Walter Chatton on Future Contingents

Between Formalism and Ontology

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In Walter Chatton on Future Contingents, Jon Bornholdt presents the first full-length translation, commentary, and analysis of the various attempts by Chatton (14th century C.E.) to solve the ancient problem of the status and significance of statements about the future. At issue is the danger of so-called logical determinism: if it is true now that a human will perform a given action tomorrow, is that human truly free to perform or refrain from performing that action? Bornholdt shows that Chatton constructed an original (though problematic) formal analysis that enabled him to canvass various approaches to the problem at different stages of his career, at all times showing an unusual sensitivity to the tension between formalist and metaphysical types of solution.
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Biographical Note

Jon Bornholdt, Ph.D. (2016) is a lecturer in logic and philosophy at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

Table of contents

Contents
Acknowledgements ix
Explanation of Symbols x
Citation Style xii
List of Figures xiii
1 Introduction: History and Logical Analysis of the Problem 1
1 The Heart of the Problem: A Question of Truth-Makers and
Truth-Bearers 1
2 Models of the World and Theories of Truth 6
2.1 Two Models of the World 8
2.2 Fitting Truth Operators to Ontology: The Correspondence
Assumption 12
3 Either the Fallibility of God as Foreknower, or the Necessitation of
Creaturely Action: Sophismata or Genuine Puzzles? 15
3.1 A “First Try”: The Appeal to Scope Disambiguation 16
3.2 The Inadequacy of the Sophismatic Solution 21
4 The Boethian Analysis and Its Influence 28
4.1 Boethius’ Slippery T2 Theory: “Broad Bivalence” and the Operators
Definite and Indefinite 29
4.2 The Assertability Conditions of the Boethian Future Tense(s) 34
4.3 A Fruitful Ambiguity: Simple vs. Conditional Necessity 37
4.4 From the Commentary Theory to the Consolation Theory 43
4.5 The Boethian or Logical-Compatibilist Model 49
4.6 Historical Developments: Further Applications of the System 61
5 Overcoming the Limitations of Logical Compatibilism: The Need for
Alternative Real Futures 81
5.1 Making Room for Divine (and More Room for Human) Freedom:
God’s “Power over the Past” and the Divine Modal Pleroma 83
5.2 The System of Duns Scotus 97
6 The (Re)Turn to the Formal: Thomas Wylton, Peter Auriol, and the
Rejection of the Correspondence Assumption 116
6.1 The Wylton Scope Analysis 116
6.2 The Position of Peter Auriol: A Closed-Future Model in
Open-Future Guise 124
7 The System(s) of William Ockham 144
7.1 Determinate Truth and the Mystery of God’s Mysterious
Foreknowledge 145
7.2 Ockham’s Open Future 148
7.3 Ockham’s Later Influence: The Communis Opinio 163
8 Ponere [in Esse]: Drifting between the Derivational, the Temporal,
and the Ludic 165
8.1 Ponere [in Esse]: Initial Approaches 165
8.2 Arnold of Strelley and Obligational Theology 167
8.3 Ponere [in Esse] in Sense i: Assumptions and/or Actions 173
8.4 Ponere [in Esse] in Sense ii: The Real Occurrence of a Given Res /
Proposition 174
8.5 Ponere [in Esse]: A Unifying Interpretation? 176
9 Recapitulation 177
10 Walter Chatton on Future Contingents 178
10.1 Chatton’s Reportatio super Sententias 179
10.2 Chatton’s Quodlibet 233
11 Concluding Remarks: Chatton in Historical Context 259
2 Translations of Chatton’s Reportatio super Sententias i, dd. 38–41 and
Quodlibet, qq. 27–29 265
Reportatio super Sententias i 265
Distinction 38. Unique Question. Whether the Contingency of
Futures is Consistent with God’s Knowledge of Future
Contingents 265
Distinction 39. Unique Question. Whether God Could Know More
Than He Knows 279
Distinctions 40–41. Question 1. Whether the Mystery of the Divine
Incarnation was the Meriting Cause of Human
Predestination 286
Distinctions 40–41. Question 2. Whether It Can be Consistently
Maintained Both That God Wills That a Shall be Necessarily, and
That a Will Nevertheless Happen Contingently 311
Quodlibet 318
Question 27. Whether Any Creature Could be Apprised of a Future
Contingent 318
Question 28. Whether the Certainty of Revelation of Future
Contingents is Compatible with Their Contingency 331
Question 29. Whether All Forms of the Arguments Which Normally
Occur in This Matter Can be Resolved 342
3 Commentary 344
Reportatio super Sententias i 344
Distinction 38. Unique Question: Whether the Contingency of
Futures is Consistent with God’s Knowledge of Future
Contingents 344
Distinction 39. Unique Question: Whether God Could Know More
Than He Knows 368
Distinctions 40–41 380
Question 1. Whether the Mystery of the Divine Incarnation was the
Meriting Cause of Human Predestination. 381
Question 2. Whether It Can be Consistently Maintained Both That
God Wills That a Shall be Necessarily, and That a Will Nevertheless
Happen Contingently 411
Quodlibet 424
Question 27. Whether Any Creature Could be Apprised of a Future
Contingent 425
Question 28. Whether the Certainty of Revelation of Future
Contingents is Compatible with Their Contingency 445
Question 29. Whether All Forms of the Arguments Which Normally
Occur in this Matter Can be Resolved 467
Appendix: Natural-Deduction Derivations of the Pattern
Arguments 469
Bibliography 509
Index of Names 528
Subject Index 531

Readership

Anyone interested in the following subjects: early 14th-century philosophy at Oxford; the history of the problem of future contingents; contemporaries and critics of Duns Scotus, William Ockham, and Peter Auriol.

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