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God and Necessity$
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Brian Leftow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263356.001.0001

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Modality: basic notions

Modality: basic notions

(p.333) 13 Modality: basic notions
God and Necessity

Brian Leftow

Oxford University Press

Once God thinks up all candidate secular states of affairs, He settles their modal status. This chapter considers why these acquire the modal status they do. Its account centers on God’s preventing and permitting states of affairs: what God permits is for that reason possible, and what He prevents is for that reason impossible. So it begins by explaining what it is to prevent and (causally) permit, what is special about God’s preventing and permitting, and a particular set of modal concepts: the causal modalities. It applies these to define the ‘metaphysical’ or ‘broadly logical’ modalities.

Keywords:   God, secular, modal status, preventing, permitting, possible, impossible, causal modality, ‘broadly logical’ modality

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