more from William of Ockham

Single Idea 9112

[catalogued under 28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity]

Full Idea

What we abstract is said to belong to perfection in so far as it can be predicated of God and can stand for Him. For if such a concept could not be abstracted from a creature, then in this life we could not arrive at a cognition of God's wisdom.

Gist of Idea

We could never form a concept of God's wisdom if we couldn't abstract it from creatures


William of Ockham (Reportatio [1330], III Q viii)

Book Reference

Ockham,William of: 'Ockham's Philosophical Writings', ed/tr. Boehner,P [Hackett 1990], p.112

A Reaction

This seems to be the germ of an important argument. Without the ability to abstract from what is experienced, we would not be able to apply general concepts to things which are beyond experience. It is a key idea for empiricism.