Conceptual Necessity

Conceptual necessity is a property of the certainty with which a state of affairs, as presented by a certain description, occurs: it occurs by conceptual necessity if and only if it occurs just by virtue of the meaning of the description. If someone is a bachelor, for instance, then he is bound to be unmarried by conceptual necessity, because the meaning of the word "bachelor" determines that he is.

Alternatively, there is metaphysical necessity, which is a certainty determined, not by the meaning of a description, but instead by facts in the world described.

Famous quotes containing the words necessity and/or conceptual:

    The desire to serve the common good must without fail be a requisite of the soul, a necessity for personal happiness; if it issues not from there, but from theoretical or other considerations, it is not at all the same thing.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)

    Analyze theory-building how we will, we all must start in the middle. Our conceptual firsts are middle-sized, middle-distanced objects, and our introduction to them and to everything comes midway in the cultural evolution of the race.
    Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)