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When Quentin Meillassoux says that "contingency is a necessity", "contingency is absolute", etc. what is trying to imply is that everything is contingent. But (where) has he proven that? It is true that "anything can happen" is a common adage. But as a person who is coming from a physics background I can say that science is not very comfortable with the Meillassoux's idea of contingency. We know that in science, certain things can be predicted with amazing accuracy. I know that Meillassoux would say that past experiences do not guarantee that things would repeat in the future. But as far as I am concerned, to make a bold claim that contingency is a necessity, one must be able to provide a solid proof and mere gut feeling (probably based on life experiences, etc.) is not enough. Therefore I am grateful if someone could kindly explain on what basis that Meillassaoux says that everything is contingent.

Another related question: Isn't contingency contingent?

  • Small typo in the very first sentence of the question: the word he is missing. Instead of ".... etc. what is trying to imply is ....", it should be "... etc. what he is trying to imply is ...." – Philitas Jan 8 at 23:45
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    To clarify, "everything is contingent" is very different from "anything can happen". According to Meillassoux, the laws of nature are contingent, as in they could have been otherwise, but they are, nonetheless, binding in our actual world, hence "anything" can not happen. That things can be predicted has no bearing on whether they are contingent or not. – Conifold Jan 9 at 0:15
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    The question as posed in the title is interesting, but as Conifold says the body text of your post is running together several different philosophical issues. Maybe simplify it? – transitionsynthesis Jan 9 at 1:26
  • I would also suggest some clarification,.The idea that every 'thing' is contingent is widely endorsed, but it would not follow that 'anything can happen'. I wonder if you're giving the wrong meaning to 'contingent'. . . – PeterJ Jan 10 at 14:10
  • A simplification (as transitionsynthesis has suggested) and a clarification: I have to admit that what Conifold and PeterJ say are correct. I had got contingency and “anything can happen” mixed up. Therefore let me re-write my question (However I have to say that my understanding of Meillassoux’s formulations can still be imperfect.) As transitionsynthesis has indicated I have split this into two parts – Philitas Jan 12 at 5:16

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