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WILLIAM FLEMING - 1890 - Table of contents

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Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden


Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





ANTICIPATION (anticipatio, πρόληψις).—The power of the mind to project itself from the known into the unknown, in the expectation of finding what it is in search of. The term was first used by Epicurus to denote a general notion, which enables us to conceive beforehand of an object which has not come under the cognisance of the senses. But general notions, being formed by abstraction from a multitude of particular notions, were all originally owing to sensation, or mere generalisations à posteriori.


Buhle (Hist, de la Phil. Mod., torn. I. pp. 87, 88) gives the following account:—"The impressions which objects make on the senses, leave in the mind traces which enable us to recognise these objects when they present themselves anew, or to compare them with others, or to distinguish them. When we see an animal for the first time, the impression made on the senses leaves a trace which serves as a type. If we afterwards see the same animal, we refer the impression to the type already existing in the mind.

This type, and the relation of the new impression to it, constituted what Epicurus called the anticipation of an idea. It was by this anticipation that we could determine the identity, the resemblance or the difference of objects actually before us, and those formerly observed."

The language of Cicero (De Nat. Deor., lib. I. cap. 16) seems to indicate that by Epicurus the term πρόληψις was extended to what is supersensual, and included what is now called knowledge a priori. "Quœ est enim gens, aut quod genus hominum quod non habeat, sine doctrina anticipationem quandam Deorum? quam appellat πρόληψις Epicurus, id est, anteceptam animo rei quandam informationem, sine qua nec intelligi quidquam, nec quœri, nec disputari potest." And according to Diogenes Laertius (lib. VII. sees. 51, 53, 54), the Stoics defined πρόληψις to mean "a natural conception of the universal." This definition was not, however, adopted by all. Hamilton says (Reid's Works, note A, p. 774):—"It is not to be supposed that the κοιναὶ ἔννοιαι, φυσικαὶ προλήψεις of the Stoics, far less of the Epicureans, were more than generalisations à posteriori. Yet this is a mistake, into which, among many others, Lipsius and Leibnitz have fallen in regard to the former " (Zeller, Hist, of Greek Phil., Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics, Eng. transl., for the Stoic teaching, pp. 79, 89, of the Epicureans, 403, 439 ; Ritter's Hist, of Anc. Phil., Eng. transl., III. 426).

In his "Transcendental Philosophy," Anticipations of Perception are the second class of Kant's "principles of pure understanding." Though the matter of sensation "is just that element of knowledge which cannot be at all anticipated" but must be waited for, as the given, yet "if there should be something in every sensation that could be known à priori as sensation in general, without any particular sensation being given, this would, in a very special sense, deserve to be called Anticipation." In all phenomena the Real, that which is an object of sensation, has Intensive Quantity, i.e., a degree of influence on sense (Critique of Pure Reason, Transc. Analytic, bk. II. ch. II. sec. 3, Meiklejohn, p. 125; Max Müller, II. 147; Schwegler's History, p. 224; J. S. Mill's "Psychological Theory" postulates first that the human mind is capable of expectation," Examination of Hamilton, 3rd ed., p. 219).



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