Philosophy Word of the Day – Necessary / Contingent

Distinction between kinds of truth. Necessary truth is a feature of any statement that it would be [logically] contradictory to deny. (Contradictions themselves are necessarily false.) Contingent truths (or falsehoods) happen to be true (or false), but might have been otherwise. Thus, for example:

“Squares have four sides.” is necessary.

“Stop signs are hexagonal.” is contingent.

“Pentagons are round.” is contradictory.

(Via A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names)

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