The Representation of Hercules. Ockham's Critique of Species

Documenti E Studi 26:433-456 (2015)
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This paper reconsiders Ockham's critique of the species theory of cognition. As Ockham understands this theory, it says that the direct objects of cognition are mental representations, or species. According to many commentators, one of Ockham's main objections to this theory was that, if the direct objects of cognition are species rather than external objects, we will never be able to establish whether or not a given species is a veridical representation of the world. In this paper I argue that this line of interpretation sits uneasily with Ockham's epistemology, and offer a new interpretation of Ockham's critique of species.

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Han Thomas Adriaenssen
University of Groningen


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