more from William of Ockham

Single Idea 9101

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind]

Full Idea

Abstractive cognition (in one sense) relates to something abstracted from many singulars; and in this sense abstractive cognition is nothing else but cognition of a universal which can be abstracted from many things.

Gist of Idea

Abstractive cognition knows universals abstracted from many singulars


William of Ockham (Prologue to Ordinatio [1320], Q 1 N sqq)

Book Reference

Ockham,William of: 'Ockham's Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Boehner,P [Hackett 1990], p.22

A Reaction

This strikes me as being correct common sense, even though it has become deeply unfashionable since Frege. We may not be able to see quite how the mind manages to see universals in a bunch of objects, but there is no better story.