Variation, Derivability and Necessity

Grazer Philosophische Studien 53 (1):117-137 (1997)
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In Bolzano's view, a proposition is necessarily true iff it is derivable from true propositions that include no intuition (Anschauung). This analysis is historically important because it displays close similarities to Quine's and Kripke's ideas. Its systematic significance, however, is reduced by the fact that derivability is defined with recourse to the method of variation, which we are allowed to apply even to propositions containing none of the respective variables. This liberality leads to the result that, according to Bolzano's analysis, every truth is necessarily true. Even by introducing his condition of relevance (shared variables), Bolzano cannot avoid that some propositions come out as necessarily true which are merely contingently true.



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Mark Siebel
University of Oldenburg

Citations of this work

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