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/lit29445/562/
INDEX NUMBER — INDIFFERENCE 
they have similar qualities, for all the perti¬ 
nent properties of a small bar are, as far as 
we can perceive, the same as those of a large 
one, but because each of them has been, 
actually or virtually, carried to the prototype 
and subjected to certain dynamical operations, 
while the associational compulsion calls up in 
our minds, when we see one of them, various 
experiences, and brings us to regard them as 
related to something fixed in length, though 
we may not have reflected that that standard 
is a material bar. The above considerations 
might lead the reader to suppose that indices 
have exclusive reference to objects of experi¬ 
ence, and that there would be no use for 
them in pure mathematics, dealing, as it does, 
with ideal creations, without regard to whether 
they are anywhere realized or not. But the 
imaginary constructions of the mathematician, 
and even dreams, so far approximate to reality 
as to have a certain degree of fixity, in conse¬ 
quence of which they can be recognized and 
identified as individuals. In short, there is 
a degenerate form of observation which is 
directed to the creations of our own minds— 
using the word observation in its full sense 
as implying some degree of fixity and quasi¬ 
reality in the object to which it endeavours 
to conform. Accordingly, we find that indices 
are absolutely indispensable in mathematics ; 
and until this truth was comprehended, all 
efforts to reduce to rule the logic of triadic 
and higher relations failed ; while as soon 
as it was once grasped the problem was 
solved. The ordinary letters of algebra 
that present no peculiarities are indices. 
So also are the letters A, B, C, &c., attached 
to a geometrical figure. Lawyers and others 
who have to state a complicated affair with 
precision have recourse to letters to distinguish 
individuals. Letters so used are merely 
improved relative pronouns. Thus, while 
demonstrative and personal pronouns are, as 
ordinarily used, ‘ genuine indices,' relative 
pronouns are ‘ degenerate indices ’ ; for though 
they may, accidentally and indirectly, refer to 
existing things, they directly refer, and need 
only refer, to the images in the mind which 
previous words have created. 
Indices may be distinguished from other 
signs, or representations, by three character¬ 
istic marks : first, that they have no signi¬ 
ficant resemblance to their objects ; second, 
that they refer to individuals, single units, 
single collections of units, or single continua ; 
third, that they direct the attention to their 
objects by blind compulsion. But it would 
be difficult, if not impossible, to instance an 
absolutely pure index, or to find any sign 
absolutely devoid of the indexical quality. 
Psychologically, the action of indices depends 
upon association by contiguity, and not upon 
association by resemblance or upon intel¬ 
lectual operations. See Peirce, in Proc. Amer. 
Acad. Arts and Sei., vii. 294 (May 14, 
1867). (c.s.p.) 
Index Number: Ger. Indexzahl; Fr. (Eng. 
term in use) ; Ital. numero-indice. A figure 
calculated to show the relative level of prices 
in a certain year as compared with that in pre¬ 
ceding years, so that we may know whether 
prices in general have risen or fallen. 
The index numbers of The Economist, which 
were the first calculated, consisted of simple 
additions of prices of a number of articles 
for successive years. An improvement was 
made when these numbers were reduced to 
a percentage basis, some one year which is 
taken as the basis of comparison being given 
the index number 100. A still further im¬ 
provement was made by taking, instead of 
an arithmetical average of prices, a ‘weighted’ 
average of prices, which considers the relative 
amounts of the different articles used in trade 
or consumption. 
Literature : principally in the economic 
journals. The chief authorities on the subject 
are Sauerbeck and Loetbrer. (a.t.h.) 
India (philosophy and religion in) : see 
Oriental Philosophy (India). 
Indictment [Med. Lat. indictare, to de¬ 
clare] : Ger. Anklage; Fr. accusation, juge¬ 
ment (to indict, mettre quelqu’un en jugement) ; 
Ital. accusa. (1) A formai charge of crime. 
(2) In English and American law : a written 
charge of crime or misdemeanour, presented to 
a court for prosecution, by a grand jury. It 
is drawn up by the prosecuting officer, and at 
that stage is termed a bill of indictment. If 
the grand jury are satisfied that there is 
probable cause for supporting it, their foreman 
indorses it as ‘ a true bill,’ and returns it to 
court, whereupon it becomes an indictment. 
The party accused is then entitled to trial 
before a petit jury. 
The grand jury is an English institution 
for the protection of the individual against 
unjust prosecution. In cases of grave crimes 
most American constitutions require the 
return of an indictment before the accused 
can be brought to trial. (s.e.b.) 
Indifference [Lat. in + differens, different] : 
Ger. Gleichgültigkeit ; Fr. sentiment d’indiffé¬ 
rence ; Ital. indfferenza. (1) The state of 
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