Robert Pasnau: "Medieval Modal Spaces"

Joint Seminar – The Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy and in the History of Philosophy

Robert Pasnau, University of Colorado Boulder: "Medieval Modal Spaces"

There is often said to be something peculiar about the history of modal theory, up until the turn of the fourteenth century, when John Duns Scotus decisively reframed the issues. I wish to argue that this impression of dramatic discontinuity is almost entirely a misimpression. Premodern philosophers prescind from wide-open modal space of all possible worlds because they seek to adapt their modal discourse to the explanatory and linguistic demands of their context.