Medieval Modal Logic & Science uses modal reasoning in a new way to fortify the relationships between science, ethics, and politics. Robert C. Trundle accomplishes this by analyzing the role of modal logic in the work of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, then applying these themes to contemporary issues. He incorporates Augustine's ideas involving thought and consciousness, and Aquinas's reasoning to a First Cause. The author also deals with Augustine's ties to Aristotelian modalities of thought regarding science and logic, reassessing the commonly held belief in Augustine's Platonism to not be a mistake as much as a simplistic view of his philosophy. Trundle links contemporary issues in epistemology, morality, theology, and logic, making several useful connections between ancient and medieval studies in modal logic and modern concerns. These applications of modal theory illuminate many puzzles in the works of Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Whitehead, and Kuhn.
Drawing on his background in the history of philosophy and the philosophy of science, Trundle probes the modal insights of the two saints that he finds to bear on certain stubborn epistemological problems. He recommends applying them to modern problems, though they may seen at odds with the theoretical developments of modal systems that are themselves subject to disputed interpretations, because they reveal a way to connect scientific truth with ethics. An abridged form of the treatise appeared as the essay A Scientific Proof of God in vol. 28, no. 2 (1999). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
chapter 1 Augustine: Plato and Aristotelianism chapter 2 Aristotelian Modal Thought chapter 3 Critique of Critical Thought chapter 4 Thinking Matter: Philosopher's God chapter 5 Theological Modalities and Meaningfulness chapter 6 Thomas' Realms: Sacred in the Profane chapter 7 Profane Despair: Preempted by a First Cause? chapter 8 The Cause from Modally Relevant Experience chapter 9 Experience to Modal Scientific Reasoning chapter 10 Reasoning in General Physics and Metaphysics chapter 11 Afterword: The Alternative in Our Society chapter 12 A Suggested Kripkean Modal Interpretation chapter 13 Interpreting an Equivalence chapter 14 Faith and Reason of a Religious Philosopher chapter 15 Bibliography chapter 16 Index