Who most influenced the development of modal logic prior to the nineteenth century - aside from the Aristoteleans, Dialecticals, and Stoics of course?


1 Answer 1


Many of the thirteenth century scholastic philosophers and logicians developed interesting and original theories of modal logic, based on Aristotle’s account in the Prior Analytics. The analytics was unknown in the West until the middle of the 12th century, and serious work did not begin until the 13th century. Notable commentaries were by Robert Kilwardby (d.1279) and William of Ockham (1288-1347).

Simo Knuuttila’s article in the SEP may be helpful http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-medieval

The arabic philosophers also had theories of modal logic, but I am not an expert.

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    I would also recommend that a serious reader who wants more of the gritty details to look at Paul Thom, "Medieval Modal Systems" (Ashgate 2003). It's now the standard work on the topic, I think.
    – user5172
    Aug 2, 2014 at 17:32
  • Paul has also produced a critical edition of Kilwardby's commentary as well as a translation. paulthom.net/Kilwardby%20Prior%20Analytics%20Commentary.html Aug 2, 2014 at 17:39

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