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[kuh n-sep-choo-uh-liz-uh m] /kənˈsɛp tʃu əˌlɪz əm/
noun, Philosophy.
any of several doctrines existing as a compromise between realism and nominalism and regarding universals as concepts.
Compare nominalism, realism (def 5).
Origin of conceptualism
First recorded in 1830-40; conceptual + -ism
Related forms
conceptualist, noun
conceptualistic, adjective
conceptualistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for conceptualist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fourteenth witnessed again the rise and spread of the conceptualist theory, under the leadership of Occam.

  • conceptualist logicians, who speak of judgments instead of propositions, of course define the judgment in their own language.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • The conceptualist could be depended upon to answer our question in the negative.

  • As preliminary to this, it has been already shown that the conceptualist view of propositions, viz.

  • The conceptualist distinguishes sharply between the image as a psychical existence and the idea, or concept, as logical meaning.

  • If the term "conceptualist" is admissible, it should be brought down to date, perhaps, by making it "neo-conceptualist."

  • There is a significant point of agreement between the conceptualist and the empiricist.

  • According to the empiricist, the former is the case, according to the conceptualist, the latter.

British Dictionary definitions for conceptualist


the philosophical theory that the application of general words to a variety of objects reflects the existence of some mental entity through which the application is mediated and which constitutes the meaning of the term Compare nominalism, realism, Platonism
the philosophical view that there is no reality independent of our conception of it, or (as in the philosophy of Kant) that the intellect is not a merely passive recipient of experience but rather imposes a structure on it
Derived Forms
conceptualist, noun
conceptualistic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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