Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



auto- +‎ -logy.



autology (countable and uncountable, plural autologies)

  1. The study of oneself.
    • 1914, Good Housekeeping Magazine - Volume 58, page 544:
      If only the discoverer of autology (self-knowledge) had said, "Let all drugs alone, even Detoxyl, eat simple, nutritious food, sleep and play and work in the open air, and don't worry — then acids and poisons will not accumulate in your system, you will have a high vitality and resisting power, disease and pestilence will pass you by.
    • 1974, The International Journal of Critical Sociology - Volumes 1-5, page 38:
      The distinction between anthropology and autology is fundamental and one that separates the "modern" from the traditional. The central question of anthropology is. What is man ?; that of autology. Who am I ?
    • 1983, Ramchandra Gandhi, Language, tradition, and modern civilization, page 23:
      ...from that of traditional thinkers, namely, "What or who am I ?" I will call the second formulation the autological question, so that we have in traditional thinking autology in place of anthropology.
    • 2014, C. Ravindran Nambiar, Indian Metaphysics in Lawrence Durrell’s Novels, →ISBN, page 152:
      According to Huxley, the illustration of the doctrine of the self belongs to “autology rather than psychology".
  2. (grammar) The property of a word or phrase which describes itself.
    • 1984, J. Frank Summers, Wholly, holey, holy: an adult American spelling book:
      Holly, the noun for the thorny-leaved shrub of the holiday season requires two Vs. While we righteously call holy the divine autology of spelling, we should compassionately refrain from calling holey (containing holes) an infernal autology.
    • 1998, Earl R. Anderson, A Grammar of Iconism, →ISBN, page 25:
      Autology, the reflexive "naming" or "mention" of an expression, differs qualitatively from other modes of reference in which expressions are "used." This, however, does not mean that autology is marginalized as a form of "metalinguistic" discourse, restricted to language about language. Autology is unique to language: it is not found in nonhuman semiotic systems.
    • 1998, Garvin Rampersad, The end of existence: membership and metaphysics, →ISBN, page 72:
      Because autology doesn't genuinely apply to meanings, it cannot function in the intensional treatment of words.
  3. (more generally) The ability of a concept to apply to itself; self reference.
    • 2003, Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Discursive Analytical Strategies, →ISBN:
      Within systems theory, autology provides the solution to this problem of self-reference. Through the concept of autology, systems theory can describe itself as a form of self-description describing itself.
    • 2011, Markus Locker, Systems Theory and Theology, →ISBN:
      While contradictions and oppositions within the system have been explained in terms of the inherent otherness (allology) of a system to its environment and the complementary system CS, the accordance of its properties is known as systems autology. The concept of systems autology closely relates to its gestalt or ganzheit.
    • 2012, H. Ulrich & ‎Gilbert Probst, Self-Organization and Management of Social Systems, →ISBN:
      Then, there is Lars Löfgren, a logician in Lund, Sweden, who introduced the notion of "autology", that is, concepts that can be applied to themselves, and in some cases need themselves to come into being.