The International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2013

Article excerpt

Aristotle on Modality and Predicative Necessity, JEAN-LOUIS HUDRY

Many logicians have tried to formalize a modal logic from the Prior Analytics, but the general view is that Aristotle has failed to offer a consistent modal logic there. This paper explains that Aristotle is not interested in modal logic as such. Modalities, for him, pertain to the relations of predication, without challenging the assertoric system of deductions simpliciter. Thus, demonstrations or dialectical deductions have modal predicates and yet are still deductions simpliciter. It is a matter of distinguishing inferential necessity that applies to every deduction from the modal predicates in the two premises and conclusion. The modality of demonstrations can be either necessary or possible. The necessity is predicative, that is, independent of inferential necessity. While the possible demonstration challenges the predicative necessity of the necessary demonstration, it preserves the inferential necessity of the deduction simpliciter.

Multiverse, M-theory, and God the Creator, WOJCIECH P. GRYGIEL

From a physical point of view, the no-boundary Hartle-Hawking model put forward in 1983 was an attempt to demonstrate that the incorporation of quantum effects into the general theory of relativity would solve the problem of singularities that make the theory of relativity incomplete. This was achieved by imposing the so called "no-boundary conditions," whereby the Universe could emerge with nonzero probability from a nonexisting state. Stephen Hawking quickly turned this result into a metaphysical claim that physical laws explained away the necessity of the Divine intervention at the origin of the Universe. This paper offers an inquiry into the line of arguments presented by Hawking and Mlodinow in their book The Grand Design and supported with the claim that the yet unknown version of the superstring theory, the M-theory, is an ultimate theory of the Universe. The upshot of the paper is that although the argument in The Grand Design relies on the newer achievements of physics embedded in the controversial multi-verse setting, it does not escape the question of the origin of the most general laws of physics that bring the Universe into existence.

Is the Existence of the Best Possible World Logically Impossible? ANDERS KRAAL

Since the 1960s an increasing number of philosophers have endorsed the thesis that there can be no such thing as "the best possible world." This paper examines the main arguments for this thesis as put forth by George Schlesinger, Alvin Plantinga, Bruce Reichenbach, Peter Forrest, and Richard Swinburne. …