By Calvin G. Normore (auth.), Tamar Rudavsky (eds.)
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Extra resources for Divine Omniscience and Omnipotence in Medieval Philosophy: Islamic, Jewish and Christian Perspectives
IV. De Molina takes it up in his De Scientia Dei, F. ), in Geschichte der Molinismus, Bd. I, BGPM 32 (1935 ), 202ff. 13 This argument owes a lot to A. N. Prior's discussion in Past, Present and Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1967 , ch. VII. J. Etchemendy and P. Oppenheimer have pointed out to me that the 'now' operator makes some of the premisses of the argument strong er than they seem. Remember that 'now' doesn't mean "at the actual world-state" but merely "at this time" . 14 Some of this history (and some more) is presented in my chapter 'F uture Contingents' in the Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, N.
The historical event was contingent, and the geological event that was one of its contributory causes was necessitated simpliciter. The contingent historical event was indeed inevitable, but for a shorter time than might be supposed : obviously not in the period between the Big Bang and the time of the first settlement along the banks of the Tagus, but not even after the city had been built there , because its inhabitants could have decided to move away and succeeded in doing so. Considered as the Lisbon earthquake , the event was inevitable only within a temporal interval so short that laws of nature made it physically impossible for the inhabitants to leave before the occurrence of the geological event, even if they had decided to do so.
31 In at least one passage he actually uses 'utrumlibet' in place of 'possibility' in the familiar list: For chance and that which is utrumlibet is abolished, and free will is also taken away , if all things whatever that will happen are of necessity going to be. 32 Boethius is careful to distinguish in this way the sort of possibility required as part of the basis of contingency because he recognizes that although naturally necessary events must be possible also, the explanation of their occurrence does not typically require the open, utrumlibet possibility that underlies contingent events: For in one way it is said to be possible when I am seated that I walk, in another way that the sun is now in Sagittarius and that after a few days it will move into Aquarius ; for the latter is possible in such a way that it is also necessary.