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Metaphysics and the GoodThemes from the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams$
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Samuel Newlands and Larry M. Jorgensen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542680.001.0001

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The Contingency of Existence *

The Contingency of Existence *

(p.95) 3 The Contingency of Existence*
Metaphysics and the Good

Michael Nelson

Oxford University Press

Many of my features are intuitively contingent: I am contingently sitting, contingently typing at the computer, contingently thinking of necessity and contingency. It is only slightly less intuitive that my very existence is equally contingent. The same is true of all of the ordinary objects we deal with. But there are a number of highly intuitive principles which suggest that, after all, existence is a necessary feature and that everything necessarily exists and necessarily, everything that could exist does exist. There are both technical and philosophical motivations for this. After laying those motivations out, this chapter goes on to distinguish six main ways of dealing with the problem of the apparent contingency of existence. It then argues that a view based on Robert Adams' work on actualism and individual thisness offers the best account.

Keywords:   contingency, existence, Robert Adams, actualism, individual thisness

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