Topics Worth Investigating

  1. Is the problem of "future truths" just another variation of the problem of existential import? Review Immanuel Kant's selection on "Existence Is Not a Predicate" and attempt to relate Kant's argument to Aristotle's statement: "For events will not take place or fail to take place because it was stated that they would or would not take place, nor is this any more the case if the prediction dates back ten thousand years or any other space of time." Are Kant's and Aristotle's views compatible?

  2. When Aristotle writes, "propositions whether positive or negative are either true or false, then any given predicate must either belong to the subject or not…," he is stating the so-called law of the excluded middle: any proposition (i.e. a sentence with a truth value) is either true or false but not both. The law of the excluded middle is a founding principle of classical logic. Investigate whether or not fuzzy logics or multivalued logics reject this principle.

  3. Study carefully the first sentence in the reading selection. Is Aristotle presupposing that meaningful statement must be a description of an existing subject? Explain.

  4. How is the problem of statements about the future related to the philosophy of fatalism? Some people stoically say, "Whatever will be, will be. There's no sense in worrying about it." Show how Aristotle's view, if true, would disprove such a fatalistic doctrine.