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The Actual and the PossibleModality and Metaphysics in Modern Philosophy$
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Mark Sinclair

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786436

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786436.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 March 2021

Modality and Degrees of Truth

Modality and Degrees of Truth

An Austro-Polish Sideline in Twentieth-Century Modal Thought

(p.170) 7 Modality and Degrees of Truth
The Actual and the Possible

Peter Simons

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores a third way in construing modality—rejecting both linguistic accounts and the polycosmism of possible world theory—in the work of Alexis Meinong and Jan Łukasiewicz. Some of Meinong’s non-existent objects are incomplete, so in 1915 he accounts for objective probability (he says possibility) with an idea of degrees of truth: the proposition ‘My draw of a card from the pack tomorrow will be a king’ is neither simply wholly true nor wholly false, regardless of the draw I will actually make tomorrow, but has a degree of truth corresponding to the proportion of kings in a pack, between 0 and 1. Łukasiewicz, inventor of fuzzy logic, visited Meinong in Graz, and in 1913 published his own work on probability, suggesting some propositions are indefinite and have truth values between and 0 and 1; then in 1917 he began to extend this to definite propositions about future contingencies.

Keywords:   Meinong, Łukasiewicz, probability, truth, future contingents

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