Ockham's Scientia Argument for Mental Language

Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 3:145-168 (2015)
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William Ockham held that, in addition to written and spoken language, there exists a mental language, a structured representational system common to all thinking beings. Here I present and evaluate an argument found in several places across Ockham's corpus, wherein he argues that positing a mental language is necessary for the nominalist to meet certain ontological constraints imposed by Aristotle’s account of scientific demonstration.

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Eric W. Hagedorn
St. Norbert College


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