The Principle of Sufficient Reason

A Reassessment

Author: Alexander R. Pruss

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139455095

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 2018


The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) says that all contingent facts must have explanation. In this 2006 volume, which was the first on the topic in the English language in nearly half a century, Alexander Pruss examines the substantive philosophical issues raised by the Principle Reason. Discussing various forms of the PSR and selected historical episodes, from Parmenides, Leibnez, and Hume, Pruss defends the claim that every true contingent proposition must have an explanation against major objections, including Hume's imaginability argument and Peter van Inwagen's argument that the PSR entails modal fatalism. Pruss also provides a number of positive arguments for the PSR, based on considerations as different as the metaphysics of existence, counterfactuals and modality, negative explanations, and the everyday applicability of the PSR. Moreover, Pruss shows how the PSR would advance the discussion in a number of disparate fields, including meta-ethics and the philosophy of mathematics.

Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion

Author: Jonathan L. Kvanvig

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198806965

Category: Philosophy

Page: 352

View: 6121


Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion is an annual volume offering a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this longstanding area of philosophy that has seen an explosive growth of interest over the past half century. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board, it publishes exemplary papers in any area of philosophy of religion.

Against a Hindu God

Buddhist Philosophy of Religion in India

Author: Parimal G. Patil

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231513070

Category: Philosophy

Page: 400

View: 682


Philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God have been crucial to Euro-American and South Asian philosophers for over a millennium. Critical to the history of philosophy in India, were the centuries-long arguments between Buddhist and Hindu philosophers about the existence of a God-like being called Isvara and the religious epistemology used to support them. By focusing on the work of Ratnakirti, one of the last great Buddhist philosophers of India, and his arguments against his Hindu opponents, Parimal G. Patil illuminates South Asian intellectual practices and the nature of philosophy during the final phase of Buddhism in India. Based at the famous university of Vikramasila, Ratnakirti brought the full range of Buddhist philosophical resources to bear on his critique of his Hindu opponents' cosmological/design argument. At stake in his critique was nothing less than the nature of inferential reasoning, the metaphysics of epistemology, and the relevance of philosophy to the practice of religion. In developing a proper comparative approach to the philosophy of religion, Patil transcends the disciplinary boundaries of religious studies, philosophy, and South Asian studies and applies the remarkable work of philosophers like Ratnakirti to contemporary issues in philosophy and religion.

Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos

A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments

Author: Stephen Napier

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789400716025

Category: Philosophy

Page: 286

View: 5577


“Bioethicists have achieved consensus on two ideas pertaining to beginning of life issues: (1) persons are those beings capable of higher-order cognition, or self-consciousness, and (2) it is impermissible to kill only persons. As a consequence, a consensus is reached regarding the permissibility of both destroying human embryos for research purposes and abortion. The present collection aims to interact critically with this consensus. Authors address various aspects of this ‘orthodoxy’. Issues discussed include: theories of personhood and in particular the role of thought experiments used in support of such theories; the notion of an intrinsic potential and the moral relevance of having one; new formulations of the virtue argument against abortion rights; four-dimensionalism and abortion; the notion of moral status and who (or what) has it; scientific accounts of what a human being is, as well as addressing empirical evidence of fetal consciousness; and analysis of the public policy implications given the epistemic status of pro-choice arguments. Given the issues discussed and that the arguments in critical focus are fairly new, the collection provides a novel, comprehensive, and rigorous analysis of contemporary pro-choice arguments.”

Anselm's Other Argument

Author: A. D. Smith

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674725042

Category: Philosophy

Page: 235

View: 4316


Some commentators claim that Anselm's writings contain a second independent "modal ontological argument" for God's existence. A. D. Smith contends that although there is a second a priori argument in Anselm, it is not the modal argument. This "other argument" bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ.

The Puzzle of Existence

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Author: Tyron Goldschmidt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136249230

Category: Philosophy

Page: 296

View: 2639


This groundbreaking volume investigates the most fundamental question of all: Why is there something rather than nothing? The question is explored from diverse and radical perspectives: religious, naturalistic, platonistic and skeptical. Does science answer the question? Or does theology? Does everything need an explanation? Or can there be brute, inexplicable facts? Could there have been nothing whatsoever? Or is there any being that could not have failed to exist? Is the question meaningful after all? The volume advances cutting-edge debates in metaphysics, philosophy of cosmology and philosophy of religion, and will intrigue and challenge readers interested in any of these subjects.

Aquinas's Way to God

The Proof in De Ente et Essentia

Author: Gaven Kerr OP

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190266384

Category: Religion

Page: 232

View: 9659


Gaven Kerr provides the first book-length study of St. Thomas Aquinas's much neglected proof for the existence of God in De Ente et Essentia Chapter 4. He offers a contemporary presentation, interpretation, and defense of this proof, beginning with an account of the metaphysical principles used by Aquinas and then describing how they are employed within the proof to establish the existence of God. Along the way, Kerr engages contemporary authors who have addressed Aquinas's or similar reasoning. The proof developed in the De Ente is, on Kerr's reading, independent of many of the other proofs in Aquinas's corpus and resistant to the traditional classificatory schemes of proofs of God. By applying a historical and hermeneutical awareness of the philosophical issues presented by Aquinas's thought and evaluating such philosophical issues with analytical precision, Kerr is able to move through the proof and evaluate what Aquinas is saying, and whether what he is saying is true. By means of an analysis of one of Aquinas's earliest proofs, Kerr highlights a foundational argument that is present throughout the much more commonly studied Thomistic writings, and brings it to bear within the context of analytical philosophy, showing its relevance to the contemporary reader.

Necessary Existence

Author: Alexander R. Pruss,Joshua L. Rasmussen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019874689X


Page: 256

View: 2049


Necessary Existence breaks ground on one of the deepest questions anyone ever asks: why is there anything? The classic answer is in terms of a necessary foundation. Yet, why think that is the correct answer? Pruss and Rasmussen present an original defence of the hypothesis that there is aconcrete necessary being capable of providing a foundation for the existence of things. They offer six main arguments divided into six chapters. The first argument is an up-to-date presentation and assessment of a traditional causal-based argument from contingency. The next five arguments are new"possibility-based" arguments that make use of twentieth century advances in modal logic. The arguments present possible pathways to an intriguing and far-reaching conclusion. The final chapter answers the most challenging objection to the existence of necessary things. Other books on the subject focus almost exclusively on critiquing or revitalizing one or more traditional cosmological or ontological arguments. Or they engage in examining the latest arguments for a distinctively theistic explanation of contingent reality. Pruss and Rasmussen develop entirely newlines of inquiry. And they appeal to a broader audience by relating the question to contemporary issues in cosmology and ontology, without proposing or critiquing a particular theological perspective. Their book will be of value to anyone whose interests intersect with the classic issue of necessaryexistence.