By Frederick C Copleston

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In the second volume of this work an account has been given of the course of the controversy concerning universals in the Middle Ages up to the time of Aquinas; and there it was shown how the early mediaeval form of ultra-realism was finally refuted by Abelard. That only individuals exist came to be the accepted belief. At the same time the moderate realists, like Aquinas, certainly believed in the objectivity of real species and natures. If X and Yare two men, for example, they do not possess the same individual nature; but none the less each possesses his own human nature or essence, and the two natures are similar, each nature being, as it were, a finite imitation of the divine idea of human nature.

At the instance of the General Ockham interested himself in the poverty dispute, and in May 1328 Michael of Cesena, who had just been re-elected General of the Franciscans, fled from Avignon, taking with him Bonagratia of Bergamo, Francis of Ascoli and William of Ockham. In June the pope excommunicated the four fugitives, who joined the Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria at Pisa and went with him to Munich. Thus there began Qckham's participation in the struggle between emperor and pope, a struggle in which the emperor was also assisted by Marsilius of Padua.

Summa totius logicae, 3, 2. I Ibid. 1 Summa totiU5 logica~, 3, 2. , 2, 6, D. OCKHAM (3) CHAPTER V OCKHAM (3) Intuitive knowledge-God's power tu cause intuitive 'knowledge' of a non-existent object-Contingency of the world-order-Relations-Causality-Motion and time-Conclusion. I. SCIENCE, according to Ockham, is concerned with universal propositions, and syllogistic demonstration is the mode of reasoning proper to science in the strict sense: an assent in science is an assent to the truth of a proposition.

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A history of philosophy by Frederick C Copleston


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