Journal of Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):144-172 (2021)

Ricardo Santos
Universidade de Lisboa
In the first part of De Interpretatione 9, Aristotle introduces an argument for fatalism that he obviously does not subscribe to. Readers of the chapter wonder how Aristotle replies to that argument. In this paper I claim that the main basis of his reply is the principle of equimodality stated in 19a33 (“statements are true in the same way as the actual things are”). I defend that this principle should be interpreted in the most straightforward way, as saying that the modality with which any statement is true is the same as the modality with which the actual things referred to in the statement are what they are. This entails that something is (or will be) necessarily such and such only if the statement saying that it is (or will be) such and such is necessarily true. By applying this principle to Aristotle’s distinction between two kinds of non-necessary things – those that happen as chance has it and those that happen for the most part (hôs epi to poly) in one way rather than another –, one should conclude that, because these things are contingent, statements about them can only be contingently true.
Keywords fatalism  future contingents  Aristotle  modality  contingent truth
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Aristotle on Truth.Paolo Crivelli - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Aristotle and the Sea Battle.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1956 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 21 (4):388-389.
Truth and Necessity in De Interpretatione 9.Gail Fine - 1984 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 1 (1):23 - 47.

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