A History of Philosophy - Ockham to the Speculative Mystics by Copleston, Frederick

By Copleston, Frederick

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy - Ockham to the Speculative Mystics (Christian Library)

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On October 11th, 1347, Ludwig of Bavaria, Ockham’s protector, suddenly died, and Ockham took steps to reconcile himself with the Church. It is not necessary to suppose that his motives were merely prudential. A formula of submission was prepared but it is not known if Ockham actually signed it or whether the reconciliation was ever formally effected. Ockham died at Munich in 1349, apparently of the Black Death. 2. The commentary on the first book of the Sentences was written by Ockham himself, and the first edition of this Ordinatio seems to have been composed between 1318 and 1323.

On the other hand, Henry evidently thought of the universal concept as a confused concept of the individual. An individual man, for example, can be conceived distinctly as Socrates or Plato, or he may be conceived ‘confusedly’ not as this or that individual, but simply as ‘man’. The similarity which makes this possible is, of course, objective; but the genesis of the universal concept is due to this confused impression of individuals, while the universality, formally considered, of the concept is due to the work of the mind.

He was, indeed, willing to retain something of the language of the theory of divine ideas, doubtless largely out of respect for St. Augustine and tradition; but he emptied the theory of its former content. He thought of the theory as implying a limitation of the divine freedom and omnipotence, as though God would be governed, as it were, and limited in His creative act by the eternal ideas or essences. Moreover, as we shall see later, he thought that the traditional connection of the moral law with the theory of divine ideas constituted an affront to the divine liberty: the moral law depends ultimately, according to Ockham, on the divine will and choice.

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