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John Wyclif$
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Stephen Edmund Lahey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183313.001.0001

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Logic, Metaphysics

John Wyclif

Stephen E. Lahey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The second important element of Wyclif’s philosophical program is his metaphysics, which is an important response to Ockhamist conceptualism. Walter Burley had challenged Ockhamist ontology with a vivid realist metaphysics, and Adam Wodeham had been an important Oxford defender of Ockhamism in the years prior to Wyclif; both figure importantly in the philosophical context of Wyclif’s philosophy. Wyclif’s ontology arose from his logic, which was not in itself a departure from Aristotelian logic; what characterizes Wyclif’s innovation is his “propositional realism,” interpreting all reality in the form of propositions. He formulated his philosophy of Being as such, and his understanding of the Divine Ideas and their relation to Universals in creation, in light of his belief in an isomorphism between language and reality. The central idea behind the following chapters is that Wyclif’s theological vision is best understood in terms of this propositional realism.

Keywords:   metaphysics, Propositional realism, isomorphism, ontology, logic, Burley, universals, Being, Wodeham, conceptualism

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