Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Philosophy The ancient theory of Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius, according to which simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles are the basic components of the entire universe.
  • n. Philosophy A theory according to which social institutions, values, and processes arise solely from the acts and interests of individuals, who thus constitute the only true subject of analysis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ancient Greek theory that all matter is composed of very small indestructible and indivisible particles.
  • n. The doctrine that society arises from individuals and that larger structures are unimportant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The doctrine of atoms. See Atomic philosophy, under atomic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The metaphysical or the physical theory of atoms; atomic philosophy or atomic theory. See atomic.
  • n. The state of existing as an atom or a unit, or of being composed of atoms or units; individualism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (psychology) a theory that reduces all mental phenomena to simple elements (sensations and feelings) that form complex ideas by association
  • n. (chemistry) any theory in which all matter is composed of tiny discrete finite indivisible indestructible particles

Etymologies

atom +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So even Popperians who are fond of demarcating science from non-science, and from pseudo-science, leave room for a doctrine such as atomism which is non-scientific but not necessarily pseudo-scientific.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • Descartes rejects any form of atomism, which is the view that there exists a smallest indivisible particle of matter.

    Descartes' Physics

  • Charleton tried to turn the tables on those who were calling atomism atheistic by declaring that, so far from being impious, atomism actually was a proof of the existence and power of God.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • Radical Orthodoxy is a post-modern theological challenge to the atomism which is the consequence of political, economic and philosophical liberalism.

    Archive 2008-08-01

  • It is they who for the first time developed the theory of atomism which is peculiar to Kalām and which was later developed extensively by the Ash ` arites.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • With it has come the "atomism" and "one-dimensionality" that leftist critics have always charged against the capitalist system.

    Attack the System

  • "atomism" and, concomitantly, dearth of higher virtues in our society.

    Anarchist news dot org - Comments

  • It deals with the principles of atomism; the nature of the mind and soul; explanations of sensation and thought; the development of the world and its phenomena; and explains a variety of celestial and terrestrial phenomena.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • In short, Medvedev's ambition is to overcome the Soviet legacy of individual atomism and statist collectivism - when totalitarian state structures undermined social bonds of reciprocal trust and mutual cooperation.

    Adrian Pabst: President Medvedev's Project Of Modernization

  • If you go back to the end of the 18th century, there was no atomic theory, just a philosophical viewpoint known as atomism.

    Another Look

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