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Volume 30, 2013

Concepts - Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

Sonja Schierbaum
Pages 251-267
DOI: 10.5840/protosociology20133014

Ockham on Concepts of Beings

In this paper I want to show that Ockham seeks to account for our knowledge of what there is and of what there can be in terms of the possession of a certain type of concepts. These concepts are based on a kind of singular cognition of things that are present to the subject. It should become clear that although Ockham’s sketchy account of concepts of beings in the Summa Logicae is open to various objections it is not open to objections raised by Geach against “abstractionist” accounts of concept acquisition: the point is simply that Ockham does not want to account for the correct application of concepts to things, that is, for the recognition of things as being of a certain kind in the first place.

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