Perceiving Necessity

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Abstract
In many diagrams one seems to perceive necessity – one sees not only that something is so, but that it must be so. That conflicts with a certain empiricism largely taken for granted in contemporary philosophy, which believes perception is not capable of such feats. The reason for this belief is often thought well-summarized in Hume's maxim: ‘there are no necessary connections between distinct existences’. It is also thought that even if there were such necessities, perception is too passive or localized a faculty to register them. We defend the perception of necessity against such Humeanism, drawing on examples from mathematics.
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Archival date: 2015-02-10
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2015-02-10

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