• Janus
    That will depend on how one construes sufficient reason.SophistiCat

    I think we mostly agree now, and I think the whole issue with the PSR really boils down to this question. I can't see how we can avoid thinking that the reasons, or the conditions, that allow for the existence of things must be sufficient, just on account of the fact that the things in question do exist. Of course, there will always be, beyond our current knowledge, further conditions for the existence of any thing, ad infinitum, that we will never have the resources or the time, to be aware of, nor the complexity of intellect to incorporate into an understanding of the total range of conditions, since everything would seem to be interrelated with everything else, and the complexity is simply beyond us.

    I guess my whole argument could be encapsulated in saying that the idea that something could be without the (unique?) conditions that allow for its being seems incoherent. It would amount to saying that the thing is totally independent of everything else. So, in that sense, I would say, where you perhaps would not, that we are committed to an a priori assumption that everything is interconnected and that any particular thing finds its sufficient conditions for being in that matrix of interconnectedness, because a denial of that seems simply incoherent.

    It seems inconceivable that any particular thing could simply come to be from nothing, and it seems inconceivable that there could be, within the cosmos, a separate milieu of nothingness, out of which anything could come. Of course when it comes to the whole cosmos, or the microphysical, it may be a different matter; but I think there we just face ultimate mystery. Neither the 'virtual existence' of the "quantum vacuum" nor the conditions that gave rise to the Big Bang could be absolutely nothing as we conceive, or more accurately fail to conceive, it.
  • Posty McPostface
    Returning back to this, there seems to be a sort of Sorites paradox when trying to delineate where does 'Sufficiency' in the Principle derive from... Where does epistemic closure occur for any material conditional under sufficiency of a reason? I mean, you can keep on splitting things into infinity until you arrive at some form of logical atomism or monadology no?

    Hope that's not too vague.
  • Relativist
    The PSR may commit a category error by asserting there are "reasons." There are causes for everything, and when we understand the causes we can label this the "explanation." However, the presence of causal "explanations" for everything does not imply that everything necessarily has an explanation. In particular: if there is a first cause, then by definition it was uncaused. There's no basis for claiming it must therefore have a non-causal explanation. i.e. there's no basis for claiming the first cause "must" be something that exists out of metaphysical necessity. In fact, that seems unlikely because all known objects that exist out of metaphysical necessity are abstractions, and abstractions lack causal efficacy.
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.