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Support for a Necessary/Contingent Dichotomy

Though philosophers may differ on where the line is to be drawn, it is rare for them to deny that there is one. Here is a selection of philosophers who recognise a distinction between necessary and contingent propositions.

Aristotle
The distinction appears in Greek philosophy and is discussed in Aristotle's On Interpretation Part 13 - Possibility and Contingency. Its a bit convoluted but it looks like he's got the idea.


Hume
The empiricist Hume fingers the same distinction (neatly stated in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - Section 4 part 1):
ALL the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain.
Hume shows a much sharper understanding of exactly where the line lies.
Leibniz
Leibniz the rationalist gives a much clearer account of the distinction in his Monadology:
There are also two kinds of truths, those of reasoning and those of fact. Truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible: truths of fact are contingent and their opposite is possible.
(unfortunately, he then goes on to decide that all truths are necessary).


Kant
Kant recognises the necessary/contingent dichotomy which he appears to identify with a pure/empirical dichotomy but distinguish from his analytic/synthetic dichotomy. In particular, he regards mathematics as synthetic a priori.


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