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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 ?
between organicist and deconstructionist critics over the nature of
His wish that the American public will engage more critically with the past and its representations is laudable, but Schocket's obvious organicist leanings may well repel the people who would most benefit from this message.
He distinguishes the environmental impurity captured by avant-garde poetics in the early twentieth century from organicist and transcendentalist aesthetics of nature in the nineteenth century.
French classical liberal (and Academician) Emile Faguet mocked this organicist idea appropriately: "You think you were a man," he wrote; "in fact, you are a foot" (Le Liberalisme, Paris, 2002).
The author argues that this was largely due to MarxAEs reliance on organicist and spiritualist anthropology derived from FeuerbackAEs materialism.
Beginning with "Der Geist," Morgan impressively unravels the intricacies of Schenker's anti-organicist and organicist positions.
SCHOCKET'S DIAGNOSIS IS, NONETHELESS, stronger than his remedy, which is that scholars should portray essentialist and organicist themes "in tandem.
However, they were animated in all cases by a certain organicist vocation that considered separation as a starting point and anticipated opening, miscegenation and biculturalism as characteristics that define an improving world.
Abrams's classic study, The Mirror and the Lamp (1953), which is perhaps still the most thorough and illuminating genealogy of organicist literary criticism, focuses on work from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Design culture and public debates still refer to these shattered tales and damaged images of cities: the multipolar city, the archipelago city, the scattered city, the organicist city in which everything is held together, or its opposite, the balkanised city in which everything is separate.
As in communication theory there was a transition from mechanistic to organicist models of communication, in semiotics there was a transition from structure to text.
24) The geographer David Matless has pointed out that 'Rolt's work is exceptional within organicist literature in having an immediate and considerable effect.