American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The use of or reliance on voluntary action to maintain an institution, carry out a policy, or achieve an end.
- n. A theory or doctrine that regards the will as the fundamental principle of the individual or of the universe.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The metaphysical opinion that all existence and all actual happening is of the nature of an individual effort (against a resistance) which has on each occasion a peculiar conscious quality and is also discriminative or, at least rudimentally, purposive, and so cognitive. In so far as this opinion makes cognition essentially purposive, it agrees, in effect, with pragmatism from which, however, it differs in being a metaphysical hypothesis founded on arguments drawn from psychology, instead of being a maxim of logic deduced from an analysis of the nature of signs.
- n. A type of psychological theory, which regards the will as fundamental, and accordingly emphasizes the volitional rather than the intellectual aspect of our nature: ordinarily opposed to intellectualism.
- n. US a reliance on volunteers to support an institution or achieve an end; volunteerism
- n. philosophy a doctrine that assigns the most dominant position to the will rather than the intellect
- n. politics the political theory that a community is best organized by the voluntary cooperation of individuals, rather than by a government, which is regarded as being coercive by nature.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Philosophy) Any theory which conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the constitution of the world; -- contrasted with
intellectualism. Schopenhauer and Fichte are typical exponents of the two types of metaphysical voluntarism, Schopenhauer teaching that the evolution of the universe is the activity of a blind and irrational will, Fichte holding that the intelligent activity of the ego is the fundamental fact of reality.
- n. the principle or practice of depending on volunteers to support institutions or perform some desired action.
- n. a political philosophy opposed to dependence on governmental action or support for social services that might be performed by private groups.
- voluntary + -ism (Wiktionary)
“I owe them thanks for my deep-seated roots in voluntarism, and I thank the Junior Leagues for helping me, to acquire the skills that I need to give back positively to the communities that so generously helped my family.”
“As we think globally, and we must think that way today, voluntarism is critical to the strengthening of local communities.”
“Second, the denial of the right to strike would be incompatible with tradition and would strip the element of voluntarism from the labour agreement which is, after all, the objective of the process of collective bargaining as we understand it.”
“Well where’s the voluntarism from the bank bailouts that Bush started and Obama continued?”
“If there are any honorable friends of mine who are opposed to compulsion, the most effective service they can render to voluntarism is to make this army a success.”
“German scientist, whose school of thought is called voluntarism, considers the motive-force of Energy to be something that may be called”
“The antithesis is also misinterpreted, or at least wrongly narrowed, if it is called voluntarism _versus_ associationism.”
“He dealt with them at the grass roots-level, as a community organizer (Since when do the Republicans, the party of "voluntarism" and "faith-based initiatives" and "compassionate conservatism," sneer at individuals who choose community service over self-aggrandizement?).”
“I have added the emphasis in those last few sentences, ones that criticize Duns Scotus and others for what philosophers call their "voluntarism" about God.”
“We hope and trust that this sense of community spirit and voluntarism which is prevailing in these communities would spread throughout the Province.”
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