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necessit +‎ -ation


necessitation (countable and uncountable, plural necessitations)

  1. (chiefly philosophy) Necessity, understood as a logical or other philosophical principle, or as a law or force of nature.
    • 1894, J. G. Schurman, "The Consciousness of Moral Obligation," The Philosophical Review, vol. 3, no. 6, p. 641:
      Moral obligation is not necessitation. The moral law commands but does not coerce us.
    • 1896, J. Clark Murray, "The Idealism of Spinoza," The Philosophical Review, vol. 5, no. 5, p. 485:
      The voluntary actions of men are now seen to claim an equal freedom from the necessitation of natural causes.
    • 1957, J. W. N. Watkins, "Between Analytic and Empirical," Philosophy, vol. 32, no. 121, p. 114:
      Determinism is an example: it alleges that all the seeming irregularities and spontaneities in the world are haunted by an omnipresent system of strict necessitation.
    • 2001, Eric Marcus, "Mental Causation: Unnaturalized but Not Unnatural," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 63, no. 1, p. 79:
      In virtue of their contents, psychological states stand in logical relations like incompatibility, material implication, and conceptual necessitation.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Necessitude, necessitousness, necessitation, necessariness are all nouns closely related to necessity, but they tend to have narrower ranges of usage than necessity. The principal sense of necessitude and necessitousness is impoverishment, but the plural form of the former (necessitudes) denotes a set of circumstances which is inevitable or unavoidable. Necessitation is used to suggest necessity as a philosophical or cosmic principle. Necessariness tends to be used to stress a direct connection to the adjective necessary.

Related terms[edit]