Conceptual necessity

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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.

Historically, Baruch Spinoza was a subscriber to this belief.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Notes to Spinoza's Modal Metaphysics". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2014.