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historicism

[hi-stawr-uh-siz-uh m, -stor-] /hɪˈstɔr əˌsɪz əm, -ˈstɒr-/
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
1890-1895
1890-95; historic + -ism; compare German Historismus
Related forms
historicist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for historicism
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for historicism

historicism

/hɪˈstɒrɪˌsɪzəm/
noun
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
Derived Forms
historicist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for historicism
n.

1895, translating German historismus, from historic + -ism. Given various senses 20c. in theology, philosophy, architecture, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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