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Title: What Do I See When I See This Lion?
Subtitle: Intuitive Cognition and Concept Formation, According to William of Ockham
Author(s): ROBERTS, H. Francie
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 76    Issue: 2   Date: 2009   
Pages: 335-364
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.76.2.2045809

Abstract :
When William of Ockham’s use of the term ‘concept’ is examined, it becomes clear that intuitive cognitions, in and of themselves, cannot function as concepts and thus cannot supposit (i.e., cannot serve as subject and predicate terms), in mental propositions. This is because intuitive cognitions pertain only to the singulars in the world that cause them, whereas concepts are universals, natural signs that are, at least in principle, common to many. Since scientific knowledge is of the universal, the subject and predicate terms of mental propositions must be universal terms and thus, concepts. Nonetheless, intuitive cognitions provide the ground for scientific knowledge, as the basis for abstractive and mixed abstractive/intuitive concepts.

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