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Name: William Of Ockham

Time Period:  c. 1285-1347

Quote: "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity"

Brief Description: William of Ockham was a monk who was born in Ockham, England, during the Middle Ages. He was a Scholastic philosopher who stated that "entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity", meaning that a meager existence was the proper way to live. In fact, he disputed with the Pope that the only way one could achieve spiritual perfection was to live in poverty, and of course the Pope did not agree! The idea that "simpler is better" is an offspring from William of Ockham.

Current Relevance:  William of Ockham's philosophy that less can be more is so simple that it teaches us more than we would first assume. By having less, we would learn to appreciate what we do have much more, and by having less we would also be indirectly helping others who have even less than we do, have more. So living a simple existence and appreciating what we have in our own lives, and saving a piece of the pie for another person would lead we as people to being a better society, or so William Of Ockham would believe.

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