phenomena arising independently of external organizing influences. In philosophy, the spontaneous is associated with the self-motion of nature (Spinoza) or of cognition (Leibniz and Hegel). Dialectical materialism links the spontaneous to self-development, self-motion, and the resolution of the internal contradictions of phenomena (see V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 29, p. 317).
Sociology studies such spontaneous social phenomena as migration and market relations, as well as various types of self-organization and of unorganized (unplanned) changes in social systems. The importance of spontaneous processes declines in proportion to social progress.
In medicine, the term “spontaneous” may refer to diseases and syndromes, for example, spontaneous pneumothorax, as well as to changes of unknown cause in their course, for example, the spontaneous remission of acute leukemia.