Dagobert D. Runes, Dictionary of Philosophy, 1942.
Wai tan: External alchemy, as a means of nourishing life, attainingTao, and immortality, including transmutation of mercury into gold (also called chin tan), medicine, charms, magic, attempts at disappearance and change of bodily form. (Taoist religion). -- W.T.C.
Wai wang: Often used as referring to the man who through his virtues and abilities gains the necessary qualifications of a ruler. (Mencius). -- H.H.
Wang Chung: (Wang Chung-jen, c. 27-100 A.D.) Although strongly Taoistic in his naturalism, was independent in thinking. His violent and rational attack on all erroneous beliefs resulted in a strong movement of criticism. He was a scholar and official of high repute. (Lun Heng, partial Eng. tr. by A. Forke, Mettcilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen, Vols. IX-XI.) -- W.T.C.
Wang tao: The ideal institutions described by Mencius constitute the 'Kingly Way,' one that is a kingly or virtuous government. -- H.H.
Wang Yang-ming: (Wang Shou-jen, Wang Poan, 1473-1529) Was a count, a cabinet member, and a general credited with many successful campaigns against invaders and rebels. Drawing his inspiration from the teachings of Lu Hsiangshan, he developed Neo-Confucianism (li hsuch) on the basis of the doctrine of the Mind (hsin hsuch). His complete works, Wang Yang-ming Ch'uan-chi (partial Eng. tr. by F. G. Henke: The Philosophy of Wang Yang Ming) consist of 38 chuans in several volumes. -- W.T.C.
Watson, John Broadus: (1878-1958) American psychologist and leading exponent of Behaviorism (see Behaviorism), studied and served as Instructor at the University of Chicago, and was appointed Professor of Experimental Psychology at Johns Hopkins University 1908 where he served until 1920. Since then he engaged in the advertising business in New York City. The program for a behavioristic psychology employed the objective methods of the biological sciences and excluded the introspective method of earlier psychology; it is formulated by Watson in "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It," Psychological Review XX (1913), and Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology, 1914. -- L.W.
Wave mechanics: See Quantum mechanics.
Weber, Max: (1864-1920) Weber started his career as a jurist in Berlin and later taught political economy at Freiburg, Heidelberg and Munich. He was a founder of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie and editor of Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik. Much of his scholarly work was devoted to the sociology of religion. He participated in the Peace Conference at Versailles, and argued against ratification of the treaty; but later he became a member of the committee on the constitution for the German Republic. The provision in that constitution for the popular election of the president was inserted largely because of Weber's pressure. Main works: Gesammelte Aufsätze z. Religionssoziologie (1920); z. Soziologie u. Sozialpolitik (1922); z. Wissenschaftelehre (1924). -- M.B.M.
Weber-Fechner Law: Basic law of psychophysics which expresses in quantitative terms the relation between the intensity of a stimulus and the intensity of the resultant sensation. E. H. Weber applying the method of "just noticeable difference" in experiments involving weight discrimination found that the ability to discriminate two stimuli depends not on the absolute difference between the two stimuli but on their relative intensities and suggested the hypothesis that for each sense there is a constant expressing the relative intensities of stimuli producing a just noticeable difference of sensation. Fechner, also employing the method of just perceptible difference, arrived at the formula that the sensation varies with the logarithm of the stimulus:
S = C log R
where S represents the intensity of the sensation, R that of the stimulus and C a constant which varies for the different senses and from individual to individual and even for the same individual at different times. -- L.W.
Wei: The product of culture, social order, and training; ability acquired through training and accomplishment through effort; human activity as a result of the cogitation of the mind, as opposed to what is inborn. (Hsun Tzu, c 335-c 288 B.C.). -- W.T.C.
Wei wo: "For the self," in the sense of "preserving life and keeping the essence of our
being intact and not to injure our material existence with things," erroneously interpreted by Mencius as egotism, selfishness, "everyone for himself." (Yang Chu, c 440-c 360 B.C.).
Well-ordered: See Ordinal number.
Weltanschauung: (Ger.) The compound term means world-view, perspective of life, conception of things.
Wen: (a) Culture evidences of the Confucian Moral Law (tao), such as propriety, music, social institutions, governmental systems, education, etc., the tradition of the Chou dynasty which Confucius attempted to preserve.
(b) Appearance polish, superficiality.
(c) Letters: literature, one of the four things Confucius taught (ssu chiao). -- W.T.C.
Wertfrei: (Ger. value-free) Seeing the central strength of the scientific attitude in its valuational neutrality, Max Weber (1864-1920) insisted that the deliberate abstention from taking sides for the value or against the disvalue of a thing when under scientific scrutiny was essential to progress in the social sciences. -- H.H.
Wertheimer, Max: (1880) One of the originators -- along with Koffka and Köhler -- of Gestalt psychology. The three began their association at Frankfort about 1912 and later Wertheimer and Köhler worked together at the University of Berlin. Wertheimer was led to the basic conception of Gestalt in the course of his investigations of apparent movement which seemed to indicate that the perception of movement is an integral experience and not the interpretative combination of static sensations. "Experimental studien über das Sehen von Bewegungen, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 1912, Vol. 61, pp. 161-265. -- L.W.
Wesen: (Ger. being, essence, nature) Designates essential being without which a thing has no reality. It has been conceived variously in the history of philosophy, as Ousia or constant being by Aristotle; as essenitia, real or nominal, or species, by the Schoolmen; as principle of all that which belongs to the possibility of a thing, by Kant; generally as that which is unconditionally necessary in the concept of a thing or is not dependent on external, causal, temporal or special circumstances. Its contrast is that which is unwesentlich (defined by Schuppe as that which has relation to or for something else), accidental, contingent. -- K.F.L.
Wesensschau: (Ger. intuition of essence) In Scheler: The immediate grasp of essences. -- P.A.S.
Wesenswissen, i.e., Wesensschau (in Max Scheler): The knowledge of essences conditioned by the elimination of acts which posit reality and by the inclusion of pure devotion to the qualities of objects as such (this type of knowledge is opposed to scientific knowledge, which is "outer knowledge," not Wesenswissen).
Whitehead, Alfred North: British philosopher. Born in 1861. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1911-14. Lecturer in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics at University College,
London, 1914-24. Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. From 1924 until retirement in 1938, Professor of Philosophy at
Harvard University. Among his most important philosophical works are the
The principle of relativity in physics is the key to the understanding of metaphysics. Whitehead opposes the current philosophy of static substance having qualities which he holds to be based on the simply located material bodies of Newtonian physics and the "pure sensations" of Hume. This 17th century philosophy depends upon a "bifurcation of nature" into two unequal systems of reality on the Cartesian model of mind and matter. The high abstractions of science must not be mistaken for concrete realities. Instead, Whitehead argues that there is only one reality, what appears, whatever is given in perception, is real. There is nothing existing beyond what is present in the experience of subjects, understanding by subject any actual entity. There are neither static concepts nor substances in the world; only a network of events. All such events are actual extensions or spatio-temporal unities. The philosophy of organism, as Whitehead terms his work, is based upon the patterned process of events. All things or events are sensitive to the existence of all others; the relations between them consisting in a kind of feeling. Every actual entity is then a "prehensive occasion", that is, it consists of all those active relations with other things into which it enters. An actual entity is further determined by "negative prehension", the exclusion of all that which it is not. Thus every feeling is a positive prehension, every abstraction a negative one. Every actual entity is lost as an individual when it perishes, but is preserved through its relations with other entities in the framework of the world. Also, whatever has happened must remain an absolute fact. In this sense, past events have achieved "objective immortality". Except for this, the actual entities are involved in flux, into which there is the ingression of eternal objects from
the realm of possibilities. The eternal objects
are universals whose selection is necessary to the
actual entities. Thus the actual world is a
certain selection of eternal objects. God is the principles of concretion which determines the selection. "Creativity" is the primal cause whereby possibilities are selected in the advance of actuality toward novelty. This movement is termed the consequent nature of God. The pure possibility of the eternal objects themsehes is termed his primordial nature. -- J.K.F.
- Principia Mathematica, 3 vols. (1910-13) (with Bertrand Russell;
- An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge (1919);
- The Concept of Nature (1920);
- Science and the Modern World (1926);
- Religion tn the Making (1926);
- Symbolism (1928);
- Process and Reality (1929); and
- Adventures of Ideas (1933).
Whole: The term "whole" has been used frequently in attempts to describe or to explain certain features of biological, psychological, or
sociological (but sometimes also of physical and chemical) phenomena which were said to be inaccessible to a "merely mechanistic" or "summative" analysis. In fact, most applications of the concept of whole explicitly resort to a principle which asserts that a whole is more than the sum of its parts.
From the viewpoint of empiricist methodolgy, that whole-part principle, and in most cases also the use of the term "whole" is open to various objections. In particular, the meanings of the terms "whole", "part", "sum", and "more" are far from clear and change from case to case, and accordingly, so does the meaning and the validity of the part-whole principle: In many cases, a whole is simply meant to be an object of study which has parts (in some one of the many senses of the word), and the part-whole principle is taken to assert either (1) that for a complete knowledge of such an object or system, not only those parts, but also their mutual relationships have to be known, or (2) that such an object has properties which can be found in none of its parts. In either of these interpretations, the part-whole principle is trivially true in every case, but just for this reason it cannot furnish an explanation of any empirical phenomenon such as the specific behavior of a developing embryo, taken as a "biological whole", or of visual gestalten, etc.
For that explanatory function, empirical laws are needed, and occasionally the part-whole principle is tacitly identified with some specific law (or group of laws) governing the phenomenon under consideration. Whatever explanation is achieved in such a case, is obviously due, not to the vague part-whole principle but rather to the specific empirical law which is tacitly supplanted for it; and any empirical law which might be chosen here, applies to a certain specific type of phenomena only and cannot pass for a comprehensive principle governing all kinds of wholes.
According to another interpretation of the notion of whole and of the part-whole principle, a whole is an object whose parts are mutually interdependent in the sense that a change affecting one of its parts will bring about changes in all of the other parts, and because of this interdependence the whole is said to be "more" than the sum of its parts. The part-whole principle then obviously is true simply by definition, and again, lacks explanatory value. Besides, if the above interdependence criterion for wholes is taken literally, then any object turns out to be a whole. What the concept of whole is actually meant to refer to, are specific types of interdependence as found in living organisms, etc., but then, again, an adequate description and explanation of those phenomena can be attained only by a study of their special regularities, not by a sweeping use of the vague concept of whole and of the unclear part-whole principle. (For the points referred to in the preceding remarks, see also Emergent Evolution, Gestalt, Holism, Mechanism, Vitalism.)
Recently, the Polish logician St. Lesniewski
has developed a formal theory of the part-whole relationship within the framework of a so-called calculus of individuals, one of the theorems of this theory states that every object is identical with the sum of its parts. This is, of course, a consequence of the way in which the axioms of that calculus were chosen, but that particular construction of the theory was carried out with an eye to applications in logical and epistemological analysis, and the calculus of individuals has already begun to show its value in these fields. See Leonard and Goodman, The Calculus of Individuals and Its Uses, The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 5 (1940, pp. 45-55. -- C.G.H.
- In the widest sense, will is synonymous with conation. See Conation.
- In the restricted sense, will designates the sequence of mental acts eventuating in decision or choice between conflicting conative tendencies. An act of will of the highest type is analyzable into:
- The envisaging of alternative courses of action, each of which expresses conative tendencies of the subject.
- Deliberation, consisting in the examination and comparison of the alternative courses of action with special reference to the dominant ideals of the self.
- Decision or choice consisting in giving assent to one of the alternatives and the rejection of the rest.
Will (Scholastic): Will is one of the two rational faculties of the human soul. Only man, as a rational animal, possesses will. Animals are prompted to action by the sensory appetites and in this obey the law of their nature, whereas human will is called free insofar as it determines itself towards the line of action it chooses. Though the objects of will are presented by the intellect, this faculty does not determine will which may still act against the intellect's judgment. The proper object of rational will is good in its universal aspect. Goodness is one of the original ("transcendental") aspects of being, envisioned under this aspect, it becomes a possible end of will. As such, it is apprehended by reason, arousing a simple volitive movement. Follow the approval of "synderesis" (v. there), striving, deliberation, consent, final approval by reason, choice of means and execution. Thus, there is a complicated interplay of intellectual and volitive performances which finally end with action. Action being necessarily about particulars and these being material, will, an "immaterial" faculty cannot get directly in touch with reality and needs, as does on its part intellect, an intermediary; the sensory appetites are the ultimate executors, while the vis cogitativa or practical reason supplies the link on the side of intellectual performance. True choice exists only in rational beings, animals appearing to deliberate are, in truth, only passively subjected to the interference of images and appetites, and their actions are automatically determined by the relative strength of these factors. While man's will is essentially free, it is restricted
in the exercise of its fi eedom by imagination, emotion, habit. Whatever an end will aims at, it is always a good, be it one of a low degree.
Will, the Free Elective: (In Kant's ethics) Kant's ''free elective will" (freie Willkür) is a will undetermined by feeling at the time of willing, even though it is destined to be sanctioned and confirmed by a subsequent accrual of feeling. Such a will, Kant says, is freedom.
Will to Believe: A phrase made famous by William James (1842-1910) in an essay by that title (1896). In general, the phrase characterizes much of James's philosophic ideas: a defence of the right and even the necessity to believe where evidence is not complete, the adventurous spirit by which men must live, the heroic character of all creative thinking, the open-mind to possibilities, the repudiation of the stubborn spirit and the will-not-to-know, the primacy of the will in successful living, the reasonableness of the whole man acting upon presented data, the active pragmatic disposition in general. This will to believe does not imply indiscriminative faith; it implies a genuine option, one which presents an issue that is lively, momentous and forced. Acts of indecision may be negative decisions. -- V.F.
William of Champeaux: (1070-1121) He was among the leading realists holding that the genus and species were completely present in each individual, making differences merely incidental. He was one of the teachers of Abelard.
Wmdelband (1848-1915) was preeminently an outstanding historian of philosophy. He has nowhere given a systematic presentation of his own views, but has expressed them only in unconnected essays and discourses. But in these he made some suggestions of great import on account of which he has been termed the founder and head of the "South-Western German School." He felt that he belonged to the tradition of German Idealism without definitely styling himself a Neo-Kantian, Neo-Fichtean or Neo-Hegelian. His fundamental position is that whereas it is for science to determine facts, it is for philosophy to determine values. Facts may be gathered from experience, but values, i.e., what "ought" to be thought, felt and done, cannot and hence must in some sense be a priori. Of particular significance was his effort -- later worked out by H. Rickert -- to point out a fundamental distinction between natural and historical science: the former aims at establishing general laws and considers particular facts only insofar as they are like others. In contrast to this "nomothetic" type of science, history is "idiographic", i.e., it is interested in the particular as such, but, of course, not equally in all particulars, but in such only as have some significance from the point of view of value. -- H.G.
Main works: Geschichte u. Naturwissenschaft, 1894; Präludien, 1924 (9th ed. ); History of Modem Philosophy (Eng. tr.).
Wissenschaftslehre: (Ger. doctrine of science) Since Fichte who understood by it critical philosophy in general and his idealistic system based on consciousness of the absolute ego apart from any definite content of knowledge in particular, a term characterizing philosophy as a scientific systcm of knowledge embracing the principles and methodology of all sciences under exclusion of their factual content or specific conclusions. -- K.F.L.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig: (Lecturer in philosophy at University of Cambridge, 1929-1939; professor and head of department since 1939. Author of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922.
Apart from technical innovations in logical theory (notably in the discussion of tautology and probability), Wittgenstein's main contribution to contemporary philosophy has been his demonstration of the importance of a study of language. The Tractatus is concerned chiefly to determine the conditions which any symbolism qua representation of fact, must necessarily satisfy. Such a "language" must consist of elements combined in such ways as to mirror in one-one correspondence the elements and structure of the "world". A crucial distinction is made between "saying" (aussagen) and "showing" (zeigen); a statement is able to assert a certain state of affairs by virtue of having the same structure as that which it represents. The common structure, however, cannot itself be asserted, can only be shown in the symbols. Much philosophy is held to consist of trying to say what can only be shown, a misguided proceeding provoked by failure to understand "the logic of our language". Certain mystical conclusions follow.
Wittgenstein's doctrines were a major influence in the evolution of Logical Positivism (q.v.) though his later work is out of sympathy with that movement. Later lectures (in the form of unpublished mimeographed notes) embody a more relativistic approach to language, and are largely devoted to the inculcation of a therapeutic method directed against the perennial temptation to ask senseless questions in philosophy.
References: Russell, Introduction to English edition of the Tractatus. J. Weinberg, Examination of Logical Positivism, Ch. 1. M. Black, "Some problems connected with language", Proc. Aris. Soc., 39, 43. -- M.B.
Wolff. Christian: (1679-1754) A most outstanding philosopher of the German Enlightenment, and exponent of an all pervasive rationalism, who was professor of mathematics at Halle. He was a dry and superficial systematic popularizer of dogmatic philosophy whose laws have for him a purely logical and rational foundation. -- H.H.
Miin works: In German a series of works Vernünftige Gedanke (Rational Thoughts) on logic, psychologie, ethics, etc. followed by a similar series Empirical psychology, etc.
Woodbridge, Frederick James Eugene: (1867-1940) Was Professor of Philosophy of Columbia University and one of the Editors of the Journal of Philosophy. He was an important member of the realist school. For him consciousness was a relation of meaning, a connection of objects and structure was a notion of greater philosophic value than substance. His best known works are Philosophy of Hobbes, The Realm of Mind and Nature and Mind. -- L.E.D.
World-event: An event conceived in four dimensions, including its duration. See Space-Time.
World Ground: The source, cause, essence, or sustaining power within or behind the World. See Absolute. -- W.L.
World-line: A line conceived in four dimensions; a line cutting across space-time. See Space-Time. -- R.B.W.
World-point: A four-dimensional point; a durationless geometricil point. See Space- Time.
1. An intelligent, animating, indwelling principle of the cosmos, conceived as its organizing or integrating cause, or as the source of its motion; thus posited on the analogy of the hurnan soul and body. Such a doctrine, common among primitive peoples, was taught by Plato, Stoicism, Neo-Platonism, Renaissance Platonism, Bruno, etc.
2. This view has affinities with, and has occasionally developed into, the notion of a World Mind or Absolute Mind as posited in Vedantic and Buddhist idealism, patristic and scholastic Christian theism, objective idealism, and absolute idealism. See Idealism, The Absolute.
Wrong action: Any action that is not right. See Right action. -- C.A.B.
Wu: 'Eternal Non-Being' is that which is opposed to being of material objects; refers to the essence of Tao, the first principle. (Lao Tzu). -- H.H.
Wu: Creatures; things; matter; the material principle; the external world; the non-self; objects of the senses and desires; affairs.
- The Five Constant Virtues of ancient Confucianism: righteousness on the part of the mother, brotherliness on the part of the elder brother, respect on the part of the young brother, and filial piety on the part of the son. Also called wu chiao and wu tien.
- The Five Constant Virtues of Confucianism from the Han dynasty (206 B.C. -220 A.D.) on benevolence (jen), righteousness (i), proprietv (li), wisdom (chih), and good faith (hsin). Also called wu hsing and wu te.
- The Five Human Relationships of Confucianism (wu lun).
Wu chi: The Non-Ultimate. See T'ai Chi.
Wu chiao: The Five Teachings. See wu ch'ang.
- The Five Agents, Elements or Powers of Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth, the interaction of which gives rise to the multiplicity of things, and which have their correspondence in the five senses, tastes, colors, tones, the five virtues, the five atmospheric conditions, the five ancient emperors, etc. Also
called wu te. (The Yin Yang School in the
third and fourth centuries B. C. and the Han dynasty, especially Pan Ku, 32-92 A.D., and Tung Chung-shu, 177-104 B.C.)
- The Five Agents which are the five vital forces (ch'i) engendered by the transformation of yang, the active cosmic principle, and its union with yin, the passive cosmic principle, each with its specific nature. When the being of the Great Ultimate (T'ai Chi) and the essence of yin and yang come into mysterious union, determinate being ensues, with the heavenly principle, yang, constituting the male element and the earthly principle, yin, constituting the female element, giving rise to the myriad things. (Chou Lien-hsi, 1017-1073).
- The Five Constant Virtues. See wu ch'ang.
Wu hua: The transformation of things, that is, the conception that entities should be. and could be, so transfomed, spiritually speaking, that absolute identity may exist between them, especially between the self and the non-self, and between man and things. (Chuang Tzu, between 399 and 295 B.C.). -- W.T.C.
Wu lun: The five human relationships, "those between the father and the son, the ruler and subordinates, husbind and wife, the elder and the younger, and friends." Also called the Five Constants (wu ch'ang). "Between father and son, there should be affection, between sovereign and ministers, there should be righteousness, between husband and wife, attention to their separate functions; between old and young, a proper order; and between friends, good faith (hsin)." (Mencius) -- W.T.C.
Wundt, Wilhelm Max: (1832-1920) German physiologist, psychologist and philosopher, who after studying medicine at Heidelberg and Berlin and lecturing at Heidelberg, became Professor of Philosophy at Leipzig in 1875 where he founded the first psychological laboratory in 1879. Wundt's psychological method, as exemplified in his Principles of Physiological Psychology, 1873-4, combines exact physical and philological measurement of stimulus and response along with an introspective analysis of the "internal experience" which supervenes between stimulus and response; he affirmed an exact parallelism or one-to-one correspondence between the physiological and the psychological series. Wundt's psychology on its introspective side, classified sensations with respect to modality, intensity, duration, extension, etc.; and feelings as: (a) pleasant or unpleisant, (b) tense or relaxed, (c) excited or depressed. He advanced but later abandoned on introspective grounds the feeling of innervation (discharge of nervous energy in initiating muscular movement). Among psychologists influenced by Wundt are Cattell, Stanley Hall and Titchener.
Other works: Logik. 1880-3; Ethik, 1886; Völkerpsychologie, 10 vol. (3d ed. 1910-20).
Wu shih: The Five Origins of Order in the
medievil Confucian interpretation of history, namely, the beginning of Heaven is rectified
by the depth of the Prime; the government of the empire is rectified by the beginning of Heaven; the position of the princes is rectified by the government of the empire; and the order of the state is rectified by the position of the princes. (Tung Chung shu, 177-104 B.C.).
Wu te: (a) The Five Powers, or the characteristics of the Five Agents or Elements (wu hsing) of the Yin Yang school.
(b) The Five Constant Virtues. See wu ch'ang. -- W.T.C.
Wu tien: The Five Constant Virtues. See wu ch'ang.
Wu wei: Following nature, non-artificiality, non-assertion, inaction, inactivity or passivity. It means that artificiality must not replace spontaneity, that the state of nature must not be interfered with by human efforts, superficial morality and wisdom. "Tao undertakes no activity (wu wei), and yet there is nothing left undone. If kings and princes would adhere to it, all creatures would tranform spontaneously." (Lao Tzu).
"The true mm of old did not know what it
was to love life or to have death. He did not rejoice in birth nor resist death. Spontaneously he went, spontaneously he came that was all. He did not forget whence he came, nor did he seek whence he would end. He accepted things gladly, and returned them to nature without reminiscence. This is called not to hurt Tao with the human heart, nor to assist heaven with man." (Chuang Tzu, between 399-295 B.C.)
"The meaning of 'wu wei' is that there is no going in advance of nature. The meaning of 'wu pu wei' (there is nothing undone) is that, in following Tao, everything is done. The meaning of 'wu chih' (no governing) is that there is no interference with naturalness. And the phrase 'wu pu chih' (there is nothing that is not governed) is that the end is attained in accordance with the mutual fitness of things." (Huai-nan Tzu, 122 B.C.). -- W.T.C.
Wu wu: To regard things as things, that is, to regard things with objectivity and no attachment or selfishness, on the one hand, and, with the conviction that the self and the non-self form an organic unity on the other. -- W.T.C.