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The Nature of Necessity$
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Alvin Plantinga

Print publication date: 1978

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244141

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198244142.001.0001

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Preliminary Distinctions and Remarks

Preliminary Distinctions and Remarks

Chapter:
(p.1) I Preliminary Distinctions and Remarks
Source:
The Nature of Necessity
Author(s):

Alvin Plantinga (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198244142.003.0001

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

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