The Medieval Bridge

John S. Wilkins

in Species

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780520260856
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945074 | DOI:
The Medieval Bridge

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This chapter discusses the biological species concepts debates during the medieval period. The period was characterized by a revival of the universals debate and nominalist school. The nominalists rejected the view that universals are real things that exist apart from the substance of the things that are within them. William of Ockham, the most influential nominalist, claims that logical species are just a way to recollect similar individuals already encountered, and a general term cannot be abstracted from a single individual, but only a number of individuals encountered. The chapter also discusses the development of herbals and bestiaries, both of which were precursors to biological classification.

Keywords: species; medieval period; universals; nominalists; William of Ockham; logical species; herbals; bestiaries

Chapter.  5158 words. 

Subjects: Animal Pathology and Diseases

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