Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

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. 2 [lead-zwing]
Baldwin, James Mark
ing some special active function or group 
functions. (c.s.m.) 
Organic [Gr. opyaviKos, pertaining to 
organs]: Ger .organisch) Fr. organique ; Ital. 
organico. (i) Relating to that which has 
life, whether animal or vegetable ; opposed 
to inanimate or inorganic. See Organism 
(vital). But since the peculiarity of living 
beings is a certain relation of the parts to 
one another, such that they mutually act and 
react upon one another so as to maintain the 
whole in existence, it means (2) that which 
possesses a similar necessary relationship of 
whole and part ; that which is systematized ; 
that which is an internal or intrinsic means 
to an end, as distinct from an external 
or accidental one. This sense shades into 
teleological and is opposed to Mechanical 
Historically, the identification of organic 
with the living comes last. Aristotle uses 
the term as equivalent to instrumental ; even 
as synonymous with mechanical, i. e. the 
means that brings about a result. An organic 
body is one, whether living or not, in which 
heterogeneous elements make up a composite 
whole. This sense persists till Leibnitz, 
who uses the term in a sense easily confused 
with the modern significance of living, but 
yet not the same. According to him, that 
is organic all of whose parts are in turn 
machines, i. e. implements adapted to ends. 
‘ Thus the organic body of a living being is 
a kind of divine machine or natural auto¬ 
maton, because a machine which is made by 
man’s art is not a machine in all its parts ; 
for example, the tooth of a brass wheel has 
parts or fragments . . . which have nothing in 
themselves to show the use to which the 
wheel was destined.. .. But nature’s machines 
are machines even in their smallest parts ad 
infinitum’ (Monadology, § 64; see also the 
Princ. de la Nature, 31). 
From this time on, the two elements in the 
conception (that of composition of parts and 
of relation of means to end) are intimately 
connected, and Kant welds them together in 
his famous definition of the organic as that 
in which all the parts are reciprocally means 
and ends to one another and to the whole 
{Werke, iv. 493). It is this conception of 
the whole as primary which marks off the 
conception from the Leibnitzian, in which 
the distinction goes on ad infinitum. This 
tends to change the indefinite pluralism of 
Leibnitz into a systematic monism when the 
conception ‘ organic ’ is applied to the world 
of at large. Cf. Life, Organism, and Social 
Literature : Eucken, Philos. Terminol., 26, 
138, 153, 202; Mackenzie, Introd. to Social 
Philos. (j.d.) 
Organic (in psychology). Characterizing 
psychological states or functions which are 
wholly or largely conditioned by physiological 
The distinction is usually between ‘ organic,’ 
‘ lower,’ ‘ coarser,’ &c., and ‘ reflective,’ ‘ volun¬ 
tary,’ ‘ higher,’ * finer,’ &c., as in the phrases 
organic Sympathy (q. v.), organic (‘ instinc¬ 
tive ’ or ‘ spontaneous ’) emotion (cf. Bash¬ 
fulness, Jealousy, Fear), to which are 
opposed the ‘ reflective ’ or, in earlier litera¬ 
ture, ‘ rational ’ forms of the emotions, &c. 
‘ Sensuous ’ and ‘ ideal ’ are terms sometimes 
used to cover the same distinction—which, 
however named, is open to much ambiguity. 
In most of the discussions—notably of emo¬ 
tion—in which the distinction is made, 
organic means unreflective, or, as not involv¬ 
ing reflection, spontaneous, which last is the 
most appropriate word. Cf. also Reflective 
and Unreflective. 
Literature : many of the discussions of 
Reflection (q.v.), passim; many of the 
works on Emotion (q. v.). Special discussions 
with reference to * organic ’ emotion are : 
Schneider, Mensch. Wille ; Baldwin, Ment. 
Devel. (chaps, on ‘ Emotion ’ and ‘ Sentiment ’ 
in both vols.). (j.m.b., g.f.s.) 
Organic Imitation : see Imitation, 
Mimetism, and Circular Reaction. 
Organic Memory : Ger. organisches Ge¬ 
dächtnisse Fr. mémoire organique ; Ital. 
memoria organica. A term suggested by 
Hering for the functional reappearance of 
conditions once impressed upon the nervous 
system, after analogy with conscious memory. 
Literature : Hering, Memory as a Func¬ 
tion of Organized Matter (Eng. trans.) ; Buc- 
cola, Mem. organica, Riv. di Filos. Scient. 
(1881); Morselli, Semej. malat. ment., ii. 
(1895). (j.m.b.-e.m.) 
Organic (or Indirect) Selection : Ger. 
organische or indirekte Selektion ; Fr. selection 
organique or indirecte : Ital. selezione organica 
or indiretta. The theory that individual 
modifications or accommodations may supple¬ 
ment, protect, or screen organic characters 
and keep them alive until useful congenital 
variations arise and survive by natural 
selection. Cf. Coincident Variation, and 
Modification. The theory of evolution which 


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