[kuh n-sep-choo-uh-liz-uh m]

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 formscon·cep·tu·al·ist, nouncon·cep·tu·al·is·tic, adjectivecon·cep·tu·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conceptualism

Contemporary Examples of conceptualism

Historical Examples of conceptualism

  • Conceptualism, then, investigates the conditions of consistent judgment.


    Carveth Read

  • To distinguish Logic from Psychology is most important in connection with Conceptualism.


    Carveth Read

  • Nominalism is covered by empirical tendencies, and conceptualism by modern idealism.

    The Approach to Philosophy

    Ralph Barton Perry

  • So far nominalism and conceptualism—the theory that kinds exist only in words or in ideas—was on the right track.

  • The view of Socrates is the meeting-point of the other two, just as conceptualism is the meeting-point of nominalism and realism.

British Dictionary definitions for conceptualism



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 termCompare 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 Formsconceptualist, nounconceptualistic, 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