Definition of substantialism in English:



mass nounPhilosophy
  • The doctrine that behind phenomena there are substantial realities.

    • ‘Thus, both Buddhist doctrine and Whitehead's philosophy avoid the extremes of substantialism and nihilism, and propose that things have a relational, interdependent type of existence.’
    • ‘A third type of substantialism amounts to the theory that there is a plurality of ultimately irreducible individual souls rather than just a single divine one.’
    • ‘The third revolutionary element is Buddhism's rejection of substantialism for the sake of a system of thought based on relativity as represented by the law of cause and effect.’
    • ‘The extreme of substantialism, whereby one asserts oneself, goes hand in hand with the extreme of nihilism, whereby one negates the other.’
    • ‘The key question confronting sociologists in the present day is not ‘material versus ideal,’ ‘structure versus agency,’ ‘individual versus society,’ or any of the other dualisms so often noted; rather, it is the choice between substantialism and relationalism.’