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Necessity - Philosophical
(679 words)

Part of Necessity:

1. Philosophical

2. Moral Emergency

The concept of necessity — in the sense of the absolutely necessary — is to be compared with its opposite, that of contingence. For further discussion of the historical and present-day problem, the article on Absolute and Contingent should be consulted.

In this sense, the necessary transcends the opposition between freedom of choice and the determinism of physical necessity (either from without or from internal instinctive compulsions). It represents the supreme degree of the essential nec…

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Walter Kern, “Necessity - Philosophical”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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