PHILOS 2XX3 Lecture 3: 2XX3 Lecture 3

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Philosophy 2XX3: Early Modern Philosophy II
So far Clarke has prepared the audience/reader for these reflections: set aside prejudices
Clake’s o assuptio: eeoe agees ee if the do’t adit to doig so that the old
ould e a ette plae if thee as a God tha if thee as’t
Fundamental Truth I
“oethig has eisted fo all eteit p.
Why is this a fundamental truth?
Necessary because that is the only way in which we can explain why there is something now
Something cannot be caused by nothing; there must be something equal or better to the
something that exists
How did the earlier things exist?
We are looking for the causes of what is now
Notice that we are getting at least two concepts:
Something (not yet clear what) that has always existed, cause, finite things
Metaphysical Difficulties
Recall thesis: something has existed from all eternity
Why does he believe this is so difficult to understand? (p.8)
Two types of explanations: appeal to the fiite, appeal to the ifiite to sides p.
What’s at the ase of the fiite? You ust appeal to the ifiite.
Difficulty arises because we try to treat the infinite as if it were finite
- Bring to bear the measure of finitude on something that cannot be so regarded
- i.e. something that has existed from all eternity (but you cannot perceive it!)
- Cannot be measured and cannot be identified
- eteal duatio is o atuall past Iid
To sides: the side of the thigs theseles s the side e a oprehend?
On the one side, are the things we cannot have an adequate idea of, though we do have a
sense that they do exist
- i.e. infinity
On the other side, are things that can be demonstrated (things we may know for certain)
Not having an adequate idea of the concept of infinity is not an objection to it
Just eause e do ot hae a adeuate idea of it, does’t ea it does’t eist
Metaphysical difficulties vs finite things
Metaphysics causes more difficulties
Fundamental Truth II
Thee has eisted fo eteit soe uhageale ad idepedet thig p.
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