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 (mō′nĭz′əm, mŏn′ĭz′əm)
n. Philosophy
1. The view in metaphysics that reality is a unified whole and that all existing things can be ascribed to or described by a single concept or system.
2. The doctrine that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being.

mo′nist n.
mo·nis′tic (mō-nĭs′tĭk, mŏ-) adj.
mo·nis′ti·cal·ly adv.


1. (Philosophy) philosophy the doctrine that the person consists of only a single substance, or that there is no crucial difference between mental and physical events or properties. Compare dualism2 See also materialism2, idealism3
2. (Philosophy) philosophy the doctrine that reality consists of an unchanging whole in which change is mere illusion. Compare pluralism5
3. (Philosophy) the epistemological theory that the object and datum of consciousness are identical
4. the attempt to explain anything in terms of one principle only
[C19: from Greek monos single + -ism]
ˈmonist n, adj
moˈnistic, moˈnistical adj
moˈnistically adv


(ˈmɒn ɪz əm, ˈmoʊ nɪz əm)

a. (in metaphysics) any of various theories holding that there is only one basic substance or principle as the ground of reality or that reality consists of a single element. Compare dualism (def. 2a), pluralism (def. 1a).
b. (in epistemology) a theory that the object and datum of cognition are identical.
2. the reduction of all processes, structures, etc., to a single governing principle.
3. the notion that there is only one causal factor in history.
[1860–65; < German Monismus. See mon-, -ism]
mon′ist, n.
mo•nis•tic (məˈnɪs tɪk, moʊ-) mo•nis′ti•cal, adj.
mo•nis′ti•cal•ly, adv.


1. Metaphysics. a theory that only one basic substance or principle exists as the ground of reality. Cf. dualism, pluralism.
2. Metaphysics. a theory that reality consists of a single element. Cf. pluralism.
3. Epistemology. a theory that the object and the sense datum of cognition are identical. — monist, n.monistic, monistical, adj.
See also: Philosophy
Epistemology. a theory that the object and datum of cognition are identical.
See also: Knowledge
Metaphysics. any of various theories holding that there is only one basic substance or principle that is the ground of reality. — monist, n. — monistic, monistical, adj.
See also: Matter
the theory that there is only one causal factor in history, as intellect or nature. — monist, n. — monistic, adj.
See also: History


The belief that all things are unified, or that they are all explained ultimately on one single principle or law.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.monism - the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
pluralism - the doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or elements
References in classic literature ?
Buy me a package of cigarettes instead.' He was a Spencerian like you till Kreis turned him to materialistic monism. I'll start him on monism if I can.
He'll talk Nietzsche, or Schopenhauer, or Kant, or anything, but the only thing in this world, not excepting Mary, that he really cares for, is his monism. Haeckel is his little tin god.
Long before the school of materialistic monism arose, the ground was removed so that there could be no foundation.
He, so warm in spirit, was dominated by that cold and forbidding philosophy, materialistic monism. I used to refute him by telling him that I measured his immortality by the wings of his soul, and that I should have to live endless aeons in order to achieve the full measurement.
Throughout his essays, and particularly in "Two Concepts of Liberty" Berlin connects the idea of positive freedom with such notions as monism, rationalism, and determinism.
Essays in Part 2 focus on philosophical issues of interest to Russell, such as metaphysics and epistemology, mathematics, philosophy of language, moral philosophy, logicism, and neutral monism. The book contains a timeline, a bibliography of his publications, and a list of critical sources.
McCloskey's discussion of ethical monism highlights the value of Constant's and Tocqueville's narratives about virtue in modernity.
Daly cautions, however, that proposing both a self and an Other (human or object) perennially risks either a solipsistic monism that reduces the Other to a projection of the self, or a substance dualism that invites skepticism about non-mental entities (61).
This is already evident in Perry Myer's discussion of monism. Although this is an excellent article, its relationship to National Socialism appears to be far-letched.
With this idea Spinoza connects with Parmenides' original monism. One substance cannot cause or produce another substance.
Huang's real weakness, in my opinion, is that he acquiesced to (or perhaps did not dare to break away from) certain traditional Western assumptions about Chinese culture and Confucian religion, such as the so-called "degeneration" of the idea of God in Confucian history and the absolute monism of the Neo-Confucian worldview.
If he is selected as the president of the country on August 10, DemirtaE- said every king of monism will disappear and democratic nation will be reinforced.