Article/Publication Details

Are the Notions of "Sufficient Condition and Necesarry Condition Symmetric for the Empirical Domain?

(Original title: Sú pojmy dostatočná podmienka a nutná podmienka pre empirickú oblasť symetrické?)
Organon F, 2011, vol. 18, No 3, pp. 331-350.
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Abstract

The expressions sufficient condition and necessary condition are frequently used in various areas in sciences (like mathematics, logic, philosophy, natural sciences and social sciences) as well as in everyday usage; therefore, they might be taken as expressing well defined notions which should not lead to any serious misunderstandings when used. According to the widely accepted definitions of both concepts, the concept of sufficient condition and that of necessary condition imply their symmetry (conversion): if one thing poses a sufficient condition to another thing, the latter is a necessary condition for the former; however, this symmetry is hardly intuitive and it is refused by many scholars. Given the analyses of practical examples and a symmetry concept defence test, one may conclude that this view is unfounded. As a result, the definitions of the two notions are not determined enough and so is the question whether there is just a single pair of the notions or whether there are more of them.

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