Otfried Höffe on Ockham - Dictionary of Arguments
Höffe I 184
Ockham/Höffe: Ockham (1286-1347/49) became an expressly political thinker (...) for a (...) genuinely political reason: around 1324, i.e. even before >Marsilius with his defender of peace (Defensor pacis) exposed himself to sharp criticism, [Ockham] was suspected of heresy by the papal curia in Avignon. After failing to reach an agreement with the Pope he flees via northern Italy to Ludwig the Bavarian, where Marsilius also finds refuge. In the
Höffe I 185
time spent there, more than a decade and a half, the hitherto apolitical scholastic Ockham became a significant political thinker.
Of his ten writings on church politics two have a special weight, the Dialogus, a "dialogue between a teacher and a pupil about the power of emperors and popes" rich in arguments, and the Octo quaestiones, the "Eight Questions" about the power of the Pope.
Two controversial questions are in the foreground in these writings:
a) (...) the fight against poverty, in which Pope John XXII (1316-1334) revokes the teaching according to which and according to Christ, a life without possessions forms an ideal of perfection both for the individual and for the community.
b) On the other hand, Ockham takes the side of the Emperor, Louis IV, against the papacy. But his assertion that the Pope's worldly claims to power are unlawful are not as uncompromising as those of Marsilius. For according to Ockham, spiritual power is only inadmissible as a rule in worldly matters, in exceptional cases it can be legitimate. Cf. >Governance/Marsilius, >Papacy/Marsilius._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016