glyph 380: Claudio Véliz . William of Ockham ... philosophy, philosophers ... individualism ... razors ... authority vs. individual freedom ... accomodation of varied forms of disorder within a larger spontaneous order ... foundations of liberty, freedom ... history of freeorder, heroes of freeorder ... history, middle ages ... Franciscan order ..... disintegration of scholasticism, foundations of modern political thought


William of Ockham (1300-1349) as Understood by Claudio Véliz

various kinds of decentralized disorder & the romantic disposition

In The New World of the Gothic Fox, Claudio Véliz writes of William of Ockham (1300-1349), born in Ockham, Surrey, England:

What can be affirmed without hesitation is that while pursuing his spiritual, ecclesiastic, and political objectives, he espoused a radical narrowing of the functions of the secular government and stressed the specifically spiritual responsibilities of ecclesiastical authorities. This was not an accidental result. He believed firmly in the value of individual freedom, not simply the inner tranquillity that could flow from a sincere subordination to higher principles but the power of individuals to be masters of their own actions and, therefore, through those actions, less or more flawed, ill-advised, wise or stupid, able responsibly to produce various kinds of decentralized disorder.


Ockham's works and teachings ... helped to usher in a disposition, perhaps even a capacity, to come to terms with the uncertainties and risks of eccentric diversities; a rejection of polite regularities; a Gothic ease with improvisation and disorder; a disinclination blindly to accept the comforts of order ...


... such traits and dispositions are consistent with the romantic disposition that so decisively accompanied the early decades of English industrialism ...

These passages are taken from chapter V — Gothic Foxes.

On Ockham and Thomas Hobbes:
Katarzyna Doliwa, Bialystok University, Poland, translated by Marta Glowacka.
or, the same article as a pdf file:
February 25, 2007; edited/updated November 26, 2015

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