monism

[ mon-iz-uhm, moh-niz-uhm ]
/ ˈmɒn ɪz əm, ˈmoʊ nɪz əm /

noun

Philosophy.
  1. (in metaphysics) any of various theories holding that there is only one basic substance or principle as the ground of reality, or that reality consists of a single element.Compare dualism (def. 2), pluralism (def. 1a).
  2. (in epistemology) a theory that the object and datum of cognition are identical.Compare pluralism (def. 1b).
the reduction of all processes, structures, concepts, etc., to a single governing principle; the theoretical explanation of everything in terms of one principle.
the conception that there is one causal factor in history; the notion of a single element as primary determinant of behavior, social action, or institutional relations.

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Origin of monism

First recorded in 1860–65; from German Monismus; see origin at mon-, -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM monism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for monism

British Dictionary definitions for monism

monism
/ (ˈmɒnɪzəm) /

noun

philosophy the doctrine that the person consists of only a single substance, or that there is no crucial difference between mental and physical events or propertiesCompare dualism (def. 2) See also materialism (def. 2), idealism (def. 3)
philosophy the doctrine that reality consists of an unchanging whole in which change is mere illusionCompare pluralism (def. 5)
the epistemological theory that the object and datum of consciousness are identical
the attempt to explain anything in terms of one principle only

Derived forms of monism

monist, noun, adjectivemonistic, adjectivemonistically, adverb

Word Origin for monism

C19: from Greek monos single + -ism
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

Cultural definitions for monism

monism
[ (moh-niz-uhm, mon-iz-uhm) ]

A position in metaphysics that sees only one kind of principle whereas dualism sees two. On the question of whether people's minds are distinct from their bodies, for example, a monist would hold either that mental conditions are essentially physical conditions (materialism), or that bodies depend on minds for their existence (idealism).

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.