• synonyms


[in-di-tur-muh-niz-uh m]
noun Philosophy.
  1. the doctrine that human actions, though influenced somewhat by preexisting psychological and other conditions, are not entirely governed by them but retain a certain freedom and spontaneity.
  2. the theory that the will is to some extent independent of the strength of motives, or may itself modify their strength in choice.
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Origin of indeterminism

First recorded in 1870–75; in-3 + determinism
Related formsin·de·ter·min·ist, noun, adjectivein·de·ter·min·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indeterminism

Historical Examples

  • Opposed to determinism is the doctrine of indeterminism or indifferentism.

    The New Gresham Encyclopedia


  • Indeterminism is the only way to break the world into good parts and into bad, and to stand by the former as against the latter.

  • The misinterpretation probably arose at first from my defending (after Renouvier) the indeterminism of our efforts.

  • The enormous change was that determinism had been transferred from ends to means; and indeterminism from means to ends.

    The Philosophy of Spinoza

    Baruch de Spinoza

  • It has championed Determinism or Indeterminism as the occasion served its interest.

British Dictionary definitions for indeterminism


  1. the philosophical doctrine that behaviour is not entirely determined by motives
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Derived Formsindeterminist, noun, adjectiveindeterministic, adjective
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