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Deakin Philoshopy Seminar – Michael Campbell: Practical Necessity and the Realm of Meaning

Deakin Philoshopy Seminar – Michael Campbell: Practical Necessity and the Realm of Meaning

Event Venue:

Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation‚ Deakin University 221 Burwood HighwayBurwood, VIC, 3125, Australia ( Map )

Please join us for the next Deakin Philosophy Seminar on Tuesday 2 May: Practical Necessity and the Realm of Meaning with Michael Campbell (Kyoto University).


At some moments in our lives we may be moved to speak of a certain course of action as necessary – in other words, as required in an absolute or non-negotiable sense. The nature of such demands is a source of perennial debate within ethics, with some rejecting the reality of practical necessities entirely, others seeing them as an expression of self-identity, and yet others connecting them to the impersonal dictates of morality. In this talk I offer some reflections on the connections between practical necessity, the meaning of an action, and the imagination. I suggest that the dependence of practical necessity on meaning introduces a certain aspect of contingency into necessity statements. Whether this frustrates their purpose will depend on how that purpose is understood. Regardless, I hope that locating such declarations on this background will help us better to appreciate why this form of words has a tendency to arouse both fascination and controversy.


Michael Campbell is an assistant professor at Kyoto University, Department of Ethics.


This event will be held in-person at Building C, Level 2, Room 5, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood.

If you can’t make it in-person, feel free to join us via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 851 5661 5919, please email for the password.


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