PHL 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Unmoved Mover

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
Ryerson University
PHL 201
PHL week 6 ( Tuesday)
Principle of Sufficient Reason
Rule: for everything we experience, there must be an explanation that is final or
definitive of its existence. The PSR will not accept an infinite regress, therefore,
because infinite regress postpones a final explanation indefinitely, which is to say it
doesn’t give one.
Penultimate- second last, the one right before the end
3 Ways
Change, cause, contingency
o Motion all things moved must be moved by something
Things that are moved are either potentially in motion, or actually in
If something is actually in motion, it has already been moved, so it
doesn’t have to move itself
If something is potentially in motion, it can move, but isn’t, since its
still, it cannot move anything, including itself
If all things that move, are moved, the question “what moved the
mover?” will be repeated forever – but PSR says “that’s no answer”
Therefore we need an unmoved mover
By way of inspiration
1st proof God
o Efficient Cause if all efficient causes are external, then we will never stop
asking for efficient causes that are caused by something else
“what caused that?”
infinite regress PSR “no” uncaused efficient cause!
o Contingencies is to be dependent for your existence on something else.
Everything is a contingency
Faced with the problem of infinite regress PSR “No!”
How do we get around ? we must assume that there is something
Example : 2+2 = 4
According to Paley ; if we meet something that is complex and delicately balanced
regular activity, must have had a designer or maker
Not allowed to attribute this to chance, because then we get too many coincidences
Physical properties don’t make anything
Hume: against Paley Bad Analogy
The analogue and the primary subject not similar enough
o Human artifacts universe
Aren’t similar enough to assume they have the same cause
We don’t know as much
Parts to whole
Too many types of cause, why privilege the mind?
The only kind of maker we know, is human mind
Made by a finite mind
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