Also found in: Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. Philosophy
The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.

nom′i·nal·ist n.
nom′i·nal·is′tic adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nominalist - a philosopher who has adopted the doctrine of nominalism
philosopher - a specialist in philosophy


A. ADJnominalista
B. Nnominalista mf
References in classic literature ?
In the famous dispute with the Nominalists, the Realists had a good deal of reason.
This is the outcome of the Reformation's dissolution of the continuity of nature and grace under the impact of nominalist philosophy.
If, however, one is a nominalist or a nonrealist in scientific epistemology, one will hold that science is not about things but about terms, concepts, and propositions.
I will avoid entering at this stage the discussion about nominalist points in Nicholas' philosophy and will sketch briefly, taking a certain sway of nominalism in the period for granted, the outlines of its influence.
American sociology abounds in formal and nominalist categories that are metatheoretical in nature.
How we name things for the nominalist is arbitrary and subjective, based only on my experience and what I think objects have in common.
For example, he traces how the late medieval turn from a realist worldview to the nominalist insistence on God's unfettered willpower, along with the new status nominalism affords to individuals as more than instantiations of the universal, seek to restore the transcendence of God and enrich the common persons devotional life.
The nominalist theory is not satisfactory because even if we refrain from positing universals for most quality-words and relations-words by means of a resemblance relation to an exemplar, the predicate 'resembles' will need to refer to a universal in order for propositions in which this predicate occurs to be meaningful.
37) Previously, such vices had also been criticized in Paris by the nominalist theologian, Jean Gerson and later, of course, by Luther who saw in scholastic theology a corruption of the Gospel because of its Aristotelian overtones.
Nominalist theologians such as William of Ockham "effectively removed God from creation.
focuses, first, on four historical figures (Augustine, Aquinas, Ockham, and Alphonsus Liguori) as emblematic of key historical ages in moral theology (patristic, Scholastic, nominalist, and casuistic).