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atomism Line breaks: atom|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈatəmɪz(ə)m/

Definition of atomism in English:


[mass noun] chiefly Philosophy
A theoretical approach that regards something as interpretable through analysis into distinct, separable, and independent elementary components. The opposite of holism.
Example sentences
  • A study of the path from philosophical atomism to contemporary scientific atomism helps to shed light on the nature of philosophy and science and the relationship between the two.
  • The true philosophy of Cudworth's intellectual system combines mechanistic atomism with Platonic metaphysics.
  • Gassendi, for example, embarked on a wholehearted revival and modification of Epicurean atomism, which had a considerable impact on natural philosophy.


Pronunciation: /ˈatəmɪst/
Example sentences
  • Although, unlike most of his fashionable contemporaries and immediate successors, Descartes was not an atomist, he was, like the others, a mechanist about the properties of matter.
  • Not all of the mechanical philosophers were mechanical atomists.
  • It will be observed that in this respect the early atomists were far more scientific than Epicurus and even than Aristotle.
Pronunciation: /atəˈmɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • Modern physics has ceased to be atomistic in the full sense that the Greek atomists intended.
  • They were nevertheless moderns in natural philosophy who accepted post-Galilean science, and propounded an atomistic theory of matter.
  • The dissolution of the feudal estates by the Revolution produced a purely atomistic society, characterized by the assertion of individual property right.
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