Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/260

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246
PRAETORIUS—PRAGMATISM

senators to restore an oligarchy nor themselves aspired as pretenders to the throne. These prefects were at first. soldiers, but later mostly lawyers who relieved the emperors of various civil and criminal jurisdiction. In the second century the praetorian cohorts became ten in number, and at the end of it Septimius Severus reorganized them so that they consisted practically of barbarian soldiers and held constant conflict with the people of Rome. At the end of the third century the praefccti praelorio were reconstituted as four officers, each ruling one quarter of the now divided empire. In 312 the Praetorian Guard was suppressed by Constantine. Their barracks at Rome covering a rectangle of 39 acres (1210 by 1410 ft.), were included by Aurelian in the walls of Rome, and three sides of the enceinte can still be seen near the Porta Pia, with brickwork as old as Tiberius: the interior (now barracks for the Italian army) is archaeologically less interesting.


PRAETORIUS, MICHAEL (1571-1621), German .musical historian, theorist and composer, was born at Kreuzberg, in Thuringia, on the 15th of February 1571. His father's name was Michael Schultheis.[1] While he was still quite young he visited the university of Frankfort on the Oder for three years. Here he studied philosophy, and on the death of his brother, on whose support he relied, he was given a post as organist in the town. He acted as kapellmeister at Lüneburg early in life, was engaged first as organist and later as kapellmeister and secretary to the duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel, and was eventually rewarded for his long services with the priory of Ringelheim, near Goslar. He died at Wolfenbiittel on the 15th of February 1621. Of his very numerous compositions copies are now very scarce. The most important are: Polyhymnia (15 vols.), Musae Sioniae (16 vols.), and Musa Aonia (9 vols), all written partly to Latin and partly to German words. But more precious than all these is the Synlagma musicum (3 vols. and a cahier of plates, 4to, Wittenberg and Wolfenbiittel, 1615-1620). In the original prospectus of the work four volumes were promised, but it is certain that no more than three were ever published. The fourth volume mentioned in Forkel's catalogue is clearly nothing but the cahier of plates attached to vol. ii.

The chief value of this very remarkable work lies in the information it gives concerning the condition of instrumental music in the early years of the 17th century. The plates include excellent representations of all the musical instruments in use at the time they were published, together with many forms even then treated only as antique curiosities. The work thus throws a light upon the earlier forms of instrumental music which to the historian is invaluable. In fact, without the information bequeathed to us by Praetorius it would be impossible to reconstruct in theory the orchestra of the earlier half of the 17th century, during which the opera and the oratorio both sprang into existence, or even to understand the descriptions left us by other less careful writers.


PRAETUTTII (also called Πραιτεττιοί), a tribe of ancient Italy inhabiting the south of Picenum. Their territory lay between the rivers Vomanum and Tessinnus (Pliny iii. § 110), and therefore included Castrum Novum, Interamnia and the Truentus, as well as probably the original of Hadria. From this name was derived the medieval form A prutium (quoted by Kiepert in his Alte Geographie), and hence the modern Abruzzo (more commonly in the plural gli Abruzzi), denoting the whole central mountain land of Italy. We have no evidence, except their name, and that throws no light on their language, for separating them from the other inhabitants of Picenum (q.v.)  (R. S. C.) 


PRAGMATIC SANCTION (Lat. pragmalica sanclio, from the Gr. 1rp¢i'yua, business), originally a term of the later Roman law. It is found in the Theodosian and Justinian codes, together with such variants as a pragmalicum, pragmatic jussio, command; annolalio, an imperial rescript; conslitulio, a regulation; and pragmatic um rescriptum. It was a decision of the state dealing with some interest greater than a question in dispute between private persons, and was given for some community (universilas hominum) and for a public cause. In more recent times it was adopted by those countries which followed the Roman law, and in particular by despotically governed countries where the rulers had a natural tendency to approve of the maxims and to adopt the language of the imperial Roman lawyers. A pragmatic sanction, as the term was used by them, was an expression of the will of the sovereign or “ the prince, ” defining the limits of his own power, or regulating the succession. Iustinian regulated the government of Italy after it had been reconquered from the Ostrogoths by pragmatic sanctions. In after ages the king of France, Charles VII., imposed limits on the claims of the popes to exercise jurisdiction in his dominions by the pragmatic sanction of Bourges in 1438. The emperor Charles VI. settled the law of succession for the dominions of the house of Habsburg by pragmatic sanction first published on the 19th of April 1713, and thereby prepared the way for the great war which ensued upon his death. Philip, V., the first of the Bourbon kings of Spain, introduced the Salic law by a pragmatic sanction, and his descendant, Ferdinand VII., revoked it by another. The term was not used in England even for such things as the will by which Henry VIII. regulated the succession to the throne, which would have been a pragmatic sanction in a country of the Roman law. The term and the thing signified by it have become obsolete owing to the spread of constitutional government in modern Europe.


PRAGMATISM, in philosophy, etymologically a theory or method of dealing with real things (Gr. 1rpéuy, ua.-ra.: cf. 1rpay, uv.1'L/cos, versed in affairs). “Pragmatic, ” as here employed is not used in the common colloquial sense of “ pragmatical,” i.e. “fussy and positive, ” nor in the historical sense, as in “ Pragmatic Sanction, ” of “ relating to affairs of state, ” but in the sense of practical or efficient.[2] Pragmatism, as a general philosophic doctrine or mental attitude, can only be understood as part of a reaction against the intellectualistic speculation which has characterized most of modern metaphysics. It arises from a general awakening to the fact that the growth of our psychological and biological knowledge must profoundly transform the traditional epistemology. It follows that “pragmatic” lines of thought may originate from a multiplicity of considerations and in a variety of contexts. These, however, may be conveniently classified under four main heads-psychological, logical, ethical and religious-and the history of the subject shows that all these have contributed to the development of pragmatism.

1. Psychologically, pragmatism starts from the efficacy and all pervasiveness of mental activity, and points out that interest, attention, selection, purpose, bias, desire, emotion, satisfaction, &c., colour and control all our cognitive processes. It insists that all thought is personal and purposive and that “pure” thought is a figment. A judgment which is not prompted by motives and inspired by interest, which has not for its aim the satisfaction of a cognitive purpose, is psychologically impossible, and it is, therefore, mistaken to construct a logic which abstracts from all these facts. Nor is the presence of such non-intellectual factors in thinking necessarily deleterious: at any rate they are ineradicable. Truths are always on one side matters of belief, and beliefs are ultimately rules for action. The whole functioning of our mental apparatus is directed upon yielding the right response to the stimulation's of the environment, and is valuable if and in so far as it does this. The “ psychologist ” thus introduced into logic amounts to a systematic protest against the notion of a dehumanized thought and the study of logic in abstraction from actual psychic process.

2. In its logical aspect pragmatism originates in a criticism of fundamental conceptions like “truth,” “error,” “fact”

  1. German Schullz or Schultze (Schultheiss), meaning the head-man of a township, latinized into praetor or praetorius. Many other members of the family of Praetorius were eminent as musicians.
  2. The New English Dictionary quotes for nine distinct senses of the word, of which the philosophic is the eighth. The seven earlier ones are all more or less obsolescent, and their very number shows that the meaning of the word was very vague.