Monday, June 15, 2020

Total Possibility

Provided we note carefully that universality is only the possibility of any thing, it is easy to see that the two qualities, necessity and universality, spring from one another. What is necessary has its origin in what is possible: we call necessary that which unites in itself every possibility in such a way that anything contrary to it is impossible.

We can see this in the following proposition: 'My friend Maurice is either alive or not alive.' This is a necessary proposition because the two contrary cases, alive or not alive, permit no middle case. Necessity, therefore, is that which includes within itself every possibility in such a way that nothing contrary is possible. But the form of the intellect is precisely total possibility. The intellect, therefore, understands necessarily, that is, it sees the relationship between possibility and everything understood, and its intellection becomes necessary by means of the relationship.

Antonio Rosmini, Certainty, Cleary & Watson, trs., Rosmini House (Durham: 1991), p. 50.

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