Aquinas's Metaphysics of Modality: A Reply to Leftow

Modern Schoolman 83 (3):201-212 (2005)
Authors
Jeffrey E. Brower
Purdue University
Abstract
Brian Leftow sets out to provide us with an account of Aquinas’s metaphysics of modality. Drawing on some important recent work, which is surely close to the spirit (if not quite the letter) of Aquinas’s thought, he frames his discussion in terms of “truthmakers”: what is it that makes true claims about possibility and necessity—that is to say, what serves as their ontological ground or ultimate metaphysical explanation? Leftow’s main thesis is that, for Aquinas, all true modal claims are made true by one and the same thing—namely, God. Along the way, however, he also attempts to show that Aquinas’s endorsement of this thesis commits him to an objectionable form of Platonism about possible worlds.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0026-8402
DOI 10.5840/schoolman20058238
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