Definition of formalism in English:

formalism

Line breaks: for¦mal|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːm(ə)lɪz(ə)m
 
/

noun

  • 1 [mass noun] Excessive adherence to prescribed forms: academic dryness and formalism
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    • This inclination has developed the furthest in philosophy, political science, and economics, where most practitioners have adopted an otherworldly and self-referential formalism.
    • I am not going to argue for the virtues of formalism.
    • Fortunately, I grew out of the spell of legal formalism and its infantile over-simplifications.
  • 1.1The basing of ethics on the form of the moral law without regard to intention or consequences.
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    • Analytic ethics has been very fairly impoverished given the postivist legacy of emotivism, the formalism of Kantian ethics and the technicalism of utilitarianism.
    • They explicitly disavow the classical philosophies of formalism, logicism, Platonism, intuitionism, and social constructivism.
    • Gadamer uses Kant's aesthetic formalism to illustrate this point.
  • 1.2Concern or excessive concern with form and technique rather than content in artistic creation.
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    • Judd's thesis augured the inevitable evolution of Modern art into pure formalism and object-ness.
    • In this way, neoclassicism's insistent formalism did little to close the gap between style and meaning.
    • A slew of sculptors have emerged in Los Angeles in the last few years, but most seem stuck in either constrictive formalism or murky surrealism.
  • 1.3(In the theatre) a symbolic and stylized manner of production.
  • 1.4The treatment of mathematics as a manipulation of meaningless symbols.
    More example sentences
    • The other basic version of formalism likens the practice of mathematics to a game played with linguistic characters.
    • He has also made this formalism more useful for practical calculations.
    • Brouwer emphasizes, as he had done in his dissertation, that formalism presupposes contentual mathematics at the metalevel.
  • 2A description of something in formal mathematical or logical terms: there is a formalism which expresses the idea of superposition
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    • Yet the development of the general theory of relativity introduced Einstein to the power of abstract mathematical formalisms, notably that of tensor calculus.
    • The Maximum Likelihood section provides the details of the mathematical formalisms and computations.
    • Any attempt to disprove the theory of evolution using thermodynamics will require proper formalisms.

Derivatives

formalist

noun
More example sentences
  • Here, as in his earlier pictures, he is a cool, meticulous formalist who favors full-to-long shots in which the camera remains stationary.
  • Touching but unsentimental, this poem provides yet more evidence that the best non-formal poetry is almost invariably produced by consummate formalists.
  • Formalists claim that legal realism is not true to the rule of law; realists respond that despite what formalists say, formalism isn't how the law really works.

formalistic

Pronunciation: /-ˈlɪstɪk/
adjective
More example sentences
  • ‘There are people who only emphasize the ritual and formalistic aspects of religious teachings, overlooking the true substance that lies behind them,’ he said.
  • In these days of focus on class, race, and gender, the subject would seem to many literary scholars far too abstract, artificial, philosophical, and formalistic to be worth pursuing.
  • Rather, they were obviously based on a commitment to a formalistic interpretation of ‘equal protection of the laws’ under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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