Chapter

Necessary and Contingent Truths

Benson Mates

in The Philosophy of Leibniz

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780195059465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833429 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195059468.003.0007
Necessary and Contingent Truths

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To reconcile his account of truth with his acceptance of the distinction between necessary and contingent truths, Leibniz introduces a distinction between absolute and hypothetical necessity. It turns out that for him a proposition P is hypothetically necessary if the proposition ‘If the actual world exists, then P’ is absolutely necessary; or, what comes to the same thing, the conjunction ‘The actual world exists and not P’ is absolutely impossible.

Keywords: absolute necessity; contingent truth; hypothetical necessity; impossibility; Leibniz; necessary truth; necessity; possibility

Chapter.  9823 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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