determinism

noun
de·​ter·​min·​ism | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce determinism (audio) , dē- \

Definition of determinism

1 philosophy
a : a theory or doctrine that acts of the will (see will entry 2 sense 4a), occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws
b : a belief in predestination
2 : the quality or state of being determined

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Other Words from determinism

determinist \ di-​ˈtər-​mə-​nəst How to pronounce determinist (audio) , dē-​ \ noun or adjective
deterministic \ di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce deterministic (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deterministically \ di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce deterministically (audio) , dē-​ \ adverb

Examples of determinism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Understanding how climate determinism unfolded historically can reveal the racial biases in present-day conversations about climate change. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020 Blatant climate determinism persisted in the academic literature well into the last century. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020 If the answer to the Question is free will, then the answers to the other questions matter. If determinism is the law of the universe, then nothing matters. Craig Hanks, National Review, "Devs Raises the Ultimate Question," 2 May 2020 Moreover, with this formalism, the strict determinism implied by Einstein’s equations gives way to a quantum-like unpredictability. Quanta Magazine, "Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math.," 7 Apr. 2020 The scene where Eleanor and Michael debate determinism and free will is The Good Place at its best: delving into deep philosophical quandaries with intelligence and a light touch. Ars Technica, "Review: It’s a wonderful afterlife in The Good Place’s bittersweet finale," 3 Feb. 2020 Only five per cent is related to genetic determinism. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Deepak Chopra Has Never Been Sick," 17 Oct. 2019 This doctrine, known as determinism, was advocated passionately by the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, whom Einstein considered a great hero. Quanta Magazine, "Einstein’s Parable of Quantum Insanity," 10 Sep. 2015 During a discussion of existentialism and determinism that Rob was ingeniously weaving into the story through one of the hitmen, Raymond, who also taught a course in philosophy, brought new insights into the philosophical analysis. Kareem Abdul-jabbar, The Hollywood Reporter, "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What I Learned Writing for 'Veronica Mars'," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'determinism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of determinism

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for determinism

see determine

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Time Traveler for determinism

Time Traveler

The first known use of determinism was in 1838

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Statistics for determinism

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Determinism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determinism. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for determinism

determinism

noun
How to pronounce determinism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of determinism

philosophy : the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens

determinism

noun
de·​ter·​min·​ism | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce determinism (audio) \

Medical Definition of determinism

1 : a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws explained behavior by the combination of an environmental and a genetic determinism
2 : the quality or state of being determined

Other Words from determinism

deterministic \ -​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnis-​tik How to pronounce deterministic (audio) \ also determinist \ -​ˈtərm-​(ə-​)nəst How to pronounce determinist (audio) \ adjective
deterministically \ -​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnis-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce deterministically (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on determinism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with determinism

Britannica English: Translation of determinism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about determinism

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