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. 2 [lead-zwing]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29448/759/
UNIFORMITY — UNIT 
if mind can construct absolute constraints, 
it can much easier exert force that is finite. 
Other writers suppose lacunae, without tell¬ 
ing us of what particular description they 
are ; they seem to think law is absolute as 
far as it goes, but that its jurisdiction is 
limited. 
(f) Much more philosophical and less logic¬ 
ally objectionable is the notion of St. Augustine 
and others (it is near to the opinion of 
Aristotle) that the only fundamental kind 
of causation is the action of final causes, 
and that efficient causation is, in all cases, 
secondary. Accordingly, when a miracle 
occurs there is no violation of the real cursus 
naturae, but only of the apparent course of 
things. 
(g) The hypothesis suggested by the present 
writer is that all laws are results of evolution ; 
that underlying all other laws is the only 
tendency which can grow by its own virtue, 
the tendency of all things to take habits. 
Now since this same tendency is the one sole 
fundamental law of mind, it follows that the 
physical evolution works towards ends in the 
same way that mental action works towards 
ends,'and thus in one aspect of the matter it 
would be perfectly true to say that final 
causation is alone primary. Yet, on the other 
hand, the law of habit is a simple formal law, 
a law of efficient causation ; so that either 
way of regarding the matter is equally true, 
although the former is more fully intelligent. 
Meantime, if law is a result of evolution, 
which is a process lasting through all time, 
it follows that no law is absolute. That is, 
we must suppose that the phenomena them¬ 
selves involve departures from law analogous 
to errors of observation. But the writer has 
not supposed that this phenomenon had any 
connection with free-will. In so far as evolu¬ 
tion follows a law, the law of habit, instead 
of being a movement from homogeneity to 
heterogeneity, is growth from difformity to 
uniformity. But the chance divergences from 
law are perpetually acting to increase the 
variety of the world, and are checked by 
a sort of natural selection and otherwise (for 
the writer does not think the selective prin¬ 
ciple sufficient), so that the general result 
maybe described as ‘organized heterogeneity,’ 
or better rationalized variety. In view of' 
the principle of continuity, the supreme guide 
in framing philosophical hypotheses, we must, 
under this theory, regard matter as mind 
whose habits have become fixed so as to lose 
the powers of forming them and losing them, 
while mind is to be regarded as a chemical 
genus of extreme complexity and instability. 
It has acquired in a remarkable degree a 
habit of taking and laying aside habits. The 
fundamental divergences from law must here 
be most extraordinarily high, although prob¬ 
ably very far indeed from attaining any 
directly observable magnitude. But their 
effect is to cause the laws of mind to be 
themselves of so fluid a character as to simu¬ 
late divergences from law. All this, accord¬ 
ing to the writer, constitutes a hypothesis 
capable of being tested by experiment. 
Literature : besides most treatises on Logic 
(cp v., especially inductive) see Renouvier 
and Prat, La nouvelle Monadologie (1899). 
(C.S.P.) 
Uniformity (notion of). The objective 
regularity and orderliness presupposed in 
the possibility of representing the real world 
by an ideal construction. ‘ Whenever any 
two or more attributes are repeatedly to be 
connected together, closely or remotely, in 
time or in space, there we have a uniformity. 
And the general expression, the uniformity of 
nature, is intended to cover all such partial 
connections, and to imply that their existence 
may be detected or reasonably inferred 
throughout all phenomena whatever ' (Venn, 
Empirical Logic, 93). 
All contrivance of means towards ends, 
and indeed all adjustment of action in accord¬ 
ance with previous experience, presupposes as 
the condition of effectiveness more or less 
uniformity of coexistence and sequence in 
natural phenomena. Practical needs lead us 
to seek for uniformities, and the world is so 
constituted that we find them. With the 
development of experience these uniformities 
assume the form of a system, and a theoretical 
interest arises in the extension of this system. 
Finally, the conception of natural process as 
determined, everywhere and in every minutest 
detail, by fixed laws comes into being. 
(G.E.S., J.M.B., C.L.E.) 
Uniformity of Nature : see Uniformity 
(3’ 4>- ct ai 
Unison [Lat. unus, one, + sonus, sound] : 
Ger. Einklang', Fr. unisson’, Ital. unisono. 
The most perfect chord, in which both tones 
have the same pitch. See Helmholtz, Sensa¬ 
tions of Tone (Eng. trans.), 187. (e.b.t.) 
Unit (of physical measurement) [Lat. 
unitas] : Ger. Einheit ; Fr. unité ; Ital. unità. 
A portion of any magnitude or quantity 
employed to express the value of any other 
portion P of the same magnitude or quantity 
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