Down to the Wire: Just $7,563 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

OCCAMISM

Philosophical system of William of Occam (1300-49). Essentially nominalism, it maintains the basic position that universal ideas have no foundation in reality; they exist only in the thinking mind and not in individual things. Consequently all science deals not with things but with concepts, and words that convey these concepts. Since only individual things exist, the ordinary means of acquiring knowledge is not by way of abstraction from reality, but by intuition. Given this postulate, that human knowledge is essentially subjective and not derived from objective reality, Occamism led to agnosticism. Part of the Occamist theory is also the claim that the divine will is the cause of all things and its own rule, so that God did not will things because they were good, but they are good because he willed them. Martin Luther was deeply influenced by Occamism, speaking of the Franciscan philosopher as "my teacher."

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 16 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 19 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 22 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25