The Actual and the Possible: Modality and Metaphysics in Modern Philosophy

ISBN : 9780198786436

Mark Sinclair
272 ページ
156 x 234 mm
Mind Association Occasional Series

The Actual and the Possible presents new essays by leading specialists on modality and the metaphysics of modality in the history of modern philosophy from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. It revisits key moments in the history of modern modal doctrines, and illuminates lesser-known moments of that history. The ultimate purpose of this historical approach is to contextualise and even to offer some alternatives to dominant positions within the contemporary philosophy of modality. Hence the volume contains not only new scholarship on the early-modern doctrines of Baruch Spinoza, G. W. F. Leibniz, Christian Wolff and Immanuel Kant, but also work relating to less familiar nineteenth-century thinkers such as Alexius Meinong and Jan Lukasiewicz, together with essays on celebrated nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers such as G. W. F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger and Bertrand Russell, whose modal doctrines have not previously garnered the attention they deserve. The volume thus covers a variety of traditions, and its historical range extends to the end of the twentieth century, addressing the legacy of W. V. Quine's critique of modality within recent analytic philosophy.


Editor's Introduction
1 Mogens Laerke: Aspects of Spinoza's Theory of Essence: Formal Essence, Non-Existence and Two Types of Actuality
2 Stephan Leuenberger: Wolff's Close Shave with Fatalism
3 Ohad Nachtomy: Modal Adventures after Leibniz: Existence and (Temporal, Logical, Real) Possibilities
4 Jessica Leech: Kant's Material Condition of Real Possibility
5 Christopher Yeomans: Hegel's Expressivist Modal Realism
6 Thomas Baldwin: Russell on Modality
7 Peter Simons: Modality and Degrees of Truth: an Austro-Polish Sideline in 20th-Century Modal Thought
8 Mark Sinclair: Heidegger on 'Possibility'
9 John Divers: De Re Modality in the Late 20th Century: the Prescient Quine


Mark Sinclair is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Manchester Metropolitan University and Associate Editor at the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. He has published on the history of modern French and German philosophy in Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie, Journal of the History of Ideas and Intellectual History Review. He holds degrees in Philosophy from the University of Warwick, Universite Paris Sorbonne and the Manchester Metropolitan University.