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332
IMITATION

R-C-N

R~CO~CO-R+2NH;-l-R'-CHO=3H2O+ ll C~R';

R-c - N H /

from thioimidazolones by oxidation with dilute nitric acid (W. Marckwald, Bar., ISQZ, 25, p. 2361); by distillation of hydrobenzamide and similarly constituted bodies; and by the action of phosphorus pentachloride on symmetrical dime thy lox amide, a methylchlorglyoxaline being formed (O. Wallach, Ann., 1877, 184, p. 500).

The glyoxalines are basic in character, and the imide hydrogen is replaceable by metals and alkyl groups They are stable towards reducing agents, and acidyl groups are only introduced with difficulty.

Imidazole (glyoxaline), Cp, H4N2, crystallizes in thick prisms which melt at 88-89° C. and boil at 253° C., and are readily soluble in alcohol and in water. It is unatiected by chromic acid, but potassium permanganate oxidizes it to formie acid. It forms salts with acids. - C¢H5-C-N

Lophine (triphenylglyoxaline), || /C-CGH5, is formed C., H5-C-N H

by the dry distillation of hydrobenzamide, or by saturating an alcoholic solution of bcnzil and benzaldehyde (at a temperature of 40° C.) with ammonia. It crystallizes in needles which melt at 275? C. It is a weak base. When heated to 300° C. with hydriodic acid and hydrochloric acid, in the presence of some red phosphorus, it yields benzoic acid.

The keto-glyoxalines are known as iniidazolones and are prepared by the action of acids on acetalyl thioureas (W. Marckwald, Bef., 1892, 25, p. 2357). Bonzimidazole, C@H4< £311 >CH, is the simplest representative of the benzoglyoxalines and is prepared by the condensation of formic acid with ortho-phenylene diamine. It forms rhombic crystals which melt at 170° C. It is basic in character, and on oxidation with potassium permanganate yields a HOOC-C-N

small amount of glyoxaline dicarboxylic acid, ll /CH. HOOC-C-NH A

(E. Bamberger, Ann., 1893, 273, p. 338).


IMITATION (Lat. imitalio from imitari to imitate) the reproduction or repetition of an action or thought as observed in another person or in oneself, or the construction of one object in the likeness of another. By some writers (ag. Preyer and Lloyd Morgan) the term “ imitation ” is limited to cases in which one person copies the action or thought of another; others have preferred a wider use of the term (i.e. including “self-imitation”), and have attempted to classify imitative action into various groupings, ag. as cases of “conscious imitation, ” “imitative suggestion, ” “ plastic imitation” (as when the members of a crowd subconsciously reproduce one another's modes of thought and action), and the like. The main distinction is that which takes into account the question of attention (q.'v.) In conscious imitation, the attention is fixed on the act and its reproduction: in unconscious imitation the reproduction is entirely mechanical and the agent does not “attend ” to the action or thought which he is copying: in subconscious imitation the action is not deliberate, though the necessary train of thought would immediately follow if the attention were turned upon it under normal conditions. Imitation plays an extremely important part in human and animal development, and a clear understanding of its character is important both for the study of primitive peoples, and also in the theories of education, art and sociology. The child's early development is in large measure imitative: thus the first articulate sounds and the first movements are mainly reproductions of the words and actions of parents, and even in the later stages that teacher is likely to achieve the best results who himself gives examples of how a word should be pronounced or an action done. The impulse to imitate is, however, not confined to children: there is among the majority of adults a tendency to assimilate themselves either to their society or to those whom they especially admire or respect: this tendency to shun the eccentric is rooted deeply in human psychology. Moreover, even among highly developed persons the imitative impulse frequently overrides the reason, as when an audience, a crowd, or even practically a whole community is carried away by a panic for which no adequate ground has been given, or when a cough or a yawn is imitated by a company of people., Such cases may be compared with those of persons in mesmeric trances who mechanically copy a series of movements made by the mesmerise. The universality of the imitative impulse has led many psychologists to regard it as an instinct (so William James, Principles of Psychology, ii. 408; ci. INSTINCT), and in that large class of imitative actions which have no obvious ulterior purpose the impulse certainly appears to be instinctive in character. On the other hand where the imitator recognizes the particular effect of a process and imitates with the deliberate intention of producing the same effect, his action can scarcely be classed as instinctive. A considerable number of psychologists have distinguished imitative from instinctive actions (ag. Baldwin, and Sully). According to Darwin the imitative impulse begins in infants at the age of four months. It is to be noted, however, that the child imitates, not every action indiscriminately, but especially those towards which it has a congenital tendency. The same is true of animals: though different kinds of animals may live in closing proximity, the young of each kind imitate primarily the actions of their own parents.

Among primitive man imitation plays a very important part. The savage believes that he can bring about events by- imitating them. He makes, for instance, an image of his enemy and pierces it with darts or burns it, believing that by so doing he will cause his enemy's death: similarly sailors would whistle, or farmers would pour water on the ground, in the hope of producing wind or rain. This form of imitation is known as sympathetic magic (see MAGIC). The sociological importance of imitation is elaborately investigated by Gabriel Tarde (Les Lois de Pimimtion, 2I1d ed., 189 5), who bases all social evolution on the imitative impulse. He distinguishes “ custom imitations, ” i.e. imitations of ancient or even forgotten actions, and “ mode imitations, ” i.e. imitations of current fashions. New discoveries are, in his scheme, the product of the conflict of imitations. This theory, though of great value, seems to neglect original natural similarities which, by the law of causation, produce similar consequences, where imitation is geographically or chronologically impossible.

The term “imitation ” has also the following special uses?- 1. In Art-theory.-According to Plato all artistic production is a form of imitation (uipnots). That which really exists is the idea or type created by God; of this type all concrete objects are representations, while the painter, the tragedian, the musician are merely imitators, thrice removed from the truth (Rep. X. 596 seq.). Such persons are represented by Plato as a menace to the moral hbre of the community (Rep. iii.), as performing no useful function, drawing men away from reality and pandering to the irrational side of the soul. All art should aim at moral improvement. Plato clearly intends by “ imitation ” more than is con notated by the modern word: though in general he associates with it all that is bad and second rate, he in some passages admits the value of the imitation of that which is good, and thus assigns to it a certain symbolic significance. Aristotle, likewise regarding art as imitation, emphasizes its purely artistic value as purging the emotions (lcd0apo'LS), and producing beautiful things as such (see Arssrnnrrcs and Frnn Anrs).

2. In Biology, the term is sometimes applied to the assimilatio11 by one species of certain external characteristicstespecially colour) which enable them to escape the notice of other species which would otherwise prey upon them. It is a form of protective resemblance and is generally known as mimicry (q.n; see also COLOURS or AN1Mir.s).

3. In Music, the term “imitation” is applied in contrapuntal composition to the repetition of a passage in one or more of the other voices or parts of a composition. When the repetition is note for note with all the intervals the same, the imitation is called “strict ” and becomes a canon (q.v.); if not it is called

“ free, ” the latter being much the more common. There are many varieties of imitation, known as imitation “by inversion,” “by inversion and reversion,” “by augmentation,” “by diminution ” (sec Grove's Dictionary of Music, s. v., and textbooks of musical theory).