Perceiving Necessity

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3) (2017)
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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.

Author Profiles

James Franklin
University of New South Wales
Cathy Legg
Deakin University


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