topics the available supply of intuitive comprehension is today not great. Perhaps it never can be great, but it might be increased.
That ordinary predicates neither exist necessarily nor necessarily fail to exist is inherent in their meanings. For they describe a conceivable sort of world which excludes other sorts likewise conceivable, and to do this belongs to their very function as predicates of the usual type. Similarly, self-contradictory predicates, by their mere meanings, necessarily do not exist. In these two cases modal status inheres in the predicate itself. What then is incongruous in there being a third form of predication which, by its very meaning, neither (1) excludes existence nor (2) is neutral to it (existing if this possibility, but not if that possibility, is actualized), but rather (3) requires existence (exists no matter what possibility is actualized)? No impartial person can, I think, deny that there is a certain completeness about this view which has an intellectual appeal. Modal status, it says, is always a priori or logical; but, of the three forms of modality, contingency alone makes existence a question of extralogical facts. The others make it an a priori necessity, positive or negative.
It might be thought that there are four forms of modal status: contingent nonexistence, contingent existence, necessary nonexistence, necessary existence. But the distinction between positive and negative contingency is not, like that between positive and negative necessity, an affair of meaning alone. It belongs thus to a different logical level. Con