ETYM Cf. French animisme, from Latin anima soul. Related to Animate.
The doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls.
Attribution of soul to inanimate objects.
Belief in the possession of a soul by inanimate objects; belief in existence of soul separate from matter; spiritualism.
In anthropology, the belief that everything, whether animate or inanimate, possesses a soul or spirit. It is a fundamental system of belief in certain religions, particularly those of some pre-industrial societies. Linked with this is the worship of natural objects such as stones and trees, thought to harbor spirits (naturism); fetishism; and ancestor worship.
In psychology and physiology, the view of human personality that attributes human life and behavior to a force distinct from matter. In developmental psychology, an animistic stage in the early thought and speech of the child has been described, notably by Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.
In philosophy, the view that in all things consciousness or something mindlike exists.
In religious theory, the conception of a spiritual reality behind the material one: for example, beliefs in the soul as a shadowy duplicate of the body capable of independent activity, both in life and death.