Classics in the History of Psychology

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Definitions Lao - Laz

Posted July 2001

Lao Tsze: see ORIENTAL PHILOSOPHY (China).

La Rochefoucauld, François IV, duc de, Prince of Marsillac. (1612-80.) Banished from court by Cardinal Richelieu, he returned after the latter's death. Lived a troubled political and private life, which is reflected in his work Réflexions.

Laromiguière, Pierre. (1756-1837.) Teacher of philosophy in the Collège d'Esquille in Toulouse, he came to Paris during the Revolution, won the friendship of Siéyès, and became professor in the Normal School, 1810-13. At the same time he became a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. Afterwards he lived a life of learned seclusion until his death.

Larva [Lat. larva, ghost, mask]: Ger. Larve; Fr. larve; Ital. larva. An immature young stage of an animal, characterized by independent self-feeding and the absence of functional sexual organs. An embryo differs from a larva primarily in not having to secure its own food, consequently its locomotive and digestive systems remain undifferentiated, whereas in a larva they are both necessarily differentiated and functional. (C.S.M.)

The term was applied by Linnaeus because the young stage masks or hides the future mature or perfect form of the species.

Literature: SEDGWICK, Zoology (1898); COMSTOCK, Introd. to the Study of Insects; MINOT, Biol. Centralbl., xv. 577; F. M. BALFOUR, Compar. Embryol. (1881); SIR J. LUBBOCK, Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects (1874); C. CLAUS, Zoologie; D. SHARP, art. Insecta, in Camb. Nat. Hist. (C.S.M.- E.S.G.)


Lasalle, Ferdinand. (1824-64.) Born at Breslau, he was educated for mercantile pursuits, but afterwards studied philology and philosophy at Breslau and Berlin. In 1856 he returned to Berlin and lived as a private scholar.

Lassitude [Lat. lassitudo, from lassus, faint]: Ger. Müdigkeit, Mattigkeit; Fr. lassitude; Ital. stanchezza. A state of diminished vigour of functions of body and mind.

The energies may be actually weakened by fatigue, although the term frequently refers to a condition in which the sensations of exhaustion and weakness are prominent, with little actual fatigue. It thus approaches the condition of languor. (J.J.)

Latency [Lat. latere, to lie hidden]: Ger. Latenz; Fr. latence; Ital. latenza. (1) An older term used to characterize the general group of phenomena now covered by the term 'subconsciousness,' as in the expressions 'latent knowledge,' 'latent memories,' &c. (cf. Hamilton, Lects. on Met., xviii, and his references). See SUBCONSCIOUS.

(2) In philosophy and in physics: equivalent to POTENTIAL (q.v.); especially the adjective latent. (J.M.B.)

Latent Heat: Ger. latente Wärme; Fr. chaleur latente; Ital. calore latente; Heat which has been absorbed, or the energy of which has been expended, in changing the interior constitution of a body without altering its temperature.

Its most familiar form is that of the heat absorbed while ice is melting over a fire. The temperature of the mass (ice + water) remains unchanged during the melting, the heat absorbed being expended in the work of liquefaction. (S.N.)

Latent Period: Ger. Latenzdauer; Fr. période d'excitation latente, temps perdu du muscle; Ital. periodo (or tempo) latente. Time elapsing between stimulus and beginning of reaction, especially of a muscle.

The latent period was first measured for contractions of frog's muscle by Helmholtz, who found it to be about 0.01 of a second. Tigerstedt (1885), by more delicate apparatus, reduced the time for frog's muscle to 0.004 of a second; and Burdon-Sanderson (1890) was able to demonstrate that the electrical condition of a muscle changed 0.0025 of a second after the stimulus had been applied, and concluded that the actual change in the muscle took place even sooner than this, at practically the instant of stimulation. Mendelssohn (1880) estimated the latent period for human muscles at 0.008 of a second. This is probably too large. Bernstein (1871) has analysed the phenomenon of latency by stimulating a muscle directly and indirectly through its nerve. The longer latent period, in case of indirect stimulation, led him to attribute the chief loss of time (0.002-0.003 of a second) to passage of stimulus through the end-plate of the nerve. (C.F.H.)

Latin and Scholastic Terminology: with reference principally to the PATRISTIC and SCHOLASTIC philosophy, and to THOMISM (see those terms). Cf. the glossary below, and also the LATIN INDEX (in vol. ii), where the Latin terms throughout the entire work, including those mentioned in this article, are alphabetically arranged.

(1) Amongst the numerous influences to which the complex terminology of the scholastic philosophy is due, that of Aristotle is notoriously the most important. Yet this influence reached the scholastic thinkers, for a long time, only indirectly, and in part through decidedly circuitous paths. Only in the 13th century and later did it become relatively direct. The other most prominent external influences were those of the Neo-Platonic philosophy, of the patristic theology (especially as represented by St. Augustine), and of the Arabic commentators of Aristotle. But the inner development of the scholastic doctrine itself had much to do with the formation especially of the later scholastic vocabulary.

(2) A detailed account of these various influences would be equivalent to a history of the whole philosophy of the school. For the purpose of the outline sketch, which is here alone in question, a brief mention of a few of the aids to the study of our subject must first be mentioned; and then the remainder of the account must be limited to illustrative selections from the enormous mass of the facts. The great influence of the scholastic upon the whole of our modern philosophical terminology, and the significance of the recent revival of the Thomistic philosophy under the influence of Pope Leo XIII, combine to make the subject well worthy of a fuller study than is here possible.

(3) The terminology of Roman and mediaeval philosophy occupies, in Eucken's brief Geschichte der philosophischen Terminologie, pp. 48-78. Prantl, in his Geschichte der Logik, summarizes the early Latin adaptations of Greek terminology (i. 511-27); discusses the Isagoge of Porphyry (626-31), with mention of many of the terms there used; and gives a similar attention to Boethius (681-721). In Prantl, Bd. ii, where the early period of scholastic logic is discussed, on may mention especially the treatment of the influence of the Arabic philosophy (in Abschnitt xvi. 297 ff.). The discussion of Albertus Magnus and of St. Thomas (in Bd. iii) is rendered inadequate by reason of Prantl's somewhat lively prejudices; but Duns Scotus (202-33) is more fairly treated. Prantl's work ends (in Bd. iv) with an account of the later scholastic logic. Each volume has its separate index, in which terms are duly entered. Amongst the general histories of philosophy, that of Ueberweg, especially in the latest editions, contains many useful remarks and literary references bearing upon the study of mediaeval usage. Windelband's general history, while very summary in its treatment, is valuable in this region by reason of the prominence that it gives to the history of concepts. Weber's compend is decidedly less trustworthy in regard to scholastic doctrine than it is elsewhere. Siebeck's Geschichte der Psychologie is summary, but important. The monographic literature of the history of scholasticism, prepared in the full light and in the true spirit of modern historical inquiry, is still far too small. One may mention at once, as an example of what is needed, a recent careful study of the work and influence of a single scholastic doctor of the 12th century -- 'Die Philosophie des Alanus de Insulis im Zusammenhange mit den Anschauungen des 12. Jahrhunderts, von M. Baumgartner' (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, Münster, 1896). This monograph contains an account of many of the most fundamental terms of the earlier period of scholasticism, with summary statements of the relations between the thought and speech of this period and the thought and speech of the greater scholasticism which followed. No index of terms appears; but the detailed classification of the material, and the extended references to the literature, make this little volume useful for the history of a considerable number of fundamental terms. The numerous compends and expositions of scholastic doctrine by modern Catholic writers usually contain a great many definitions of terms; and it is therefore never hard, with such books at hand, to find the scholastic usage of single words and expressions, where these are such as are at all common. For the doctrine of the school is fond of formal definition, and follows the tradition of St. Thomas and of Socrates in employing simple and often homely illustrations to show the application of the more doubtful definitions. But on the other hand, such textbooks, in recent times, are written almost wholly in the interest of the Thomistic doctrine, and undertake few discussions of the varieties either of usage or of opinion within the history of scholasticism itself, and say little of the origin of the prevailing and adopted terminology. A general appeal to the authority of Aristotle, and an occasional mention of this or of that point in which the recognized usages vary -- such is all that these textbooks commonly find space to offer in the way of a history of their terms, beyond the mere report of the Thomistic, or, on occasion, of the later-established definitions of such terms or usages as came into vogue after St. Thomas. Amongst the summaries of scholastic philosophy, the great but unfinished treatise of Father Harper, The Metaphysics of the School (London, 1879-84, 3 vols.), holds, in English, the most important place, and contains extensive accounts of the meaning of terms and expressions. A number of these accounts are condensed into alphabetically arranged vocabularies at the close of the various volumes. But Father Harper, in some respects, deliberately adapts his usage to the habits of modern English readers; and his avowed intent to harmonize some of the most difficult of the apparent conflicts of his authorities (namely, of Suarez and of the Dominican Thomists) renders certain of his statements inadequate to the actual differences of opinion that have found expression in scholastic teaching. Different in precisely this respect is Suarez himself, whose great work, Disputationes Metaphysicae (2 vols. fol., Geneva, 1614), was written for readers who still required no apology for the complexities and doubtful disputations of the doctrine of the school. Whoever, therefore, wishes to find a thesaurus of scholastic distinctions, in the shape which they assumed at the close of the whole movement, must look directly to Suarez, in whose work the citation of manifold scholastic opinions, and consequently of the terminology needed to express those opinions, is carried out with the most scholarly thoroughness, yet, as Eucken remarks (op. cit., 73), with a real desire, upon the part of Suarez, to avoid whatever seemed to him useless complications of the technical vocabulary. The treatise of Suarez is supplied with elaborate indices; and the Index Rerum, in particular, could be laid at the basis of a very extended vocabulary of scholastic expressions. Yet it must of course be borne in mind that this treatise of Suarez is a textbook of metaphysics, and not of theology proper, and is so far limited as to its embodiment of the usage of the school. St. Thomas's works have been elaborately indexed in the older editions; and when the Papal edition now in course of publication is completed, the final index of that edition may be expected to bring much new light as to the Thomistic vocabulary. St. Thomas is himself accustomed, especially in the great Summa, to assume not too much previous knowledge of the language of the school upon the part of the reader, but to explain his most important expressions as he proceeds, so that few great philosophers have done so much as he has there done to furnish a running commentary upon their own work; and in the Papal edition, marginal references often aid in the collation of the various points of this commentary, while the formal commentary of Cajetan upon the Summa, published in the same edition, adds still further aid. But at best the complexity, both of the subject and of the speech, makes St. Thomas, while always a lucid writer, still a thinker, whose usage is hard to survey in its entirety. In consequence, lexicons of scholastic, and in particular of Thomistic usage, have been undertaken. Of these, two here especially concern us: first, that of J. Z. Mellinius, Lexicon Peripateticum (Naples, 1872); and secondly, that of Ludwig Schütz, Thomas-Lexikon (Paderborn, 1881). The latter (in German) is especially full and clear, and contains many illustrative citations. The expositions of Thomistic doctrine by Kleutgen and Werner, and the general histories of scholastic philosophy by Haureau and Stöckl (see the General Bibliography of Philosophy), are of standard importance, but may be merely mentioned here; while, of the shorter textbooks in English, the Manuals of Catholic Philosophy (Stonyhurst Series) and the Elementary Course of Christian Philosophy, by Louis of Poissy (translated and adapted by the brothers of the Christian Schools, New York, 1893), contain, the one more extended discussions of difficult conceptions, the other extremely concise and, in view of the small size of the book, numerous definitions of scholastic terms. The relations of scholastic to modern terminology have received increasing attention in recent literature, although no adequate account exists. Baumann, in his Lehre von Raum, Zeit und Mathematik in der neuern Philosophie (2 vols., Berlin, 1868-9), devotes the opening section of his first volume (1-67) to the exposition of such terms and concepts in the Disputationes of Suarez as bear upon the topics treated in the subsequent work. Baumann urges as his reason for this procedure, the importance of the work of Suarez as a generally used textbook during the period in which the early modern philosophers grew to maturity. In the early portion of his exposition (5-14), Baumann discusses such general scholastic terms as essentia, a priori, materia; while the later pages of the section in question pass to the concept of quantity, and to the more mathematical terminology of Suarez. Baumann's collection of historical materials, in the entire book mentioned, has been somewhat unjustly neglected. A number of the scholastic terms used by Descartes find their place in the notes to Veitch's translation of the Discourse on Method and Meditations of Des Cartes (9th ed., Edinburgh, 1887; see 274-92). The scholastic elements in the thought and speech of Spinoza have been emphasized in an important essay by Freudenthal, 'Spinoza und die Scholastik' (in the Philosophische Aufsätze, E. Zeller gewidmet, Leipzig, 1887, 85 f.). See also, in the Archiv für die Geschichte der Philosophie, the article of Siebeck, 'Ueber die Entstehung der Termini Natura Naturans und Natura Naturata' (iii. 370-8). Other papers in the same Archiv bearing upon scholastic doctrine and usage are: Siebeck, 'Zur Psychologie der Scholastik' (Archiv f. Gesch. d. Philos., i. 375-90, 518-33; ii. 22-8, 180-92, 414-25, 517-25, iii. 177-91); Rabus, 'Zur Synteresis der Scholastik' (ii. 29-30). On the single, but important, term last mentioned, one may consult Appel, Die Lehre der Scholastiker von der Synteresis (Rostock, 1891, Gekrönte Preisschrift). On the development of the psychological concepts of scholasticism one may also compare Werner, 'Der Entwickelungsgang der mittelalterlichen Psychologie von Alcuin bis Albertus Magnus' (Wiener Akademie, 1876, -- also separately printed). Plusanski in his thesis, La Philosophie de Duns Scot (Paris, 1887), undertakes a study of an author recently too much neglected.

(4) The translation of Greek terms into Latin, together with the difficulties that the different character of the two languages made inevitable in such an undertaking, began already with Roman Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Eclecticism. The authors principally in question in this connection are Lucretius, Varro, Cicero, Seneca, and Quintilian. To this earlier period belong such words as substantia and essentia (as rival translations of ousia), proportio (as translation of analogia), elementa (for elements), forma, materia, definitio, absolutus, notio, qualitas, individuus, positio, intelligibilis, sensibilis, quantitas, possibilis, universalis. The Fathers of the Church added many new terms; and amongst these writers St. Augustine is of the greatest importance. His special psychological terminology was long of very great influence, and was not wholly displaced by the later predominance of the Aristotelian terminology (cf. Eucken, op. cit., 56). The logical terminology of later times was greatly under the influence of the Isagoge of Porphyry (in the translation of Boethius), and of the translations and commentaries made by Boethius as expounder of the Aristotelian logic. In this sense, the Aristotelian influence determines an important portion of the terminology of the whole scholastic period. To Porphyry's treatise, the Isagoge (an introduction to the Aristotelian treatise called the Categories), is due the transmission to the middle ages of the terminological distinctions between genus, species, difference, property, and accident, in the form in which these quinque voces, or five words, became the centre of the early discussions between Nominalism and Realism, and later entered into the standard textbooks of Logic (see Ueberweg, Gesch. d. Philos., 8th ed., Th. II, 161-8). Boethius both translated and commented upon a portion of the Aristotelian logical treatises; and both the preservation of an older logical terminology, and the addition of some new terms, are due to him. Of his new terms, Prantl names especially contradictio, disparatum, the fixing of the later terminology of the logical 'square of oppositions,' and the introduction of affirmatio infinita and of negatio infinita to name the forms of affirmation and negation in which a negation goes with the predicate (e.g. 'The man is, or is not, unjust'). The early period of scholasticism, up to the 12th century inclusive, was further influenced by the writings attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite, and by other Neo-Platonic documents, which had their effect upon terminology. A Latin translation of a portion of the Timaeus of Plato (made by Chalcidius in the 4th century) was the only portion of Plato's writings directly known in this period; and of Aristotle, apart from the portion of the logical treatises translated by Boethius, nothing was accessible, even in translations, until the 12th century itself. To the Latin translations of the Arabic commentators of Aristotle, who became known to European scholars during the 12th century, there are due a number of new terms and expressions: -- e.g. quidditas (Prantl, ii. 325), intentio (in the technically scholastic meaning), principium individuationis (Eucken, 68), and the later so much used distinction between the universalia as ante rem, in re, and post rem (Prantl, ii. 350; Ueberweg, 8th ed., Th. II, 231). The acquaintance with the philosophy of Aristotle, first in very imperfect Latin translations made from the Arabic, but later in translations made directly from the original, rapidly reformed the scholastic terminology of the 13th century, which in St. Thomas assumed a form that later tended, as the Thomistic influence increased, to become the definitive and official standard of scholastic usage. But at the time, and for a good while after the generation of St. Thomas, rival influences (e.g. the skill and authority of Duns Scotus, the later revival of Nominalism, &c.) tended to complicate the situation; and the later scholasticism is a period of great complication, both in usage and in method. The official revival of the study of St. Thomas has of late set the seal of the authority of the Church upon a return to the more classic terminology of St. Thomas.

(5) In offering a few examples of scholastic usage, we are naturally led to begin with the terms for the fundamental metaphysical concepts. These, even before the Aristotelian period proper, were already to a considerable extent of Aristotelian origin (see the summary in the before-mentioned monograph of Baumgartner on Alanus de Insulis, 39-69); and the Thomistic usage only presents in a more finished form what had already been, in large measure, prepared by the discussions up to the 12th century inclusive. For the Neo-Platonic and other late classical terminology already indirectly represented Aristotelian influences; and the translations and commentaries of Boethius were especially interesting to the earlier scholastics for their metaphysical suggestions. We therefore must not think of the Peripatetic elements in the terminology here in question as due to any one line of tradition. The terms essentia and substantia, together with the related terms, ens, esse, realitas, existentia, actus, and the rest of the distinctively ontological vocabulary, have their origin in part in Platonic as well as in Aristotelian usage, and form an undoubtedly difficult, not to say over-wealthy, collection of terms for expressing the various aspects and types of Being. Being, as Aristotle already pointed out, is a word of many meanings. The scholastic efforts to reduce these and their interrelationships to a system led to a number of relatively new distinctions, especially in the later period of scholasticism. Ens, in the classic scholastic usage, is employed, like Aristotle's to on, as the term for Being in general, -- a term whose various usages are first distinguished, as nearly as possible, in Aristotle's way. Ens is first divided into (i) entitas rei, or being such as belongs to any object, and (ii) entitas quae significat veritatem propositionis (Aristotle's on wV alhqeV). In the first sense, ens is classified, after Aristotle, according to the ten categories, as the being of substance, of quality, &c.; and is in this sense also to be called ontological being proper. In the other sense, ens is logical being. Ens as ontological, and when also definitely regarded as external to the mind that knows it (extra animam), is ens in rerum natura, or ens reale. Ens reale, however, may still be classified as ens in actu and ens in potentia, according to a very well-known Aristotelian doctrine. If ens is conceived as belonging to a fictitious object, real, not without, but only in the mind, we have ens rationis, concerning whose precise relations to logical being the usage of various writers somewhat differs (compare Harper, op. cit., i. 47, with Schütz, Thomas-Lexikon, s. v. ens). Ens rationis, according to Suarez (Disp., ii. 504), is most strictly to be defined as that 'which is conceived by the intellect as a being, while yet in itself it has no entity.' Blindness, darkness, the chimera, &c., are favourite examples of entities of this type. And logical being, as just defined, would of course also come under this general definition. But since logical being, taken as the veritas propositionis, whose form turns upon the use of the copula, has its own peculiar character, distinct from that of privations, negations, and chimeras, some writers (such as Schütz in his Lexikon) prefer to speak of ens rationis as a class of ontological being, and so as different from logical being proper. In this case the latter is defined as the truth of a statement, without regard to the externally real or internally fictitious character of any object. In any case real ontological being belongs to objects in so far as they are not mere entia rationis, but either exist or may exist outside of the mind. Being, taken ontologically, can be further distinguished as to its usage, in so far as ens (i) may be taken participially, as expressing the existence of the object whose ens is in question; or (ii) may be viewed as an abstract noun, which names the nature or essence of the object in question, whether or no it at any time actually exists. Thus, to say that a given object comes into being, is to use being or ens in the participial sense. What comes into being then and there exists. But to say of an object, without regard to whether it exists or no -- perhaps even without regard to whether it is a fiction, an ens rationis or no -- that its very being implies such and such characters (e.g. that the very being of a man requires him to be an animal), this is to use the term ens as a noun. To take ens thus as a noun is to speak of the essentia, quidditas, or natura of an object without regard to the existence of this object. Any object taken thus, without regard to its existence, does not, however, thereby become an ens rationis; for a being that is to be and is not yet, or that was and is no longer, has quidditas or essence, and has not existence, but still is no fiction, and no mere product of the human intellect. In fact, the men not yet born have no existence; but they have perfectly real essence.

(6) Like the participle or noun ens, the infinitive form esse, or in fact the verb esse in all its forms, has the same tendency to a variety of meanings. Esse has its logical use as the copula, and also its ontological use, as expressing the fact, or at least the appearance, of being. But even when taken in an ontological reference, esse may still be viewed as esse in intellectu (in the usage which St. Anselm's discussion of the ontological proof made famous), i.e. as what Thomas calls the esse intentionale; not as if this latter were always identical with the esse of the mere fiction, but in so far as esse in the mind, while it may well represent a real being independent of the mind, is still different from esse in re, or real external being as such. The distinction between essence and existence also often finds its expression in various phrases that include esse. The word esse, taken simply, is often used (when in contrast with any of the special terms for essence) as in itself sufficient to express existence. More formally expressed is the contrast between esse essentiae and esse existentiae, employed to name respectively the essence and the existence of things. This contrast is often used in later scholasticism. But these later expressions are pleonastic, as Suarez (Disp., ii. 115) points out. The first of them, as he there says, adds nothing to the term essentia beyond the mere fashion of conception or of expression. And esse, when taken in contrast with essentia, already sufficiently distinguishes, in the opinion of Suarez and in the frequent usage of St. Thomas, the existence of things from their nature or essence. Very frequent in scholastic writers is the expression esse in actu for existence, and the explanatory phrase extra causas suas is also constantly used by such writers to express the sense in which a created thing exists. But of course the esse in actu, or the actualitas, which is thus attributed to any existent thing, implies laying stress upon a somewhat different aspect of reality from the one directly emphasized in the term esse, when the latter is taken as simply equivalent to existence. For existence, as such, is in contrast with essence; but actus is contrasted with potentia. In brief, then, to sum up the truly important features of this overwealthy collection of technical terms for existence, an object is said to be real, in scholastic usage, in so far as it is viewed as outside of the knowing mind, and so as in contrast to a mere idea. It is said to possess esse, or esse existentiae, or to be an existent object, so far as it is taken in contrast to its own mere essence or quiddity, or, again, in so far as it is conceived as outside of its causes. It is said to be in actu, or to possess actuality, in so far as it is contrasted with the potential being to which the Aristotelian metaphysics opposes whatever is a realized being. These four contrasts -- (1) of the external object, with the object viewed as in the mind; (2) of the existent object and its mere essence; (3) of the existent thing and other existent things (especially its causes, outside of which it exists); and (4) of the actual thing and the merely potential thing -- are all of them founded in the Aristotelian doctrine, and play a great part not only in scholastic, but in all later metaphysical discussions. They are, however, seldom very sharply or permanently sundered in metaphysical discussions, but they are emphasized, upon occasion, in various ways; and the only objection to this part of the scholastic vocabulary is that it is not sufficiently settled as to its use of the means for distinguishing the four, and that it has for all of them, and especially for the first and second, a confusing wealth and variety of expressions. That just this way of classifying the ontological expressions is not to be found so formally emphasized by Aristotle as are other classifications is indeed true. But it is not, in spirit, at all opposed to his treatment of the subject.

(7) Passing from the terminology of existence to that more directly concerned with the essence or nature of things, we find, as in fact we have already found, that here, too, there is a perplexing variety of expressions. The word ousia, in Aristotle, is one of his most puzzling terms, even when one abstracts from all direct reference to the precise meaning of existence, and when one dwells alone upon the nature of that which is said, according to Aristotle's doctrine, to exist. The scholastic doctors did much to clarify, but little to simplify, the situation here in question. The starting-point of the older scholastic discussion of the term substantia was, of course, the Aristotelian treatise upon the categories. Substantia and essentia are frequently employed as synonymous terms. But when they are distinguished, substantia (in its more proper sense) is that which, whenever it exists at all, exists in itself, as opposed to that which (namely as an accident) exists in another as its subject. Substantia is also often spoken of as that which supports or sustains its accidents -- an ancient metaphor, for emphasizing which the scholastic doctrine later had to pay dear, when a modern empiricism became suspicious of whatever seemed to be merely beneath or behind the verifiable facts. But, as a fact, the scholastic doctrine of substance is in general far more directly empirical in its nature than are the technical concepts of substance prevalent, since the rise of modern science, in the more speculative doctrines of recent realism. For the school, in what it has to say about substance, lays stress upon two decidedly empirical aspects of the known world. The first is that the world comes to us differentiated into various beings (the substances), each one of which seems to be relatively independent of the others, so that it exists, or may exist, by or in itself. The second aspect is that, on the other hand, there are facts (namely qualities, relations, and the like) which exist, yet which cannot exist alone, but which exist as belonging to the substances, and needing the substances to sustain them. The latter facts (the accidents) are, in language, predicated of the substances. In existence, the accidents seem to be only in the substances. The consequence of this situation is that, when one tries to conceive how the accidents and the substances can be related to each other, the empirical dependence of the accidents, for their very being, upon the fact that they are the accidents of substances (e.g. the fact that colour is always the colour of something), and the permanence of the substances through many changes of state and relation, seem together to warrant the view that the substances have some central or centralizing nature about them, whereby they support, or carry, the accidents, while the latter merely belong to and rest upon the substances. This view of substance (whereby it seems a substratum) was indeed much emphasized for the scholastics by the speculative problems to which the dogma of transubstantiation gave rise. Apart from the difficulty due to such supernatural aspects of the matter, however, the scholastic substantia was far from assuming anywhere nearly the metempirical form of Kant's Ding an Sich. The concept is primarily intended not as a theory of an unknown substratum behind the scenes, but as an expression of the known fact that while things are found existing in relatively separable and independent ways, accidents are, in the natural order, incapable of existing separately. Substances were distinguished, after the fashion of the treatise on the categories, into first substances (individual things), and second substances (genera or species). But this distinction involves no new difficulties.

(8) Returning, however, once again to the terms for the nature of things, the term essentia, in so far as it is not merely equivalent to substantia, refers to the definable nature of any object, to whatever one of the Aristotelian categories it may belong. Even an ens rationis might be conceived as if possessing, in a sense, its essence; but usually and properly essentia, in metaphysical discussions, is used of beings conceived as either actual or possible. God also has his essence, although, in case of the divine, one must not view the essence as distinct from the existence, God being the one reality wherein essence and existence are indistinguished. But in created beings essence and existence are different. In such beings, the scholastic doctrine often defines the essence as that which possesses the existence. Taking an essence in itself, and apart from existence, we can still speak of an essence as real in the sense above pointed out; for the essence of an object that has been, or that is to be, but that does not now exist, is still something outside the mind. In particular, the essence of any object is that which the definition of the object rightly sets forth, or that which primarily characterizes this object, or that which we name when we answer the question as to what this object really is. The essence, as defined or definable, is real, first, negatively speaking, in so far as it is not self-contradictory, and is not a mere fiction of the mind; and secondly, positively speaking, it is real in so far as it can be produced by an act of divine creation, or in so far as, considered in itself, it possesses aptitude for existence (Suarez, Disput., i. 42; Schütz, Thomas-Lexikon, s. v.). For essentia the words quidditas and natura are often used, as well as, upon occasion, the word substantia ('uno modo,' says St. Thomas, Summa Theolog., i, Quaest. 29, art. 2 'dicitur substantia quidditas rei, quam significat definitio, . . . quam quidem substantiam Graeci ousian vocant, quod nos essentiam dicere possumus'). The word quidditas, due, as we have seen, to the translations of the Arabian commentators, is used quite synonymously with essentia. Natura, a word of manifold meaning, like the Greek original from which it is derived, has as its principal technical sense (Harper, op. cit., i. 46) 'the principle of operation, or of the tendency of each thing towards its constitutive end' (cf. Thomas-Lexikon, s. v.). And since natural things are (for the Peripatetic view) the products of operations directed towards ends, and since the end of these operations is the realization of some essence, natura and essentia can be thus identified, despite their difference of primary meaning. For the concept of essence, St. Thomas also uses the expressions quod est and quod quid est; and the essence can also be identified with the form, except in the case of substances which are compounded of form and matter. In these substances the matter also belongs to the essence.

(9) In beings supposed to be real, the scholastic doctrine distinguishes, after Aristotle, (a) the formal and the material aspects, and (b) the potentia and the actus. Notable, however, in the scholastic terminology, is the tendency to use these familiar Peripatetic terms as the basis for derivatives and usages which go beyond the original Aristotelian usage. Materia itself, as that out of which anything may come to be formed, is called, in its principal Aristotelian sense, the materia ex qua. In this sense materia is in potentia with reference to that which may be formed out of it, while form is the actus, the attainment, which realizes the matter. Materia is divided in various ways, e.g. into materia communis and materia signata. The former is that out of which any member of a given species may come to be, in such wise that this materia is common to all members of the species. The materia signata is the quantified or spatially determinate materia which is peculiar to a single corporeal individual; in St. Thomas's doctrine, the materia signata is the principium individuationis, or that whereby an individual is distinguished from others of its species, in case of all the corporeal individuals (but not in case of wholly incorporeal beings). Materia is further divided into materia intelligibilis and materia sensibilis, &c. But the same term materia, in a transferred sense, comes to be used for any object towards which a given activity or power is directed; and in consequence of the various ways in which the distinction between matter and form can be applied to various grades or types of beings, one has a complex series of meanings of the two terms which Harper summarizes (op. cit., ii. 750-1). Thus quantity is the matter of figure, free-will the matter of the moral act; bodies are the matter towards which sense-activities are directed; facts are the matter of history, &c. The well-known and manifold modern popular uses of the ancient Aristotelian contrast between Form and Matter have thus been developed out of a scholastic usage, which tended constantly more and more to diversify Aristotle's already extremely complex way of employing the terms. The term forma, used not merely in its direct antithesis to materia, but by itself, tends also to a great variety of applications. Thus forma exemplaris is the type-model of an object as thought or reason may possess it; forma individualis is a form that, when it is united with matter, constitutes an individual; the angels are called formae subsistentes -- forms or essences existing by themselves, apart from matter, &c. Schütz, in the Thomas-Lexikon, enumerates twenty-seven of these various special uses of forma with an adjective or other modifying expression attached. In general, the scholastic use of the distinction between form and matter tended, despite the close connection of the two, to make the two terms not mere correlatives, but relatively separable terms, and to give to each of the two manifold new, and often greatly transferred, applications. Hereby what was originally a distinction of aspects tended to become more decidedly than in Aristotle a division of the world into the spheres of different real principles. On the other hand, the numerous applications of the same distinction often also tended, by reason of the unity of the terminology, to restore a sense of the connectedness of various facts; and the extreme dualism, which later became so prominent in the European thinking of the 17th century, is indeed foreign to the genuine spirit of scholasticism.

(10) The adjectives formalis and materialis, the adverbs formaliter and materialiter, are typical examples, in scholastic usage, of the consequences of such a process as the terms form and matter in general illustrate. A highly technical and often convenient, but dangerously flexible, employment of these modifying words results. In Harper's summary (loc. cit., 752-4), a number of the most frequent of these usages are brought together. Thus, the formal object of an activity or a power (e.g. of sight) is the object that is adapted to or is fitted to become such an object (e.g. colour is the formal object of sight). But the material object is the object viewed in itself, and not taken as possessed of such aptitude. Thus the material object of an act of vision may be something that is heavy; while, as heavy object, it would be the formal object of the various sense-processes by which we directly test its weight. An act contrary to moral law is a material sin when ignorantly, and therefore innocently, committed; it is a formal sin if knowingly committed. In consequence 'an act materially bad may be formally good.' In a concept, one can distinguish between what is formally and what is materially part of the concept; and in this sense Harper points out that 'possible essence is formally negative and conceptual; materially it does not differ from existing essence.' But the further developments of this distinction may easily tend to become, as one may venture to say, 'formally' exact, but 'materially' very arbitrary and unenlightening. And this has been the result in the familiar modern popular usage of all such expressions.

(11) Amongst the names for the actually existent beings, the scholastic terminology possessed an interesting group of terms: Subsistentia, subsistere, persona, hypostasis, individuum, the adjective individuus, the abstract noun individuatio, substantia separata, the later (Scotistic) term haecceitas, and still others -- all of which have in common that they were developed for the sake of defining some aspect of the nature of the individual beings of some grade, high or low. In so far as any substance exists alone and in itself, it subsists; and subsistentia is a term for expressing the sort of existence especially due to substances. A subsistent being of rational grade is a persona, or an hypostasis (St. Thomas, Summa Theolog., P. I. Q. 29); any subsistent being is an individual; it is distinct from any other individual; and it has a form of being incommunicable to any other. The last of these characteristics of the individual being led to an especially difficult series of discussions, in later scholasticism, as to the principium individuationis, i.e. as to the metaphysical means whereby there is secured to every being a nature that no other being can conceivably possess. It was to this incommunicable nature that Duns Scotus applied the term haecceitas, and this term was later generally used. The theological use of the terms persona and hypostasis is very well known; and in the discussion of the dogma of the Trinity, the relations of persona, substantia, and essentia, as applied to God become of the most critical importance. A substantia separata is one that, by its nature, is a truly spiritual substance, having no commerce with matter. Man's soul is no such substance, but by nature has a tendency or inclinatio to an individual body.

(12) After these examples of the metaphysical terminology, a few instances must be mentioned of the vocabulary relating to thought, knowledge, and ideas, in their relations to objects. That the traditional vocabulary of formal logic is in the main of scholastic authorship is well known, although we have also seen how far back lies the historical origin of this vocabulary. The scholastic epistemology is that of Aristotle, rendered simpler and sharper in outline, and intermingled, upon occasion, with Neo-Platonic elements. The discussion as to the nature of Universals is one of the oftenest mentioned features of the scholastic movement; and comparatively familiar is the terminology in which was expressed the classic solution of the difficulty during the great period of scholastic philosophy. As before pointed out, this terminology has its origin with the Arabian philosophers. Universals, according to this distinction, have their being, ante rem, in the mind or intent of the divine source of the universe, in re, in so far as the general nature is in the existent individual, and post rem, in so far as the intellect, by an abstraction from the individuality of a thing known, rediscovers the divine type through a contemplation of its expression in individual form. This solution, as Prantl points out, became almost common property in the 13th century, and is not to be attributed either to Albertus Magnus, or to his disciple, St. Thomas. The five words (quinque voces), genus, species, &c., above referred to, and the rest of the regular vocabulary of the logic textbooks, need not here be in particular discussed.

(13) The contrast between what belongs to the mind -- to the process of knowledge, to ideas, to the reason -- and what belongs to the external facts, or to the world, divine or created, beyond the human mind, receives rich expression in scholastic doctrine. Here a full account would involve the exposition both of the scholastic psychology, and of the whole theory of knowledge in question. Only a few terms can be mentioned. The modern terminological opposition between the objective and subjective had, in this particular form, its origin in the 18th century, and came into general use only since Kant. The terms are old; their precise present application is very recent. The school expressed the contrast in question otherwise, and employed the terms subject and object with a different and older connotation, which, however, we still also in part retain. Subiectum, in St. Thomas, is either used for the subject of a proposition, or as equivalent to substantia, or in the sense of the topic of a discussion, or of a science. This usage is, of course, modelled after the Aristotelian, and is not wholly strange to us to-day. Obiectum, especially with reference to the already mentioned contrast between formal and material object, is that with which any process or activity is concerned, or in which it terminates. Such an object may be, of course, that with which our knowledge is concerned, since knowing is also a process or an activity. And so far, of course, the object of knowledge may be either a mental fact, or, on the other hand, the known external fact itself (just as in the modern usage). So here, too, the Thomistic-Aristotelian usage has much in common with ours. But in later scholastic usage (namely from Duns Scotus onwards) we meet with an opposition between the terms subjective and objective (and the various cognate expressions), which has its foundation in the former usage, but which has a new technical importance. This usage is explained by Prantl (iii. 308, note) thus: -- 'Subiectivum means that which relates to the subjects of judgments, that is, to the concrete facts about which one thinks (Gegenstände des Denkens); while, on the contrary, obiectum means what is involved merely in obiicere, that is, in the act of bringing before the mind; and obiectivum falls to the account of the mind before which the fact is brought.' This usage is, in the main, directly opposite to our own at the present day. In one of the Opuscula attributed to Thomas, but of questionable authenticity, the same usage occurs (Prantl, iii. 293). Suarez (Disp. i. 31), in discussing the nature of our conception of being, states very clearly the definition of a conceptus obiectivus, which he here opposes to conceptus formalis, the distinction being, as he points out, a well-known one (vulgaris distinctio). The conceptus formalis is the mental act or process itself whereby we get before us the idea, say, of a man. It is called formalis, Suarez continues, perhaps because it is an ultima forma mentis, i.e. a type of mental product, a Vorstellung, a state of mind, a fact belonging to the formal life of the intellect. In this sense the conceptus formalis is the idea taken as an actual psychical occurrence, or product, or possession -- as a way of conceiving of the object -- or as the offspring of the mind, veluti proles mentis -- or as the more permanent acquisition of the mind that has it. But the conceptus obiectivus is that which we ourselves mean to conceive, or intend to get before our minds, when we think of a man. It is the obiectum et materia circa quam versatur formalis conceptio; it is that which forms the topic of this whole business of conceiving man as man. Since Averroes, Suarez continues, many have called this conceptus obiectivus the intentio intellecta -- the meaning or intent of the mind. (As a fact the term intentio is the one generally used by St. Thomas in this connection.) Suarez goes on to say that the conceptus formalis is always a vera and positiva res -- an actual mental occurrence or possession; but the conceptus obiectivus may have as its content a mere ens rationis (e.g. blindness, darkness, or a chimera). If one attempts to think of nothing, the conceptus formalis is still an actual and positive state of mind, but the conceptus obiectivus is wholly negative, and contains no entity. In the same way, when one conceives of any universal, the conceptus formalis is itself an individual fact, and the universal, as such, belongs merely to the intentio. The usage of obiectivus here in question does not perfectly correspond to the ordinary sense either of objective or of subjective of post-Kantian usage; for the conceptus formalis here defined might be viewed, in the post-Kantian sense, as either subjective (in so far as it is a mental fact) or objective, in so far as it stands for the actual psychical occurrence or possession which retains its own type of actuality, despite the possible vacuity or absence of its intended meaning, or, as we should now often say, despite the failure of the subjective intent of the one whose idea this is. While then it is misleading to say that the terms subjective and objective have merely changed places in the transition to the modern usage, it is true that the foregoing account, as given by Prantl, sufficiently indicates why, especially in later scholastic usage, and in the 17th century, the adjective obiectivus came to be so frequently used precisely as we now should employ the opposed word subjective, namely to characterize anything in so far as it is within or before the mind, or especially in so far as it is the object, topic, creation, or figment, of a mental intention. The use of subjective to characterize the external fact, especially the substantial fact, has likewise its perfectly obvious basis in the original Aristotelian meaning of the corresponding word. And the link between the scholastic and our usage of this term is obviously determined by the fact that the mind, or the self, is itself conceived as a substance, and so (in the older sense) as a subject, while, on the other hand, its states, subjective, (in the post-Kantian sense) because they thus belong to a subject, can also be taken as having the value which the scholastics, as we have now seen, often called intentional, or also objective. Very common, in later scholasticism, is the employment of formalis in the sense of our modern objective, and as the opponent of the scholastic obiectivus. Here the obvious sense is that since, as St. Thomas says, and as the whole Peripatetic doctrine teaches, forma per se ipsam facit rem esse in actu (or, as it is often expressed, a form is an act), formal existence, or formal being, can be identified with real or with existent being, for the purposes of most discussions, and despite the above-mentioned distinctions between actuality, existence, and reality (see § 6). That these later scholastic usages are the constant ones in Descartes and Spinoza is a generally known fact (see also on the whole series of distinctions, Veitch on Descartes, in his op. cit., 283-6). Meanwhile, as we have just seen, there is indeed a sense in which formal, even when opposed to obiectivus, may still admit of the translation by the modern use of subjective. So Harper (op. cit., i. 579) translates the conceptus formalis of Suarez by subjective concept, and interprets the latter expression, in the now usual sense of subjective, as 'the idea which is formed in the subject (the man who is thinking).' In brief, from the very nature of the distinction here in question, no absolutely sharp line can be drawn between the scholastic and the modern usage, marked as is, in some cases, the contrast.

(14) The term intentio, now several times exemplified, means, in its primary sense, intent, purpose, or intention, as we ordinarily use the word. In a somewhat transferred sense, it is employed for attention (see examples in Schütz, Thomas-Lexikon, s. v.). In a still more technical sense it is a representative mental image, idea, or meaning, particularly the last (as in the passage just cited from Suarez). St. Thomas sometimes uses intentio in its intellectual significance, as quite synonymous with ratio in the sense of concept. With the intentio of the intellect as the deliberate or definitive meaning, resulting from the operation of the intellect, is contrasted the species intelligibilis, the natural and primary abstraction that the intellect first makes when it knows any general nature of things (see the quotation made by Schütz to illustrate this difference); but both the intentio of the intellect and the species intelligibilis are names for intellectual states having a representative meaning -- representations in the mind of intelligible objects external to the mind. And just as there is the species intelligibilis, and the intentio upon the intellectual level, so, since sense also, in its own way and degree, represents the forms of objects, the scholastic theory speaks of the species sensibilis, and, especially in later scholasticism, of the species sensibilis intentionalis, or representative sensuous idea of the object. Species, in general, is used, in the epistemological discussions of scholasticism, for the form of an object in so far as this form is cognitively represented, whether by sense or by intellect; and thus species and intentio come to possess intimately related meanings, while intentionalis is especially the adjective to express mentally representative, or sometimes representative taken more in general. The distinction between first and second intentions is a familiar one. The first intention (intentio prima) is the concept as primarily formed by the mind. Its object is the reality external to the mind. The intentio secunda or second intention is the logically reflex concept, i.e. the concept which has the logical law or form of thought, or of any thought, for its object. Its object is therefore in the mind, and has no reality beyond. This distinction is due to Avicenna, and, from the time of Albertus Magnus on, played a great part in all the logical discussions of later scholasticism (see Prantl, ii. 321, iii. 91, and further passages in the index to that and later volumes).

(15) These illustrations of the metaphysical and psychological vocabulary of scholasticism tend to throw the sort of light upon the origin, and the general character of this terminology, which it is the purpose of a general article upon terminology to give. The central character of the whole scholastic vocabulary remains its elaborate use of distinctions. The method of distinctions had already been carried far by Aristotle. He used it (see GREEK TERMINOLOGY) to solve apparent contradictions, and so to prepare the way for synthetic views of his world. Scholasticism made the method of distinctions more and more an ideal. Hereby the complex problems of theology, and the always serious tasks of defining, avoiding, and disarming heresies, were brought within the range of what seemed to those concerned a highly exact method. The result, whatever its speculative value, was of the utmost importance for the history of philosophical language. For literature see section (3) above.


[the figures refer to the sections of this article. See also the fuller LATIN INDEX referred to at the beginning of this topic.]

Absolutus, 4; ABSOLUTE (q.v.).
Accidens, 4: ESSENCE, and SUBSTANCE.
Actualitas, 6.
Actus, 5, 9: ACTIVITY (q.v.).
Affirmatio (infinita), 4.

Conceptus (and in phrases), 13.
Contradictio, 4: CONTRADICTION (q.v.).

Definitio, 4: DEFINITION (q.v.).
Differentia, 4: see DEFINITION.
Disparatum, 4: DISPARATE (q.v.).

Elementa, 4.
Ens (and in phrases), 5: cf. ENTITY, and BEING.
Entitas (and in phrases), 5.
Esse (and in phrases), 5, 6: BEING (q.v.); cf. EXISTENCE.
Essentia, 5 (ousia), 4, 7, 8.
Existentia, 5: EXISTENCE (q.v.).

Forma (and in phrases), 4, 9, 10: form; cf. MATTER AND FORM.
Formalis, 10.
Formaliter, 10.

Genus, 4: GENUS (q.v.).

Haecceitas, 11.
Hypostasis, 11.

Inclinatio, 11.
Individuatio, 11: Individuation; see INDIVIDUAL.
Individuum (and -us), 4, 11: INDIVIDUAL (q.v.).
Intelligibilis, 4: Intelligible.
Intentio (and in phrases), 4, 13, 14: INTENTION (in philosophy, q.v.); cf. INTENT, and MEANING.

Materia (and in phrases), 4, 9, 10: MATTER (q.v.); cf. MATTER AND FORM.
Materialis, 10: cf. MATTER.
Materialiter, 10: cf. MATTER.

Natura, 8: NATURE (q.v.).
Negatio (infinita), 4: cf. NEGATIVE.
Notio, 4: NOTION (q.v.), CONCEPT (q.v.).

Obiectum (and -tivum), 13: OBJECT (q.v.).

Persona, 11: PERSON (q.v.).
Positio, 4: POSITION (q.v.).
Possibilis, 4: POSSIBLE (q.v.).
Potentia, 9: cf. POTENTIAL.
Principium Individuationis, 4, 9, 11: see INDIVIDUATIO.
Property, 4.
Proportio (analogia), 4: ANALOGY (q.v.).

Qualitas, 4: QUALITY (q.v.).
Quantitas, 4: QUANTITY (q.v.).
Quidditas, 4, 5: QUIDDITY (q.v.).
Quinque voces, 4.
Quod est and quod quid est, 8.

Ratio, 14: cf. RATIO, and CONCEPT.
Realitas, 5: REALITY (q.v.).

Sensibilis, 4: SENSUOUS (q.v.).
Species 9 (and in phrases), 4, 14: cf. DEFINITION.
Subiectum (and -tivum), 3: SUBJECT (q.v.).
Subsistentia, 11.
Subsistere, 11.
Substantia, 5 (ousia), 4, 7, 8, 11: SUBSTANCE (q.v.).

Universalia (ante rem, in re, post rem), 4, 12: cf. UNIVERSAL.
Universalis, 4: UNIVERSAL (q.v.).

Veritas propositionis, 5. (J.R.)

Latitudinarianism [Lat. latitudo, breadth]: Ger. Latitudinarianismus; Fr. latitudinarisme; Ital. tollerantismo (suggested -- E.M.) The doctrine of a body of English churchmen of the 17th century who sought a modus vivendi between Dissenters and the Church of England by emphasizing only common grounds of belief, and, while adhering to the Episcopal form of government and ritual, yet denying its divine origin and authority. In general, a latitudinarian is one who exercises a breadth of view and of toleration which verges on indifference.

Literature: (on ecclesiastical latitudiarianism): TULLOCH, Rational Theol. and Christ. Philos. in the 17th Cent. (1872); CHURTON, Latitudinarianism from 1671 to 1787 (1861). (A.T.O.)

Laughing Philosopher (the): see DEMOCRITUS, and PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.

Law [ME. lawe, Lat. lex]: Ger. Gesetz; Fr. loi; Ital. legge. Any formulation of sequences which from demonstration, experimental proof, successful application, or for any other reason, is accepted as having the highest degree of probability.

Since conviction based on the highest degree of probability expresses practical certainty, this definition of law escapes the discussion of the absolute validity of laws of nature and of other empirical determinations. The laws which are based on observation rest upon the principle of UNIFORMITY OF NATURE (q.v.); and that principle expresses the highest degree of probability -- an assumption indeed upon which the law of probability itself rests. On the other hand, whatever the law of causation -- or other law having grounds of universality apart from those of empirical observation -- may rest upon besides, as guarantee of its holding good, it is yet true that it also has the highest degree of probability. The law of universal causation, therefore, which rests upon what is called necessity, no less than the principles of mechanical and physical science, which rest upon experimental proof and assume uniformity of nature, comes under the formula of the definition.

This aspect of law, which may be described as law in its theoretical or logical aspect, is contrasted with the modal and legal aspects of the same term -- what may be called law of action or practice, or law in its practical aspect. In the latter the determination of conduct with reference to a prescription, requirement, or ideal, makes appeal essentially to persons as such, for recognition and obedience; in the sphere of the theoretical, however, this appeal is not present except in the general sense which is true of all knowledge, i.e. that being true, such laws must be allowed for and observed. In the one case, the penalty is what has been called natural, and is of the nature of an effect; in the other, it is modal or legal, and is called SANCTION (q.v.). Cf. the other topics LAW (jural and moral).

The ordinary warning against making law something apart from the sequences which it formulates may be repeated here. Natural events cannot be said strictly to obey law; rather they establish and illustrate law by their behaviour. The law is an abstract statement of certain observed ways of behaviour, and the law cannot have any meaning except as formulating aspects of phenomenal existence.

As to applying the term law to formulations of less than the highest degree of probability, scientific usage does not sanction it. Law is commonly compared with HYPOTHESIS and THEORY (see those terms) just in this, that these latter terms carry less than the highest probability, and are still in waiting for the demonstration, crucial testing, or final observation which, by conferring what amounts to certainty, raises them to the dignity of law.

On the logical aspects of the topic, see LAWS OF THOUGHT, and PRINCIPLE. (J.M.B.)

Law (economic): see ECONOMIC LAW.

Law (jural): Ger. Gesetz; Fr. loi, droit; Ital. legge, diritto. A rule of action, declared or created by competent authority. Cf. definition of vera lex, by Cicero, De Republica, iii. 22; De Legibus, ii. 4; Inst. of Just., i. 2, 11. See the other topics LAW.

Law may be regarded in its essence, analytically, as a command from a superior to an inferior; or historically, as a rule judicially declared to be entitled to general observance, and therefore obligatory. 'Law, for the practical purposes of lawyers and citizens, means the sum of those rules of conduct which courts of justice enforce, the conditions on which they become applicable, and the manner and consequences of their application' (Pollock, First Book of Jurisprudence, 217). Any particular law, properly so called, is 'a general rule of human action, taking cognizance only of external acts enforced by a determinate authority, which authority is human, and among human authorities is that which is paramount in a political society' (Holland, Jurisprudence, 36, 5th ed.). A proper law necessarily carries with it a sanction, that is, it involves the conception of the consequent employment of power, in case of necessity, to enforce obedience or punish disobedience, or annul the effect of disobedience. See ADJECTIVE LAW, POSITIVE LAW, STATUTE, and SANCTION.

Municipal law is a rule of external human action declared or created by or under power granted by a political, sovereign authority, for those subject to such authority; or an aggregate body of such rules. The former may be termed 'a law,' the latter 'the law' (Austin, Jurisprudence, i. 91).

Public law is law ordained for public purposes, to regulate conduct or rights in which the state as a whole is interested. Private law is law ordained for private purposes, to regulate conduct or rights interesting only, or primarily, the relations of private individuals between themselves (Digest, I. i. 1, 2). See PUBLIC LAW, and PRIVATE LAW.

Public law ordinarily is, and always should be, a general law affecting equally all those subject to the jurisdiction of the state, who may come within its provisions. A bill of attainder is a penal law aimed at a particular individual, and is generally prohibited by American constitutions. Private law may lay down a special rule for a particular individual, and often does. Such a rule may even, so far forth, change the course, as to that particular case, of the general public law, affecting all others in a similar situation: e.g. by granting a divorce to a particular individual for a cause not recognized by the general laws, and thus changing his personal status in the community (Maynard v. Hill, 125 United States Reports, 209).

The English language fails to discriminate in precise terms between law in the abstract, and a particular law, ordained by the political sovereign, which are represented in most other languages by distinct terms: e.g. ius and lex. 'Right' and 'law' present these notions inadequately, because although formerly the former was used by the Anglo-Saxons like the German Recht, as in folc-riht, with us it now includes the whole domain of morals.

Literature: MAINE, Ancient Law (law is developed from the unwritten to the written; from the formal to the equitable; from the personal to the territorial); BRUNNER, Deutsche Rechtsgesch., i. 3, §§ 33, 38; SMITH, Right and Law, chap. ii. 2; BENTHAM, Mor. and Legisl., chaps. xvii, xxiii; RATTO, Sociologia e Filosofia del Diritto (Rome, 1894; subjective and objective law well contrasted in chap. vi); FILOMUSI GUELFI, Del Concetto del Diritto Naturale e del Diritto Positivo (Naples, 1874). Cf. ADJECTIVE LAW, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CANON LAW, CASE LAW, CIVIL LAW, COMMON LAW, CONFLICT OF LAWS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, LEGAL, PRIVATE LAW, ROMAN LAW. (S.E.B.)

Law (moral): Ger. Sittengesetz; Fr. loi morale; Ital. legge morale. A rule of conduct resulting from the application of the moral ideal to life, or laid down by the moral authority, however this may be conceived.

The influence upon ethics, both of theology and of positive law, has led to the statement of morality as in essence a system of moral rules. See DUTY. (W.R.S.)

Law of Parcimony: see PARCIMONY.

Laws of Thought: Ger. Denkgesetze; Fr. lois de la pensée; Ital. leggi del pensiero. The three formulas of identity, contradiction, and excluded middle have been widely so known, though the doctrine that they are three co-ordinate and sufficient laws of all thought or of all reasoning has been held by a comparatively small party which hardly survives; and it is not too much to say that the doctrine is untenable. But the designation is so familiar and convenient that those formulas may very well be referred to as 'the so-called three laws of thought.' The formulas have usually been stated by those who upheld the doctrine as follows: --

I. The Principle of Identity: A is A.
II. The Principle of Contradiction: A is not not-A.
III. The Principle of Excluded Middle or Excluded Third: everything is either A or not-A.

It is noticeable that two of these propositions are categorical and the third disjunctive, a circumstance demanding explanation for those who hold the distinction of categorical, conditional, and disjunctive propositions to be fundamental.

The meaning of the formula of identity presents only one small difficulty. If the copula 'is' be taken in the sense of 'is, if it exists,' then the meaning of the formula is that no universal affirmative proposition having the same term as subject and predicate is false. If, however, the copula be understood to imply existence, the meaning is that no universal affirmative proposition is false in which the same term is subject and predicate, provided that term denotes any existing object. Or, the meaning may be that the same thing is true when the subject and predicate are the same proper name of an individual. In any case, it may properly be required that the precise meaning attached to the copula should be explained; and this explanation must in substance involve one or other of the above three statements; so that in any case the principle of identity is merely a part of the definition of the copula.

In like manner, if the word 'not is to be used in logical forms, its force should be explained with the utmost precision. Such an explanation will consist in showing that the relation it expresses belongs at once to certain classes of relations, probably not more than two, in view of the simplicity of the idea. Each of these two statements may be embodied in a formula similar, in a general way, to the formulas of contradiction and excluded middle. It has, therefore, seemed to Mill and to the 'exact' logicians that these two formulas ought together to constitute a definition of the force of 'not.'

Other writers have regarded all three laws as 'practical maxims.' But practically nobody needs a maxim to remind him that a contradiction, for example, is an absurdity. It might be a useful injunction to tell him to beware of latent contradictions; but as soon as he clearly sees that a proposition is self-contradictory, he will have abandoned it before any maxim can be adduced. Seeing, then, that such formulas are required to define the relation expressed by not, but are not required as maxims, it is in the former aspect that their true meanings are to be sought.

If it is admitted that they constitute a definition, they must conform to the rules of definition. Considered as part of a definition, one of the commonest statements of the principle of contradiction, 'A non est non-A,' offends against the rule that the definitum must not be introduced into the definition. This is easily avoided by using the form 'A est non non-A,' 'A is not not-A,' or every term may be subsumed under the double negation of itself. If this form is adopted for the principle of contradiction, the principle of excluded middle ought to be 'What is not not-A is A.' If, however, we prefer to state the principle of excluded middle as 'Everything is either A or not-A,' then we should state the principle of contradiction as 'What is, at once, A and not-A is nothing.' There is no vicious circle here, since the term 'nothing,' or 'non ens,' may be formally defined without employing the particle 'not' or any equivalent. Thus, we may express the principle of contradictions as follows:

Whatever there may be which is both A and not-A is X, no matter what term X may be.
In either formula, A may be understood to be restricted to being an individual, or it may be allowed to be any term, individual or general. In the former case, in order to avoid conflict with the fundamental law that no true definition asserts existence, a special clause should be added, such as 'if not-A there be.' In the latter case, it should be stated that by 'not-A' is not meant 'not some A,' but 'not any A,' or 'other than whatever A there may be.'

Bearing these points in mind, the formula 'A is not-not-A,' or 'A is other than whatever is other than whatever is A,' is seen to be a way of saying that the relation expressed by 'not' is one of those which is its own converse, and is analogous to the following:

Every rose is similar to whatever is similar to whatever is a rose; which again is similar to the following:
Every man is loved by whatever loves whatever is a man.
But if we turn to the corresponding formula of excluded middle, 'Not-not-A is A,' or 'Whatever is not anything that is not any A is A,' we find that its meaning cannot be so simply expressed. Supposing that the relation r is such that it is true that
Whatever is r to whatever is r to whatever is A is A,
it can readily be proved that, whether the multitude of individuals in the universe be finite or infinite, each individual is either non-r to itself and to nothing else, or is one of a pair of individuals that are non-r to each other and to nothing else; and conversely, if the universe is so constituted, the above formula necessarily holds. But it is evident that if the universe is so constituted, the relation r is converse to itself; so that the formula corresponding to that of contradiction also holds. But this constitution of the universe does not determine r to be the relation expressed by 'not.' Hence, the pair of formulas,
A is not not-A,
Not not-A is A,
are inadequate to defining 'not,' and the former of them is mere surplusage. In fact, in a universe of monogamously married people taking any class, the A's,
Every A is a non-spouse to whatever is non-spouse to every A,
Whatever is non-spouse to whatever is a non-spouse to every A is an A.
No such objection exists to the other pair of formulas:
Whatever is both A and not-A is nothing,
Everything is either A or not-A.
Their meaning is perfectly clear. Dividing all ordered pairs of individuals into those of the form A: B and those of the form A: A,
The principle of contradiction excludes from the relation 'not' all of the form A:A,
The principle of excluded middle makes the relation of 'not' to include all pairs of the form A:B.
>From this point of view, we see at once that there are three other similar pairs of formulas defining the relations of identity, coexistence, and incompossibility, as follows:
Whatever is A is identical with A; i.e. Identity includes all pairs A:A.
Whatever is identical with A is A; i.e. Identity excludes all pairs A:B.
Whatever is A is coexistent with A; i.e. Coexistence includes all pairs A:A.
Everything is either A or coexistent with A; i.e. Coexistence includes all pairs A:B.
Whatever is both A and incompossible with A is nothing; i.e. Incompossibility excludes all pairs A:A.
Whatever there may be incompossible with A is A; i.e. Incompossibility excludes all pairs A:B.
Much has been written concerning the relations of the three principles to forms of syllogism. They have even been called Die Principien des Schliessens, and have often been so regarded. Some points in reference to the meanings they have borne in such discussions require mention. Many writers have failed to distinguish sufficiently between reasoning and the logical forms of inference. The distinction may be brought out by comparing the moods Camestres and Cesare (see MOOD, in logic). Formally, these are essentially different. The form of Camestres is as follows:
    Every P is an M,
    Every S is other than every M;
Every S is other than every P.
This form does not depend upon either clause of the definition of 'not' or 'other than.' For if any other relative term, such as 'lover of,' be substituted for 'other than,' the inference will be equally valid. The form of Cesare is as follows:
    Every P is other than every M,
    Every S is an M;
Every S is other than every P.
This depends upon the equiparance of 'other than.' For if we substitute an ordinary relative, such as loves, for 'other than' in the premise, the conclusion will be
    Every S is loved by every P.
(See De Morgan's fourth memoir on the syllogism, Cambridge Philos. Trans., x. (1860) 354.) The two forms are thus widely distinct in logic; and yet when a man actually performs an inference, it would be impossible to determine that he 'reasons in' one of these moods rather than in the other. Either statement is incorrect. He does not, in strict accuracy, reason in any form of syllogism. For his reasoning moves in first intentions, while the forms of logic are constructions of second intentions. They are diagrammatic representations of the intellectual relation between the facts from which he reasons and the fact which he infers, this diagram necessarily making use of a particular system of symbols -- a perfectly regular and very limited kind of language. It may be a part of a logician's duty to show how ordinary ways of speaking and of thinking are to be translated into that symbolism of formal logic; but it is no part of syllogistic itself. Logical principles of inference are merely rules for the illative transformation of the symbols of the particular system employed. If the system is essentially changed, they will be quite different. As the Boolians represent Cesare and Camestres, they appear, after literally translating the algebraic signs of those logicians into words, as follows:
    A that is B is nothing,
    C that is not B is nothing,
A that is C is nothing.
The two moods are here absolutely indistinguishable.

From the time of Scotus down to Kant more and more was made of a principle agreeing in enunciation, often exactly, in other places approximately, with our principle of contradiction, and in the later of those ages usually called by that name, although earlier more often principium primum, primum cognitum, pricipium identitatis, dignitas dignitatum, &c. It would best be called the Principle of Consistency. Attention was called to it in the fourth book of Aristotle's Metaphysics. The meaning of this, which was altogether different, at least in post-scholastic times, from our principle of contradiction, is stated in the so-called Monadoligie of Leibnitz (§ 31) to be that principle by virtue of which we judge that to be false which involves a contradiction, and the denial of the contradiction to be true. The latter clause involves an appeal to the principle of excluded middle as much as the former clause does to the formal principle of contradiction. And so the 'principle of contradiction' was formerly frequently stated. But, in fact, neither is appealed to; for Leibnitz does not say that the contradiction is to be made explicit, but only that it is to be recognized as an inconsistency. Interpreted too strictly, the passage would seem to mean that all demonstrative reasoning is by the reductio ad absurdum; but this cannot be intended. All that is meant is that we draw that conclusion the denial of which would involve an absurdity -- in short, that which consistency requires. This is a description, however imperfect, of the procedure of demonstrative REASONING (q.v.), and does not relate to logical forms. It deals with first, not second, intentions. (C.S.P.)

It is unfortunate that 'contradictory' and 'principle of contradiction' are terms used with incongruent significations. If a and b are statements, they are mutually contradictory, provided that one or the other of them must be true and that both cannot be true; these are the two marks (essential and sufficient) of contradiction, or precise denial, as it might better be called. If a and b are terms, b is the precise negative of a (or the contradictory term to a), provided it takes in all of that which is other than a -- that is, if everything must be one or the other (a or b) and if nothing can be both. These two properties constitute the definition of a pair of contradictories (whether terms or propositions), namely, they are mutually exclusive, and they are together exhaustive; expressed in the language of 'exact logic,' these properties are (writing  for the negative of x and + for or):

Together these properties constitute the requirements of contradiction or of exact negation; it is a very inelegant piece of nomenclature (besides that it leads to actual confusion) to refer to (1) alone as the 'principle of contradiction.' Better names for them are (1) exclusion and (2) exhaustion (in place of excluded middle). In the common phraseology we are obliged to commit the absurdity of saying that two terms or propositions may satisfy the 'principle of contradiction' and still not be contradictory (since they may lack the quality of being exhaustive). The mere fact that (1) has been called the principle of contradiction has given it a pretended superiority over the other which it by no means deserves; they are of equal importance in the conducting of reasoning processes. In fact, for every formal argument which rests upon (1) there is a corresponding argument which rests upon (2): thus in the case of the fundamental law of TRANSPOSITION (q.v.), which affirms the identity of these two propositions, (m) the student who is not a citizen is not a voter; (n) every student is either a citizen or not a voter; that (m) follows from (n) depends upon one of these principles, and that (n) follows from (m) depends upon the other. These two names, exhaustion and exclusion, have the great advantage that they permit the formation of adjectives; thus we may say that the test for the contradictoriness of two terms or propositions which are not on their face the negatives one of another is that they should be (1) mutually exclusive and (2) together exhaustive.

It may be noticed that if two terms are exhaustive but not exclusive, their negatives are exclusive but not exhaustive. Thus within the field of number, 'prime' and 'even' are exclusive (no number can be both) but not exhaustive (except in the limiting case of two, some numbers can be neither), while 'not even' and 'not prime' are exhaustive and not exclusive.

In the case of propositions, 'contrary' and 'subcontrary' are badly chosen names for the OPPOSITION (q.v.) of A and E, O and I, respectively, of the traditional logical scheme; they do not carry their meaning on their face, and hence are unnecessarily difficult for the learner to bear in mind. A and E should be said to be mutually exclusive (but not exhaustive), O and I to be conjointly exhaustive (but not exclusive). This relation of qualities is then seen to be a particular case merely of the above-stated general rule.

Again, 'no a is b' and 'all a is b' are exclusive but not exhaustive, while 'some a is b' and 'some a is not b' are exhaustive but not exclusive (provided in both cases that a exists).

Laws of thought is not a good name for these two characteristics; they should rather be called the laws (if laws at all) of negation. Properly speaking, the laws of thought are all the rules of logic; of these laws there is one which is of far more fundamental importance than those usually referred to under the name, namely, the law that if a is b and b is c, it can be concluded that a is c. This is the great law of thought, and everything else is of minor importance in comparison with it. It is singular that it is not usually enumerated under the name. Another law of thought of equal consequence with those usually so called is, according to Sigwart, the law that the double negative is equivalent to an affirmative,

But these are not fundamental, for from the principles of

it follows


Literature: for the history of these principles see UEBERWEG, Syst. d. Logik, §§ 75-80; PRANTL, Gesch. d. Logik (see 'principium' in the indices to the four volumes). There are additional notes in an appendix to HAMILTON, Lects. on Logic. (C.S.P.)