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Lecture 9

PHLA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: A Posteriori, Ontological Argument, Prime Number

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William Seager

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Lecture 9
Imperfect Adaptations:
-organisms will change over time to adapt to environment
Limits of Science:
-sci explanation: a regress of deeper facts
-local vs global questions
-global don't have underlying structure to explain them
-god can explain global (ex leibniz’s story)
-we aren't left with a super global question & why god + universe
-god’s causal power (whats causation?how can anything outside space and time cause
anything in the universe?)
-prinicple of sufficient reason:
> what is the principle?- everything happens has a reason, or explanation
> the principle true?
>prob: if princ. is true it seems that there are no contingent facts, everything that happens or
exists is necessaryy
A Priori and A Posteriori Truths:
-some truths (a priori=before) can be known simply by use of concenpts and without any
particular experience or observation (a posteriori=after experience )
-ex. umarried bachelors - a priori
-a priori truths entail existence - some a priori truths entail existence
-ex. there is a prime number btw 50 - 55
-2 distinctions: a priori/a posteriori and necessary/contingent
Ontological Argument:
-St. Anselm (1033-1109
-god is that greater than which none can be conceived
-supoose that god didn't exist
-then one could imagine a being greater than god, namely something exactly like God but
which did exist
-therefore God exists
-Frist premise:god is possible
->objective claim
->not a claim about what we can conceive or imagine
->we can conceive or imagine what is not possible (traveling faster than light or squaring the
-grades of possibility: logical, metaphysical, nomological, epistemological
-Second Premis: existence is a kind of perfection:
->guanilo’s counter-ex: the perfect island must exist, if it didn’t, we could conceive of one more
perfect, which is impossible
-there are 2 arguments really in the same structure
-kant’s classic reply: existence is not a perfect property, properties hold or don't hold of
existong things, existence is the pre-conditon for having properties, not a property itsled, is
that conclusive? the fact that all things exist does not show the existsece is not a property
-Sober’s Criticism: a def gievs a condition for soemthng counting as that sort of thing:
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