William of Ockham

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William of Ockham
William of Ockham.png
William of Ockham depicted on a stained glass window at a church
Died1347 (aged 6162)
Education Greyfriars, London [1]
Alma mater University of Oxford [2] [3]
Era Medieval philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Scholasticism
Main interests
Metaphysics, epistemology, theology, logic, ontology, politics.
Notable ideas
Occam's razor, nominalism
Sketch labelled "frater Occham iste", from a manuscript of Ockham's Summa Logicae, 1341 William of Ockham - Logica 1341.jpg
Sketch labelled "frater Occham iste", from a manuscript of Ockham's Summa Logicae, 1341

William of Ockham ( /ˈɒkəm/ ; also Occam, from Latin : Gulielmus Occamus; [7] [8] c. 1287 – 1347) was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian, who is believed to have been born in Ockham, a small village in Surrey. [9] He is considered to be one of the major figures of medieval thought and was at the centre of the major intellectual and political controversies of the 14th century. He is commonly known for Occam's razor, the methodological principle that bears his name, and also produced significant works on logic, physics, and theology. In the Church of England, his day of commemoration is 10 April. [10]

Friar member of a mendicant religious order in Catholic Christianity

A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.


Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100 to 1700, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending dogma in an increasingly pluralistic context. It originated as an outgrowth of and a departure from Christian theology within the monastic schools at the earliest European universities. The rise of scholasticism was closely associated with the rise of the 12th and 13th century schools that developed into the earliest modern universities, including those in Italy, France, Spain and England.

Philosopher person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy

A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term “philosopher” comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning “lover of wisdom.” The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.



William of Ockham was born in Ockham, Surrey in 1285 and joined the Franciscan order at an early age. [11] It is believed that he studied theology at the University of Oxford [2] [3] from 1309 to 1321, [12] but while he completed all the requirements for a master's degree in theology, he was never made a regent master. [13] Because of this, he acquired the honorific title Venerabilis Inceptor, or "Venerable Beginner" (an inceptor was a student formally admitted to the ranks of teachers by the university authorities). [14]

Ockham, Surrey village north-east of Guildford in Surrey

Ockham is a rural and semi-rural village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, England. The village starts immediately east of the A3 but the lands extend to the River Wey in the west where it has a large mill-house. Ockham is between Cobham and East Horsley.

University of Oxford University in Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Regent master was a title conferred in the medieval universities upon a student who had acquired a master's degree. The degree meant simply the right to teach, the Licentia docendi, a right which could be granted, in the University of Paris, only by the Chancellor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, or the Chancellor of St. Geneviève. According to the Third Council of Lateran, held in 1179, this Licentia docendi had to be granted gratuitously, and to all duly qualified applicants.

During the Middle Ages, theologian Peter Lombard's Sentences (1150) had become a standard work of theology, and many ambitious theological scholars wrote commentaries on it. [15] William of Ockham was among these scholarly commentators. However, William's commentary was not well received by his colleagues,[ citation needed ] or by the Church authorities. In 1324, his commentary was condemned as unorthodox by a synod of bishops,[ citation needed ] and he was ordered to Avignon, France, to defend himself before a papal court. [15]

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Peter Lombard medieval priest and theologian

Peter Lombard, was a scholastic theologian, Bishop of Paris, and author of Four Books of Sentences, which became the standard textbook of theology, for which he earned the accolade Magister Sententiarum.

<i>Sentences</i> book of theology

The Four Books of Sentences is a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the 12th century. It is a systematic compilation of theology, written around 1150; it derives its name from the sententiae or authoritative statements on biblical passages that it gathered together.

An alternative understanding, recently proposed by George Knysh, suggests that he was initially appointed in Avignon as a professor of philosophy in the Franciscan school, and that his disciplinary difficulties did not begin until 1327. [16] It is generally believed that these charges were levied by Oxford chancellor John Lutterell. [17] [18] The Franciscan Minister General, Michael of Cesena, had been summoned to Avignon, to answer charges of heresy. A theological commission had been asked to review his Commentary on the Sentences, and it was during this that William of Ockham found himself involved in a different debate. Michael of Cesena had asked William to review arguments surrounding Apostolic poverty. The Franciscans believed that Jesus and his apostles owned no property either individually or in common, and the Rule of Saint Francis commanded members of the order to follow this practice. [19] This brought them into conflict with Pope John XXII.

John Lutterell was an English medieval philosopher, theologian, and university chancellor.

Michael of Cesena was an Italian Franciscan, general of that Order, and theologian.

Apostolic poverty is a Christian doctrine professed in the thirteenth century by the newly formed religious orders, known as the mendicant orders, in direct response to calls for reform in the Roman Catholic Church. In this, these orders attempted to live their lives without ownership of lands or accumulation of money, following the precepts given to the seventy disciples in the Gospel of Luke (10:1-24), and succeeding to varying degrees. The ascetic Pope Paschal II's solution of the Investiture Controversy in his radical Concordat of 1111 with the Emperor, repudiated by the cardinals, was that the ecclesiastics of Germany should surrender to the imperial crown their fiefs and secular offices. Paschal proved to be the last of the Gregorianist popes.

Because of the pope's attack on the Rule of Saint Francis, William of Ockham, Michael of Cesena and other leading Franciscans fled Avignon on 26 May 1328, and eventually took refuge in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria, who was also engaged in dispute with the papacy, and became William's patron. [15] After studying the works of John XXII and previous papal statements, William agreed with the Minister General. In return for protection and patronage William wrote treatises that argued for emperor Louis to have supreme control over church and state in the Holy Roman Empire. [15] "On June 6, 1328, William was officially excommunicated for leaving Avignon without permission," [13] and William argued that John XXII was a heretic for attacking the doctrine of Apostolic poverty and the Rule of Saint Francis, which had been endorsed by previous popes. [13] William of Ockham's philosophy was never officially condemned as heretical. [13]

Holy Roman Emperor emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

He spent much of the remainder of his life writing about political issues, including the relative authority and rights of the spiritual and temporal powers. After Michael of Cesena's death in 1342, William became the leader of the small band of Franciscan dissidents living in exile with Louis IV. William of Ockham died (prior to the outbreak of the plague) on 9 April 1347. [20] He was officially rehabilitated by Innocent VI in 1359. [21]

Faith and reason

William of Ockham espoused fideism, stating that "only faith gives us access to theological truths. The ways of God are not open to reason, for God has freely chosen to create a world and establish a way of salvation within it apart from any necessary laws that human logic or rationality can uncover." [22] He believed that science was a matter of discovery and saw God as the only ontological necessity. [13] His importance is as a theologian with a strongly developed interest in logical method, and whose approach was critical rather than system building. [11]

Philosophical thought

Quaestiones in quattuor libros sententiarum Guillelmus - Quaestiones in quattuor libros sententiarum - 4417303 Carta 25r.tif
Quaestiones in quattuor libros sententiarum

In scholasticism, William of Ockham advocated reform in both method and content, the aim of which was simplification. William incorporated much of the work of some previous theologians, especially Duns Scotus. From Duns Scotus, William of Ockham derived his view of divine omnipotence, his view of grace and justification, much of his epistemology[ citation needed ] and ethical convictions. [23] However, he also reacted to and against Scotus in the areas of predestination, penance, his understanding of universals, his formal distinction ex parte rei (that is, "as applied to created things"), and his view of parsimony which became known as Occam's Razor.


William of Ockham was a pioneer of nominalism, and some consider him the father of modern epistemology, because of his strongly argued position that only individuals exist, rather than supra-individual universals, essences, or forms, and that universals are the products of abstraction from individuals by the human mind and have no extra-mental existence. [24] He denied the real existence of metaphysical universals and advocated the reduction of ontology. William of Ockham is sometimes considered an advocate of conceptualism rather than nominalism, for whereas nominalists held that universals were merely names, i.e. words rather than extant realities, conceptualists held that they were mental concepts, i.e. the names were names of concepts, which do exist, although only in the mind. Therefore, the universal concept has for its object, not a reality existing in the world outside us, but an internal representation which is a product of the understanding itself and which "supposes" in the mind the things to which the mind attributes it; that is, it holds, for the time being, the place of the things which it represents. It is the term of the reflective act of the mind. Hence the universal is not a mere word, as Roscelin taught, nor a sermo, as Peter Abelard held, namely the word as used in the sentence, but the mental substitute for real things, and the term of the reflective process. For this reason William has sometimes also been called a "terminist", to distinguish him from a nominalist or a conceptualist. [25]

William of Ockham was a theological voluntarist who believed that if God had wanted to, he could have become incarnate as a donkey or an ox, or even as both a donkey and a man at the same time. He was criticized for this belief by his fellow theologians and philosophers. [26]

Efficient reasoning

One important contribution that he made to modern science and modern intellectual culture was efficient reasoning with the principle of parsimony in explanation and theory building that came to be known as Occam's Razor. This maxim, as interpreted by Bertrand Russell, [27] states that if one can explain a phenomenon without assuming this or that hypothetical entity, there is no ground for assuming it, i.e. that one should always opt for an explanation in terms of the fewest possible causes, factors, or variables. He turned this into a concern for ontological parsimony; the principle says that one should not multiply entities beyond necessity – Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate – although this well-known formulation of the principle is not to be found in any of William's extant writings. [28] He formulates it as: "For nothing ought to be posited without a reason given, unless it is self-evident (literally, known through itself) or known by experience or proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture." [29] For William of Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else is contingent. He thus does not accept the principle of sufficient reason, rejects the distinction between essence and existence, and opposes the Thomistic doctrine of active and passive intellect. His scepticism to which his ontological parsimony request leads appears in his doctrine that human reason can prove neither the immortality of the soul; nor the existence, unity, and infinity of God. These truths, he teaches, are known to us by revelation alone. [25]

Natural philosophy

William wrote a great deal on natural philosophy, including a long commentary on Aristotle's Physics. [30] According to the principle of ontological parsimony, he holds that we do not need to allow entities in all ten of Aristotle's categories; we thus do not need the category of quantity, as the mathematical entities are not "real". Mathematics must be applied to other categories, such as the categories of substance or qualities, thus anticipating modern scientific renaissance while violating Aristotelian prohibition of metabasis.

Theory of knowledge

In the theory of knowledge, William rejected the scholastic theory of species, as unnecessary and not supported by experience, in favour of a theory of abstraction. This was an important development in late medieval epistemology. He also distinguished between intuitive and abstract cognition; intuitive cognition depends on the existence or non-existence of the object, whereas abstractive cognition "abstracts" the object from the existence predicate. Interpreters are, as yet, undecided about the roles of these two types of cognitive activities. [31]

Political theory

William of Ockham is also increasingly being recognized as an important contributor to the development of Western constitutional ideas, especially those of government with limited responsibility. [32] He was one of the first medieval authors to advocate a form of church/state separation, [32] and was important for the early development of the notion of property rights. His political ideas are regarded as "natural" or "secular", holding for a secular absolutism. [32] The views on monarchical accountability espoused in his Dialogus (written between 1332 and 1347) [33] greatly influenced the Conciliar movement and assisted in the emergence of liberal democratic ideologies.[ citation needed ]

William argued for complete separation of spiritual rule and earthly rule. [34] He thought that the pope and churchmen have no right or grounds at all for secular rule like having property, citing 2 Tim. 2:4. That belongs solely to earthly rulers, who may also accuse the pope of crimes, if need be. [35]

After the Fall God had given men, including non-Christians, two powers: private ownership and the right to set their rulers, who should serve the interest of the people, not some special interests. Thus he preceded Thomas Hobbes in formulating social contract theory along with earlier scholars. [35]

William of Ockham said that the Franciscans avoided both private and common ownership by using commodities, including food and clothes, without any rights, with mere usus facti, the ownership still belonging to the donor of the item or to the pope. Their opponents such as pope John XXII wrote that use without any ownership cannot be justified: "It is impossible that an external deed could be just if the person has no right to do it." [35]

Thus the disputes on the heresy of Franciscans led William of Ockham and others to formulate some fundamentals of economic theory and the theory of ownership. [35]


In logic, William of Ockham wrote down in words the formulae that would later be called De Morgan's Laws, [36] and he pondered ternary logic, that is, a logical system with three truth values; a concept that would be taken up again in the mathematical logic of the 19th and 20th centuries. His contributions to semantics, especially to the maturing theory of supposition, are still studied by logicians. [37] [38] William of Ockham was probably the first logician to treat empty terms in Aristotelian syllogistic effectively; he devised an empty term semantics that exactly fit the syllogistic. Specifically, an argument is valid according to William's semantics if and only if it is valid according to Prior Analytics. [39]

Literary Ockhamism/nominalism

William of Ockham and his works have been discussed as a possible influence on several late medieval literary figures and works, especially Geoffrey Chaucer, but also Jean Molinet, the Gawain poet, François Rabelais, John Skelton, Julian of Norwich, the York and Townely Plays, and Renaissance romances. Only in very few of these cases is it possible to demonstrate direct links to William of Ockham or his texts. Correspondences between Ockhamist and Nominalist philosophy/theology and literary texts from medieval to postmodern times have been discussed within the scholarly paradigm of literary nominalism. [40] Erasmus, in his Praise of Folly, criticized him together with Duns Scotus as fuelling unnessary controversies inside the Church.


The standard edition of the philosophical and theological works is: William of Ockham: Opera philosophica et theologica, Gedeon Gál, et al., eds. 17 vols. St. Bonaventure, N. Y.: The Franciscan Institute, 1967–88.

The seventh volume of the Opera Philosophica contains the doubtful and spurious works.

The political works, all but the Dialogus, have been edited in H. S. Offler, et al., eds. Guilelmi de Ockham Opera Politica, 4 vols., 1940–97, Manchester: Manchester University Press [vols. 1–3]; Oxford: Oxford University Press [vol. 4].

Abbreviations: OT = Opera Theologica voll. 1–10; OP = Opera Philosophica voll. 1–7.

Philosophical writings

Theological writings

Political writings

Doubtful writings

Spurious writings


Philosophical works

  • Philosophical Writings, tr. P Boehner, rev. S Brown, (Indianapolis, IN, 1990)
  • Ockham's Theory of Terms: Part I of the Summa logicae, translated by Michael J. Loux, (Notre Dame; London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1974) [translation of Summa logicae, part 1]
  • Ockham's Theory of Propositions: Part II of the Summa logicae, translated by Alfred J. Freddoso and Henry Schuurman, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1980) [translation of Summa logicae, part 2]
  • Demonstration and Scientific Knowledge in William of Ockham: a Translation of Summa logicae III-II, De syllogismo demonstrativo, and Selections from the Prologue to the Ordinatio, translated by John Lee Longeway, (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2007)
  • Ockham on Aristotle's Physics: A Translation of Ockham's Brevis Summa Libri Physicorum, translated by Julian Davies, (St. Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 1989)
  • Kluge, Eike-Henner W., "William of Ockham's Commentary on Porphyry: Introduction and English Translation", Franciscan Studies33, pp. 171–254, JSTOR   41974891, and 34, pp. 306–82, JSTOR   44080318, (1973–4)
  • Predestination, God's Foreknowledge, and Future Contingents, translated by Marilyn McCord Adams and Norman Kretzmann, (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1969) [translation of Tractatus de praedestinatione et de praescientia Dei et de futuris contigentibus]
  • Quodlibetal Questions, translated by Alfred J Freddoso and Francis E Kelley, 2 vols, (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1991) (translation of Quodlibeta septem)
  • Paul Spade, Five Texts on the Mediaeval Problem of Universals: Porphyry, Boethius, Abelard, Duns Scotus, Ockham, (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1994) [Five questions on Universals from His Ordinatio d. 2 qq. 4–8]

Theological works

  • The De sacramento altaris of William of Ockham, translated by T Bruce Birch, (Burlington, Iowa: Lutheran Literary Board, 1930) [translation of Treatise on Quantity and On the Body of Christ]

Political works

  • An princeps pro suo uccursu, scilicet guerrae, possit recipere bona ecclesiarum, etiam invito papa, translated in Political thought in early fourteenth-century England: treatises by Walter of Milemete, William of Pagula, and William of Ockham, translated by Cary J. Nederman, (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2002)
  • A translation of William of Ockham's Work of Ninety Days, translated by John Kilcullen and John Scott, (Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press, 2001) [translation of Opus nonaginta dierum]
  • Tractatus de principiis theologiae, translated in A compendium of Ockham's teachings: a translation of the Tractatus de principiis theologiae, translated by Julian Davies, (St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, 1998)
  • On the Power of Emperors and Popes, translated by Annabel S. Brett, (Bristol, 1998)
  • Rega Wood, Ockham on the Virtues, (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1997) [includes translation of On the Connection of the Virtues]
  • A Letter to the Friars Minor, and Other Writings, translated by John Kilcullen, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) [includes translation of Epistola ad Fratres Minores]
  • A Short Discourse on the Tyrannical Government, translated by John Kilcullen, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) [translation of Breviloquium de principatu tyrannico]
  • William of Ockham, [Question One of] Eight Questions on the Power of the Pope, translated by Jonathan Robinson [41]

In fiction

See also


  1. Spade, Paul Vincent (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Ockham. Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 18.
  2. 1 2 Spade, Paul Vincent (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Ockham. Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 20.
  3. 1 2 He has long been claimed as a Merton alumnus, but there is no contemporary evidence to support this claim and as a Franciscan, he would have been ineligible for fellowships at Merton (see G. H. Martin and J. R. L. Highfield, A History of Merton College, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 53). The claim that he was a pupil of Duns Scotus at Oxford is also disputed (see Philip Hughes, History of the Church: Volume 3: The Revolt Against The Church: Aquinas To Luther, Sheed and Ward, 1979, p. 119 n. 2).
  4. "Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109)", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy , 2006, retrieved 10 November 2017
  5. Jaegwon Kim, Ernest Sosa, Gary S. Rosenkrantz (eds.), A Companion to Metaphysics, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, p. 164: "Buridan, Jean."
  6. Summa Logicae (c. 1323), Prefatory Letter, as translated by Paul Vincent Spade (1995).
  7. Jortin, John. Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Volume 3. p. 371.
  8. Johann Jacob Hofmann. Lexicon universale, historiam sacram et profanam omnis aevi omniumque... p. 431.
  9. There are claims also that he was born in Ockham, Yorkshire but it is now accepted that his birth place was in Surrey. See Wood, Rega (1997). Ockham on the Virtues. Purdue University Press. pp. 3, 6–7n1. ISBN   978-1-55753-097-4.
  10. "Holy Days". Liturgical Calendar. Church of England. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  11. 1 2 The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 6th Edition. Edited by Margaret Drabble, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 735.
  12. During that time (1312–1317) Henry Harclay was the Chancellor of Oxford and it is believed that William was his pupil (see John Marenbon (ed.), Medieval Philosophy, Routledge, 2003, p. 329).
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Spade, Paul Vincent. "William of Ockham". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved 22 October 2006.
  14. Brundage, James (2008). "Canon Law in the Law schools". The history of medieval canon law in the classical period. Catholic University of America Press (Wilfried Hartmann & Kenneth Pennington, eds.). p. 115. ISBN   0813214912.
  15. 1 2 3 4 Olson, Roger E. (1999). The Story of Christian Theology, p. 350. ISBN   0-8308-1505-8
  16. Knysh, George (1986). "Biographical rectifications concerning William's Avignon period". Franciscan Studies. 46: 61–91. doi:10.1353/frc.1986.0020. JSTOR   41975065.
  17. Hundersmarck, Lawrence (1992). Great Thinkers of the Western World. Harper Collins. pp. 123–128. ISBN   0-06-270026-X.
  18. "William of Occam". wotug.org.
  19. McGrade, Arthur (1974). The Political Thought of William of Ockham: Personal and Institutional Principles. Cambridge University Press. ISBN   0-521-20284-1.
  20. Gál, Gedeon (1982). "William of Ockham Died 'Impenitent' in April 1347". Franciscan Studies. 42: 90–95. doi:10.1353/frc.1982.0011. JSTOR   41974990.
  21. "William of Ockham". Arizona State University. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  22. Dale T. Irvin and Scott W. Sunquist. History of World Christian Movement Volume I: Earliest Christianity to 1453, p. 434. ISBN   9781570753961
  23. Lucan Freeport, Basis of Morality According to William Ockham, ISBN   0819909181, ISBN   9780819909183, Franciscan Herald Press, 1988.
  24. Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann (2008). From Plato to Derrida. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN   0-13-158591-6.
  25. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : William Turner (1913). "William of Ockham"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.
  26. Stanley J. Grenz. The Named God and the Question of Being: A Trinitarian Theo-Ontology.
  27. Russell, Bertrand (2000). History of Western Philosophy. Allen & Unwin. pp. 462–463. ISBN   0-415-22854-9.
  28. W. M. Thorburn (1918). "The Myth of Occam's Razor". Mind . 27 (107): 345–353. doi:10.1093/mind/XXVII.3.345 . Retrieved 25 October 2006.
  29. Spade, Paul Vincent (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Ockham. Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 104.
  30. André Goddu, The Physics of William of Ockham, ISBN   9004069127, ISBN   9789004069121, Brill Academic Pub., 1984.
  31. Brower-Toland, S (2014). "William ockham on the scope and limits of consciousness". Vivarium. 52 (3–4): 197–219. doi:10.1163/15685349-12341275.
  32. 1 2 3 William of Ockham (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy): Stanford.edu
  33. "British Academy – William of Ockham: Dialogus". www.britac.ac.uk.
  34. Takashi Shogimen, Ockham and Political Discourse in the Late Middle Ages [1 ed.], ISBN   0521845815, ISBN   9780521845816, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  35. 1 2 3 4 Virpi Mäkinen, Keskiajan aatehistoria, Atena Kustannus Oy, Jyväskylä, 2003, ISBN   9517963106, ISBN   9789517963107. Pages 160, 167–168, 202, 204, 207–209.
  36. In his Summa Logicae, part II, sections 32 and 33.Translated on page 80 of Philosophical Writings, tr. P. Boehner, rev. S. Brown, (Indianapolis, IN, 1990)
  37. Priest, Graham; Read, S. (1977). "The Formalization of Ockham's Theory of Supposition". Mind. LXXXVI (341): 109–113. doi:10.1093/mind/LXXXVI.341.109.
  38. Corcoran, John; Swiniarski, John (1978). "Logical Structures of Ockham's Theory of Supposition". Franciscan Studies. 38: 161–83. doi:10.1353/frc.1978.0010. JSTOR   41975391.
  39. John Corcoran (1981). "Ockham's Syllogistic Semantics", Journal of Symbolic Logic, 46: 197–198.
  40. William H. Watts and Richard J. Utz, "Nominalist Influence on Chaucer's Poetry: A Bibliographical Essay," Medievalia & Humanistica 20 n.s. (1993), 147–73; Helen Ruth Andretta, Chaucer's 'Troilus and Criseyde.' A Poet's Response to Ockhamism (New York: Lang, 1997); Richard Utz, ed., Literary Nominalism and the Theory of Rereading Late Medieval Texts: A New Research Paradigm. Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 1995; Nominalism and Literary Discourse: New Perspectives. Ed. Hugo Keiper, R. Utz, and Christoph Bode. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997.
  41. "Jonathan Robinson". individual.utoronto.ca.

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Francis of Mayrone was a French scholastic philosopher. He was a distinguished pupil of Duns Scotus, whose teaching (Scotism) he usually followed.

Walter Burley English logician (1275-1344)

Walter Burley was a medieval English scholastic philosopher and logician with at least 50 works attributed to him. He studied under Thomas Wilton and received his Master of Arts degree in 1301, and was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford until about 1310. He then spent sixteen years in Paris, becoming a fellow of the Sorbonne by 1324, before spending 17 years as a clerical courtier in England and Avignon. Burley disagreed with William of Ockham on a number of points concerning logic and natural philosophy.

John of Dumbleton was a member of the Dumbleton village community in Gloucestershire, a southwestern county in England. Although obscure, he is considered a significant English fourteenth-century philosopher for his contributions to logic, natural philosophy, and physics. Dumbleton’s masterwork is his Summa Logicae et Philosophiae Naturalis, likely to have been composed just before the time of his death.

Supposition theory was a branch of medieval logic that was probably aimed at giving accounts of issues similar to modern accounts of reference, plurality, tense, and modality, within an Aristotelian context. Philosophers such as John Buridan, William of Ockham, William of Sherwood, Walter Burley, Albert of Saxony, and Peter of Spain were its principal developers. By the 14th century it seems to have drifted into at least two fairly distinct theories, the theory of "supposition proper" which included an "ampliation" and is much like a theory of reference, and the theory of "modes of supposition" whose intended function is not clear.

Nicolas d'Orbellis was a French Franciscan theologian and philosopher, of the Scotist school.

Adam of Wodeham, OFM (1298–1358) was a philosopher and theologian. Currently, Wodeham is best known for having been a secretary of William Ockham and for his interpretations of John Duns Scotus. Despite this associational fame, Wodeham was an influential thinker who made valuable philosophical contributions during his life.

Richard Brinkley was an English Franciscan scholastic philosopher and theologian. He was at the University of Oxford in the mid-fourteenth century; he produced a Summa Logicae in a nominalist vein in the 1360s or early 1370s, and other works.

British philosophy

British philosophy refers to the philosophical tradition of the British people. "The native characteristics of British philosophy are these: common sense, dislike of complication, a strong preference for the concrete over the abstract and a certain awkward honesty of method in which an occasional pearl of poetry is embedded".

Medieval philosophy

Medieval philosophy is a term used to refer to the philosophy that existed through the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the Renaissance in the 15th century. Medieval philosophy, understood as a project of independent philosophical inquiry, began in Baghdad, in the middle of the 8th century, and in France, in the itinerant court of Charlemagne, in the last quarter of the 8th century. It is defined partly by the process of rediscovering the ancient culture developed in Greece and Rome during the Classical period, and partly by the need to address theological problems and to integrate sacred doctrine with secular learning.

Obligationes or disputations de obligationibus were a medieval disputation format common in the 13th and 14th centuries. Despite the name, they had nothing to do with ethics or morals but rather dealt with logical formalisms; the name comes from the fact that the participants were "obliged" to follow the rules.

Juan de Celaya was a Spanish mathematician, physicist, cosmologist, philosopher and theologian. He was a member of the so-called Calculators, using ideas from Merton College. He is known for his work on motion and in logic.

Duns Scotus Scottish Franciscan friar, philosopher and Catholic blessed

John Duns, commonly called Duns Scotus, a Scotsman, is generally considered to be one of the three most important philosopher-theologians of Western Europe in the High Middle Ages, together with Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham. Scotus has had considerable influence on both Catholic and secular thought. The doctrines for which he is best known are the "univocity of being", that existence is the most abstract concept we have, applicable to everything that exists; the formal distinction, a way of distinguishing between different aspects of the same thing; and the idea of haecceity, the property supposed to be in each individual thing that makes it an individual. Scotus also developed a complex argument for the existence of God, and argued for the Immaculate Conception of Mary.