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Book chapter

Concept as an act of understanding and a composite mental term in W. Ockham`s philosophy

С. 130-138.

In this paper I examine William Ockham`s notion of concept or mental term which is a core element of mental language in W. Ockham`s account. According to the late Ockham`s treatises, concept is both a sign and an act of understanding. This identification causes several difficulties in the analysis of his ideas. First is the general difficulty of his ‘mental language’ conception. How can mental language have semantic and syntactic properties? And, thus, how can a composite mental term be both an act and a proposition? The other ambiguous question is the question about the reason for his final version of the definition of a concept. In this paper I am going to consider some Ockham`s thoughts about the identification of a concept and an act of understanding by reference to his Commentary on Aristotle`s treatise ‘De Interpretatione’. I begin with the short description of the very idea of mental language and the relations between terms in written, spoken and mental language and real individual things.