Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 M - May


May: What conceivably is so, with some degree of probability; what is possible; what is not logically inconsistent.

What may be the case - eventually, perhaps - is in English a very vague qualifier, yet one that is quite important, in as much as it considers mere possibilities.

There are various logical analyses of "may" and related terms, such as "might", "could", "would", that are usually rather complicated, and usually involve modal logic.

It is noteworthy that the word "may" in political, advertisement, legal and religious discourse is often used to say what may amount to nothing at all, or mere wind or flatus vocii (though I may kindly concede I may be mistaken, perhaps).


See: Counterfactual, Might


Burks, Gabbay Ed., Harper Ed., Lewis, Pollock, Rescher, Stegmüller

 Original: Sep 15, 2007                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top