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Power And Possibility In Thomas Aquinas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that such a modal theory is indeed to be found in Thomas Aquinas (1225?1274). It explores the question in what sense power can be attributed to God at all, and shows that for Aquinas logical possibilities are ontologically grounded in God?s omnipotence. The chapter then discusses some objections to this theory. It also discusses another objection concerning the contingency of the world that was, at least for Duns Scotus, so serious that he felt compelled to abandon the modal theory of Thomas Aquinas and to develop an alternative that avoids the appeal to divine powers and paves the way for a theory of possible worlds as entities sui generis.

Keywords: Aristotelian theory; divine power; Duns Scotus; modal theory; sui generis; Thomas Aquinas



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