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(born c. 1285, Ockham, Surrey?, Eng.died 1347/49, Munich, Bavaria) English Franciscan philosopher, theologian, and political writer. A late Scholastic thinker, he is regarded as the founder of a form of nominalism, the school of thought that denies that universals have any reality apart from the individual things signified by the universal or general term. He is also remembered as the originator of the medieval rule of logical economy known as Ockham's razor. He was excommunicated by Pope John XXII for his defense of the Franciscan notion of poverty and the rights of the empire against the papacy.
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