mechanism: the arrangement or association of the elements or parts of anything in relation to the effect they generate; the combination of mental processes by which an effect is generated.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Mechanism is the idea that all natural phenomena, including the miracle of life, are governed by the laws of Physics and Chemistry. The death of Vitalism helped advance this among most skeptics/religious zealots.

Mech"an*ism (?), n. [Cf. F. m'ecanisme, L. mechanisma. See Mechanic.]

1.

The arrangement or relation of the parts of a machine; the parts of a machine, taken collectively; the arrangement or relation of the parts of anything as adapted to produce an effect; as, the mechanism of a watch; the mechanism of a sewing machine; the mechanism of a seed pod.

2.

Mechanical operation or action.

He acknowledges nothing besides matter and motion; so that all must be performed either by mechanism or accident. Bentley.

3. Kinematics

An ideal machine; a combination of movable bodies constituting a machine, but considered only with regard to relative movements.

 

© Webster 1913.

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