Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
The theory that universal concepts are only subjective ideas with no objective foundation in reality. As developed by Peter Abelard (1079-1142), conceptualism denies that universals exist independently of the mind, but holds that they have an existence in the mind as concepts. Although not arbitrary inventions, they are merely reflections of similarities among particular objects.