Category Archives: Nominalism and Realism

Ockham and the “Egocentric Predicament”

The following is a quote from a review handout authored by my Medieval Philosophy professor, William Frank, at the University of Dallas. This is quite possibly the most intriguing thing I’ve ever read about William of Ockham. I’ve bold faced … Continue reading

Posted in 13th Century, 14th Century, Faith and Reason, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. III

Returning to his earlier example of there being no necessary causal connection between fire and the burning of a piece of cotton brought into contact with the fire, Al-Ghazali gets to the root of his voluntaristic understanding of God: “If … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, Faith and Reason, Islam-Medieval, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. II

In the last entry I cautiously described the Medieval Arabic philosophers Al-Ghazali and Averroes as, respectively, an Islamic “nominalist” and an Islamic “realist.” Strictly speaking, I suppose the characteristic of Al-Ghazali with which I am here dealing is actually “voluntarism,” … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, Faith and Reason, Islam-Medieval, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

Al-Ghazali and Averroes: Islamic “Nominalism” vs. Islamic “Realism,” Pt. I

While I’m not sure if the characterizations of “nominalist” and “realist” properly apply to the 11th and 12th century Muslim philosophers Al-Ghazali and Averroes,:”(Indeed, over the past several years I have found myself increasingly having to revise my early thoughts … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, Faith and Reason, Islam-Medieval, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

Peter Abelard on God’s Actions (II)

Picking up from the last entry on Abelard, I want to focus on one of his closing statements about what God is capable of doing. Let me first quote it in full, noting that owing to the peculiarities of proto-Scholastic … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, Faith and Reason, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

Peter Abelard on God’s Actions (I)

Peter Abelard (1079-1142), working with certain Aristotelian assumptions about metaphysics and logic, makes an argument that God, although omnipotent, cannot do anything other than what He actually does do, and cannot omit doing anything which He actually does omit doing. … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 12th Century, Faith and Reason, Nominalism and Realism | Comments Off

St. Anselm on Radical Nominalism

Some variety of realism seems inescapably to be true. Regarding whether each Person of the Trinity is a “thing” (res), St. Anselm points out several analogies against the nominalist Roscellin of Compiegne, who asserted (apparently without much thought) that the … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, Faith and Reason, Nominalism and Realism, Theology-Christology | Leave a comment

Realism, Nominalism, Reform, and Heresy

R.R. Betts makes the interesting argument that the great heresies which plagued the fifteenth century (chiefly Wycliffism and the Hussites) were an unintended, but quite natural, offshoot of the prevailing Realist philosophical-theological paradigm: …The realist faith in the reality of … Continue reading

Posted in 11th Century, 15th Century, Nominalism and Realism, Theology of Reform | 1 Comment

Calvin and the Absolute Power of God

David Steinmetz discusses this topic in his article of the same title in Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring, 1988), pp. 65-79. What emerges from his discussion are some interesting points about both Calvin’s continuity … Continue reading

Posted in 16th Century, Faith and Reason, Nominalism and Realism | 1 Comment

Ascribed Or Inherent Value?

The question of whether sacraments possess value that is ascribed to them from outside or value that is inherent in them by their very nature drove an immense amount of theological debate in the 12th and 13th centuries. William J. … Continue reading

Posted in Nominalism and Realism | Leave a comment