Definition of organicism in US English:



  • 1The doctrine that everything in nature has an organic basis or is part of an organic whole.

    • ‘Others have felt compelled to attribute to Humboldt some form of holism, organicism, or even materialist determinism in order to give ideal unity to what they see as an otherwise hopelessly scattered empiricism.’
    • ‘Low mysticism is immanent, relies on a sort of pantheistic organicism; high mysticism is transcendent, depending on gods / God that is beyond.’
    • ‘Such organicism is certainly not unique to Winthrop but had filtered to the Puritans through ancient, medieval, and Elizabethan sources, many with Anglican and Papal roots.’
    • ‘Similarly, contextualism and organicism are world hypotheses that tend to see things in terms of wholes, even though they are preoccupied with different dimensions.’
    • ‘Much of his work at Harvard focused on metaphysics, especially his emphasis on organicism and process.’
  • 2The use or advocacy of literary or artistic forms in which the parts are connected or coordinated in the whole.

    • ‘Hesse's abstract organicism feels very present, especially in the many wall-mounted sculptures featuring the large pods that have become something of a hallmark for Neff.’
    • ‘One felt, in her marriage of geometry and chaos, something of the Post-Minimal organicism of Eva Hesse.’
    • ‘Such theories were an important part of the Victorian intellectual world, and when Eliot probes the place of the individual in the social body, she is questioning an aspect of organicism that is potentially troubling.’
    • ‘It tended to read as a superficial organicism applied over the work's underlying axiality.’
    • ‘Like Smithson, a knowledgeable early 20 th-century observer of Duchamp's readymades, such as his Bottle Rack of 1914, would have much more readily understood this joke at the expense of Bergsonian organicism.’


Mid 19th century: from French organicisme.