Medieval Theories of Modality

[Revised entry by Simo Knuuttila on April 19, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] There are four modal paradigms in ancient philosophy: the frequency interpretation of modality, the model
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[Revised entry by Simo Knuuttila on April 19, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] There are four modal paradigms in ancient philosophy: the frequency interpretation of modality, the model of possibility as a potency, the model of antecedent necessities and possibilities with respect to a certain moment of time (diachronic modalities), and the model of possibility as non-contradictoriness. None of these conceptions, which were well known to early medieval thinkers through the works of Boethius, was based on the idea of modality as involving reference to simultaneous alternatives. This new paradigm was introduced into...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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