Chapter

Evolution and the Necessities of Thought

Barry Stroud

in Meaning, Understanding, and Practice

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252145
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598487 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199252149.003.0004
 Evolution and the Necessities of Thought

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Examines the notion of necessity and the special problems it poses for knowledge. The conventionalist response is to see necessary truth as the product of thinking and the decision to act in certain ways. Against this view, it is argued that the complex grammar of the notion of necessity can be appreciated without seeking a definition of it, let alone an explanation of its source. Even though contingent facts about the processes of human knowledge cannot hope to explain the necessary truths, attention to those contingent facts might explain our acceptance of necessary truth and the role it plays in the ways we think about the world.

Keywords: conventionalism; Necessary truth

Chapter.  6494 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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