Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy Easter!

Luke 24:1-12:

The Resurrection of Jesus.

1 But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
5 They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
6 He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
8 And they remembered his words.
9 Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.
10 The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
11 but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them.
12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.

SEP update on Medieval Theories of Modality

There have been some important updates to the SEP entry “Medieval Theories of Modality” by Simo Knuuttila. Here is an excerpt pertaining to my interests in the contemporary analysis of Aristotle:

There are several recent works on Aristotle’s modal syllogistics, but no generally accepted historical reconstruction which would make it a coherent theory. It was apparently based on various assumptions which were not fully compatible (Hintikka 1973, Striker 2009). Some commentators have been interested in finding coherent layers of the theory by explicating them in terms of Aristotle’s other views (van Rijen 1989; Patterson 1995). There are also several formal reconstructions such as Rini 2010 (modern predicate logic), Ebert and Nortmann 2007 (possible worlds semantics), various set-theoretical approaches discussed in Johnson 2004, and Malink 2006 (mereological semantics).

I’m going to take a closer look at Striker’s position, as I am not convinced that Aristotle’s modal syllogistic is based on assumptions that are “not fully compatible”. I think the issue is one of getting clear on Aristotle’s metaphysics at the time that the Prior Analytics were composed, and to realize that some of those metaphysical presuppositions did not remain constant as Aristotle went on to work on De Caelo and Metaphysics. I like Malink’s approach of using the Topics in order to understand what is going on. Perhaps a post or two dedicated to the “Two Barbaras” problem is in order!

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