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Ockham Explained is an important and much-needed resource on William of Ockham, one of the most important philosophers of the Middle Ages. His eventful and controversial life was marked by sharp career moves and academic and ecclesiastical battles. At 28, Ockham was a conservative English theologian focused obsessively on the nature of language, but by 40, he had transformed into a fugitive friar, accused of heresy, and finally protected by the German emperor as he composed incendiary treatises calling for strong limits on papal authority.
This book provides a thorough grounding in Ockham’s life and his many contributions to philosophy. It begins with an overview of the philosopher's youth and the Aristotelian philosophy he studied as a boy. Subsequent chapters cover his ideas on language and logic; his metaphysics and vaunted "razor", as well as his opponents’ "anti-razor" theories; his invention of the church-state separation; and much more. The concluding chapter sums up Ockham's compelling philosophical personality and explains his modern appeal.
The book is published by Open Court.
“A lucid introduction to William of Ockham that, in fitting tribute to its subject, is philosophically engaging from start to finish.” (Jack Zupko, co-author of Stoicism: Traditions and Transformations)
“Rondo Keele offers the non-specialist a readable presentation of Ockham's ideas…and he makes clear the true nature of the much used but often misunderstood term ‘Ockham's Razor'.” (Jean D'Amato Thomas, Professor of Classics, Northwestern State University)
“Does great service in knocking down the barriers of language and form that so often keep non-specialists from exploring medieval philosophy on their own.” (Charles Bolyard, Associate Professor of Philosophy, James Madison University)
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Excellent treatment of an important philosopher
Easy to listen to the story which gave great context to difficult subject matter.
1 person found this helpful
A very well written overview of Ockham’s teaching and significance
I am quite impressed with the author and the reader did an outstanding job.
I agree with Ockham’s critique of the Platonic Forms, but disagree with his teaching that there are no universals.
Nevertheless, fantastically written and understandable for someone with a grasp of basic philosophical issues and some familiarity with the history of philosophy.
One can see the tremendous influence his teaching had on the Protestant movement - especially Luther.
One can also see his influence in what would eventually become the American Constitution.