more from William of Ockham

Single Idea 9103

[catalogued under 8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals]

Full Idea

I maintain that a universal is not something real that exists in a subject [of inherence], either inside or outside the mind, but that it has being only as a thought-object in the mind.

Gist of Idea

A universal is not a real feature of objects, but only a thought-object in the mind


William of Ockham (Ordinatio [1320], DII Qviii prima redactio)

Book Reference

Ockham,William of: 'Ockham's Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Boehner,P [Hackett 1990], p.41

A Reaction

[A footnote says that William later abandoned this view] I don't see a clear distinction here between having real existence in the mind, and being a thought-object in the mind. Maybe we should say 'merely' a thought-object?