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The Logic of Necessity in Aristotle--an Outline of Approaches to the Modal Syllogistic, Together with a General Account of de dicto- and de re-Necessity

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This article investigates the prospect of giving de dicto- and de re-necessity a uniform treatment. The historical starting point is a puzzle raised by Aristotle's claim, advanced in one of the modal chapters of his Prior Analytics, that universally privative apodeictic premises simply convert. As regards the Prior and the Posterior Analytics, the data suggest a representation of propositions of the type in question by doubly modally qualified formulae of modal predicate logic that display a necessity operator in two distinct positions. Can the N-operator occurring in these positions be given a unified semantical treatment (which would justify dispensing with a notational differentiation)? A positive answer, based on a suitably shaped truth condition for N-formulae, is given, and is supported in the final section with an alternative proof theoretically based conception of a property's essential belonging to an individual.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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