more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 9169

[catalogued under 10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 1. A Priori Necessary]

Full Idea

A statement can be (metaphysically) necessary and epistemologically contingent. Human intuition has no privileged access to metaphysical necessity.

Gist of Idea

A statement can be metaphysically necessary and epistemologically contingent


Hilary Putnam (Meaning and Reference [1973], p.160)

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.160

A Reaction

The terminology here is dangerously confusing. 'Contingent' is a term which (as Kripke insists) refers to reality, not to our epistemological abilities. The locution of adding the phrase "for all I know" seems to handle the problem better.