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Modal Logic And Possible Worlds

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Chapter Summary

Seventeenth-century discussions on divine knowledge and will thoroughly employ modal categories like contingency and necessity. In fact, the major systematic positions can be distinguished by the way they relate modal aspects to divine agency. Since the early twentieth century, important developments have been achieved in the study of modal logic, enabling us to analyze the involved modal issues more exactly. In this chapter, these tools are introduced to evaluate the seventeenth-century positions and to develop a contemporary analysis of divine agency that takes account of its modal aspects. Modern modal logic with its symbolic language and possible world semantics delivers a framework to evaluate the various seventeenth- century conceptions of divine agency, which all have a clear modal structure.

Keywords: divine knowledge; modal logic



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