Ockham, William of
(c. 1285–1349)
English theologian and philosopher. The first certain date of Ockham's life is that he was ordained subdeacon in 1306. He joined the Franciscans, and lectured on the Sentences of Peter Lombard in Oxford between 1317 and 1319. His progress towards master of theology was halted by one Peter Lutterell, an ‘overzealous Thomist’, who accused Ockham of heresy before the university and the Pope. In 1328 his relations with the papacy deteriorated further when he defended, on behalf of the Franciscans and against the papacy, the doctrine that Jesus and the disciples owned no property; Ockham was forced to take refuge with Emperor Louis of Bavaria. He may have died of the Black Death, in the course of moves of reconciliation with the papacy.
Ockham is famous as the leader of the nominalists, or those who denied the reality of universals, or real distinct properties and natures apart from the things possessing them. While Ockham certainly held that everything 268 that exists outside the mind is singular, he also allowed the mind a power of abstractive cognition (e.g. Bk. ii of the Sentences, q. 15), so his position may be nearer to a form of conceptualism . With the abandonment of realism about universals goes the epistemology postulating cognitions of intelligible species, and Ockham's own epistemology depends on the intuitive cognition of particular, single things, and subsequent abstraction. Ockham's scrupulous attention to the nature of language and to logic, as well as his doctrine of abstraction, makes him a forerunner of subsequent British empiricism. Ockham's chief works are the Four Books of the Sentences, written around 1323, the Summa of Logic (before 1329), and the Quodlibeta septem (before 1333).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ockham, William of — • Biographical article on the fourteenth century Franciscan philosopher Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ockham, William — (William of Occam) (ca. 1288–1347)    One of the most significant theologians and philosophers of late medieval Europe,William of Ockham is generally considered to be the first “nominalist” thinker, so called because his position on universals… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Ockham, William of — or William of Occam born с 1285, Ockham, Surrey?, Eng. died 1347/49, Munich, Bavaria English Franciscan philosopher, theologian, and political writer. A late Scholastic thinker, he is regarded as the founder of a form of nominalism, the school of …   Universalium

  • Ockham, William — See Ockham’s world and future, see Walter Burley, Peter Aureoli and Gregory of Rimini …   History of philosophy

  • OCKHAM, William of — (1285 1349)    English FRANCISCAN MONK who was the most important scholastic philosopher and interpreter of ARISTOTLE after AQUINAS. He is known for his radical NOMINALISM and agreement with the FRANCISCAN SPIRITUALS against the POPE for which… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Ockham,William of — Ock·ham also Oc·cam (ŏkʹəm), William of. 1285? 1349?. English scholastic philosopher who rejected the reality of universal concepts and argued that mental and linguistic signs are the only genuinely universal features of reality. * * * …   Universalium

  • Ockham, William of — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Occam or Ockham, William — (1270? 1349?)    Schoolman, b. at Ockham, Surrey, studied at Oxf. and Paris, and became a Franciscan. As a schoolman he was a Nominalist and received the title of the Invincible Doctor. He attacked the abuses of the Church, and was imprisoned at… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Ockham — Ockham, William of …   Philosophy dictionary

  • William of Ockham — Full name William of Ockham Born c. 1288 Ockham, England Died 1347 or 1348 Munich, Holy Roman Empire …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”