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Spontaneity ([ ʃpɔntaneiˈtɛːt ], from French. Spontanéité to late Latin . Spontaneus from spons “own will, drive”; also spontaneity [ ˌʃpɔntaniˈtɛːt ]) describes colloquially involuntary mental processes, a characteristic that makes someone act unexpectedly or often Act .

This is to be distinguished from the use in philosophy , which refers to the occurrence of an event without sufficient reason.

List of colloquial facets of meaning

Spontaneity of mental processes

In this sense, “spontaneous” is also synonymous with “ involuntary ”.

Spontaneous actions

The person follows his own drive in a way that is often surprisingly quick for the environment , based on

  • a special level of intuition
  • good experience in dealing with one's own emotions
  • unusually quick deliberation or determination
  • a kind of reflex (more likely with physical events)

Musical spontaneity

  • is an important design factor in the performance of musical works
  • is based on active listening and experience in dealing with sound and time
  • is the basis of musical improvisation , solo and in a group

Spontaneity as a character trait

Spontaneity in a positive sense:

  • not planning too much , e.g. B. not plan your vacation far beyond the flight
  • Include your own feelings and those of a partner in decisions
  • to be able to adapt to new situations at short notice

Spontaneous behavior that is classified as rash, hasty, inappropriate or uncontrolled is also referred to as impulsive .

Spontaneity in the negative sense:

  • Do not want to commit yourself until the last moment in order not to have to anticipate your own feelings
  • Not keeping appointments and agreements or keeping others waiting because you rely on the feeling instead of looking at the clock
  • only to consider one's own feelings without regard to others

A lack of spontaneity makes you predictable and socially inflexible, which can lead to an excessive need for security and an abnormal social structure.

Philosophical use

In philosophy, since Immanuel Kant , spontaneity means the ability of understanding and reason to do something on their own, be it by e.g. B. the mind spontaneously brings views under rules and thus comprehends phenomena that it has perceived (see also concept (philosophy) ), or that the will (as practical reason ) performs an action according to free decision, without itself from outside or from to let his feelings and inclinations determine.

The opposite term is receptivity . This is in contrast to the colloquial use of words, when a quick and situation-dependent reaction is described as spontaneous. The formation of concepts is not arbitrary in the narrower sense, but the determination of one's own intentions through reasonable maxims. Since for Kant the free determination of the will by reason leads to a self-commitment to the moral law , spontaneity and predictability are not opposites either.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: spontaneity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: spontaneity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Immanuel Kant (1787): Critique of pure reason . B 74, B 93; Critique of Practical Reason , AA Volume V, 98 f.
  2. ^ Rudolf Eisler : Kant-Lexikon (1930), entry on spontaneity