Definition of nomological in English:


Pronunciation /ˌnäməˈläjik(ə)l/ /ˌnɑməˈlɑdʒɪk(ə)l/


  • 1Relating to or denoting certain principles, such as laws of nature, that are neither logically necessary nor theoretically explicable, but are simply taken as true.

    ‘I take it that Quine has in mind a causal or nomological sense.’
    • ‘Many standard theories of causation also endorse this conclusion, for example, if we are willing to assume it is a law that all ravens are black, then nomological theories of causation will support the claim.’
    • ‘The laws linking mind and brain are what Feigl calls nomological danglers, that is, brute facts added onto the body of integrated physical law.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for nomothetic
      ‘For Boyle, physical objects do exhibit nomological regularities, but this is a contingent fact about the world, or rather, for Boyle was cautious about generalizing, about the spatio-temporal portion of it we occupy.’
      • ‘This way, one might have interaction yet preserve a kind of nomological closure, in the sense that no laws are infringed.’
      • ‘A nomological network seeks to relate theoretical constructs to each other, theoretical constructs to observable measures, and observable measures to each other.’
      • ‘Four of those theories are nomological, and only one is historical.’
      • ‘What we want is a characterization of every physical process so that the invariance of cause and effect corresponds to nomological irreversibility.’


Mid 19th century from Greek nomos ‘law’ + -logical (see -logy).