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In psychology and philosophy, privation is the absence or lack of basic necessities. The term can be used in a psychological context, often referring to a lack of relationships, or a philosophical context, where vital concepts are absent.
In psychology, privation occurs when a child has no opportunity to form a relationship with a parent figure, or when such relationship is distorted, due to their treatment. It is different to deprivation, which occurs when an established relationship is severed. It is understood that privation can produce social, emotional and intellectual problems for children; however, how inevitable such problems become as a result of privation, and the extent to which the can be reversed, remains an issue of debate among psychologists.
In philosophy, privation may refer to the absence of a necessary quality in the universe.
Jewish philosopher Maimonides argued that privation is not necessarily a bad thing: it would be trivial to regard the privation of hair - baldness - an evil.