Ideas from 'Of Liberty and Necessity' by Thomas Hobbes [1654], by Theme Structure

[found in 'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1' (ed/tr Raphael,D.D.) [Hackett 1991,0-87220-120-1]].

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10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
'Contingent' means that the cause is unperceived, not that there is no cause
                        Full Idea: For contingent, men do not mean that which hath no cause, but that which hath not for cause any thing that we perceive, as when a traveller meets a shower, they both had sufficient causes, but they didn't cause one another, so we say it was contingent.
                        From: Thomas Hobbes (Of Liberty and Necessity [1654], 95)
                        A reaction: Contingent nowadays means 'might not have happened', or 'does not happen in all possible worlds'. Personally I share Hobbes' doubts about the concept of contingency, and this is quite a good account of the misunderstanding.