Volltext: Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 1 [a-laws] (1)

Fact is distinguished from Truth (q. v.) in 
that (i) it is immediate, a datum carrying 
the belief on the part of the observer that it 
is independent of him; and also in that (2) it 
is immediately objective, a matter of presenta¬ 
tion in time or space. Such expressions as 
the ‘ universe,’ or ‘ world,’ or ‘ thing of fact,’ 
all emphasize one or other of these two char¬ 
acters, in contrast with the spheres of desire, 
value, discourse, &c., which implicate attitudes 
or constructions on the part of the observer. 
Fact might be defined thus : datum of experi¬ 
ence considered as abstracted from the experi¬ 
ence of which it is a datum. The notion of 
fact includes abstraction even from the ex¬ 
perience by which the fact is reached or as¬ 
serted. And inasmuch as it is just this sort of 
abstraction which the notion of actuality—or 
of the so-called ‘ trans-subjective ’—covers, we 
may say that a fact is anything which is found 
to be actual. The fact is, however, not absolute, 
but always relative to some experience. 
Literature : see Epistemology, and Truth 
and Error. (j.m.b., g.f.s.) 
Leibnitz distinguished ‘ truths of fact ’ 
(vérités de fait) from £ truths of reason ’ 
(vérités de raisonnement) ; the first being 
guaranteed by the ‘ law of sufficient reason,’ 
the second by the ‘ law of contradiction.’ (k.g.) 
Fact (in law). Whatever has occurred ; 
an act or event by which a thing has been 
brought into relation with a person. Investi¬ 
tive fact : one by which a right comes into 
existence. Divestitive fact : one by which a 
right is divested. Translative fact : one by 
which a right is transferred. 
Literature: Pollock, First Book of Juris¬ 
prudence, chap. vi. 132; Holland, Juris¬ 
prudence, chap. x. 2. (s.e.b.) 
Factitious : see Intrinsic and Extrinsic. 
Factor [Lat. facere, to make] : Ger. Factor ; 
Fr. facteur) Ital. fattore. Anyone of a plu¬ 
rality of causes or conditions which together 
determine a thing or event. 
Technical uses of the term are in mathe¬ 
matics, biology, aesthetics, &c. : see Factors 
oe Evolution. (j.m.b.) 
Factors of Evolution : Ger. Factoren der 
Evolution-, Fr. facteurs de Vévolution-, Ital. 
fattori delV evoluzione. The agencies or con¬ 
ditions of whatever character which determine 
organic evolution. 
The word factor is made to cover both terms 
of the distinction between Force and Condition 
made under that topic. The causes of or¬ 
ganic evolution must themselves be phenomena 
of an organic or vital sort—the subject-matter 
of biology. But, as in other sciences, we find 
the operation of these properly biological forces 
or causes conditioned, limited, and interfered 
with by extra-biological conditions. The 
greatest of all these is natural selection, which 
is a restriction set upon mating, not a bio¬ 
logical cause or even a positive force of any 
sort. So isolation, artificial selection, &c. ; 
these are all conditions of evolution, and factors 
of a real but in a sense negative value. On the 
other hand, the vital functions of reproduction, 
variation, accommodation, direct competition, 
preying, &c., are biological forces, the motive 
principles belonging distinctively to life. These 
are causes or factors of a positive sort, in the 
determination of evolution. (j.m.b.) 
This distinction roughly corresponds to that 
between (1) originative, and (2) directive 
factors, the latter being the conditions, the 
former the causes. Prior to Darwin, the chief 
factor recognized in evolution as progressive 
was that which is now associated with the 
name of Lamarck, the transmission to offspring 
of that which the organism gained by indi¬ 
vidual effort, together with that indicated by 
Buffon, the transmission of that which is im¬ 
pressed on the organism by the environment. 
Darwin and Wallace suggested natural selec¬ 
tion as the chief directive factor in progress. 
Wallace and Weismann regard natural selec¬ 
tion as the all-sufficient directive factor of 
progressive evolution. Mivart, Nägeli, and 
others believe in an inherent tendency to 
progress in certain directions. Natural selec¬ 
tion as a directive factor is universally recog¬ 
nized, though its range is still open to discus¬ 
sion. Sexual selection by selective mating 
was regarded by Darwin as a supplementary 
directive factor in evolution. The Organic 
Selection (q.v.) of Baldwin, Morgan, and 
Osborn, and Karl Pearson’s Eeproductive or 
Genetic Selection (q.v.) have also been added 
to the list of factors of organic evolution. 
The importance of Isolation (q.v.) as a 
factor was recognized by Moritz Wagner (1868), 
and has been emphasized by Gulick and 
Romanes. The Physiological Selection 
(q.v.) of the latter author is now generally 
regarded as an isolation factor. 
Literature : see Evolution, Isolation, 
Natural Selection, and the references given 
under the special topics mentioned. (c.Ll.m.) 
Factors of Production : Ger. Factoren 
der Produktion; Fr. facteurs de la production) 
Ital. fattori della produzierte. Agencies of 
different character, whose combination is es¬ 
sential for the production of wealth. 


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