from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Relating to or concerned with discrete or unique facts or events: History is an idiographic discipline, studying events that cannot be repeated.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. of or pertaining to individuals.
- adj. Of or pertaining to idiography or to an idiograph.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Of or pertaining to an idiograph.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to or consisting of an idiograph or idiographs.
- Concerned with the individual; descriptive and interpretative of single and unique facts and processes: opposed to nomothetic.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. relating to or involving the study of individuals
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Qualitative research may be idiographic or nomothetic.
I believe the distinction by Wilhelm Dilthey between "nomothetic" (= positing laws) and "idiographic" (= describing individuals) sciences, is still much more fruitful than other approaches that tend to blur the dividing line.
It's also worth stating that one of the theoretical approaches associated with ethnographic research is an idiographic, rather than nomothetic, approach to data -- a concern with the particular, rather than the general.
“Island biogeography has changed in a decade,” Simberloff wrote, “from an idiographic discipline with few organizing principles to a nomothetic science with predictive general laws.”
American tribes, point out the symbol of the sun, in their ancient muzzinabikons, or rock-inscriptions, and also amid the idiographic tracery and bark-scrolls of the hieratic and magical medicine songs.
Both can contribute to scientific approach - idiographic suited to description; nomothetic to predictions.
Two approaches can be complementary - idiographic can further develop a nomothetic law.
The Ballzheimer's cup first round must remain undecided, as both present maximal claims within their respective (nomothetic vs idiographic re: wars) approaches.
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