediments to the use of this method are preconceptions and prejudices, grouped
by Bacon under four headings, or Idols:
The use of the inductive method prescribes the extraction
of the essential from the non-essential and the discovery of the underlying
structure or form of the phenomena under investigation, through (a)
comparison of instances, (b) study of concomitant variations, and (c) exclusion
of negative instances.
- The Idols of the Tribe, or racially "wishful," anthropocentric ways of thinking, e.g. explanation by final causes
- The Idols of the Cave or personal prejudices
- The Idols of the Market Place, or failure to define terms
- The Idol of the Theatre, or blind acceptance of tradition
This process is facilitated by the choice
of prerogative, or, if possible, of solitary instances in which
the investigated data are comparatively isolated and unadulterated. But under
the most favorable conditions inquiry must be a cautious, laborious, plodding,
step by step affair, and results can never be more than provisional because of
the possibility of undiscovered negative instances.
Bacon had no system
of his own, but openly preferred the lonians, Atomists and
Bacon's theory of poetry also deserves consideration. Whereas
reason adapts the mind to the nature of things, and science conquers nature by
obeying her, poetry submits the shows of things to the desires of the mind and
overcomes nature by allowing us in our imagination to escape from her. Out of
present experience and the record of history, poetry builds its narrative and
dramatic fancies. But it may also, in allegory and parable, picture symbolically
scientific and philosophic truths and religious mysteries -- in which case it
creates mythologies. Fr. Bacon, Works, 7 vols., 1857, ed. Spedding and
Ellis. -- B.A.G.F.
Bacon, Roger: (1214-1294) Franciscan. He recognized
the significance of the deductive application of principles and the necessity
for experimental verification of the results. He was keenly interested in
mathematics. His most famous work was called Opus majus, a veritable
encyclopaedia of the sciences of his day. -- L.E.D
Baconian Method: The inductive method as advanced by Francis Bacon (1561-1626). The purpose of the method was to enable man to attain mastery over nature in order to exploit it for his benefit. The mind should pass
from particular facts to a more general knowledge of forms, or generalized
physical properties. They are laws according to which phenomena actually
proceed. He demanded an exhaustive enumeration of positive instances of
occurrences of phenomena, the recording of comparative instances, in which an
event manifests itself with greater or lesser intensity, and the additional
registration of negative instances. Then experiments should test the
observations. See Mill's Methods. -- J.J.R.
Bahya, ben Joseph Ibn Padudah: (c. 1050) Philosopher
and ethicist. The title of his work, The Duties of the Heart (Heb.
Hobot ha-Leba-bot), indicates its purpose, i.e., to teach ethical
conduct. First part demonstrates pure conception of God, unity and attributes.
His basic principle of ethics is thankfulness to God, for His creating the
wonderful world; the goal of religious ethical conduct is love of God. A second
work ascribed to him is the Torot ha-Nefesh, i.e., Doctrines of the
Soul, which deals primarily with the soul, but also with other subjects and
evinces a strong neo-Platonic strain. See Jewish Philosophy -- M.W.
Bahyanumeya-vada: (Skr.) A Hinayana Buddhist
theory (vada), otherwise known as Sautran-tika, based upon a realist
epistemology. It assumes the reality and independence of mind and object, which
atter is inferred (anumeya) as being outside (bahya) consciousness
and apprehended only when the sensory apparatus functions and certain physical
conditions are fulfilled. -- K.F.L.
Bahyapratyaksa-vada: (Skr.) A Hinayana
Buddhist theory (vada) of realism, otherwise known as Vaibhasika. It
holds that objects exist outside (bahya) the mind and consciousness, but
that they must be directly (pratyaksa) and not inferentially (cf.
Bahyanumeya-vada) known. -- K.F.L.
Banausic: (Gr. banausos) Vulgar; illiberal;
applied particularly to arts, sciences, or occupations that deform the body or
the mind. --G.R.M.
Baptism: A rite of dedication and induction of an
individual into a circle of social and religious privilege. The rite is usually
of a ceremonious nature with pledges given (by proxy in the case of infants),
prayers and accompanied by some visible sign (such as water, symbol of
purification, or wine, honey, oil or blood) sealing the bond of fellowship. In
its earliest form the rite probably symbolized not only an initiation but the
magical removal of some tabu or demon possession (exorcism -- see
Demonology), the legitimacy of birth, the inheritance of privilege, the
assumption of a name and the expectancy of responsibility. In Christian circles
the rite has assumed the status of a sacrament, the supernatural rebirth into
the Divine Kingdom. Various forms include sprinkling with water, immersion, or
the laying on of hands. In some Christian circles it is considered less a
mystical rite and more a sign of a covenant of salvation and consecration to the
higher life. -- V.F.
Baroque: A style of art, produced especially in the
17th century, considered by classicists a type of false art; by romantictists a
product of magic imagination. -- L.V.
Barth, Karl: (1886-1968) Swiss theologian, widely
influential among current social pessimists. God, he holds, is wholly other than
man, not apprehensible by man's reason nor attainable by human endeavor.
Christianity is a revealed and supernatural religion. Man must trust God's plan
of salvation or be doomed to utter ruin. God is the sole judge and his judgments
are beyond man's attainments. The Barthian position is called "crisis theology"
(crisis, the Greek word for judgment) and "dialectical theology" (because of the
emphasis upon the contradict on between God and this world). For a summary of
Barth's position see The Knowledge of God and the Service of God (1939).
Basic Sentences, Protocol Sentences: Sentences
formulating the result of observations or perceptions or other experiences,
furnishing the basis for empirical verification or confirmation (see
Verification). Some philosophers take sentences concerning observable
properties of physical things as basic sentences, others take sentences
concerning sense-data or perceptions. The sentences of the latter kind are
regarded by some philosophers as completely verifiable, while others believe
that all factual sentences can be confirmed only to some degree. See
Scientific Empiricism. -- R.C.
Bathmism: A name given by the Lamarckian E.D. Cope
to a special force, or growth-force, which he regarded as existing and as
exhibiting itself in the growth of organic beings. -- W.F.K.
Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb: (1714-1762) A
German thinker of the pre-Kantian period and disciple of Christian Wolff whose
encyclopaedic work he tried to continue. Among his works the best known is
Aesthetica in which he analyzes the problem of beauty regarded by him as
recognition of perfection by means of the senses. The name of aesthetics, as the
philosophy of beauty and art, was introduced by him for the first time. --
Becoming: (Medieval) Any kind of change is
actualization of potencies. It is often called, following Aristotle, a
"movement", because moving is a striking instance of becoming, and because the
thing "moves" from the lower level of potentiality to the higher of actuality.
Actualization is achieved only by a factor which is act itself. The act is in
this sense prior to the potency not only in nature but also in time. See
Being, Dialectic, Hegel. -- R.A.
Begging the Question: The logical fallacy of assuming
in the premisses of an argument the very conclusion which is to be proved. See
Petitio principii. -- G.R.M.
Begriffsgefuhl: (Ger. Literally, conceptual
feeling) The faculty of eliciting feelings, images or recollections associated
viith concepts or capable of being substituted for them. Sometimes, the
affective tone peculiar to a given concept. -- O.F.K.
Behaviorism: The contemporary American School of
psychology which abandons the concepts of mind and consciousness, and restricts
both animal and human psychology to the study of behavior. The impetus to
behaviorism was given by the Russian physiologist, Pavlov, who through his
investigation of the salivary reflex in dogs, developed the concept of the
conditioned reflex. See Conditioned Reflex. The founder of American
behaviorism is J.B. Watson, who formulated a program for psychology excluding
all reference to consciousness and confining itself to behavioral responses.
(Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology, 1914.) Thinking and
emotion are interpreted as implicit behavior: the former is implicit or subvocal
speech; the latter implicit visceral reactions. A distinction has been drawn
between methodological and dogmatic behaviorism: the former ignores
"consciousness" and advocates, in psychology, the objective study of behaviour;
the latter denies consciousness entirely, and is, therefore, a form of
metaphysical materialism. See Automatism. -- L.W.
Being, hierarchy of: (Scholastic) The Neo-Platonic
conception of a hierarchy of "emanations" from the "One" persisted throughout
the Middle-Ages, though it was given another meaning. Emanationism properly
speaking is incompatible with the notion of creation. But the medieval writers
agree that there is a hierarchy, comprising within the visible world inanimate
beings, plants, animals, and rational beings, men; above them rank the
immaterial substances (subsistent forms, angels) and finally God Who, however,
is so far distant from any created being that he cannot be placed in line.
Whatever is asserted of God is so only "analogically" (see Analogy).
There is analogy also between the grades of created beings; their various levels
are not of one kind, no transition exists between inanimate and animate bodies,
or between material and spiritual substances. Though the original meaning has
been abandoned, the term "emanation" is still used, even by Aquinas. -- R.A.
Being: In early Greek philosophy is opposed either to
change, or Becoming, or to Non-Being. According to Parmenides and his disciples
of the Eleatic School, everything real belongs to the category of Being, as the
only possible object of thought. Essentially the same reasoning applies also to
material reality in which there is nothing but Being, one and continuous,
all-inclusive and eternal. Consequently, he concluded, the coming into being and
passing away constituting change are illusory, for that which is-not cannot be,
and that which is cannot cease to be. In rejecting Eleitic monism, the
materialists (Leukippus, Democritus) asserted that the very existence of things,
their corporeal nature, insofar as it is subject to change and motion,
necessarily presupposes the other than Being, that is, Non-Being, or Void. Thus,
instead of regarding space as a continuum, they saw in it the very source of
discontinuity and the foundation of the atomic structure of substance. Plato
accepted the first part of Parmenides' argument. namely, that referring to
thought as distinct from matter, and maintained that, though Becoming is indeed
an apparent characteristic of everything sensory, the true and ultimate reality,
that of Ideas, is changeless and of the nature of Being. Aristotle achieved a
compromise among all these notions and contended that, though Being, as the
essence of things, is eternal in itself, nevertheless it manifests itself only
in change, insofar as "ideas" or "forms" have no existence independent of, or
transcendent to, the reality of things and minds. The medieval thinkers never
revived the controversy as a whole, though at times they emphasized Being, as in
Neo-Platonism, at times Becoming, as in Aristotelianism. With the rise of new
interest in nature, beginning with F. Bacon, Hobbes and Locke, the problem grew
once more in importance, especially to the rationalists, opponents of
empiricism. Spinoza regarded change as a characteristic of modal existence and
assumed in this connection a position distantly similar to that of Pinto. Hegel
formed a new answer to the problem in declaring that nature, striving to exclude
contradictions, has to "negate" them: Being and Non-Being are "moments" of the
same cosmic process which, at its foundation, arises out of Being containing
Non-Being within itself and leading, factually and logically, to their synthetic
union in Becoming. -- R.B.W.
In scholasticism: The English term
translates three Latin terms which, in Scholasticism, have different
significations. Ens as a noun is the most general and most simple
predicate; as a participle it is an essential predicate only in regard to God in
Whom existence and essence are one, or Whose essence implies existence.
Esse, though used sometimes in a wider sense, usually means existence
which is defined as the actus essendi, or the reality of some essence.
Esse quid or essentia designates the specific nature of some being
or thing, the "being thus" or the quiddity. Ens is divided into real and
mental being (ens rationis). Though the latter also has properties, it is
said to have essence only in an improper way. Another division is into actual
and potential being. Ens is called the first of all concepts, in respect
to ontology and to psychology; the latter statement of Aristotle appears to be
confirmed by developmental psychology. Thing (res) and ens are
synonymous, a res may be a res extra mentem or only
rationis. Every ens is: something, i.e. has quiddity, one, true,
i.e. corresponds to its proper nature, and good. These terms, naming aspects
which are only virtually distinct from ens, are said to be convertible
with ens and with each other. Ens is an analogical term, i.e. it
is not predicated in the same manner of every kind of being, according to
Aquinas. In Scotism ens, however, is considered as univocal and as
applying to God in the same sense as to created beings, though they be
distinguished as entia ab alto from God, the ens a se. See Act,
Analogy, Potency, Transcendentals. -- R.A.
In Spinoza's sense, that
which "is", preeminently and without qualification -- the source and ultimate
subject of all distinctions. Being is thus divided into that which is "in
itself" and "in another" (Ethica, I, Ax. 4; see also "substance" and
"mode", Defs. 3 and 5). Being is likewise distinguished with respect to "finite"
and "infinite", under the qualifications of absolute and relative, thus God is
defined (Ibid, I, Def. 6) as "Being absolutely infinite". Spinoza seems
to suggest that the term, Being, has, in the strict sense, no proper definition
(Cog. Met., I, 1). The main characteristics of Spinoza's treatment of
this notion are (i) his clear-headed separation of the problems of existence and
Being, and (ii) his carefully worked out distinction between ens reale
and ens rationis by means of which Spinoza endeavors to justify the
ontological argument (q.v.) in the face of criticism by the later Scholastics.
Belief: Acquiescence in the existence of objects
(e.g. external things, other minds, God, etc.) or assent to the truth of
propositions (e.g. scientific, moral, aesthetic, or metaphysical
statements). The belief in objects is frequently immediate and non-inferential;
the belief in propositions usually rests on reflection and
Theories of belief may be classified as:
(b) intellectual and
Hume's theory that
belief is a feeling of vividness attaching to a perception or memory but not to
a fiction of the imagination is an example of (a) (An Enquiry
Concerning Human Understanding, § 5 Pt. II). Bain and James Mill represent
(b), while W. James represents (c). (The Will to Believe,
Etc., 1896). -- L.W.
In scholasticism: means either faith or opinion.
Opinion is a statement lacking evidence. Faith is a supernatural act, due to
God's grace, referring to things reason finds beyond its capacity of proof,
though not contradicting its principles. Statements capable of experimental
proof are not objects of faith. -- R.A.
Beneke, Friedrich Eduard: (1798-1854) A German thinker
of Kantian tradition modified by empiricism; his doctrines exerted considerable
influence upon the psychology and educational theory of the 19th century. Main
works: Erfahrungseelenlehre, 1820; Physik d. Sitten, 1822;
Metaphysik, 1822; Logik als Kunstlehre des Denkens, 1832;
Lehrbuch d. Psych. als Naturwiss., 1833; Erziehungslehre, 1833;
Pragmatische Psychol., 1850. -- R.B.W.
Benthamism: Name conventionally given to the
utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) who regarded the greatest happiness
of the greatest number as the supreme ethical goal of human society and
individual men. The morality of men's actions is determined experimentally by
their utility, which means the power of an action to produce happiness. The
moral quality of any action is estimated in accordance with its pleasant or
painful consequences, for the sovereign masters of man are pleasure, the only
good, and, pain, the only evil. Ethics becomes a matter of calculation of
consequences. -- J.J.R.
Bentham, Jeremy: (1748-1832) Founder of the English
Utilitarian School of Philosophy. In law, he is remembered for his criticism of
Blackstone's views of the English constitution, for his examination of the legal
fiction and for his treatment of the subject of evidence. In politics, he is
most famous for his analysis of the principles of legislation and, in ethics,
for his greatest happiness principle. See Hedonic Calculus;
Utilitarianism. J. Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation,
1789; Outline of a New System of Logic, 1827; Deontology. --
Berdyayev, Nikolai Alexandrovitch: (1874-1948) Is a
contemporary Russian teacher and writer on the philosophy of religion. He was
born in Kiev, exiled to Vologda when twenty-five; threatened with expulsion from
the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917, he became professor of philosophy at the
University of Moscow. In 1922, he was expelled from the Soviet Union and he went
to Berlin, where he established his Academy of Religious Philosophy. He moved
his school to Paris and established a Russian review called Putj (The
Way). His thought resembles that of the Christian Gnostics (see
Gnosticism), and it owes a good deal to German idealism and mysticism
(Boehme). He is a trenchant critic of systems as diverse as Communism and
Thomistic Scholasticism. His most noted works are: Smyisl Istorii (The
Meaning of History), Berlin, 1923; Novoye Srednevyekovye (transl. as
The End of Our Time, N.Y., 1933), Berlin, 1924; Freedom and the
Spirit, N. Y., 1935. V. J. Bourke, "The Gnosticism of N. Berdyaev",
Thought, XI (1936), 409-22. -- VJ.B.
Bergson, Henri: (1859-1941) As the most influential
of modern temporalistic, anti-mechanistic and spiritualistic metaphysics,
Bergson's writings (Les donnees immediates de l'experience, Matiere et
Memoire, L'evolution creatrtce, Le rire, Introduction a la metaphysique, Les
deux sources de la morale et de la religion, etc.) were aimed against the
dogmatic and crude naturalism, and the mechanistic and static materialism which
reached their heights in the second half of the last century.
center of his doctrine is duration rather than intuition. Duration is the
original thing in itself, the "substance" of philosophic tradition, except that
to Bergson it is a specific experience, revealed to the individual in immediate
experience. All things, consciousness, matter, time, evolution, motion and the
absolute are so many specialized tensional forms of duration. The phrase elan
vital sums up his vitalistic doctrine that there is an original life force,
that it has passed from one generation of living beings to another by way of
developed individual organisms, these being the connecting links between the
generations. Bergson regards as pseudo-evolutionary the effort to arrange all
living beings into a grand uni-linear series. True or creative evolution is
pluri-dimensional, i.e., the life force is conserved in every line of
evolution of living beings, causing all of the numerous varieties of living
forms, creating all new species, and dividing itself more and more as it
advances. As the vital impetus is not moving towards any fixed, predetermined
and final end, an immanent teleology is within the life force itself.
is an error to see Bergson's philosophy as being exclusively an intuitive
critique of knowledge. Such a mode of exposition constructs of his thought a
mere "ism", a species of intuitionalism. Bergson was the first to try to give
the term intuition a scientific basis. He transformed and regrounded the static
pattern of the older forms of intuitionism by giving it a biogenetic and
psychologically dynamic justification. Intuitive knowledge is not limited to the
favored few, is not a private, purely solipsistic affair, but is a general
property of all thinking minds. Bergson's conception of intuition represents a
fusion of scientific objectivity and artistic directness.
Moreover, it is
a serious wide-spread error of interpretation to consider Bergson as an
anti-intellectualist. His alleged anti-intellectualism should be considered as a
protest against taking the static materialism and spatialization of Newton's
conception of nature is being anything but a high abstraction, as a rejection of
the extreme claims of mechanistic and materialistic science, as an effort of
reason to transcend itself in harmony with the greatest idealistic thinkers, as
an effort of thinkers to stress the dynamic nature of reality, and as a
persistent criticism of reason, a continuation of the Kantian tradition. His
much misread conception of intuition may be viewed as akin to Spinoza's
intuitio, to wit: a completion rather than a rejection of reason. -- H.H.
Berkeleianism: The idealistic system of
philosophy of George Berkeley (1685-1753). He thought that the admission of an
extramental world would lead to materialism and atheism. Hence he denied the
existence of an independent world of bodies by teaching that their existence
consists in perceptibility, esse is percipi. The cause of the
ideas in our mind is not a material substance, but a spiritual being, God, who
communicates them to us in a certain order which we call the laws of nature.
Things cannot exist unless perceived by some mind. Berkeley acknowledged the
existence of other spirits, or minds, besides that of God. -- J.J.R.
Berkeley, George: (1685-1753) Pluralistic idealist,
reflecting upon the spatial attributes of distance, size, and situation,
possessed, according to Locke, by external objects in themselves apart from our
perception of them, concluded that the discrepancy between the visual and the
tactual aspects of these attributes robbed them of all objective validity and
reduced them to the status of secondary qualities existing only in and for
consciousness. Moreover, the very term "matter," like all other "universals," is
found upon analysis to mean and stand for nothing but complexes of experienced
qualities. Indeed, "existence" except as presence to consciousness, is
meaningless. Hence, nothing can be said to exist except minds (spirits) and
mental content (ideas). Esse = percipi or
At the same time, Berkeley, trusting the external
reference of individual experience, argues from it the existence of a universal
mind (God) of which the content is the so-called objective world. Finite spirits
are created by God, and their several experiences represent his communication to
them, so far as they are able to receive it, of his divine experience. Reality,
then, is composed of spirits and ideas. The physical aspects of the world are
reducible to mental phenomena. Matter is non-existent. G. Berkeley, Treatise
on the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710; Three Dialogues Between Hylas
and Phdonous, 1713; De Motu (critique of Newtonian mechanics), 1720;
Al-ciphron, or the Minute Philosopher, 1733; Siris, 1744. --
Bernard of Chartres: (died c. 1130) Has been called
the "most perfect Platonist of his century'" by John of Salisbury
(Metalogicus, IV, 35, PL 199, 938) but he is known only at second-hand
now. He taught in the school of Chartres from 1114-1119 and was Chancellor of
Chartres from 1119-1124. According to John of Salisbury, Bernard was an extreme
realist in his theory of universals, but he taught that the forms of things
(formae nativae) are distinct from the exemplary Ideas in the Divine
Mind. A treatise, De expositione Porphyrii has been attributed to him. He
is not to be confused with Bernard Silvestris of Chartres, nor with Bernard of
Tours. E. Gilson. "Le platonisme de Bernard de C.", Revue Neoscolastique,
XXV (1923) 5-19. -- V.J.B.
Best: The principle of the best of all possible worlds;
according to Leibniz, the world which exists is the best possible because God's
wisdom makes him know, his goodness makes him choose, and his power always makes
him produce the best possible. See Optimism. -- J.M.
Bewusstsein Ueberhaupt: German expression meaning
"consciousness in general" that is, consciousness conceived as a real entity
over and above individual conscious centers. See Consciousness. -- L.W.
Bhagavad Gita: (Skr. the song, gita, of the
Blessed One) A famed philosophic epic poem, widely respected in India and
elsewhere, representing Krishna embodied as a charioteer imparting to the King
Arjuna, who is unwilling to fight his kinsmen in battle, comprehension of the
mysteries of existence, clearly indicating the relationship between morality and
absolute ethical values in a Hindu philosophy of action. -- K.F.L.
Bhakti: (Skr. division, share) Fervent, loving
devotion to the object of contemplation or the divine being itself, the almost
universally recognized feeling approach to the highest reality, in contrast to
vidya (s.v.) or jnana (s.v.), sanctioned by Indian philosophy and
productive of a voluminous literature in which the names of Ramamanda, Vallabha,
Nanak, Caitanya, and Tulsi Das are outstanding. It is distinguished as
apara (lower) and para (higher) bhakti, the former theistic
piety, the latter philosophic meditation on the unmanifest brahman (cf.
avyakta). -- K.F.L.
Bhasya: (Skr. speaking) Commentary.
Bheda: (Skr. different, distinct) Non-identity,
particularly in reference to any philosophy of dualism which recognizes the
existence of two opposed principles or admits of a difference between the
essentially human and the Absolute. -- K.F.L.
Bhedabheda: (Skr. "different [yet] not different")
A philosophy admitting the point of view of bheda (s.v.) as well as that
of abheda (s.v.), depending on the mental and spiritual attainment of the
person. -- K.F.L.
Bhuta: (Skr. become) The "has-become", or the ultimate
element or concrete thing as it has en oh ed from the abstract, metaphysical
unity through a process of infinite particularization and limitation. -- K.F.L.
Bhutatathata: (Skr.) "So-ness", the highest
state conceivable by the Vijnana-vada (s.v.) in which there is a complete
coincidentia oppositorum of beings and elements of knowledge; directly
identified with the Adi-Buddha, or eternal Buddha, in Vajrayana Buddhism. --
Biconditional: The sentential connective =, "if
and only if." See Logic, formal, § 1. -- A.C.
Binomic forces: Extra-biological forces, which
influence the direction and development of life. I.e. all physical, chemical and
other environmental forces which affect living organisms in any way. The second
law of thermo-dynamics seems to vitalists to be an exception to their view that
the creative life-force evolves upwards. Nonetheless natural selection is
influenced by binomic forces. -- C.K.D.
Biometry: The scientific application of mathematical
analysis to biological problems (also spoken of as "mathematical biophysics" and
"mathematical biochemistry"). The journal Biometrtka was founded by Karl
Pearson. -- W.M.M.
Blondel, Maurice: (1861-1939) A philosopher in the
French "spiritualistic" tradition of Maine de Biran and Boutroux, who in his
essays L'action (1893), and Le Proces de l'Intelligence (1922),
defended an activistic psychology and metaphysics. "The Philosophy of Action" is
a voluntaristic and idealistic philosophy which, as regards the relation of
thought to action, seeks to compromise between the extremes of intellectualism
and pragmatism. In his more recent book La Pensee (1934), Blondel retains
his earlier activistic philosophy combined with a stronger theological emphasis.
Bodhisattva: (Skr.) "Existence (sattva) in
a state of wisdom (bodhi)", such as was attained by Gautama Buddha (s.v.); a
Buddhist wise and holy man. -- K.F.L.
Body: Here taken in the sense of the material organized
substance of man contrasted with the mind, soul or spirit, thus leading to the
problem of the relation between body and mind, one of the most persistent
problems of philosophy. Of course, any theory which identifies body and mind, or
does not adequately distinguish the psychical from the physical, regarding both
as aspects of the same reality, eludes some of the difficulties presented by the
problem. Both materialism and idealism may be considered as forms of
psycho-physical monism. Materialism by denying the real existence of spiritual
beings and reducing mind to a function of matter, and spiritualism, or that
species called idealism, which regards bodies simply as contents of
consciousness, really evade the main issue. All those, however, who frankly
acknowledge the empirically given duality of mind and organism, are obliged to
struggle with the problem of the relation between them. The two most noted rival
theories attempting an answer are interactionism and parallelism. The first
considers both body and mind as substantial beings, influencing each other,
hence causally related. The second holds that physical processes and mental
processes accompany each other without any interaction or interference
whatsoever, consequently they cannot be causally related. The Scholastics
advance the doctrine of the human composite consisting of body and soul united
into one substance and nature, constituting the human person or self, to whom
all actions of which man is capable must be ascribed. There can be no
interaction, since there is but one agent, formed of two component elements.
This theory, like interactionism, makes provision for survival, even
immortality, while parallelism definitely precludes it. No known theory can meet
all objections and prove entirely satisfactory; the problem still persists. See
Descartes, Spinoza, Mind. -- J.J.R.
Boehme, Jacob: (1575-1624) Of Gorlitz, was the son of
poor parents, received little formal schooling, studied the Bible and the works
of Pastor Valentine Weigel assiduously. He became noted as a mystic,
theosophist, and in his own day was called the German Philosopher. He wrote in
German but his early followers translated his works into Latin, hence it is
difficult to distinguish his personal thought from that of his school. He
thought that all reality, even God, contains a duality of good and evil, the
universe and man's soul are nothing without God. He has had much influence on
later German and Russian mysticism. Chief works: Aurora, Vierzig Fragen von
der Seele, Mysterium Magnum, Von der Gnadenwahl. Deussen, J. Boehme, uber
sein Leben u. seine Philos. (Kiel, 1897). -- V.J.B.
Boethius: (470-525) An influential commentator on
Aristotle and Cicero, who, in his own thinking, reflected a strong influence of
Neo-Platonism and Augustinianism. De Consolatione Philosophiae (Migne PL,
63-4, 69-70). -- R.B.W.
Bolzano, Bernard: (1781-1848) Austrian philosopher
and mathematician. Professor of the philosophy of religion at Prague, 1805-1820,
he was compelled to resign in the latter year because of his rationalistic
tendencies in theology and afterwards held no academic position. His
Wissenschaftslehre of 1837, while it is to be classed as a work on
traditional logic, contains significant anticipations of many ideas which have
since become important in symbolic logic and mathematics. In his posthumously
published Paradoxien des Unendlitchen (1851) he appears as a forerunner
in some respects of Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers. --A.C.
Dubislav, Bolzano als Vorlaufer der mathematischen Logik, Philosophisches
Jahrbuch der Gorres-Gesellschaft, vol 44 (1931), pp. 448-456. H. Scholz, Die
Wissenschaftslehre Bolzanos, Abhandlungen der Frieds'schen Schule , n. s.
vol. 6 (1937), pp 399-472.
Bonaventure, St.: (1221 -1274) Was born at
Bagnorea, near Viterbo, and his name originally was John of Fidanza. He joined
the Franciscans in 1238, studied at the Univ. of Paris under Alexander of Hales,
and took his licentiate in 1248. He taught theology in Paris for seven years and
received his doctorate in 1257. In this year he was made Superior-General of his
Order and he taught no more. His chief works are Commentaria in IV L.
Sententiarum, Itinerarium mentis in Deum, Quaestiones
Disputatae (Opera Omnia, ed crit., 10 vol. Quaracchi, 1882-1902). His
philosophy is Augustinian, with some Aristotelian modifications in his theory of
intellection and matter and form. But his Divine Exemplarism, Illumination
theory, and tendency to stress the psychological importance of the human will,
derive from St Augustine. E. Gilson, La philosophie de S. Bonaventure
(Paris, 1924-). -- V.J.B.
Boodin, John Elof: American philosopher born in Sweden
in 1869 who emigrated in 1886 to the United States. Studied at the Universities
of Colorado, Minnesota, Brown and especially Harvard under Royce with
whom he kept a life-long friendship though he was opposed to his idealism. His
works (Time and Reality, 1904 -- Truth and Reality, 1912 -- A
Realistic Universe, 1916 -- Cosmic Evolution, 1925 -- Three
Interpretations of the Universe, 1934 -- God, 1935 -- The Social
Mind, 1940) form practically a complete system. His philosophy takes the
form of a cosmic idealism, though he was interested for a time in certain
aspects of pragmatism. It grew gradually from his early studies when he
developed a new concept of a real and non-serial time. The structure of the
cosmos is that of a hierarchy of fields, as exemplified in physics, in
organisms, in consciousness and in society. The interpenetration of the mental
fields makes possible human knowledge and social intercourse. Reality as such
possesses five attributes: being (the dynamic stuff of all complexes, the
active energy), time (the ground of change and transformation),
space (which accounts for extension), consciousness (active
awareness which lights up reality in spots; it becomes the self when conative
tendencies cooperate as one active group), and form (the ground of
organization and structure which conditions selective direction). God is the
spirit of the whole. -- T.G.J
Boole, George: (1815-1864) English mathematician.
Professor of mathematics at Queen's College, Cork, 1849-1864. While he made
contributions to other branches of mathematics, he is now remembered primarily
as the founder of the Nineteenth Century algebra of logic and through it of
modern symbolic logic. His Mathematical Analysis of Logic appeared in
1847 and the fuller Laws of Thought in 1854. -- A.C.
George Boole, F.R.S., The British Quarterly Review, vol. 44 (1866). pp
141-181 Anon., George Boole, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London,
vol. 15 (1867). Obituary notices of fellows deceased, pp. vi-xi. P.E.B.
Jourdain, George Boole, The Quarterly Journal of Pure and Applied
Mathematics, vol. 41 (1910), pp. 332-352.
Boolean algebra: See Logic, Formal, §7.
Bosanquet, Bernard: (1848-1923) Neo-Hegelian
idealist, regards Reality as a single individual all-embracing, completely
rational experience, combining universality and concreteness. It alone
exists. All other particulars -- minds or things -- are only partially
concrete, individual and real. The incidental, incomplete, dependent and only
partially existent character of finite consciousness is shown by the reaching,
seeking character of all its activities, sense-perceptions, thought, moral
action, and even aesthetic contemplation -- all of which indicate that
self-realization means self-abandonment to something larger than the
This something larger is the cosmic drama written, staged, and
acted by the Absolute, who is artist and actor as well as a rational
intelligence, intent no less upon dramatic than upon intelligible unity and
self-expression. The world-process is tragic, witness the sin and suffering and
imperfection with which it is fraught. But in the infinite tragedy, as well as
in the tragedies composed by men, evil is contributory to the perfection of the
whole, and, when seen and accepted as such by the finite individual, not only
loses its sting but produces a "catharsis" of his attitude towards it, in which
he cheerfully accepts it, battles with it, and finds his triumph over it in
nobly enduring it. This "catharsis," identifying him as it does with the meaning
of the life of the Absolute, is his peace and his salvation. Main works:
Logic, 1888; The Philosophical Theory of the State, 1899; Value
and Destiny of the Individual, 1913. -- B.A.G.F.
Bourgeoisie: (Fr.) In its strict sense in the
theory of historical materialism (q.v.) the class of urban, commercial, banking,
manufacturing and shipping entrepreneurs which, at the close of the middle ages
was strong enough, by virtue of its command of developing technics, to challenge
the economic power of the predominantly rural and agricultural (manorial) feudal
nobility, and to supplant the latter in point of economic and social leadership.
Boutroux, E.: (1845-1921) Teacher of Bergson and M.
Blondel, is best known for his defense of radical contingency and indeterminacy
in metaphysics. Influenced by French "spiritualism" stemming from Maine de
Biran, Boutroux was critical of the current psychological and sociological
treatment of religious experience. Main works: Contingency of the Laws of
Nature (tr. 1920); Philosophy and War (tr. 1916); Science et
religion, 1908. -- L.W.
Bowne, Borden Parker: (1847-1910) His influence was not
merely confined to the theological world of his religious communion as a teacher
of philosophy at Boston University. His philosophy was conspicuous for the
combination of theism with an idealistic view which he termed "Personalism"
(q.v.). He mainly discussed issues of philosophy which had a bearing on
religion, ethics, and epistemology. Main works: Metaphysics, 1882;
Philosophy of Theism, 1887; Theory of Thought and Knowledge, 1897;
Personalism, 1908; Kant and Spencer, 1912. -- H.H.
Bradley, Francis Herbert: (1846-1924) Dialectician
extraordinary of British philosophy, Bradley sought to purge contemporary
thought of the extremely sensationalistic and utilitarian elements embodied in
the tradition of empiricism. Though owing much to Hegel, he early repudiated the
Hegelian system as such, and his own variety of Absolute Idealism bases itself
upon no scheme of categories. His brilliant attack upon the inadequate
assumptions of hedonistic ethics (Ethical Studies, 1877) was followed in
1883 by The Principles of Logic in which his dialectic analysis was
applied to the problems of inference and judgment. It was, however, his
Appearance and Reality (1893) with its famous theory of "the degrees of
truth" which first disturbed the somnambulism of modern metaphysics, and led
Caird to remark upon "the greatest thing since Kant". In later years Bradley's
growing realization of ultimate difficulties in his version of the coherence
theory led him to modify his doctrines in the direction of a Platonic mysticism.
See Essays on Truth and Reality, the second edition of the Logic
Collected Essays, etc. -- W.S.W.
Brahma: (Skr.) The creator or creative principle of
the universe, main figure of the Hindu trinity (see Trimurti). -- K.F.L.
Brahma eva idam visvam: (Skr.) "Brahman, indeed, is
this world-all", famous passage of Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.11, foreshadowing the
complete monism of Sankara's Vedanta (q.v.). -- K.F.L.
Brahman, Brahma: (Skr.) The impersonal, pantheistic
world-soul, the Absolute, union with which is the highest goal of the Upanishads
(q.v.) and Vedic (q.v.) thinking in general. It is occasionally identified with
atman (q.v.) or made the exclusive reality (cf. brahma eva idam
visvam; sarvam khalv idam brahma), thus laying the foundation for a deep
mystic as well as rational insight into the connaturalness of the human and
divine and an uncompromising monism which gave its impress to much of Hindu
thinking. -- K.F.L.
Brahmana: (Skr.) One of several Vedic (s.v.) dictums
or treatises of a ritualistic and sacrificial character which prepared the way,
sometimes over an Aranyaka (q-v.), for the Upanishads (q.v.) by incipient
philosophic reflections. -- K.F.L.
Brahmanism: The predominant form of philosophical,
theological, and ethical speculation of India, sponsored by the Brahman caste
which traces its doctrines back to the Vedas (q.v.) and Upanishads (q.v.)
without ever having attained uniformity in regard to the main doctrines. --
Brahmasutras: (Skr.) An aphoristic compilation
of Badarayana's, systematizing the philosophy of the Upanishads (q.v.). --
Brain: According to Aristotle, it is a cooling organ of
the body. Early in the history of philosophy, it was regarded as closely
connected with consciousness and with activities of the soul. Descartes
contended that mind-body relations are centered in the pineal gland located
between the two hemispheres of the brain. Cabanis, a sensualistic materialist,
believed that the brain produces consciousness in a manner similar to that in
which the liver produces the bile. Many have sought to identify it with the seat
of the soul. Today consciousness is recognized to be a much more complex
phenomenon controlled by the entire nervous system, rather than by any part of
the brain, and influenced by the bodily metabolism in general. -- R.B.W.
Brentano, Franz: (1838-1917) Who had originally been
a Roman Catholic priest may be described as an unorthodox neo-scholastic.
According to him the only three forms of psychic activity, representation,
judgment and "phenomena of love and hate", are just three modes of
"intentionality", i.e., of referring to an object intended. Judgments may
be self-evident and thereby characterized as true and in an analogous way love
and hate may be characterized as "right". It is on these characterizations that
a dogmatic theory of truth and value may be based. In any mental experience the
content is merely a "physical phenomenon" (real or imaginary) intended to be
referred to, what is psychic is merely the "act" of representing, judging
(viz. affirming or denying) and valuing (i.e. loving or hating).
Since such "acts" are evidently immaterial, the soul by which they are performed
may be proved to be a purely spiritual and imperishable substance and from these
and other considerations the existence, spirituality, as also the infinite
wisdom, goodness and justice of God may also be demonstrated. It is most of all
by his classification of psychic phenomena, his psychology of "acts" and
"intentions" and by his doctrine concerning self-evident truths and values that
Brentano, who considered himself an Aristotelian, exercised a profound influence
on subsequent German philosophers: not only on those who accepted his entire
system (such as A. Marty and C. Stumpf) but also those who were somewhat more
independent and original and whom he influenced either directly (as A. Meinong
and E. Husserl) or indirectly (as M. Scheler and Nik. Hartmann). Main works:
Psychologie des Aristoteles, 1867; Vom Dasein Gottes, 1868;
Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, 1874; Vom Ursprung sittliches
Erkenntnis, 1884; Ueber die Zukunft der Philosophie, 1893; Die
vier Phasen der Philos., 1895. -- H.Go.
Broad, C.D.: (1887) As a realistic critical thinker
Broad takes over from the sciences the methods that are fruitful there,
classifies the various propositions used in all the sciences, and defines basic
scientific concepts. In going beyond science, he seeks to reach a total view of
the world by bringing in the facts and principles of aesthetic, religious,
ethical and political experience. In trying to work out a much more general
method which attacks the problem of the connection between mathematical concepts
and sense-data better than the method of analysis in situ, he gives a
simple exposition of the method of extensive abstraction, which applies the
mutual relations of objects, first recognized in pure mathematics, to physics.
Moreover, a great deal can be learned from Broad on the relation of the
principle of relativity to measurement.
As an emergent materialist, he
holds that everything happens by the blind combination of the elements of matter
or energy, without any guidance, excluding the assumption of a non-material
component. While he regards primary qualities as physical emergents, he yet
considers secondary qualities, such as color, taste, and smell, as transphysical
emergents. He favors the emergence of laws, qualities and classes. Psyche,
physical in nature, combines with other material factors to make the life of the
mind. Broad holds to a generative view of consciousness. Psyche persists after
death for some time, floats about in cosmic space indefinitely, ready to combine
with a material body under suitable conditions. He calls this theory the
"compound theory of materialistic emergency." Sensa, he holds, are real,
particular, short-lived existents. They are exclusively neither physical nor
mental. He replaces the neo-realistic contrast between existents and
subsistents, by a contrast between existents and substracta. Main works:
Scientific Thought, 1923; The Mind and Its Place in Nature, 1925;
Five Types of Ethical Theory, 1930. -- H.H.
Brouwer, Luitzen Egbertus Jan: (1881-) Dutch
mathematician. Professor of mathematics at the University of Amsterdam, 1912-.
Besides his work in topology, he is known for important contributions to the
philosophy and foundations of mathematics. See Mathematics and
Intuitionism (mathematical)). -- A.C.
Bruno, Giordano: (1548-1600) A Dominican monk,
eventually burned at the stake because of his opinions, he was converted from
Christianity to a naturalistic and mystical pantheism by the Renaissance and
particularly by the new Copernican astronomy. For him God and the universe were
two names for one and the same Reality considered now as the creative essence of
all things, now as the manifold of realized possibilities in which that essence
manifests itself. As God, natura naturans, the Real is the whole, the one
transcendent and ineffable. As the Real is the infinity of worlds and objects
and events into which the whole divides itself and in which the one displays the
infinite potentialities latent within it. The world-process is an ever-lasting
going forth from itself and return into itself of the divine nature. The
culmination of the outgoing creative activity is reached in the human mind,
whose rational, philosophic search for the one in the many, simplicity in
variety, and the changeless and eternal in the changing and temporal, marks also
the reverse movement of the divine nature re-entering itself and regaining its
primordial unity, homogeneity, and changelessness. The human soul, being as it
were a kind of boomerang partaking of the ingrowing as well as the outgrowing
process, may hope at death, not to be dissolved with the body, which is borne
wholly upon the outgoing stream, but to return to God whence it came and to be
reabsorbed in him. Cf. Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, selection
from Bruno's On Cause, The Principle and the One. G. Bruno: De
l'infinito, universo e mundo, 1584; Spaccio della bestia trionfante,
1584; La cena delta ceneri, 1584; Deglieroici furori, 1585; De
Monade, 1591. Cf. R. Honigswald, Giordano Bruno; G. Gentile, Bruno
nella storia della cultura, 1907. -- B.A.G.F.
Brunschvicg, Leon: (1869-) Professor of
Philosophy at the Ecole Normale in Paris. Dismissed by the Nazis (1941). His
philosophy is an idealistic synthesis of Spinoza, Kant and Schelling with
special stress on the creative role of thought in cultural history as well as in
sciences. Main works: Les etapes de la philosophie mathematique, 1913;
L'experience humaine et la causalite physique, 1921; De la
connaissance de soi, 1931.
Buddhism: The multifarious forms, philosophic,
religious, ethical and sociological, which the teachings of Gautama Buddha
(q.v.) have produced. They centre around the main doctrine of the catvari
arya-satyani(q.v.), the four noble truths, the last of which enables one in
eight stages to reach nirvana (q.v.): Right views, right resolve, right speech,
right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right
concentration. In the absence of contemporary records of Buddha and Buddhistic
teachings, much value was formerly attached to the palm leaf manuscripts in
Pali, a Sanskrit dialect; but recently a good deal of weight has been given also
the Buddhist tradition in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. Buddhism split into
Mahayanism and Hinayanism (q.v.), each of which, but particularly the former,
blossomed into a variety of teachings and practices. The main philosophic
schools are the Madhyamaka or Sunyavada, Yogacara, Sautrantika, and Vaibhasika
(q.v.). The basic assumptions in philosophy are a causal nexus in nature and
man, of which the law of karma (q.v.) is but a specific application; the
impermanence of things, and the illusory notion of substance and soul. Man is
viewed realistically as a conglomeration of bodily forms (rupa),
sensations (vedana), ideas (sanjna), latent karma (sanskaras), and
consciousness (vijnana). The basic assumptions in ethics are the
universality of suffering and the belief in a remedy. There is no god; each one
may become a Buddha, an enlightened one. Also in art and esthetics Buddhism has
contributed much throughout the Far East. -- K.F.L.
Bundle, Theory of Self: The conception of the self
as a mere aggregate of mental states. The designation is an allusion to Hume's
famous description of the self as: "a bundle or collection of different
perceptions which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in
a perpetual flux and movement." (A Treatise on Human Nature, Part LV, §
Buridan's Ass: The story of the ass, which died of
hunger and thirst because incapable of deciding between water and food placed at
equal distances from him, is employed to support the free-will doctrine. A man,
it is argued, if confronted by a similar situation, would by the exercise of his
free-will, be able to resolve the equilibrium of opposing motives. The story of
the ass is attributed to John Buridan, a 14th century nominalist who discussed
the freedom of the will in his Quaestiones in decem libros ethicorum
Aristotelis, 1489, Bk. Ill, quest. I, but is not, in fact, to be found in
his writings. (Cf. A.G. Langley, translation of Leibniz's New Essays
Concerning Human Understanding, p. 116 n.) Dante relates the story in
Paradiso, IV. -- L.W.