Modalities in logic and philosophy

Mgr. Petr Dvořák, Ph.D.


The course deals with the topic of modalities within a broad range of issues both historical and systematic: 1. the history of the interpretation of modal terms from Aristotle to contemporary analytic philosophy; 2. varieties of modality in the problem of future contingents; 3. modal proofs of the divine existence – the necessity of the divine; 4. ontology of possible entities and possible worlds.


The course will take the form of a lecture accompanied by course readings. The course will be successfully completed based on (i) class attendance (at least 80 %) and (ii) active participation (discussion of course-texts read in advance).  For those wishing to obtain a course grade (mark), an essay is a requirement (around 2000 words).  The course is open to all interested in any of the following: (modal) logic, semantics, metaphysics and ontology, philosophy of religion, medieval philosophy, the history of philosophy in general, contemporary analytic philosophy. The language of instruction (lecture, readings, and discussions): English only.


Recommended readings from which selections may be taken:

Forbes, G., The Metaphysics of Modality, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1985.

Knuuttila, S., Modalities in Medieval Philosophy, Routledge London, New York 1993.

Loux, M.J., The Possible and the Actual, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1979. Sborník klíčových článků k problematice interpretace modalit (možných světů).


Plantinga, A., The Nature of Necessity, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1974.


God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom, J. M. Fischer (ed.), Stanford University Press, Stanford 1989.