Stefan Roski
Universität Hamburg
Paul Rusnock
University of Ottawa
This paper is devoted to an examination of Bolzano’s notion of necessary existence, which has so far received relatively little attention in the literature. We situate Bolzano’s ideas in their historical context and show how he proposed to correct various flaws of his predecessors’ definitions. Further, we relate Bolzano’s conception to his metaphysical and theological assumptions, arguing that some consequences of his definition which have been deemed counterintuitive by some of his interpreters turn out to be more reasonable given the broadly Leibnizian background of his metaphysics. Finally, we consider some difficulties that arise from Bolzano’s evolving views on freedom, which, at least in his early thought, was intimately linked with contingency. In an appendix, we discuss a recent debate on Bolzano’s notion of necessary truth between Textor and Rusnock that has some bearing on our overall line of interpretation of Bolzano’s notion of necessary existence.
Keywords Bolzano  Necessity  Existence
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DOI 10.1515/agph-2014-0015
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