Definition of automatism in English:

automatism

Syllabification: au·tom·a·tism
Pronunciation: /ôˈtäməˌtizəm
 
/

noun

  • 1The performance of actions without conscious thought or intention.
    More example sentences
    • This problem highlights the difficulty in delineating the dividing line between automatism and insanity, or, as it is often termed non-insane automatism and insane automatism.
    • In any case, automatism itself, though perhaps a kind of bypassing of the will, does not seem to me to represent necessarily an impairment of the agent's volitional capacities.
    • Thus, where the malfunctioning of the mind is caused by an external factor, the legal classification is automatism rather than insanity; where it is arises from an internal cause, the classification is insanity.
  • 1.1 Art The avoidance of conscious intention in producing works of art, especially by using mechanical techniques or subconscious associations.
    More example sentences
    • Despite these developments, the decline of automatism as a Surrealist technique can be perceived as early as 1930, the date of the Second Surrealist Manifesto.
    • His esthetic interests ran to European Surrealism, and with William Baziotes and Jackson Pollock he began to experiment with nontraditional ways of making art, including automatism.
    • Like many midcentury abstractionists, he was influenced by the Surrealist idea of automatism, which he incorporated into his early works.
  • 1.2An action performed unconsciously or involuntarily.
    More example sentences
    • He sums up his discussion of automatisms (automatic writing and so on) by saying that they ‘represent a class of instances in which apparent mental causation fails.’
    • Motor automatisms were the ‘movement of limbs or hand or tongue, initiated by an inner motor impulse beyond the conscious will’.
    • Six patients described an aura, and three were noted to have automatisms.

Origin

mid 19th century: from French automatisme, from automate 'automaton', from Greek automatos 'acting of itself' (see automaton).

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