Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
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]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29445/504/
HERESY 
are as subject to law and as definite as those 
of mechanics, although the data are teleo¬ 
logical. This case and the reverse, indicated 
above, show the fallacy of claiming that the 
exercise of individual purpose and the teleo¬ 
logy of evolution must go together. 
But there is another supposition open to ob¬ 
jection in the view which requires Lamarckian 
heredity in order to secure teleology in evolu¬ 
tion ; the position that natural selection, 
working on so-called fortuitous or chance 
variations, is ‘ blind ’ and non-teleological. 
It has been found that biological phenomena— 
variations in particular—follow the definite 
law of Probability (q. v.); in short, that 
there is no such thing as the really fortuitous 
or unpredictable. Natural selection, therefore, 
working upon variations, themselves subject 
to law, gives a possible method of realizing a 
cosmic design, if such exists, just as adequate 
as any other natural process subject to law. 
Combining this with the result mentioned 
above, that even moral events are found to be 
subject to law when taken in large numbers— 
thus including events in which individual 
purpose plays a part—we are driven to the 
conclusion that the law of probabilities upon 
which natural selection rests is the vehicle of 
teleology in evolution—lawful replacing for¬ 
tuitous variations. 
A good illustration .may be seen in the use 
made of vital statistics in life Insurance 
(q. v.). We pay a rate based on the calculation 
of the probability of life, and thus by observ¬ 
ing this law realize the teleological purpose 
of providing for our children more effectively, 
though indirectly, than if we each carried 
our money in a bag around our necks, and 
gradually added to it of our savings. And 
furthermore, the insurance company is a great 
teleological agency, both for us and for itself ; 
for it secures dividends for its stockholders 
also on the basis of charges adjusted to the 
‘ chances ’ of life drawn from the mortality 
tables. Why is it not a reasonable view that 
the cosmic purpose—if we may call it so— 
works by similar, but more adequate, know¬ 
ledge of the whole—whether in conformity to 
or in contravention of our individual striving— 
and so secures its results 1 Can such results 
be called blind or unteleological 1 
Indeed, we may go further, and say that 
this working out of cosmic purpose through 
some law of the whole rather than through 
the individual is necessary to teleology as 
such. In biology the law of Regression 
(q.v.) provides just such a ‘governor’ or 
regulator of the process. According to it, 
individuals which depart widely from the 
mean are not able to transmit their characters 
fully; but there is a regression towards a 
value which represents the mean attainment of 
the species up to date. Thus evolution is kept 
consistently to a determinate direction, and 
not violently wrenched by what might be 
called cosmic caprice. So it is necessary that 
the * choice,’ the capricious will, of the indi¬ 
vidual should be neutralized, and a consistent 
plan carried out despite the uncalculable 
variations of our private purposes. This prin¬ 
ciple of ‘ regression ’ or ‘ conservation of type ’ 
holds whether the inheritance of acquired 
modifications be true or not—whether the 
effects of personal effort and purpose be trans¬ 
mitted or not—and as it deals with all the 
cases, variations and modifications alike, the 
purposeful deeds of the individual can, in 
any case, be only a factor of minor importance 
to the result. Its real importance would de¬ 
pend upon its relation to the whole group of 
agencies entering into heredity. In so far as 
this fact should be in a direction divergent 
from that of the movement in general, it 
would, by the law of regression, be ineffectual ; 
in so far as it should be in harmony with it, 
it would be unnecessary and unimportant ; 
although in the latter case, no doubt, the 
Lamarckian factor, if real, would accelerate 
biological evolution. Cf. Teleology. 
Special topics are Galton’s Law (q. v.) of 
ancestral inheritance, Regression (q. v.), 
Variation (q. v.), and Atavism (q. v.). 
Literature (organic) : the best general work 
is Delage, Structure du Protoplasma, con¬ 
taining full literary lists to 1895, continued 
annually as the Année Biologique. See lists 
also in the annual Zoological Record, the 
Anatomischer Jahresbericht, and in "Wilson, 
The Cell in Devel. and Inheritance. Recent 
general works are W. K. Brooks, The Founda¬ 
tions of Zool. (1899) ; Headley, The Problems 
of Evolution (1901). Other works are 
cited under Biological Sciences, Acquired 
Characters, and the topics cited above. 
More psychological references occur in the 
literature of Comparative Psychology, In¬ 
stinct, and Play. See also Bibliog. G, i ,/. 
(Social) : see Social Evolution. 
(J.M.B., E.B.P., W.J., C.Ll.M., G.E.S.) 
Heresy and Heterodoxy [Gr. dlpeo-is, 
selection] : Ger. Häresie, Ketzerei ; Fr. hérésie ; 
Ital. eresia. Dissent from the fundamental 
dogmas of the Church, springing up within 
its own membership. Heterodoxy, though 
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