Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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core definition

Monism argues that the world consists of a single substance and that there is no division of mind and body.

explanatory context

Monism has two distinct but similar meanings.


First, monism refers to a view that there is ultimately only one substance in the universe. This 'substance' is usually of a spiritual kind. Objective idealism is an example of a monist perspective.


Second, monism refers to a view opposed to the dualistic thesis of mind and body. Monism in this sense asserts that mind and body do not differ in essence and that differences are the result of the arrangement of a common material. Such material is not a single monistic substance but a composite material. Logical atomism is a monistic view in this sense. It should be noted that not all views that are opposed to a mind body dualism are monist, for example a dialectical approach is not an example of monism.

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also



copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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