An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic,[1][2] in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones."[3] Formerly applied primarily to economic, political, or religious theories and policies, in a tradition going back to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, more recent use treats the term as mainly condemnatory.[4]

The term was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy, a French Enlightenment aristocrat and philosopher, who conceived it in 1796 as the "science of ideas" to develop a rational system of ideas to oppose the irrational impulses of the mob. In political science, the term is used in a descriptive sense to refer to political belief systems.[4]

  1. ^ Honderich, Ted (1995). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-19-866132-0.
  2. ^ "ideology". Lexico. Archived from the original on 2020-02-11.
  3. ^ Cranston, Maurice. [1999] 2014. "Ideology Archived 2020-06-09 at the Wayback Machine" (revised). Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. ^ a b van Dijk, T. A. (2006). "Politics, Ideology, and Discourse" (PDF). Discourse in Society. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2019-01-28.

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