idea leads, as we have seen, to paradox and insoluble dilemmas, to absurdity. Absurdity cannot define 'x greater than any conceivable y', for absurdity does not define anything.
If the foregoing reasoning is sound, Anselm made a very great discovery, though as so often happens, he only partly understood its nature. His critics saw something of what he overlooked, usually, however, at the cost of missing part of what he had discovered. They realized that nothing concrete, or in that sense actual, can be necessary. Malcolm, to be sure, denies this, saying that it is valid only if by 'concrete' we simply mean 'contingent'. But this will not do. For by necessary we must mean abstract. Let us see more definitely why.
A necessary proposition is one whose truth is included in that of any other proposition whatever. For, were this not so, it must be possible for the other proposition to be true while the necessary proposition was false. But the hypothesis is that the proposition cannot be false under any circumstances, since what it affirms is necessary. In this sense, then, as C. I. Lewis has pointed out, a necessary proposition is entailed by any proposition.7 This has been termed a paradox. What has 'it rained here today' to do with '2 and 2 are four'?____________________