ACOSMIST (α, priv., and
κόσμος, world), one who theoretically denies the
existence of the universe as distinct from the Absolute Being. "Spinoza did not
deny the existence of God; he denied the existence of the world; he was
consequently an acosmist, and not an atheist" (Lewes, Biog. Hist, of Phil, p.
"It has of late been a favourite criticism of Spinoza, to say with Hegel, that
his system is not atheism but acosmism; and this is true in a speculative
point of view. But if I allow of no God distinct from the
aggregate of the universe, myself included, what object have I
of worship? Or if, according to the latter manifestations of
pantheism, the Divine Mind is but the sum total of every finite
consciousness, my own included, what religious relation between
God and man is compatible with the theory?
And, accordingly, the pantheism of Hegel has found
its natural development in the atheism of Feuerbach" (Mansel, Prol. Log.,
p. 279, note, 2nd ed., p. 298).
The philosophy of Berkeley has been erroneously described as acosmism.