more from Alvin Plantinga

Single Idea 14642

[catalogued under 10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality]

Full Idea

Some statements predicate modality of another statement (modality 'de dicto'); but others predicate of an object the necessary or essential possession of a property; these latter express modality 'de re'.

Gist of Idea

Expressing modality about a statement is 'de dicto'; expressing it of property-possession is 'de re'


Alvin Plantinga (De Re and De Dicto [1969], p.26)

Book Reference

Plantinga,Alvin: 'Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality' [OUP 2003], p.26

A Reaction

The distinction seems to originate in Aquinas, concerning whether God knows the future (or, how he knows the future). 'De dicto' is straightforward, but possibly the result of convention. 'De re' is controversial, and implies deep metaphysics.