Chapter

Preliminary Distinctions and Remarks

Alvin Plantinga

in The Nature of Necessity

Published in print February 1978 | ISBN: 9780198244141
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598241 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198244142.003.0001

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

 Preliminary Distinctions and Remarks

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I clarify the notion of necessity that I will be examining in the book. In the first section , I claim that the relevant notion of necessity is ‘broad logical necessity’, which I distinguish from causal necessity, unrevisability and a proposition being self‐evident or a priori. In the second section, I distinguish between modality de dicto and modality de re. An assertion of modality de dicto predicates a modal property of another dictum or proposition, while a claim of modality de re asserts of an object that it possess a property either essentially or contingently. I conclude by examining the use of the de dicto/de re distinction in the works of Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, G.E. Moore, and Norman Malcolm.

Keywords: a priori; Aquinas; Aristotle; de dicto; de re; essential; Norman Malcolm; modality; G.E. Moore; necessity; property; proposition

Chapter.  5225 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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