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William of Ockham

Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of William of Ockham
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of William of Ockham a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: English

  • Also Known as: William Occam
  • Lifetime: 1288 1348
  • Time Reference: Lived during the reigns of King Edward I, King Edward II and King Edward III
  • Born: He was born in 1288 in Ockham in Surrey
  • Childhood, early life and education: Taught by Franciscan Monks and then went to Oxford
  • Occupation and Career: 
  • Died: William of Ockham died in Germany of the Black Death
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why William of Ockham was famous: Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher the author of many books
  • William of Ockham is regarded as the founder of a form of nominalism asserting that one could not know God through reason and rationality
  • Ockham's razor: The medieval rule of parsimony, or principle of economy, frequently used by Ockham came to be known as Ockham's razor - the simplest explanation to any problem is the best explanation
  • William of Ockham was accused of heresy in 1324 and fled to Germany where he spent the rest of his days living in abject poverty as required of a Franciscan monk
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