See also:term used technically in philosophy for the quality of inevitable happening; for example, hot air necessarily tends to rise . Thus it corresponds in the sphere of
See also:action to certainty in the sphere of knowledge . That the
See also:sun will rise to-morrow is a necessary event; and men anticipate the rising with certainty . In ordinary language the conception of
See also:necessity is rendered meaningless by being referred to the
See also:present or even to the past . A current definition of necessity is " the state which cannot be otherwise than it is." Such a definition tells us nothing . How can any state be otherwise than it is ? Necessity can have meaning only in reference to the future: it means
See also:absence of spontaneous power in that which acts necessarily . For the origin of the conception we must look to our inward
See also:personal experience of constraint . When we are acting under
See also:physical or mathematical or logical or moral necessity we are so far precluded from spontaneous action—in
See also:common phrase, we can do no otherwise—though the causes of constraint may be of very different 'winds . In ethics the term necessitarianism is applied to that view of human action which regards all action as dictated by
See also:external causes (cf . DETERMINISM) . The sense in which, if at all, the human mind can cognize necessity, i.e. causal connexion between events or states, has been the subject of vigorous discussion among philosophers .
By sceptics and empiricists it is held that a
See also:law is merely a crystallized
See also:summary of observed phenomena . Thus J . S .
See also:Mill denies that a general proposition is more than an enumeration of particulars, and hence that syllogistic reasoning cannot amplify knowledge (see
See also:SYLLOGISM) . It is clear that the senses cannot apprehend causal connexion, and this impossibility gives rise to a
See also:prior conception according to which the conception of necessity is purely intellectual (see
See also:METAPHYSICS) .
NECESSITAS (Gr. 'Avery Ktj )
NECHBET (Nekhbi, Nekhebi)
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