Guglielmo di Ockham [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 27 (1):126-126 (1973)
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This volume is an introduction to the philosophy of William of Ockham. After a brief account of his life and works, it presents his philosophical ideas under the headings of logic, epistemology, metaphysics, rational theology, philosophy of nature, psychology, ethics, and politics. The work concludes with a bibliography on Ockham and Ockhamism from 1950 to 1970, supplementing that of V. Heynck from 1919 to 1949. This is a well-informed presentation of Ockham’s philosophical ideas. Covering the whole range of his philosophy, it does not treat any part of it in depth; but, as Fr. Bettoni says in his introduction, it offers a new global perspective on Ockham’s thought. There are frequent citations from Ockham’s writings in the notes, indicating the author’s close reading of Ockham’s works. The author is well aware that Ockham was "a philosopher who never ceases to be a theologian". But he does not convey to his reader the fact that Ockham’s interests, like those of Aquinas and Scotus, were primarily theological and not philosophical; that Ockham developed a logic and philosophy in support of a theology. The title of the work "Guglielmo di Ockham" suggests that the Ockham presented in it—Ockham the philosopher, not Ockham the theologian—was the "essential" Ockham.—A. A. M.



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