The word contingency with the adjective contingent ( Greek τὰ ἐνδεχόμενα endechómena "something that is possible"; Middle Latin contingentia , "possibility, chance") is a philosophical term that u. a. is used in modal logic and ontology . “Contingent” denotes the status of facts, the existence of which is given and neither necessary nor impossible. Tying up locutions refer as "contingent being," also about the context of the philosophy of religion, a dependency on Vorursachen that one thing or a situation at all and so is how this or that is.
Modal logic definition
The language of modal logic makes it possible to speak formally about possibility ( ) and necessity ( ). expresses that may be true.
A is now called contingent (cont) if both A is possible and not-A is possible:
Contingency can therefore be seen as a particularly open form of possibility.
Since this term is difficult to grasp, claims have sometimes been made in the history of philosophy about the relationship between chance , probability and contingency. From the point of view of today's modal logic , however, contingency has nothing to do with probability.
The "contingency theory of truth" of the American neo-pragmatist and skeptic Richard Rorty is important in modern philosophy : it does not in principle exclude the possibility of depicting truth within systems of concepts. Rorty, however, declares any reflection on how such a truth status could be generated as idle. With this he asserts in a polemical position against classical idealism in particular that truth is ultimately not only a coincidental, but also an arbitrary mode of speech.
Contingency proof of God
One of the proofs of God is proof of contingency. This has been worked out in natural theology . Since nothing exists out of its own essential necessity, God must exist as the only absolute, non-essential being ( aseity ).
In anthropological terms , contingency is understood as unavailability . We cannot influence certain events. They are an experience ( Wilhelm Kamlah ). In Stoic philosophy, the unavailable is not relevant to happiness.
- Hans Blumenberg : Contingency. In: Religion Past and Present. Concise dictionary for theology and religious studies . Edited by Kurt Galling . 3rd ed. Vol. 3. Mohr, Tübingen 1959, Sp. 1793–1794.
- Ingolf U. Dalferth , Philipp Stoellger (Ed.): Reason, Contingency and God. Constellations of an open problem . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 978-3-16-147365-4
- Arnd Hoffmann: Chance and Contingency in the Theory of History . Klostermann, Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 978-3-46503369-1
- Andreas Niederberger: Contingency and Reason. Basics of a theory of communicative action following Habermas and Merleau-Ponty . Alber, Freiburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-495-48233-9
- Reto Rössler, Tim Sparenberg, Philipp Weber (eds.): Cosmos and Contingency. A counter-story . Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn 2016, ISBN 978-3-7705-5885-8 .
- Richard Rorty : Contingency, Irony and Solidarity . Translated by Christa Krüger. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1992 ISBN 3-518-28581-5
- Kurt Wuchterl : Contingency or the other of reason. On the relationship between philosophy, science and religion . Steiner, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-51509857-1 ( content and introduction ; PDF file; 171 kB)
- Michael Heidelberger : The contingency of the laws of nature in Émile Boutroux (PDF file; 254 kB).
- Silvia Henke: Contingency as a threat, as an opportunity and as the present: Simone de Beauvoir (PDF file; 301 kB).
- Andreas Krafczyk: The contingency of the world in Thomas Aquinas and Kant.
- Dirk Stederoth: Contingency and creatureliness in Rosenzweig (PDF file; 110 kB).
- Artist group Christoph Schwarz : Contingency altar. Video on an artistic examination of the term.