from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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  • adjective Noting a science which aims at the discovery of universals or general laws: opposed to idiographic.
  • adjective Legislative; enacting laws.
  • adjective Pertaining to a nomothete, or to the body of nomothetes.
  • adjective Founded on a system of law or by a lawgiver; nomistic: as, nomothetic religions.
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  • First, there is a critique of the 'nomothetic' quest -- the idea that the social sciences should discover social laws.

  • I believe the distinction by Wilhelm Dilthey between 'nomothetic' (= positing laws) and 'idiographic' (= describing individuals) sciences, is still much more fruitful than other approaches that tend to blur the dividing line.

  • Unlike the “nomothetic” knowledge that natural science seeks, what matters in historical science is not a universal law-like causality, but an understanding of the particular way in which an individual ascribes values to certain events and institutions or takes a position towards the general cultural values of his/her time under a unique, never-to-be-repeated constellation of historical circumstances.

  • The nomothetic approach tries to draw inferences from a more limited exposure to a large number of cases.

  • It's also worth stating that one of the theoretical approaches associated with ethnographic research is an idiographic, rather than nomothetic, approach to data -- a concern with the particular, rather than the general.

  • They are often ideographic (i.e., customized for the situation at hand) rather than nomothetic (providing the same standard format to all respondents).


The word 'nomothetic' comes from a Greek word meaning 'relating to legislation'.


Word Of The Day Bible

diving ducks of North America having a bluish-grey bill

Word Of The Day Calendar 2021

Recent Scrabble Words of the Day

gloryJan 21, 2021 CST
a state of high honor
atripJan 20, 2021 CST
(of an anchor) just clear of the bottom
harvestJan 19, 2021 CST
the yield from plants in a single growing season
illuminationJan 18, 2021 CST
a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination
bilgewaterJan 17, 2021 CST
pretentious or silly talk or writing
partitionJan 16, 2021 CST
a vertical structure that divides or separates (as a wall divides one room from another)
acknowledgeJan 15, 2021 CST
declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
exposeJan 14, 2021 CST
the exposure of an impostor or a fraud
staginessJan 13, 2021 CST
an artificial and mannered quality
epistleJan 12, 2021 CST
a specially long, formal letter
alabastrineJan 11, 2021 CST
of or resembling alabaster
gimpJan 10, 2021 CST
disability of walking due to crippling of the legs or feet
tigressJan 9, 2021 CST
a female tiger
demoJan 8, 2021 CST
a visual presentation showing how something works
hospitalityJan 7, 2021 CST
kindness in welcoming guests or strangers
dizenJan 6, 2021 CST
dress up garishly and tastelessly
movableJan 5, 2021 CST
personal as opposed to real property; any tangible movable property (furniture or domestic animals or a car etc)
obscureJan 4, 2021 CST
make less visible or unclear
concupiscenceJan 3, 2021 CST
a desire for sexual intimacy
persiflageJan 2, 2021 CST
light teasing
ollaJan 1, 2021 CST
leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper
feudalDec 31, 2020 CST
of or relating to or characteristic of feudalism
gasoleneDec 30, 2020 CST
a volatile flammable mixture of hydrocarbons (hexane and heptane and octane etc.) derived from petroleum; used mainly as a fuel in internal-combustion engines
plodderDec 29, 2020 CST
someone who walks in a laborious heavy-footed manner
cavortDec 28, 2020 CST
play boisterously
bolshyDec 27, 2020 CST
emotionally charged terms used to refer to extreme radicals or revolutionaries
svelteDec 26, 2020 CST
being of delicate or slender build
academismDec 25, 2020 CST
orthodoxy of a scholastic variety
parkingDec 24, 2020 CST
space in which vehicles can be parked
lacrimationDec 23, 2020 CST
shedding tears