primitivism

primitivist, n.primitivistic, adj.
/prim"i ti viz'euhm/, n.
1. a recurrent theory or belief, as in philosophy or art, that the qualities of primitive or chronologically early cultures are superior to those of contemporary civilization.
2. the state of being primitive: the primitivism of the Stone Age peoples.
3. the qualities or style characterizing primitive art.
[1860-65; PRIMITIVE + -ISM]

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      an outlook on human affairs that sees history as a decline from an erstwhile condition of excellence (chronological primitivism) or holds that salvation lies in a return to the simple life (cultural primitivism). Linked with this is the notion that what is natural should be a standard of human values. Nature may mean what is intrinsic, objective, normal, healthy, or universally valid. Various senses of primitivism depend on whether the natural is set over against historical development; against artifact and contrivance; against law, custom, and convention; or against rational mental activity.

      Among historical expressions of primitivism are the Cynics' spurning of luxury, property, and social amenities; Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi's “free and easy wandering” in the spontaneity of the Dao; the Greeks' pristine Golden Age; the biblical Garden of Eden; medieval monasticism; the Anabaptists' aloofness from bourgeois civilization; the Romantics' idealization of the “savage”; and modern nostalgia for the “golden” years of childhood and yearning for the “simplicity” of the past.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Primitivism — refers to a) an artistic movement in particular which originated as a reaction to the Enlightenment, or b) the general tendency to idealize any social behavior judged relatively simple or primitive, whether in the arts, social sciences or… …   Wikipedia

  • primitivism — PRIMITIVÍSM s.n. 1. Faptul de a fi primitiv, starea a ceea ce este primitiv; perioadă primitivă; primitivitate. 2. Tendinţă în creaţia spirituală de a conserva sau resuscita calităţile operelor create în primele faze ale dezvoltării societăţii,… …   Dicționar Român

  • primitivism — 1861, from PRIMITIVE (Cf. primitive) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • primitivism — [prim′itiv iz΄əm] n. 1. belief in or practice of primitive ways, living, etc. 2. the qualities, principles, etc. of primitive art or artists primitivist n., adj …   English World dictionary

  • primitivism — noun Date: 1861 1. primitive practices or procedures; also a primitive quality or state 2. a. belief in the superiority of a simple way of life close to nature b. belief in the superiority of nonindustrial society to that of the present 3. the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • primitivism — noun a) The state or quality of being primitive b) The opinion that life was better or more moral among primitive peoples, or among children, and has deteriorated with civilization See Also: primitivist …   Wiktionary

  • primitivism — doctrine that a simple and natural life is morally best Philosophical Isms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • primitivism — prim·i·tiv·ism || prɪmÉ™tɪvɪzm n. antiquity, oldness; crudeness, simpleness; state of being uncivilized …   English contemporary dictionary

  • primitivism — noun 1》 adoption of a primitive lifestyle or technique. 2》 instinctive and unreasoning behaviour. Derivatives primitivist noun & adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • primitivism — prim·i·tiv·ism …   English syllables

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