that which moves of itself).—A self-acting machine.
The term automatic is applied— (1) to any
self-acting mechanism; (2) to the self-acting power of the
muscular and nervous systems, by which movement is effected
without intelligent determination and direction; (3) to
processes in nature illustrating spontaneous action of energy.
"In the automaton, for the
comparatively few motions of which it is capable, we trace the mechanism
throughout" (Paley, Natural Theology, ch. III.).
"Movements influenced simply by sensation, and not at all by the will, are
automatic, such as winking" (Morell, Psychology, p. 99).
αὐτόματον as indicative of the accidental in nature, as
illustrated by results not manifestly according to
the order of recognised law, including under this
ἡ τύχη, chance (Physics,