ideology


ideology
/uy'dee ol"euh jee, id'ee-/, n., pl. ideologies.
1. the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.
2. such a body of doctrine, myth, etc., with reference to some political and social plan, as that of fascism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.
3. Philos.
a. the study of the nature and origin of ideas.
b. a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensation.
4. theorizing of a visionary or impractical nature.
[1790-1800; IDEO- + -LOGY; cf. F idéologie]

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Form of social or political philosophy in which practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones.

The term was coined in 1796 by the French writer Antoine-Louis-Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy (b. 1754
d. 1836), as a label for his "science of ideas." Certain characteristics of his thought proved generally true of ideologies, including a more or less comprehensive theory of society, a political program, anticipation of a struggle to implement that program (thus requiring committed followers), and intellectual leadership. Destutt de Tracy's ideas were adopted by the French Revolutionary government in building its version of a democratic, rational, and scientific society (see Directory). Napoleon first gave the term a negative connotation with his scorn for what he called idéologues. Ideology is often contrasted unfavourably with pragmatism. The significance of ideology follows from the fact that power is rarely exercised without some ideas or beliefs that justify support.

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▪ philosophical movement
French  Idéologie, 

      French philosophic movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries that reduced epistemological problems (concerning the nature or grounds of knowledge) to those of psychology (as in the work of Étienne Condillac (Condillac, Étienne Bonnot de)), before advancing to ethical and political problems. The Idéologues, by analysis of ideas, viewed the simple sensory elements of Condillac's sensationalism as generating, by successive composition, the totality of the psychic and spiritual sentiments and, finally, of the social, moral, and political sentiments as well. Named by Destutt de Tracy (Destutt de Tracy, Antoine-Louis-Claude, Comte), the movement had as active members the Marquis de Condorcet (Condorcet, Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de), Maine de Biran (Maine de Biran, Marie-François-Pierre), and Pierre-Jean-Georges Cabanis (Cabanis, Pierre-Jean-Georges).

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ideology — I de*ol o*gy, n. [Ideo + logy: cf. F. id[ e]ologie.] 1. The science of ideas. Stewart. [1913 Webster] 2. (Metaph.) A theory of the origin of ideas which derives them exclusively from sensation. [1913 Webster] Note: By a double blunder in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ideology — (n.) 1796, science of ideas, originally philosophy of the mind which derives knowledge from the senses (as opposed to metaphysics), from Fr. idéologie study or science of ideas, coined by French philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1754 1836) from idéo… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ideology — was first used in the later 18c in the meaning ‘the science of ideas’, and has since filled a much needed role as a term free of religious and spiritual connotations to denote ‘a system of ideas forming the basis of an economic or political… …   Modern English usage

  • ideology — index theory Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ideology — UK US /ˌaɪdiˈɒlədʒi/ noun [C or U] (plural ideologies) POLITICS ► a particular set of ideas and beliefs, especially one on which a political system, party, or organization is based: »The President called for better relations with countries whose… …   Financial and business terms

  • ideology — [n] beliefs articles of faith*, credo, creed, culture, dogma, ideas, outlook, philosophy, principles, system, tenets, theory, view, Weltanschauung*; concepts 688,689 …   New thesaurus

  • ideology — ► NOUN (pl. ideologies) 1) a system of ideas and ideals forming the basis of an economic or political theory. 2) the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual. DERIVATIVES ideological adjective ideologically adverb ideologist… …   English terms dictionary

  • ideology — [ī΄dē äl′ə jē, id΄ēäl′ə jē] n. pl. ideologies [Fr idéologie: see IDEO & LOGY] 1. Archaic the study of the nature and origin of ideas 2. thinking or theorizing of an idealistic, abstract, or impractical nature; fanciful speculation 3. the… …   English World dictionary

  • Ideology — An ideology is a set of beliefs, aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below)… …   Wikipedia

  • Ideology —    In the Communist Manifesto (1848) Karl Marx writes, “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas,” and this is a key aspect of his theory of ideology. For Marx ideology is both a distorted view of reality and a view that… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • ideology — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ dominant, prevailing ▪ official ▪ competing, opposing ▪ They are divided by opposing ideologies. ▪ …   Collocations dictionary


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