In this essay, I consider some logical treatises and commentaries from the first decades of the 12th century (many of which are still unedited) which contain a discussion on modalities and modal logic. After presenting a short catalogue of these sources and a description of their common features, I shall focus on some definitions of the modal term “necessarium” which are provided in them. As we will see, Abelard and logicians of his time advanced three different characterizations of this term: necessity was either defined in terms of unavoidability (ineuitabilitas), or in terms of immutability and omnitemporality (impermutabilitas, sempiternitas), or again in terms of absolute necessity as opposed to conditioned one (necessitas absoluta vs. determinata). I argue that the temporal understanding of necessity in terms of omnitemporality, inherited from ancient sources and extensively used by Abelard and others in the first years of the twelfth-century, started to disappear in texts datable from around the 1120, perhaps due to several difficulties that were related to this definition when applied in logical contexts. I also discuss how the notion of necessitas determinata was used by Abelard’s contemporaries to qualify the modal status of present and past events, which were generally believed to be necessary only in a “weak” and harmless sense that did not prevent them from being contingent.

Riflessioni sul concetto di necessità nella prima metà del XII secolo / Binini, Irene. - In: NOCTUA. - ISSN 2284-1180. - 5(2019), pp. 1045-1088. [10.14640/QuadernidiNoctua5-25]

Riflessioni sul concetto di necessità nella prima metà del XII secolo

Irene BININI
2019

Abstract

In this essay, I consider some logical treatises and commentaries from the first decades of the 12th century (many of which are still unedited) which contain a discussion on modalities and modal logic. After presenting a short catalogue of these sources and a description of their common features, I shall focus on some definitions of the modal term “necessarium” which are provided in them. As we will see, Abelard and logicians of his time advanced three different characterizations of this term: necessity was either defined in terms of unavoidability (ineuitabilitas), or in terms of immutability and omnitemporality (impermutabilitas, sempiternitas), or again in terms of absolute necessity as opposed to conditioned one (necessitas absoluta vs. determinata). I argue that the temporal understanding of necessity in terms of omnitemporality, inherited from ancient sources and extensively used by Abelard and others in the first years of the twelfth-century, started to disappear in texts datable from around the 1120, perhaps due to several difficulties that were related to this definition when applied in logical contexts. I also discuss how the notion of necessitas determinata was used by Abelard’s contemporaries to qualify the modal status of present and past events, which were generally believed to be necessary only in a “weak” and harmless sense that did not prevent them from being contingent.
Riflessioni sul concetto di necessità nella prima metà del XII secolo / Binini, Irene. - In: NOCTUA. - ISSN 2284-1180. - 5(2019), pp. 1045-1088. [10.14640/QuadernidiNoctua5-25]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2914092
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