Introduction: Necessity and Contingency

  • Richard Swinburne


THIS book has two aims. The first and major aim is to describe the properties which Space and Time must have as a matter of logical necessity and to analyse the meaning of various claims about Space and Time and claims using very general spatial and temporal terms. It thus considers such questions as whether Space must of logical necessity have three dimensions, and what it means to say that one object is at a certain distance from another object, or that two events were simultaneous. The second and subsidiary aim is to describe, where a definite conclusion can be reached, the most general contingent properties of the Space and Time with which we are familiar; or, where there is still scientific dispute, to set forward the rival scientific theories on the subject. The book is however primarily a philosophical and not a scientific work. It charts the logically possible roperties which Space and Time could have, and only secondarily describes which of these properties they do have. It marks out the logically necessary limits to scientific discoveries about Space and Time.


Cosmological Horizon Synthetic Statement Logical Necessity Contingent Truth Present Arrangement 
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    I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason. Introduction.Google Scholar
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    W. V. O. Quine, From a Logical Point of View, Cambridge, Mass., 1953, chapter 2, ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’.Google Scholar
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    H. P. Grice and P. F. Strawson, ‘In Defence of a Dogma’, Philosophical Review, 1956, 165, 141–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    J. F. Bennett, ‘Analytic—Synthetic’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1958–9, 59, 163–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    H. Putnam, ‘The Analytic and The Synthetic’ in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science (ed. H. Feigl and G. Maxwell), iii, Minneapolis, 1962.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Swinburne 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Swinburne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullUK

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