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Showing posts from November, 2015

Metaphysically Necessary Beings, Factually Necessary Beings, and Two Kinds of Brute Facts

I've argued for the live epistemic possibility that matter/energy (or, if matter/energy isn't fundamental, the stuff of which matter/energy is ultimately composed) is factually necessary. That is, it's a live epistemic possibility that while there might be possible worlds at which matter/energy does not exist, it's eternal, uncaused, existentially independent, and de facto indestructible at the actual world. I've also argued that factually necessary matter/energy satisfies a weaker version of PSR: (PSRfn): Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in terms of the factual necessity of its own nature or in terms of an external cause.Finally, I've attempted to motivate this proposal and answer a number of objections to it on various occasions. Here, however, I'd like to set aside these points and defend PSRfn by means of a tu quoque argument of sorts. Here's a thumbnail sketch of the argument: A number of proponents of the principle o…

Craig On Causal Candidates for the Origin of the Universe

(Very rough draft)

Leaving aside formal and final causes, there appear to be four possible scenarios for the origin of our universe:
(i) Both an efficient cause and a material cause (ii) An efficient cause without a material cause (iii) A material cause without an efficient cause (iv) Neither an efficient nor a material cause
Now William Lane Craig thinks (iv) is prima facie implausible, and so the position of last resort. However, it should be noted that even Craig grants that (iv) is unobjectionable if the universe is a 4-dimensional block of some sort. But the worry is that many scientists and philosophers think that ours is such a universe.  Many will therefore part company with Craig at this early stage of his argument. However, let's waive this objection for the moment, and grant, arguendo, that Craig is right. Now Craig  ultimately wants to argue that (ii) is the most probable candidate scenario for the origin of the universe. What about the other options?

One might think …