First, the excommunication of my website The Logic Museum from Wikipedia. This means that any mention of the Museum, or any outbound link to it from Wikipedia, is now prohibited. As my readers will know, the Museum is primarily a repository of primary sources on logic, mainly medieval texts, that are difficult to locate even in a good university library (some of the texts I plan on publishing are unavailable even in London). What did the poor creature do to deserve this? (I am told it is because of my criticism of Wikipedia here, and because of other criticism by the owner of the hosting site, Greg Kohs).
Second, Ockham's flight is mentioned on the main page of Wikipedia - see the in the 'on this day' column. "On this day ... 1328 – William of Ockham, originator of the methodological principle Occam's razor, secretly left Avignon under threat from Pope John XXII". This is ironic. As every medieval scholar knows, Ockham was not the originator of this principle at all (although he often used it, and it bears his name). If they had been allowed to link to the Logic Museum, Wikipedians would have learned this. They could have looked at this essay by Thorburn, who first debunked the claim nearly 100 years ago. Or they could look in the article on Ockham in the Logic Museum. But they can't.
And as I commented last year, there are many mistakes in the article itself. Some were cleaned up (by someone I notified by email). But, as of this morning, many errors or significant omissions remain.
- The most significant error in the article still remained until this morning (when someone spotted a draft of this post and changed it. It said that Ockham does accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason, when of course he clearly doesn't. Until this morning, that mistake was there for five years. And there is still a problem, because the claim is spliced with an unrelated one sourced from the Catholic Encyclopedia, about Ockham's view on the distinction between essence and existence, between the active and passive intellect.
- It stills contains the odd claim that Ockham has been called a "terminist", to distinguish him from a nominalist or a conceptualist, is from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Thus the article combines what is probably wrong ('terminism' can be consistent with nominalism**) with the section from the SEP which is intended for an academic audience, and is impenetrable out of context.
- As I commented just this week, the article on Durandus does not mention that Durandus was one of those assigned by John XXII to investigate Ockham’s nominalism. That is because the whole article was plagiarised from the Catholic Encyclopedia, written 100 years ago. Nor does the article on Ockham.
If you feel strongly about this, and I think you should, you can comment on Jimmy Wales page here.
** Particularly in the case of Ockham's nominalism, defined as the view that we should not multiply entities according to the multiplicity of names.