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1. The concept that society or the universe is analogous to a biological organism, as in development or organization.
2. The doctrine that the total organization of an organism, rather than the functioning of individual organs, is the principal or exclusive determinant of every life process.
3. The theory that all disease is associated with structural alterations of organs.

or·gan′i·cist n.


1. (Biology) the theory that the functioning of living organisms is determined by the working together of all organs as an integrated system
2. (Medicine) the theory that all symptoms are caused by organic disease
3. (Medicine) the theory that each organ of the body has its own peculiar constitution
orˈganicist n, adj
orˌganiˈcistic adj


(ɔrˈgæn əˌsɪz əm)

1. Philos. the view that some systems resemble organisms in having parts that function in relation to the whole to which they belong. Cf. holism.
2. Pathol. the doctrine that all symptoms arise from organic disease.
3. a view of society as an autonomous entity analogous to and following the same developmental pattern as a biological organism.
[1850–55; organic + -ism]
or•gan`i•cis′mal, or•gan`i•cis′tic, adj.
or•gan′i•cist, n.


1. the theory that all symptoms are due to organic disease.
2. the theory that each of the organs of the body has its own special constitution. — organicist, n. — organicistic, adj.
See also: Medical Specialties
the theory that vital activities stem not from any single part of an organism but from its autonomous composition. Cf. holism, mechanism, vitalism.organicist, n.organicistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.organicism - theory that the total organization of an organism rather than the functioning of individual organs is the determinant of life processes
scientific theory - a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
holism, holistic theory - the theory that the parts of any whole cannot exist and cannot be understood except in their relation to the whole; "holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"; "holistic theory has been applied to ecology and language and mental states"
References in periodicals archive ?
On mid-century French attempts to reconcile mechanism with organicism and exploit technology's capacity to solve social problems, see Tresch, The Romantic Machine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Likewise, Emily Stone found that after long exposure to Petronio's whiplash organicism, the Cunningham technique that she had trained in, that had "once been my everything," made a vivid new sense.
But this turn toward the synthetic and spectacular retained the disturbing, frozen organicism of the ceramic bestiary.
2) Because of both the way Abrams positioned Victorian criticism and the way organicism has fared in the decades since the publication of The Mirror and the Lamp, Victorian poets' responses to and revisions of organic form have not been thoroughly examined.
Russo and Caron's forms call to mind the lyrical organicism of Petah Coyne, while their engagement with bodily processes can read like a deliteralised version of Roxy Paine.
Enlightenment social science continued to inform accounts of the inner workings of modern society, but romantic organicism encouraged social theorists to locate their accounts of modern societies in developmental narratives.
This line fuses voluptuous organicism with technophilia, producing heteroglot descriptions that have a certain intuitiveness despite not existing in time and space (networks don't have clumps, and surfaces can't really form curlicues).
Second, Broom equates materialism with reductionism, ignoring a wealth of work on ideas such as emergence, holism or organicism, and philosophies that maintain high respect for science that address Broom's motivations for writing Life's X Factor in the first place.
For instance, Art Nouveau is defined and related to Aestheticism's emphasis on "art for art's sake" sensibilities but the moral/ethical implications of its anti-machine aesthetic found in its naturalistic organicism is ignored, though a point central to the discussion (138).
However, both Bakhtin and Joyce go beyond organicism to something more like 'intertextual ecologism,' seeing textual productions across vast expanses of time and geography as being analogous to the functioning of dynamically evolving ecosystems, rather than discrete, finite organisms.
However this choice does not imply the adoption of the Hayekean conception of "judge" (on this, see Vilaca, supra note 33) or the organicism frequently associated to Burke's thought.