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William of Ockham (Medieval Philosopher, Franciscan Monk)


William of Ockham Demographics:
  • Name - William of Ockham
  • Other Names - Doctor Invincibilis
  • Birth - ca. 1285
  • Death - ca. 1349 (Bubonic Plague; Black Death) in Germany.
  • Location - came from Ockham (small village in Surrey, England).
  • Occupation - English philosopher, logician, theologian & Franciscan monk.
William of Ockham, The Man:
  • Franciscan monk - hence his belief in a minimalist in lifestyle.
  • Idealised the life of poverty.
  • Battled with the Pope over this issue as did St. Francis.
  • Excommunicated by Pope John XXII.
  • Wrote a treatise demonstrating that Pope John XXII was a heretic.
  • Some consider him the father of epistemology.
  • Wrote a great deal about natural philosophy.
  • Ockham wrote a long commentary on Aristotle's physics.
  • Better known these days for his principle of parsimony - Occam's Razor.
  • This razor became a foundation for what would later become known as the scientific method.
  • The principle of parsimony is one of the pilars of reductionism in science.
  • Both Jean Buridan & Nicole Oresme were followers of William of Ockham.
William of Ockham Education:
  • Studied theology at the University of Oxford (1309-1321).
  • Never completed his Master's Degree.
  • Mentor was John Duns Scotus (he had already writen about the principle of parsimony, and may have influenced William of Ockham regarding this).
Related Links:
Bubonic Plague Famous Deaths
Occam's Razor (Ockham's Razor)


Image Credit - Moscarlop Wikipedia

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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