Formalists a sect of thinkers which arose in the 12th century, as a compromise between the doctrines of the Nominalists and Realists. They professed to hold an intermediate place between the two parties, abstracting the forms of things, and assigning to them the place of universals. Duns Scorls is said to have originated formalism, although the elements of the doctrine were to be found in the writings of mediaeval philosophers anterior to his time.

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