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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Contingency as the plural of necessity

One of the thesis I like in my upcoming book Being Up for Grabs (BUG) is that the plural of necessity is contingency. Plural as in singulars that accumulate. I'm watching wildlife docs and wondering how different felines lions and cheetahs as territorial animals interact. I also think of fleeing and mating, two governing forces that interact. There is a land that is not under the control of either lions or cheetahs, this is where disputes take place - polemos, auseinandersetzung. It is up for grabs how an animal would behave if both mating and feeing are pressing it. The idea is that either there is an over-arching necessity or force, or there is some kind of plane of accidents.

A bit in the end of BUG:
We can understand that the relation is one where one is the plural of the other; namely, contingency is the plural of necessity. Or rather, contingency emerges from the plurality of necessities. Whenever there is genuinely more than one necessity – and not an ultimate overarching necessity ruling over all others – there is contingency. If we have, say, an irreducible physical necessity and an irreducible psychological necessity, there is a grey area of intersection between these necessities. Physical laws and psychological laws are such that they have to interact somewhere. Analogously, if there is more than one government, there is an an-arché area between them.

This is explained in different ways in BUG. It comes down to smaller and smaller forces and necessity. If there are small necessities, in the plural, there are an-arché areas.

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