Friday, 10 April 2020

venerabilis inceptor

While having matriculated at Oxford and fulfilled the requirements for a graduate degree in theology the scholastic philosopher was never awarded the title and was academically known as “Venerable Beginner,” the depth and range of the influence of William of Ockham (*1285 – †1347), commemorated by the Anglican faith on this day, cannot be downplayed on technicality such as that. Pioneering thinker in the realms of logic and nominalism—rejecting the prevailing notion that universal ideas had an existence antecedent and dependent of individuals and that the generalisation or ideal form was not the abstraction of experience, he is probably best known for his appeal to efficiency in reasoning, his eponymous razor (novacula Occami) or law of parsimony—simply put that the simplest solution is usually the right one.