Definitions for voluntarismˈvɒl ən təˌrɪz əm

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word voluntarism

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

vol•un•ta•rismˈvɒl ən təˌrɪz əm(n.)

  1. any theory that regards will as the fundamental agency or principle, in metaphysics, epistemology, or psychology.

    Category: Philosphy

  2. the principle or practice of supporting schools, hospitals, churches, etc., by voluntary contributions or aid instead of relying on government assistance.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  3. any policy based on voluntary action.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

Origin of voluntarism:




  1. voluntarism(Noun)

    a reliance on volunteers to support an institution or achieve an end; volunteerism

  2. voluntarism(Noun)

    a doctrine that assigns the most dominant position to the will rather than the intellect

  3. voluntarism(Noun)

    the political theory that a community is best organized by the voluntary cooperation of individuals, rather than by a government, which is regarded as being coercive by nature.


  1. Voluntarism

    Voluntarism is a school of thought that regards the will as superior to the intellect and to emotion. This description has been applied to various points of view, from different cultural eras, in the areas of metaphysics, psychology, sociology, and theology. The term voluntarism was introduced by Ferdinand Tönnies into the philosophical literature and particularly used by Wilhelm Wundt and Friedrich Paulsen. The etymology of the word is from Latin. Will Durant, in the glossary to The Story of Philosophy, defines voluntarism as "the doctrine that will is the basic factor, both in the universe and in human conduct."


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