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Latin possibilis (that can be done), from posse (be able), +‎ -ism.


possibilism (countable and uncountable, plural possibilisms)

  1. (philosophy) The belief that possible things exist, as well as actual things.
    Antonym: actualism
  2. The theory that the geographical environment sets certain constraints, but culture is otherwise determined by social conditions.
  3. An approach that pragmatically focuses on achievable goals rather than impossible ideals.
    • 1970, The Journal of the College & University Personnel Association:
      Aim at a standard of adequacy (possibilism) rather than at a standard of perfection (utopianism).
  4. (sometimes derogatory) Any of various socialist reform movements.

Derived terms[edit]