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1. General description. The word conscience (the “inwit” of Chaucer and Joyce) derives from conscientia, as does this from συνείδησις. While it is used in many senses, both in popular and scientific language, it denotes, in its specifically moral usage (French: conscience morale), a series of related phenomena of the soul, the kernel of which is an impressive basic experience reaching deep into personal consciousness. Long familiar, especially in the form of the so-called bad conscience, it has been apprehended and expressed in a variet…

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Rudolf Hofmann, “Conscience”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 05 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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