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[uh-key-zhuh-nl-iz-uh m]
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noun Philosophy.
  1. a theory that there is no natural interaction between mind and matter, but that God makes mental events correspond to physical perceptions and actions.

Origin of occasionalism

First recorded in 1835–45; occasional + -ism
Related formsoc·ca·sion·al·ist, nounoc·ca·sion·al·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for occasionalism

Historical Examples

  • Occasionalism, or the doctrine that God is the immediate cause of all men's actions.

    Conversion of a High Priest into a Christian Worker

    Meletios Golden

  • Many, alarmed at the consequences which occasionalism would seem to involve, have embraced an opposite scheme.

  • This principle was prominent in the philosophy of occasionalism, and is still by no means extinct.

  • Occasionalism appeared to introduce God that he might make physical matter do what it had no natural tendency to do, viz.


    G. W. Leibniz

  • It results from the occasionalism attributed by Dewey to the thinking process.

    John Dewey's logical theory

    Delton Thomas Howard

British Dictionary definitions for occasionalism


  1. the post-Cartesian theory that the seeming interconnection of mind and matter is effected by God
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012