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William Ockham on the Mental Ontology of Scientific Knowledge

  • Jenny PelletierEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Historical-Analytical Studies on Nature, Mind and Action book series (HSNA, volume 7)

Abstract

It has long been acknowledged that one of the most original aspects of Ockham’s account of knowledge is his contention that bodies of scientific knowledge are aggregates but without much explanation as to why he holds this view. In this chapter, I argue that a plausible philosophical motivation lies in the inner structure of his mental ontology, namely, in the intellect’s habits, acts, and their objects, which are the true and necessary principles and conclusions of demonstrations. Ockham upholds what I call a “Principle of Object-Act-Habit-Specification,” according to which kinds of habits and their acts are determined by the objects they grasp. This principle entails that if a body of scientific knowledge contains two or more sentences, it can only have aggregate unity. Furthermore, I look at the logical and determinate orders that gather together the sentences of various aggregate bodies of scientific knowledge.

Keywords

William Ockham Science Knowledge Order Habit Act Object Aggregate Unity 

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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