William of Ockham on Future Contingency

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  • 1 Aalborg University, Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

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Abstract

In his philosophy, William of Ockham (1285-1347) offered an important and detailed response to the classical argument from the truth of a statement regarding the future to the necessity (unpreventability) of the statement. In this paper, Ockham’s solution and the possible formalisation of it are discussed in terms of modern tense and modal logic. In particular, the famous branching time formalisation suggested by A. N. Prior (1914-19) is discussed. Weaknesses and problems with this suggestion are pointed out, and an alternative formalisation of Ockham’s solution without the use of branching time is presented.

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