Volume 93, Issue 2, Spring 2019
Vásquez’s Anselmian Response to Wycliffian Deterministic Arguments
Gabriel Vásquez (1549–1604) discusses two deterministic arguments ascribed to John Wyclif. He appeals to the Anselmian solution based on the distinction between two types of necessity: antecedent and subsequent necessity. Unlike the former, the latter necessity does not destroy future event’s contingency, which is required if it is to result from a free choice. The paper discusses the Aristotelian objection according to which a statement describing some contingent future event is either without truth-value, and thus antecedently contingent but not (broadly) subsequently necessary at present, or it has a truth-value, but then it is not merely (broadly) subsequently necessary but also antecedently necessary. The Anselmian temporal ontology is such that no absolute present parameter is to be included in the evaluation of modal tensed statements. This recognition disposes of modal notions tied to the absolute temporal qualification of statements and thus undercuts the objection.