The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment
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.
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absurd accept act of existing actual world affairs apple argue argument Aristotelian axioms BCCF Big Bang causal ceteris paribus claim concepts conjunction contingent proposition contingent true propositions Cosmological Argument counterexample counterfactual deﬁnition depends difﬁculty disjunctive ENNP entails entities epistemic esse-essentia essence event ex nihilo ex nihilo nihil explains why Jones explanandum explanans explanatory Extreme Modal Realism fact false ﬁnd ﬁnite ﬁrst ﬁrst cause follows freely chose given grounds haecceities hence holds human Humean indeterministic indiscernible inductive inference inﬁnite chain instance intuitions lawmaker laws of nature least Leibniz Lewis’s libertarian free logically mathematical metaphysically necessary Modal Realism moral necessarily necessary truth nomic notion objection occurred ontological Parmenides particle perhaps person Phaenarete physical Platonic plausible popping into existence possible worlds premises probability q explains quantum mechanics reason regress self-evident simply Socrates substance sufﬁcient sufﬁcient explanation suppose thatp theory things Thomistic truthmaker universe W-PSR