Necessitarianism

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Necessitarianism is a metaphysical principle that denies all mere possibility; there is exactly one way for the world to be.

It is the strongest member of a family of principles, including hard determinism, each of which deny free will, reasoning that human actions are predetermined by external or internal antecedents. Necessitarianism is stronger than hard determinism, because even the hard determinist would grant that the causal chain constituting the world might have been different as a whole, even though each member of that series could not have been different, given its antecedent causes.[citation needed]

Anthony Collins was the foremost defender of Necessitarianism. His brief Inquiry Concerning Human Liberty (1715) was a key statement of the determinist standpoint.

The Century Dictionary defined it in 1889–91 as belief that the will is not free, but instead subject to external antecedent causes or natural laws of cause and effect.[1][2][3]

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  1. ^ Century Dictionary, Vol. V, Page 3951, Necess to Necessity. [DjVu file http://www.leoyan.com/century-dictionary.com/05/index05.djvu?djvuopts&page=395] and JPEG file.
  2. ^ See "Peirce's Century Dictionary Definitions" (Eprint) at the Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism (Kenneth Laine Ketner, main editor of the Comprehensive Bibliography mentioned there), and page 68 in the word list PDF file (PDF's page 25).
  3. ^
    • Peirce, C. S. (1892) "The Doctrine of Necessity Examined", The Monist, v. II, n. 3, pp. 321-337, The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, April 1892, for the Hegeler Institute. Google Books Eprint. Internet Archive Eprint. Reprinted Collected Papers v. 6, paragraphs 35-65, The Essential Peirce v. 1, pp. 298-311.
    • Carus, Paul (1892), "Mr. Charles S. Peirce's Onslaught on the Doctrine of Necessity" in The Monist, v. 2, n. 4, July, Paul Carus, ed., 560–582, The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, for the Hegeler Institute. Google Books Eprint. Internet Archive Eprint.
    • Peirce, C. S. (1893), "Reply to the Necessitarians", The Monist, v. III, n. 4, pp. 526-570, The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, July 1893, for the Hegeler Institute. Google Books Eprint. Internet Archive Eprint. Reprinted Collected Papers v. 6, paragraphs 588-618.
    • Carus, Paul (1893), "The Founder of Tychism, His Methods, Philosophy, and Criticisms: In Reply to Mr. Charles S. Peirce" in The Monist, v. 3, n. 4, July, Paul Carus, ed., 571–622, The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago, IL, for the Hegeler Institute. Google Books Eprint. Internet Archive Eprint. Carus's reply to Peirce's "Reply to the Necessitarians" in the same issue.

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