formalism

[From English form: the shape of a thing or the arrangement of its parts.]

  1. (ethics) A theory that emphasizes adherence to formal rules, usually in preference to the benefits or consequences of human action; an example is deontologism.

  2. (aesthetics) A theory that emphasizes the importance of artistic form, often in preference to artistic content; examples include some varieties of classicism and modernism.

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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