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1. Philosophy The doctrine, intermediate between nominalism and realism, that universals exist only within the mind and have no external or substantial reality. Also called mentalism.
2. A school of abstract art or an artistic doctrine that is concerned with the intellectual engagement of the viewer through conveyance of an idea and negation of the importance of the art object itself.
con·cep′tu·al·ist adj. & n.
1. (Philosophy) 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
2. (Philosophy) 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
con•cep•tu•al•ism(kənˈsɛp tʃu əˌlɪz əm)
1. any of several doctrines existing as a compromise between realism and nominalism and regarding universals as concepts. Compare nominalism, realism (def. 5a).
the doctrine that universals exist only in the mind. Cf. idealism. — conceptualist, n. — conceptualistic, adj.See also: Philosophy
n → Konzeptualismus m