historicism

[hi-stawr-uh-siz-uhm, -stor-]
noun
1.
a theory that history is determined by immutable laws and not by human agency.
2.
a theory that all cultural phenomena are historically determined and that historians must study each period without imposing any personal or absolute value system.
3.
a profound or excessive respect for historical institutions, as laws or traditions.
4.
a search for laws of historical evolution that would explain and predict historical phenomena.

Origin:
1890–95; historic + -ism; compare German Historismus

historicist, noun, adjective
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World English Dictionary
historicism (hɪˈstɒrɪˌsɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the belief that natural laws govern historical events which in turn determine social and cultural phenomena
2.  the doctrine that each period of history has its own beliefs and values inapplicable to any other, so that nothing can be understood independently of its historical context
3.  the conduct of any enquiry in accordance with these views
4.  excessive emphasis on history, historicism, past styles, etc
 
his'toricist
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
His was no narrow historicism: he scorned the idea that the past was a guide to the future.
So in fact, perhaps it's all historicism of one sort or another.
False historicism in every treatment should be avoided.
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