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As to the former of these intentions, the details of the contents of
the work, as described below in this introduction, may give
some preliminary light; especially in the way of securing judgment from the reader on what is attempted rather than on what is
not. In all attempts to improve terminology or to settle the meanings of terms, one finds oneself in the presence of such manifold
pitfalls, that the assumption of failure is commonly made from the start. And this assumption is just, when made with reference to attempts of certain types. If one aims at securing the adoption of new meanings or of new terms, one is in most cases doomed
to failure. If one presumes to settle arbitrarily the relative claims of conflicting usages, one's failure is wellnigh as sure. If one
attempts to reach a consensus of authoritative opinions, that does not succeed, for the minority may after all be those who
establish the future course. So evident is all this that it requires some hardihood to set out on such an undertaking at all; and the
chance of coming off with reasonable success seems to be in proportion to the unimportance of what is attempted.
We have, therefore, essayed none of these things. Our task has not been
to originate terms or to make meanings; not to enlarge
our vocabulary or to suppress synonyms. We are, on the contrary, undertaking a more moderate and, withal, a more
reasonable task, -- a task which, as regards the use of terms, is twofold: to understand the meanings which our terms have, and to render them by clear definitions, -- this on the one hand; and to interpret the movements of thought through which the meanings thus determined have arisen, with a view to discovering what is really vital in the development of thought and term in one, -- this on the other hand. So much may be said without presenting a dissertation on the philosophy of language, or suggesting the outline of a would-be science of Semantics. In most cases, the success of this attempt depends upon the state of discussion of the subject-matter, here or there. Often we have found, for instance, that there were real distinctions, which closer definition availed to disclose, justifying both of two usages, or making it plain that one of them rested on a misapprehension. Again, it often happens that an older term has been wrested from its place by a mistaken assertion of novelty -- by a writer uninformed, or by its undiscriminating use with a meaning slightly at variance with the earlier. These instances may be taken as typical of the sorts of ambiguity and irrelevancy which the student of this subject is constantly meeting, and which may often be cleared away by concise and authoritative definitions.
Authoritative, it should be said: for despite the fact that authority
may not keep usage true, nevertheless it is often authority
which makes usage false; and it is the part of authority, once definitions and discriminations are reached, to establish and maintain them. Hence, in this work, authority is invoked; not merely the use of authority as representing the highest ability in the matters taken up, but also bare authority as a force, -- what would be called by Professor Durkheim the social force of 'constraint.' This has been argued recently by Professor Tönnies, in his discussions of the theory of terminology and its reform, and acted upon by Lady Welby in her efforts to convene conferences of eminent men. Indeed, the idea of the former writer, to the effect that an International Academy for Scientific Terminology might have an important function, is in so far quite correct. We, in this work, are not an Academy, of course, but we are an international committee. Not to dwell upon the excellent work of individuals in the several departments, we may recall the fact that the American Psychological Association has a newly appointed committee on terminology; and that the neurologists have been aiming to do something, both in Germany and in the United States, by similar committees. Despite the independence of single writers -- often of the highest position -- who will not conform to what committees do, this would seem to be a way of making progress, however slowly, at any rate so far as it succeeds, by sharply defining the alternatives of usage and, in so far, making ambiguity less likely. We do not expect that our recommendations will have more success than may be realized through such general processes and social influences; and that some of our preferences will turn out unwise is not only likely, but quite certain.
As to the other purpose spoken of above -- the pedagogical -- that is
more properly the object of a dictionary than of any other work not a textbook,
because it aims to state formulated and well-defined results rather than
to present discussions. The
fulfilment of this function has given form and set limits which might not, from other points of view, have seemed altogether most
desirable. We may mention in this connection especially the shorter bibliographies appended to most of the articles. These are
planned to furnish to the student, who is not yet the practised man of research, leaders and first guides to the literary sources.
Such a person would be lost in the maze of titles given in the bibliographical volume (iii), as in a general index he always is.
Furthermore, the criticism of the scope of the work should have before it the knowledge of this pedagogical purpose; for the
introduction to a large subject-philosophy, indeed, is the largest subject -- must needs include various details of knowledge of
other branches of science and information, and of methods, preliminary to its proper task. It is for this pedagogical reason that a glossary of the nervous system furthers the treatment of psychology for the beginner, that definitions of physical terms aid the
student of the moral sciences, and that accounts of the latest biological discoveries serve the worker in social philosophy. And
this quite apart from the legitimate question of the scope of philosophy itself: indeed, the consciousness of the necessity of
meeting the pedagogical demand has relieved the Editor of undue anxiety as to this last-suggested matter. For he has been able
to say: 'This or that might possibly be excluded, if we held to a strict understanding that only the materials of these and those
problems were to be included; but it cannot be omitted from a work which aims to fit the student to approach the problems, as
well as to explain to him the possible solutions of them.'
However inadequate this distinction may be to reflect the ways of approaching
the world in the name of philosophy, it may
illustrate our undertaking. We are treating both of the philosophy that is science, and of the philosophy that criticizes and
transforms science with a view to the demands of life. In either case, however, the data of science, broadly conceived, are there with their claim. It is one of the safest sayings of philosophy, at the close of the outgoing century, that whatever we may become
to end with, we must be naturalists to begin with, -- men furnished with the breastplate of natural knowledge. We must know the methods as well as the results of science; we must know the limitations of experiment, the theory of probability, the scientific
modes of weighing evidence and treating cases. Lack of these things is the weakness of many a contemporary writer on
philosophy. Such a one criticizes a science which he does not understand, and fails to see the significance of the inroads science
is making into the territory which has so long seemed to be exempt. Note the application of biological principles, in however
modified form, to psychological facts; the treatment of moral phenomena by statistical methods; and the gradual retreat of the
notion of purpose before the naturalist, with the revised conception of teleology which this makes necessary. And these things
are but examples.
We have aimed, therefore, to present science -- physical, natural, moral -- with a fullness and authority not before undertaken in a work of this character. In the selection of the topics, in the form and length of treatment, in the bibliographical lists, this emphasis will be found throughout. Furthermore, the newer advances in scientific method have been made the subject of longer articles, as a reference to the topic Variation -- where the statistical treatment of biological phenomena is explained -- or to the topic Probability, will show. Both these topics are becoming of especial importance to the psychologist, the moralist, and the student of life.
An additional and more positive reason for the wide inclusion of science
is to be found in the present state of psychological
studies, of which more is said below. As to philosophy proper -- the discipline which calls itself by that name -- certain of our aims should be clearly defined, especially on the side of their limitations. In the first place, this work is not, and does not include, a history of philosophy. The writers, one and all, approach their topics from a historical point of view; this is one of the distinguishing features of the work. They trace historical movements when this is necessary for the exposition or justification of the definitions made or the usages recommended; and the history of thought is comprehensively illustrated through the selection of topics over the whole vocabulary of philosophy. Yet no one of these things has been made an end in itself; rather have we aimed at truth to history, and fair appreciation of the spirit of historical research. More particularly, also, is it the history of conceptions rather than that of terms that has concerned us. Lexicographical and linguistic determinations are largely foreign to our task. Meanings, with their historical development, together with the terms which have expressed them and their variations, -- these are the essentials of our quest.
And secondly, we have subjected ourselves to another very definite and
evident limitation on the side of exclusion. It would be
useless to attempt in any compass, short of an independent work as large as this, to make a Dictionary of Greek and Scholastic
Philosophy. It should be done; it is much needed: but we have not attempted it. We include special articles on Greek and Latin
Terminology, with select glossaries of representative terms; and it will be found that many of the finer distinctions of scholastic as well as of ancient thought are brought out in connection with the terms which in our modern vocabulary express or represent
them. Yet when all is said, the student of scholastic thought, as of Greek thought, will find so many gaps that it is only just to our
limited purpose to warn him of them in advance. It is a change which has come into the subject, -- this facing of philosophy
towards science and modern life, instead of towards logic and ancient life, -- and in consciously accepting the change we accept as well the inevitable criticism it will bring upon us.
As to the prominent place given to psychology, no further justification
of it is required than the statement that this is what we set
out to do, -- to prepare a work devoted to philosophy and psychology. The association of these two subjects is traditional and, as to their contents, essential. Psychology is the halfway house between biology with the whole range of the objective sciences, on the one hand, and the moral sciences with philosophy, on the other hand. The claim to this place laid by psychology to-day is no more plain than is the proof of it which the results in this department of research make good. The rise of experimental and
physiological psychology has caused the science to bulk large towards the empirical disciplines, as it always has towards the
speculative; and the inroads made by psychological analysis and investigation into the domains where the speculative methods of inquiry, spoken of above, were once exclusively in vogue, render permanent and definite the relation on that side as well. In
biology, in sociology, in anthropology, in ethics, in economics, in law, even in physics, the demand is for sound psychology; and
the criticism that is making itself felt is psychological criticism. How could it be otherwise when once it is recognized that science is the work of mind, and that the explaining principles by which any science advances beyond the mere cataloguing of facts are
abstract conceptions made by processes of thought?
It will be found, therefore, that it is upon the psychology of this
work that most of its lines converge; and it is in its psychology
that many of the hopes of its producers centre. That the psychology be found less adequate than it might be, -- that is only to be expected, that it be found less adequate than it should be, -- that is the judgment we wish most of all to escape.
It has been the especial function of the consulting board to supply
the recommendations as to foreign equivalents for all the
terms defined in the work. This undertaking, while extremely difficult, has been on the whole gratifyingly successful. Of course,
the developing state of philosophical terminology makes conventions ineffective, notably as between different languages, -- to say nothing of the artificial character of convention as such in matters linguistic; but it is our hope and belief that in this feature, thanks to the enormous pains and toil devoted to it by our consulting editors and contributors, we are making a measure of gain for international science and philosophy. The thanks of all readers of the book are due in the fullest measure -- not at all to underthank any of the others -- to Professor Morselli and Professor Flournoy, members respectively of the Italian and French committees.
As to the preparation of the articles, more specifically, the plan has
been as follows. Two authorities determined upon the terms
in a given department in the first instance, and divided the topics between them. As their work advanced, they exchanged their
manuscripts for suggestion and consultation. After this, the important articles were submitted to other authorities also especially
versed in these topics. Passing then through the hands of the editor, the copy went, in those cases in which matters of detail
remained still unsettled, to one or other of the consulting editors for his opinion and counsel, and to the foreign boards for their
revision, and especially for the consideration of the foreign equivalents and the supplementing of the select literature lists. Further than this, the proofs have gone both to the authors -- in most cases of joint authorship to all of the authors -- and to the foreign
editors. Of course, after all this, much has remained for the Editor to decide, notably in the matter of collation and selection; and he has been obliged to use his best judgment. Wherever he has been mistaken, it has been not because the view adopted was not well supported, but because there were alternatives, both or all of which had good support. And he wishes to say to the collaborators, one and all, that wherein their contributions are not just what they might desire, this is not by reason of arbitrary rulings of the Editor, but by reason of general adjustments, in which each authority is recognized in his own sphere -- the Editor no more than others -- and so far as possible consulted. This is the more to be said, seeing that it has not been possible in each case to state the alternatives in the text, or to indicate the authorities pro and con by name. Yet in cases of important emendation second proofs were sent to the writers. So far, however, as actual authorship goes, the writers' names are in all cases appended. The distribution of responsibility in cases of joint signature conforms to the rules which follow.
When an article is signed by one set of initials only (A.B.C.), the
author is responsible for the whole article, except the
recommendations as to foreign equivalents; these, though possibly the same as those originally suggested by the writer of the
article, are nevertheless inserted as recommendations of the board of consulting editors. In cases in which a recommendation of
a distinctly original or novel usage is due to any one of the staff, or is taken from a printed authority, the source, whether
personal or public, is indicated, in connection with the term recommended, in the form: Evocation (P.J.). When lacking this indication, a topic-term is itself due to the writer who signs the article, e.g. Autotelic, signed (J.M.B.).
In cases of actual joint authorship of an article or part of an article,
two cases will be found: either -- and where possible -- each contributor's
initials are added to his section of the article, or the two sets of initials,
joined by a hyphen, are set at the end, thus: (A.B.C.-X.Y.Z.). In most
cases this form of signature indicates that the article was originally
written by A.B.C. (the signature
standing first), but has undergone more or less important modification to meet the criticisms or suggestions of X.Y.Z. In many
cases the contribution of X.Y.Z. is decidedly less than that of A.B.C.; but in all cases it was judged sufficient to justify the citing
of the article as the product of the two writers together. The articles by President and Professor Herrick are all of joint
authorship, and are signed (H.H.).
Another case is the signature by two persons with a comma -- not a hyphen
-- between them: (A.B.C., X.Y.Z.) This indicates that the article was written
by A.B.C. and accepted without alteration by X.Y.Z., who thus adds the
weight of his authority to it. This feature has not in general been deemed
explicitly necessary, but is limited to cases of positive teaching on disputed
points or of topics about which combined authority is considered, for any
other reason, of great importance. A case in point is the
article on Heredity, in which positive views are expressed over and above the scientific definition. Throughout the range of
topics in general psychology many such double signatures will be found. In this latter subject, a detailed and prolonged series of
conferences has led to the formulation of a series of definitions and expositions to which two of the writers at work have found
it possible to add their joint signatures in one or other of the two forms here explained. And the experimental psychology has
been treated with equal care.
The treatment is primarily, as has been said, that of a dictionary;
not that of an encyclopedia. The articles are of three sorts: first, concise
definitions; second, such definitions with the addition of certain historical
and expository matter, running to several
hundred words; third, articles called 'special,' on topics which seemed, in view of either of the general purposes set forth above,
to call for extended treatment. These last are of encyclopedic character, varying in length from 1,000 to 5,000 words.
Important movements in the history of philosophy, the general divisions of the topic Philosophy itself, and select subjects in all of the general departments of science, have this special treatment. In most cases these select articles have the further justification that they are written with a view to gathering into a general presentation and résumé many of the subordinate topics treated in a more detached way in their respective places. The article Vision may be cited in illustration both of the nature and we trust also of the utility of this feature.
A closer examination of the relative importance given to each of the
departments represented -- whether calculated from the
average length of the articles or from the entire space devoted to the subject -- will show that there is a more or less logical and
intentional adjustment about the central subjects Philosophy and Psychology. The figure given below presents in a rough way an
idea of this adjustment. The vertical ordinates 1, 2, 3, &c., vary in length from the centre outwards in both directions. It will be
seen that Mental Pathology and Anthropology, for example, have generous treatment; this for the practical reason -- apart from other justification -- that the topics have not been well written up for the student of philosophy and psychology, and that the sources are scattered and relatively unavailable. In these and other subjects the intention has been to emphasize what the student of philosophy ought to know, rather than what he does know. On both sides the curve sinks rapidly, and terminates with departments in which relatively few terms are treated, and these in the briefest form. Of course, the actual relations of the several departments are but roughly indicated in this curve.
The bibliographical feature, on the contrary, has been given excessive
pains and care. The plan is to include the best
references -- both magazine articles and select books -- under the topic in each case, even though in many instances this repeats the entries of book titles made in the volume (iii) of general bibliographies. Yet the fact that the titles of all such independent
publications are given in full, and with date of publication, in the separate volume devoted to it, makes it unnecessary that the
same details should be given in the select lists. Thus some inconsistency in the details of citation (as of dates), and some lack of
uniformity in the references to editions, will be found in the select lists. They have been printed very largely as originally sent in
by the writers, except that abbreviations have been reduced to the form given in the lists tabulated at the beginning of this
volume (i). When the writers include dates of publication, these are allowed to stand, although they are also given in Vol iii;
for whatever saves the reader time and trouble is, in so far, good, and consistency should not be made a fetich. The place of
publication, however, has not been given in the select lists except in departments, notably Neurology, which are not represented in the general bibliographies. The writers' direct responsibility for these select lists is, however, not the same as for the articles; for the Editor and his associates have taken a free hand in supplementing and completing them. The references in the volumes (i and ii) of text, made in the form 'see BIBLIOG. A, I, c,' are to the general bibliographies of Vol. iii.
As to the general bibliographies, an editorial word may well be added;
to the effect that the Editor's responsibility for these is
not the same as for the matter in the other volumes. It was not a part of the original plan to compile such extensive
bibliographies; and it was only by the good fortune that Dr. Rand had them already largely prepared that we were able to
secure them. This fact made it impossible for the editorial management to bring them entirely within the scheme of execution of the whole. So far as possible, they have been made an intrinsic part of the work, and in their terminology and general character they maintain its form consistently. But the actual results, as respects relative fullness, the division of topics, the form of citation, &c., were determined independently in the first instance, and to change them in a material way would have been to make the lists over. They are, therefore, in a sense supplementary to the Dictionary. The same sort of statement may be made also regarding their quality; they have not been through the same forms of criticism, and are, therefore, more largely the independent work of one man.
In regard to future bibliographies, we may say that it is intended to
continue the issue of the Psychological Index in its present
form both as a part of the Psychological Review and as a supplement to this Dictionary. The issues beginning with that of April, 1901 (No. 7), incorporate certain changes in classification made by arrangement with the foreign journals Zeitschrift für Psychologie and Année Psychologique, which publish the same lists, -- changes which make the Index, as respects both
terminology and divisions, identical with the scheme printed in this work under the topic Psychology. This scheme of
classification, resulting as it has from the long experience of professional workers, and gradually improved by international
co-operation, is recommended to librarians and bibliographers generally. Other bibliographical annuals are the excellent lists
printed by the Archiv für systematische Philosophie and the Revue Néo-Scolastique.
As in the case of most works of this kind, it has been found impossible
to keep all the threads equally taut as the manufacture
has proceeded; and certain evidences of this will be open to the eye of the careful observer. In particular, it has been found
advisable to keep the 'polls open' as long as possible in the matter of recommendations as to equivalents, &c.; and in order to
do this the term Terminology has itself been made a topic in its alphabetical place. Under various sections of that article -- 'German,' 'French,' &c. -- discussions are to be found of certain terms which present difficulty. The recommendations therein made will not be found -- unless there be especial declaration to that effect -- to contradict those given respectively under the main English topics. They serve the rather to supplement them, and to settle points left indefinite or undecided in the earlier pages. Indeed, the resource which this procedure makes available is openly resorted to in many instances. Further, the development in the plan of the Dictionary made incidental changes necessary in one or two departments -- e.g. the expansion of certain subjects after articles upon them had already been written. The Editor recognizes particularly the goodness of Principal Lloyd Morgan and Professor Titchener for permitting this in connection with certain of their topics.
After these explanations, no doubt some one will say that this is not
a Dictionary of Philosophy; and if it would help matters to
call it rather a 'dictionary for philosophers,' to that there would be no objection. What we care to make plain is that we do not
wish to be considered as having prepared a work in support of any academic view of philosophy, but rather as having wished to present materials and definitions which workers in philosophy and science generally might find useful and reliable.
During the progress of our work we have lost the presence and active
aid of Professor Henry Sidgwick, from whose active
co-operation we gained much, and to whose counsel we had learned to look. He gave his time ungrudgingly to the criticism
and revision of the articles in ethics, at the same time requesting that what he did should be counted as editorial, and so should
not be set off with his name. The writers in ethics, as well as the Editor, who sought his advice in many matters besides, feel in
an especial way the loss of his masterly thought, and miss his genial and kindly personality. He illustrated at its fullest the spirit of
judicial inquiry and fair criticism which the rest of us have aimed to make the ideal of our work; and his going is a loss not only
to us, but to the whole philosophical world.
The Editor finds it a peculiarly pleasant task to acknowledge the many
personal, no less than professional, courtesies extended
to him during his year of residence at Oxford for the printing of the Dictionary at the Clarendon Press. Of the personal, it is not
here the place to speak; but for the very unusual arrangements to meet his needs and to facilitate his work made by the
Librarian, the late Sir Henry Acland, and the other authorities of the Radcliffe Library, -- extending to the liberal purchase of
books which he required, -- and by the Controller of the Press in the many ways in which the resources of such a great institution may be made more available, -- for these things he is sincerely grateful. It may be taken to show, perhaps (not in any way to intimate that this sort of thing is unusual in Oxford and in England, or on this side of the water in the case of men from the other side), that the idea of international co-operation which the Dictionary embodies extends not alone to the tasks in hand, but finds confirmation in a large spirit of recognition and encouragement. The Cambridge people, with the lamented Henry Sidgwick and with James Ward at their head, responded in the same spirit; and it may not be judged a violation of the proprieties of a preface to suggest to any literary Christian who is bearing a pack -- say an editorial pack, which is the heaviest of all -- that if he go to Oxford or Cambridge he will find his 'yoke made easy and his burden light' in a very material way. While being so personal, the Editor may also be allowed to extend the reference to his own University, and to thank President Patton and the Board of Trustees for the leave of absence for a year, granted expressly for the prosecution of this work.
Finally, the Editor must express verbally his apologies for the evident
shortcomings of the book. No one man, of course, could
compass the field mapped out for the Dictionary; the present Editor least of all. He has been the mouthpiece of his
collaborators in their respective specialties, and the work is as much theirs as his. His opinion has counted only as one among
many; it has been sacrificed oftener probably than that of any one else; and it has changed time and again, as the consultations
have advanced. May the future Dictionary of Philosophy profit somewhat by our labours, and if it profit also by our mistakes,
that will be no less a point of justification for our endeavour.