Ideas of William of Ockham, by Theme

[English, 1287 - 1347, Born in Ockham, Surrey. Ended up at the court of Bavaria. Franciscan. Died in Munich.]

idea number gives full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
From an impossibility anything follows
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Do not multiply entities beyond necessity
Why use more things when fewer will do?
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 1. Correspondence Truth
A proposition is true if its subject and predicate stand for the same thing
3. Truth / G. Axiomatic Truth / 1. Axiomatic Truth
Ockham had an early axiomatic account of truth
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification
The word 'every' only signifies when added to a term such as 'man', referring to all men
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 5. Numbers as Adjectival
Just as unity is not a property of a single thing, so numbers are not properties of many things
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
The words 'thing' and 'to be' assert the same idea, as a noun and as a verb
7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism
Ockham was an anti-realist about the categories
Our words and concepts don't always correspond to what is out there
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
Relations are expressed either as absolute facts, or by a relational concept
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
A universal is not a real feature of objects, but only a thought-object in the mind
Universals are single things, and only universal in what they signify
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Cut wood doesn't make a new substance, but seems to make separate subjects
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Hot water naturally cools down, which is due to the substantial form of the water
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 4. Quantity of an Object
Ockham says matter must be extended, so we don't need Quantity
Matter gets its quantity from condensation and rarefaction, which is just local motion
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 6. Essence as Unifier
If essence and existence were two things, one could exist without the other, which is impossible
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 12. Essential Parts
If parts change, the whole changes
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
Knowledge is a quality existing subjectively in the soul
Sometimes 'knowledge' just concerns the conclusion, sometimes the whole demonstration
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 3. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
Our intellect only assents to what we believe to be true
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
Knowledge is certain cognition of something that is true
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Abstractive cognition knows universals abstracted from many singulars
If an animal approached from a distance, we might abstract 'animal' from one instance
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 6. Mysterianism
There are no secure foundations to prove the separate existence of mind, in reason or experience
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / b. Abstracta from selection
A universal is the result of abstraction, which is only a kind of mental picturing
19. Language / E. Propositions / 4. Support for Propositions
Some concepts for propositions exist only in the mind, and in no language
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
The past has ceased to exist, and the future does not yet exist, so time does not exist
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / f. Corpuscles
Every extended material substance is composed of parts distant from one another
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 3. Divine Perfections
God is not wise, but more-than-wise; God is not good, but more-than-good
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 5. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
William of Ockham is the main spokesman for God's commands being the source of morality
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 7. God Reflecting Humanity
We could never form a concept of God's wisdom if we couldn't abstract it from creatures
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 3. Christianity / a. Christianity
To love God means to love whatever God wills to be loved
29. Religion / C. Monotheistic Religion / 3. Christianity / c. Angels
Even an angel must have some location