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journal contributionposted on 01.09.2017, 00:00 authored by Cathy LeggCathy Legg, J Franklin
In many diagrams one seems to perceive necessity – one sees not only that something is so, but that it must be so. That conflicts with a certain empiricism largely taken for granted in contemporary philosophy, which believes perception is not capable of such feats. The reason for this belief is often thought well-summarized in Hume's maxim: ‘there are no necessary connections between distinct existences’. It is also thought that even if there were such necessities, perception is too passive or localized a faculty to register them. We defend the perception of necessity against such Humeanism, drawing on examples from mathematics.