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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.
con·cep′tu·al·is′tic adj.


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
conˈceptualist n
conˌceptualˈistic adj


(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).
con•cep′tu•al•ist, n.
con•cep`tu•al•is′tic, adj.
con•cep`tu•al•is′ti•cal•ly, adv.


the doctrine that universals exist only in the mind. Cf. idealism.conceptualist, n.conceptualistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.conceptualism - the doctrine that the application of a general term to various objects indicates the existence of a mental entity that mediates the application
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy


nKonzeptualismus m
References in periodicals archive ?
Skirmishes flame throughout: there is a never-ending civil war between abstraction and representation; conceptualists fire salvos at traditional studio practice; research-based art struggles to aestheticize knowledge; and "craft armies of the hand fight for pride and the place of the object.
It may sound a little Jurassic to the educational conceptualists building their pathways to rich attainment but quite a few mums and dads would like their kids to learn reading, writing and arithmetic.
Most conceptualists go even further (with the exception of Burnyeat 1976) and also claim that one has to grasp the being (of something) in order to identify or refer to a subject or a predicate of the sentence.
The lead singer/writer of Icelandic conceptualists Sigor Rs and his artist partner have designed 70 minutes of Eno-style ambient noodling.
Conceptualists have it that the representational content of perceptual experience is determined by the concepts a subject applies in having such an experience.
The most that conceptualists can justify is the demand that we forgo or re-categorize them.
Staunchly against the ( as Harvey puts it ( "banal and repetitive" principles of artists such as Emin and other conceptualists, Stuckism, through its Stuckist manifesto, is a promoter of figurative and emotive painting.
This is more than a little ironic: the early Conceptualists sought to destroy the prominence of cultural institutions and the commercial gallery system in the exhibiting, marketing, and career-making of contemporary art.
It's a collaborative effort, but we [at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia] are the designers, the conceptualists," Stewart added.
At the end of your exercise, look at all the actors in the drama of health care--medical personnel, patients, conceptualists, and mystics--as simply people.
They write of "the wholesale devaluation of received culture" and paint an amusing picture of the sometimes very serious Russian postmodernists: "Komar and Melamid, Il'ia Kabakov, Dmitrii Prigov, Lev Rubinshtein, and other Conceptualists are in this respect not so much alternative or parallel cultural figures as they are renegade Socialist Realists, runners in the relay race of history who, grabbing hold of the baton, break into a frenzied cancan.
If Hiorns complicates the notion of dematerialization inherited from an older generation of Conceptualists, he also proposes that materials possess a radical truth much stranger and more versatile than we normally allow.