Chapter

Ockham on Being

Calvin G. Normore

in Categories of Being

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199890576
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.003.0004
Ockham on Being

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In his mature work Ockham begins with a semantics centred on the ideas that terms signify things and that connotative terms signify only those things signified by the terms in their nominal definitions, and argues that anything signified by terms in other Aristotelian Categories are also signified by terms in the Categories of Substance and Quality so that there is a clear sense in which every being is either an individual substance (or an individual part of one) or an individual quality. Ockham is prepared to admit that while many of these are, many others which are not either were, will be, or merely can be and so while in one sense he is an actualist and a presentist in another sense he is not. Ockham does not accept any distinction in re between essence and existence. He does accept that there is a ’transcendental’ sense of ’being’ (ens).

Keywords: Ockham; semantics; terms; being; substance; quality

Chapter.  10747 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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