Imaginable Impossibilities and Thought Experiments

"La necessità della natura e la necessità dei filosofi"

Uno sguardo sulle logiche della modalità tra XI e XII sec.

During the conference Pier Damiani – Nuove prospettive sul suo pensiero, which took place virtually on December 17th/18th, hosted by the University of Parma, I presented a recent work-in-progress paper focusing on the development of some important modal notions during the Middle Ages.

I have argued that notions such as that of possibility as compatibility with natural laws, the discrepancy between possibility and potentiality, as well as the analysis of the grammatical VS logical form of modal propositions – notions which become well established from the early 12th century and are discussed throughout the entire Middle Ages – may have been developed in connection to the influence of theological debates in the XI century and particularly under the influence of Peter Damian’s works.

The connection between XI century theology and later logical developments are still mostly unexplored. You may find a recording of my talk (in Italian) here.