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
Ultimately a differentiation was effected be¬ 
tween the philosophical and the more strictly 
theological branches of the movement, and 
the development passed out of the earlier into 
the scholastic stage. 
Literature : Histories of philosophy and 
theology. (a.t.o.) 
Pitch [AS. pie, height, point of reach] : 
Ger. Tonhöhe ; Fr. diapason, hauteur du son ; 
Ital. diapason. The quality of tonal sensa¬ 
tion, expressed by musical symbols (c4, a15 B, 
d'", &c.), or by statement of vibration rate, 
number of vibrations per second (c of 256, e 
of 640) ; with which it is correlated, (e.b.t.) 
Pithecanthropus erectus (Dubois) : see 
Anthropoid (ad fin.). 
Pity [OF. pite, from Lat. pietas, piety] : 
Ger. Mitleid ; Fr. pitié ; Ital. pietà. Fellow 
feeling with the added consciousness that, by 
reason of some quality or possession of one’s 
own, the untoward condition could not be true 
of oneself. 
This latter qualification marks off pity—and 
with it compassion, in which there is a touch 
of mercy, or, in cases of personal injury, of 
forgiveness—as a special case of Sympathy 
(q. v.). It is recognized, but inadequately, in 
the popular descriptions of pity as involving 
superiority, condescension, and as being exer¬ 
cised only towards ‘inferiors/ (j.m.b.) 
Hobbes applied his principle of the absolute 
selfishness of human nature to the case of pity, 
which he defined as ‘ imagination or fiction of 
future calamity to ourselves, proceeding from 
the sense of another man’s calamity ’ (Human 
Nature, chap. ix). Hutcheson maintained, as 
against this view, that pity is a disinterested 
and natural sentiment. ‘ The frame of our 
nature, on the occasions which move these 
passions, determines us to be thus affected, 
and to approve our affection ’ (Inquiry, sect, 
ii). Butler also holds that pity or com¬ 
passion is a public affection, directed to ‘ the 
good of our fellow creatures ’ or ‘ the interests 
of others.’ It is the product of ‘a mutual 
sympathy between each particular of the 
species, a fellow-feeling common to mankind.’ 
‘ For does not everybody by compassion mean 
an affection, the object of which is another in 
distress 1 ’ (Sermons, v. § 1, Note). Similarly, 
Spinoza defines pity or ‘ commiseration ’ as 
‘ pain accompanied by the idea of evil happen¬ 
ing to another whom we imagine to be like 
ourselves ’ (Ethics, Pt. Ill, ‘ Definitions of the 
Emotions,’ Def. 18). As pain, it is, in itself, 
evil ; but its result is good, namely, the en¬ 
deavour, from the dictates of reason alone, to 
free from misery the man we pity. ‘ It follows 
that a man who lives according to the dictates 
of reason endeavours as much as possible to 
prevent himself from being touched by pity ’ 
(Pt. IV, Prop. 50, coroll.). Cf. Adam Smith, 
Theory of the Moral Sentiments, Pt. I, sect. i. 
chap. i. (j.s.) 
Plan : see Project. 
Plan of Salvation : see Salvation. 
Planchette [Lat. planca, Gr. 7rXa£, a plane, 
through Fr.] : Ger. Münzplatte ; Fr. plan¬ 
chette ; Ital. tavoletta. An apparatus for re¬ 
cording delicate movements of the hand, used 
in experiments on the influence of the sub¬ 
ject’s thought, or of that of some other 
personality, upon his hand movements. Cf. 
Muscle Beading. (j.m.b.) 
Plant [AS. plante]: Ger. Pßanze; Fr. 
plante; Ital. pianta. An organism whose 
marks of distinction from an Animal (q. v.) 
are indicated under the latter topic. The 
sciences which deal with plants are biology 
and botany. Plants constitute the Vegetable 
Kingdom. See Biological Sciences, (j.m.b.) 
Plasm [Gr. 7rXâo-^a, anything formed or 
moulded]: Ger. Plasma; Fr. plasme; Ital. 
plasma. Hypothetical component parts of 
the protoplasm or nucleus, having a special 
function. See Cell. 
Weismann assumes a ‘ germ-plasm ’ ; Nä- 
geli, a ‘ nutritive plasm,’ &c. (c.s.m.) 
Literature : Y. Delage, La Structure du 
Protoplasma et Biol. Gén. (1895) ; Wilson, 
The Cell. (e.s.g.) 
Plastic Imitation : Ger.plastische Nach¬ 
ahmung; Y y. imitation plastique; Ital. imita- 
zione plastica. (1) See Imitation (i). 
(2) Used by Groos (Play of Man, Eng. 
trans., 313 ff.) for constructive or creative 
imitation, as in ‘ plastic ’ art. (j.m.b.) 
Plasticity [Gr. ttXckttÔs, from uXacra-eiu, to 
mould] : Ger. Plasticität ; Fr. plasticité ; Ital. 
plasticità. That property of living sub¬ 
stance or of an organism whereby it alters its 
form under changed conditions of life. 
The two theories of the manifestation of 
plasticity hold respectively (1) that it is 
a response to stimulation from the environ¬ 
ment, the original property being simply 
general instability of structure not involving 
tendencies towards specific modifications of 
any sort; and (2) that it takes the form of 
specific changes which are inherent in life 
as such, the environment playing a secondary 
and purely exciting rôle. This latter is the 
view of those who accept Vitalism (q. v.). 
As to the origin of plasticity, the views 


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