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

  • n. The study and discovery of general physical and logical laws.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The study of laws
  • n. The study of general physical and logical laws
  • n. The science of the laws of the mind; rational psychology.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The science of law; legislation.
  • n. The science of the laws of the mind; rational psychology.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The science of law and legislation.
  • n. The science of the laws of the mind, especially of the fundamental laws of thinking.
  • n. That part of botany which relates to the laws which govern the variations of organs.


Greek nomos, law; see nem- in Indo-European roots + -logy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Formed as nom- + -o- + -logy, by analogy with the French nomologie. (Wiktionary)


  • Which is to say, as often as not the conceptual dislocation is literalised, concretised in the notion of an actual alterior realm with a different nomology (different laws of nature) to those on which our world is run.

    Notes on Strange Fiction: Seams

  • It's not an apparent breach of our nomology in the sense of the "laws of reality", not "fantastic" in the Todorovian sense, but it breaches the nomology of the Western.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • To a thematic purpose, or to force us to revise our nomology, alter our preconcieved notion of the "laws of reality" in order to reconsider whether the anomaly should actually be seen as an artifice?

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • As genre readers we know that this sort of strangeness may have a rational explanation, may not be an actual breach of our nomology.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • In the nomology of the Western it has no place, it doesn't make sense, it "could not be".

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • But we also know that a rewriting of that nomology may be required.

    Strange Fiction in the Marketplace

  • There is an issue here of how strange fiction might have had that technique of breaching nomology as an aesthetic purpose before our scientific worldview redefined not just the terms of that nomology but the basis of how we construct it.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • In fact, part of the reason I replaced Todorov's term uncanny with creepy in my own model, is that I think talk of the uncanny often carries a sense of angst felt in the face of the truly unknown -- i.e. when we are faced with a strange-and-creepy event so alien we are not even able to decide whether it fits our nomology or not, whether it is artifice or anomaly.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • There's also the more self-conscious and deliberate indecision where the anomalous is explicable as an artifice of the nomology of narrative itself, a product of those "laws of reality" that cover the use of extended metaphor in fiction.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • There's the conventionality of the trope, as I've argued previously, where the anomaly is explicable by an alternative consensus nomology to the one we live our lives by, where it is recognised as an artifice of the form, for the sake of a good story.

    Archive 2008-01-01


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