voluntarism


voluntarism
voluntarist, n., adj.voluntaristic, adj.
/vol"euhn teuh riz'euhm/, n.
1. Philos. any theory that regards will as the fundamental agency or principle, in metaphysics, epistemology, or psychology.
2. the principle or practice of supporting churches, schools, hospitals, etc., by voluntary contributions or aid instead of relying on government assistance.
3. any policy or practice based on voluntary action.
[1830-40; VOLUNTAR(Y) + -ISM]

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Metaphysical or psychological system that assigns a more predominant role to the will (Latin, voluntas) than to the intellect.

Christian philosophers who have been described as voluntarist include St. Augustine, John Duns Scotus, and Blaise Pascal. A metaphysical voluntarism was propounded in the 19th century by Arthur Schopenhauer, who took will to be the single, unconscious force behind all of reality and all ideas of reality. An existentialist voluntarism was present in Friedrich Nietzsche's doctrine of the overriding "will to power" whereby man would eventually recreate himself as "superman." And a pragmatic voluntarism is evident in William James's conception of knowledge and truth in terms of purpose and practical ends.

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      any metaphysical or psychological system that assigns to the will (Latin: voluntas) a more predominant role than that attributed to the intellect. Christian philosophers have sometimes described as voluntarist: the non-Aristotelian thought of St. Augustine because of its emphasis on the will to love God; the post-Thomistic thought of John Duns Scotus, a late medieval scholastic, who insisted on the absolute freedom of the will and its supremacy over all other faculties; and the position of the French writer Blaise Pascal, who in religion substituted “reasons of the heart” for rational propositions. Immanuel Kant's (Kant, Immanuel) categorical imperative as an unconditional moral law for the will's choice of action represented an ethical voluntarism. A metaphysical voluntarism was propounded in the 19th century by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (Schopenhauer, Arthur), who took will to be the single, irrational, unconscious force behind all of reality and all ideas of reality. An existentialist voluntarism was present in Friedrich Nietzsche's (Nietzsche, Friedrich) doctrine of the overriding “will to power” whereby man would eventually re-create himself as “superman.” And a Pragmatic voluntarism is evident in William James's reference of knowledge and truth to purpose and to practical ends.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Voluntarism — • In the modern metaphysical sense is a theory which explains the universe as emanating ultimately from some form of will Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Voluntarism     Voluntarism …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • voluntarism — VOLUNTARÍSM s.n. 1. Concepţie filozofică potrivit căreia existenţa se întemeiază pe anumite tendinţe iraţionale ale voinţei umane sau pe o voinţă cosmică oarbă. 2. Concepţie sociologică care neagă existenţa legilor obiective ale naturii şi… …   Dicționar Român

  • Voluntarism — can refer to: *Voluntarism (action), the use of or reliance on voluntary action to maintain an institution, carry out a policy, or achieve an end. *Voluntarism (metaphysics), a philosophical term emphasising the primacy of the will. *Voluntaryism …   Wikipedia

  • Voluntarism — Vol un*ta*rism, n. 1. (Philosophy) Any theory which conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the constitution of the world; contrasted with {intellectualism}. Schopenhauer and Fichte are typical exponents of the two types of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voluntarism — 1838, in philosophy, from VOLUNTARY (Cf. voluntary) + ISM (Cf. ism). As the theory or principal of using voluntary action rather than coercion (in politics, etc.), from 1924, Amer.Eng. (Voluntaryism in this sense is recorded from 1883) …   Etymology dictionary

  • voluntarism — [väl′ən tər iz΄em] n. 1. a) voluntary or willing participation in a course of action b) a doctrine or system based on such participation c) VOLUNTEERISM 2. Philos. any theory which holds that reality is ultimately of the nature of will or that… …   English World dictionary

  • voluntarism — A term usually contrasted with determinism , voluntarism denotes the assumption that individuals are the agents of their actions, and have some control over what they do. Voluntarism s alliance with action contrasts with the deterministic… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • voluntarism — Generally a position seeing reason and intellect as subservient to the will: any position sympathizing with Hume s dictum that reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions. In ethics, voluntarism is the position that it is will or desire… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • voluntarism — noun Date: 1838 1. the principle or system of doing something by or relying on voluntary action or volunteers 2. a theory that conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the world • voluntarist noun • voluntaristic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • voluntarism — noun a) a reliance on volunteers to support an institution or achieve an end; volunteerism b) a doctrine that assigns the most dominant position to the will rather than the intellect …   Wiktionary


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