Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nominally Yours

1280-1349

William of Ockham advocated nominalism. It's a variety of conceptualism known as terminism:


A universal is an intention of the mind. And the objects of science are statements, not things. Only the term has universality. Knowledge of things must be intuitive, and in understanding things you must not use more concepts than necessary. This is Ockham's Razor, which cuts off superfluous things. Also, the limitations of human reason implies that the principles of morality cannot be proven to be necessary. Both are matters of faith. (See his Commentary on the Books of Sentences)