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Lecture 19

PHL105Y5 Lecture 19: 06 Principle of Sufficient Reason

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Bernard Katz

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY University of Toronto at Mississauga PHL105Y5: Introduction to Philosophy The Principle of Sufficient Reason There must be an explanation (a) of the existence of any being and (b) of any positive fact whatever. PSR, Version 1:!There is an explanation for every positive fact. PSR, Version 2:!Whatever exists must have an explanation of its existence!either in the necessity of its own nature or in the causal efficacy of some other being. PSR, Version 3:!Whatever comes into existence must have an explanation of its existence in the causal efficacy of some other being. Nothing can be more absurd, than to suppose that anything (or any circumstance of thing) is; and yet that there be absolutely no reason why it is, rather than not. 'Tis easy to conceive, that we may be utterly ignorant of the reasons, or grounds, or causes of many things. But, that anything is; and that there is a real reason in nature why it is, rather than not; these two are as necessarily and essentially connected, as any two correlates whatever, as height and depth, etc. !Samuel Clarke, Letter The separation, therefore, of the idea of a cause from that of a beginning of existence is plainly pos
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