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a manner or technique of treating subject matter that presents, through volume of detail, a deterministic view of human life and actions.
a deterministic theory of writing in which it is held that a writer should adopt an objective view toward the material written about, be free of preconceived ideas as to form and content, and represent with clinical accuracy and frankness the details of life.
Compare (def 4b).
a representation of appearances or patterns of speech, manner, etc., in a work of fiction.
the depiction of the physical environment, especially landscape or the rural environment.

(in a work of art) treatment of forms, colors, space, etc., as they appear or might appear in nature.
Compare (def 4), (def 3a).
action arising from or based on natural instincts and desires alone.

the view of the world that takes account only of elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual.
the belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all teleological explanations are therefore without value.


the doctrine that all religious truth is derived from a study of processes and not from revelation.
the doctrine that is sufficient for salvation.

adherence or attachment to what is natural.
Contemporary Examples

naturalism tells us that mystics had temporal lobe epilepsy.
Eben Alexander Has a GPS for Heaven Patricia Pearson October 7, 2014

This is action on a grand scale that, despite its grittiness and naturalism, boasts very high production values.
‘Captain Phillips’ Is a Gripping, Award-Worthy Film Marlow Stern September 27, 2013

The practice reached its peak in the Victorian Era, when naturalism became all the rage for museums and even household decoration.
Dead and Beautiful: The Art of Taxidermy William O’Connor April 15, 2014

Could you tell us some books about naturalism that were particularly influential to you?
How I Write: Jane Goodall Noah Charney April 8, 2014

Historical Examples

Theistic determinism does make man a mere vessel, a tool: for naturalism he is an individuation of the Living All.
Rationalism John Mackinnon Robertson

What he means by naturalism we shall proceed shortly to explain.
Diderot and the Encyclopdists John Morley

naturalism, perfect technique, and the remarkable bodily energy of the figures he depicted were the leading qualities of his work.
A History of Spain Charles E. Chapman

The excess of sentimentalism had given rise to the other extreme of naturalism.
Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell

From the other side the validity of causation has been attacked in the interests of the naturalism of the mechanical sciences.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 5 Various

Even in subject, as Brunn remarks, this naturalism is apparent.
History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber


a movement, esp in art and literature, advocating detailed realistic and factual description, esp that in 19th-century France in the writings of Zola, Flaubert, etc
the characteristics or effects of this movement

a school of painting or sculpture characterized by the faithful imitation of appearances for their own sake
the belief that all religious truth is based not on revelation but rather on the study of natural causes and processes

a scientific account of the world in terms of causes and natural forces that rejects all spiritual, supernatural, or teleological explanations
the meta-ethical thesis that moral properties are reducible to natural ones, or that ethical judgments are derivable from nonethical ones Compare naturalistic fallacy, descriptivism

action or thought caused by natural desires and instincts
devotion to that which is natural

1630s, “action based on natural instincts,” from natural + -ism. In philosophy, as a view of the world and humanity’s relationship to it, from 1750. As a tendency in art and literature, from 1850.

A movement in literature and the arts, and an approach to philosophy. Literary and artistic naturalism aims at accuracy and objectivity and cultivates realistic and even sordid portrayals of people and their environment. Philosophical naturalism, which is often identified with materialism, holds that minds, spirits, and ideas are fundamentally material.

In the visual arts, an attempt to depict the natural world as accurately and objectively as possible.


Read Also:

  • Natural

    existing in or formed by nature (opposed to ): a natural bridge. based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process. of or relating to nature or the universe: natural beauty. of, relating to, or occupied with the study of natural science: conducting natural experiments. in a state […]

  • Naturalist

    a person who studies or is an expert in , especially a zoologist or botanist. an adherent of in literature or art. Contemporary Examples Whenever I read Matthiessen the naturalist, I am reminded of a film clip I once saw of him trying to catch a snake in the wild. Peter Matthiessen Was One of […]

  • Anti naturalistic

    imitating or the usual surroundings. pertaining to or . pertaining to , especially in literature and art. adjective of, imitating, or reproducing nature in effect or characteristics of or characteristic of naturalism, esp in art or literature of or relating to naturalists (of an ethical theory) permitting the inference of ethical judgments from statements of […]

  • Anti nature

    the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities. the world as it exists without human beings or civilization: In nature, wild dogs hunt in packs. the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers: The abandoned power plant was reclaimed by nature, covered in overgrowth and home […]

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