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The Contingency of Necessity

Reason and God as Matters of Fact

Tyler Tritten

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Argues that that all necessity is consequent, and that reason and God are contingent, albeit eternal, necessities

Focusing on the central striking claim that there is something rather than nothing – that all necessity is consequent – Tritten engages with a wide range of ancient as well as contemporary philosophers including Quentin Meillassoux, Richard Kearney, Friedrich Schelling, Émile Boutroux and Markus Gabriel. He examines the ramifications of this truth arguing that even reason and God, while necessary according to essence, are utterly contingent with respect to existence.

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Introduction: An Attempt at a Speculative Ontology or An Alternative to Possible-God Theologies

Part I: Critical and Constructive Preliminaries: Meillassoux, Boutroux and the Early Schelling

1. Meillassoux Against the Principle of Reason: An Ontology of Factiality

2. Boutroux’s Alternative: An Ontology of the Fact

3. On the Primacy of Matter: Neoplatonism Right-Side Up

Part II. Contingent Reason and a Contingent God: The Late Schelling and the Late Heidegger

4. Reason as Consequent Universal: On Thinking and Being

5. Decision and Withdrawal: On the Facticity and Posteriority of God

6. Event and De-cision: Towards an Appropriation of Heidegger’s Last God

Part III. Application and Concluding Remarks

7. A Response to Old Riddles and a New Typology: On the Euthyphro Dilemma and Theomonism



About the Author

Tyler Tritten is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Gonzaga University. He received his Ph.D. from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in 2012 and later spent two years (2015-2016) as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Theology at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. His publications focus on speculative philosophy in areas of metaphysics, philosophy of religion, non-prescriptive ethics and the history of philosophy. He is the author of Beyond Presence: The Late F. W. J. Schelling’s Criticism of Metaphysics (De Gruyter, 2012) and co-editor of a special issue of the journal Angelaki: Nature, Speculation and the Return to Schelling (Vol. 21.4, 2017).


This major and important study offers a genuinely contemporary ontology that does not shy away from thinking a contingent God beyond the confines of possible-God theologies. Inspired by Schelling, the author shows which speculative theology remains possible today after ontotheology. A crucial and much needed contribution to a fundamental debate.

- Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Radboud University

This is a difficult but important work for those researching in these areas. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.

- A. Jaeger, Benedictine College, Choice

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