From description +‎ -ist.


descriptionist (plural descriptionists)

  1. Synonym of descriptivist
    • 1824, The Monthly Repertory of English Literature, page 344:
      The author of the Waverley novels is another fine example; but he clearly takes his highest rank as a descriptionist—the painter of effects and appearances rather than of facts and of causes.
    • 1897, Canadian Magazine, volume 8, page 105:
      Although he is a descriptionist, he is often more effective than Roberts or Lampman.
    • 1994, Ross, Dorothy, Modernist Impulses in the Human Sciences, 1870-1930, →ISBN, page 134:
      He was, on the other hand, the very opposite of a descriptionist in his physics, especially later in his career.
    • 2002, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, volume 122, page 4:
      “Oh,” said one of my lunch companions, “you’re a descriptionist rather than a prescriptionist.”

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descriptionist (not comparable)

  1. Descriptivist.
    • 2013, William D. Nordhaus, Economics and Policy Issues in Climate Change[1], page 97:
      In effect, they say "a plague on both your houses" to the two sides in the prescriptionist-descriptionist debate.
  2. (philosophy) Regarding utterances as primarily descriptive rather than as rigidly specifying a particular thing or kind of thing.
    • 2015 January 8, Leo Carton Mollica, “Explanation and nowness: an objection to the A-Theory”, in Philosophical Studies, DOI:10.1007/s11098-014-0430-9:
      The problem with the descriptionist account of date-times is that it gives the wrong truth conditions to sentences like that in CAESAR.

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