synthesis

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SYNTHESIS

Synthesis, in Greek, Σύνθεσις from σύν and τίθημι, meaning a putting together or composition, is used for combinations of things, ideas, or words. aristotle uses it to characterize mechanical mixtures and chemical compounds, acts of the mind combining ideas in judgments, and the relation of subject and predicate in a proposition. epicurus uses it for the relations of atoms in a composite and the relation of sensations in composite notions. It is applied to propositions and to methods. In logical method it means either the combination of terms in propositions and systems, or the inferential procedure from principles to conclusions.

See Also: analysis and synthesis; atomism; methodology (philosophy).

[r. mckeon]

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syn·the·sis / ˈsin[unvoicedth]əsis/ • n. (pl. -ses / -ˌsēz/ ) combination or composition, in particular: ∎  the combination of ideas to form a theory or system: the synthesis of intellect and emotion in his work | the ideology represented a synthesis of certain ideas. Often contrasted with analysis. ∎  the production of chemical compounds by reaction from simpler materials: the synthesis of methanol from carbon monoxide and hydrogen. ∎  (in Hegelian philosophy) the final stage in the process of dialectical reasoning, in which a new idea resolves the conflict between thesis and antithesis. ∎  Gram. the process of making compound and derivative words. ∎  Linguistics the use of inflected forms rather than word order to express grammatical structure. DERIVATIVES: syn·the·sist n.

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synthesis proceeding from cause to effect XVII; formation of a compound by combining its elements XVIII. — L. — Gr. súnthesis, f. suntithénai, f. SYN- + tithénai place, put.
Hence synthesize XIX (beside synthetize XIX, — Gr. sunthetízesthai). So synthetic, synthetical XVII. — F. or Gr.

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synthesis The combination of two (or more) contradictory phenomena to produce something qualitatively new. The term is usually associated with the dialectical logic employed by some Marxists: for example, the economic contradictions of capitalism and the class conflict they generate, together produce socialism.

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synthesis The formation of chemical compounds from more simple compounds. See biosynthesis.

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synthesis (sin-thi-sis) n. the formation of complex substances from simple constituents.
synthesize vb. —synthetic (sin-thet-ik) adj.

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Synthesis

a body of things put together, 1865.

Examples : synthesis of human belief, 1865; of divine graces, 1882; of qualities, 1870.