Word of the Day Archive
Saturday August 18, 2012
1. Giving or establishing laws; legislative.
2. Founded upon or derived from law.
3. Psychology. Pertaining to or involving the study or formulation of general or universal laws (opposed to idiographic).
Historical studies have been called 'idiographic' as describing dates and place particulars, as do many phases in geology or astronomy, in contrast to 'nomothetic' studies such as physics and chemistry, which are supposed to lay down rules to hold regardless of date.
-- Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam
The data are usually presented statistically, demographically, or epidemiologically. The nineteenth-century Germany philosopher Wilhelm Windelband called this view the nomothetic approach to knowledge.
-- Edwin S. Shneidman, Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind
Nomothetic stems from Greek roots nomo- meaning "law, custom" and thet meaning "place, set."