PHI2010 Week 2 Notes
PHI2010 Week 2 Notes PHI2010
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Carstens on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI2010 at Florida State University taught by Dr. Clarke in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 30 views.
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Date Created: 09/18/16
The Cosmological Argument -This does not tell us if there is a first being or finite amount of beings, but it does say that there can not only be dependent beings 1. There exists some beings 2. Every being that exists must be either a dependent being or a self- existent being 3. It cannot be the case that every being that exists is a dependent being ----- 4. Therefore, there exists a self-existent being o The argument is a posteriori We only know what we can draw on experience o And it is a deductive argument If the arguments are true, we can be certain the conclusion Is true We need additional argument to show this self-existent being is unique and all perfect (it does not bring us to believe it is God) Dependent Being(DB): A thing whose existence is due to the activity of another being (or beings) o It exists because of the activity of another being o Examples are easy to come by Me, planet Earth, Strozier Self-Existent Being (SB): A thing whose existence is due to its own nature, whose existence follows from its essence o Its essence is to exist o Its nature explains why it exists o Examples? Nope Must it be that every being that exists is either a dependent being or a self-existent being? o Uncaused being(UB): A being whose existence isn’t due to anything at all Not it’s nature to exist May be around forever but nothing brought it into existence There’s no explanation as to why it exists Is it possible for something to exist and its existence not be due to anything at all? o Why isn’t it possible? o Proponents of the Cosmological Argument o The Principle of Sufficient Reason(PSR) For everything, there must be a sufficient reason Reasons can be causes, explanations Part a of PSR or PSRa: For every being that exists, there must be a sufficient reason or an explanation why it exists rather than not If PSRa is true, then there cannot exist an uncaused being If PSRa is true, then premise 2 of the Cosmological Argument is true: o Every being that exists must be either a dependent being or a self-existent being Why Part 2 of the Cosmological Argument relies on part of PSR o We’ll need to return to consider whether PSRa is true Premise 3: It cannot be the case that every being that exists is a dependent being o Why can’t It be that there are DBs existing now, brought about by DBs existing earlier, brought about by DBs existing earlier yet still, and so on, infinitely, without any first DB? And that’s all there is? We might want to say: There must be a first one Why? Think of the integers, both positive and negative o There is no first one o Why can’t the chain of DBs be like that? o PSRa does not rule this out as a possibility For if the sequence of DBs goes back without beginning, having no first member, then for every one of those DBs, there is a reason why it exists rather than not It exists due to the activity of other DBs o Proponents of the Cosmological Argument appeal to a second part of PSR PSRb: For every positive fact, there must be a sufficient reason, an explanation of why it is so rather than not so Examples of positive facts o The fact that grass is green o The fact that you are in Florida o The fact that 2 is greater than 1 PSRb says that for every positive fact, there must be a sufficient reason, an explanation why it is so rather than not so Understand that if PSRb is true, premise 3 of the Cosmological Argument has to be true If there is an infinite sequence of DBs, then there is this positive fact There exists DBs positive fact If PSRb is true, and if it is a positive fact that there exist DBs: then there must be an explanation of why this is so No DB can provide an explanation of why there exist DBs rather than not DBs cannot explain themselves So there must exist something other than a DB o That is, it cannot be the case that every being that exists is a DB because DBs cannot explain themselves and DBs need an explanation o Ex: No bird can provide an explanation of why there exist birds rather than not One bird might be able to explain the existence of one other bird, but not why there are birds rather than not Birds are DBs, none are self explanatory No bird can explain its own existence Thus, if PSRb is true, then premise 3 of the cosmological argument is true So is PSRb true? o Review What is a dependent being? Existences relies on something else What is a self-existent being? A being that exists because it is its nature to exist It exists because it must What is an uncaused being? A being exists, but is not caused by anything It doesn’t exist because it is its nature State the two parts of the Principle of Sufficient Reason A: For every thing, there must be a reason for its existence rather than not o This can be satisfied if there is only DBs so this does not tell us that premise 3 is true B: For every positive fact that exists, there must be a reason why it is so rather than not o A positive fact does not have any negative words Explain how premise 2 of the Cosmological Argument relies on PSRa Every being is either a DB or SB because if there was only DBs, nothing could explain them because a DB can not explain itself there has to be something other than a DB Explain how premise 3 of the Cosmological Argument relies on PSRb Every being can not be a DB because a DB cannot explain itself and it is a positive fact that DBs exist, so something else must exist to explain the DBs So is PSR true and how can we know? o Supporters of PSR have typically taken it to be an a priori truth One that can be known independently of what we learn from experience (just by thinking) o They’ve commonly said either it’s self evident or that it can be demonstrated a priori from self-evident principles Something is self evident if it is evidently true and the evidence for its truth comes just from considering the proposition itself Just consider it and then it will be clearly true Ex: 1<2 o You don’t need to test anything, just consider it and you know it’s true Generally, when a proposition is self-evident, anyone who understands what the proposition says and considers it attentively without bias can see that it’s true o PSR does not pass this test o It is not a good candidate for a self-evident truth o When you understand it and consider it without bias, some people still do not believe it By means of an argument where the premises is self evident
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