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Lecture 3

Philosophy lecture 3 - the cosmological arguement.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

Philosophy 1020 001 FW13 September 19, 2013 The cosmological Argument ‘Cosmological’ means having to do with study of the world or universe. Kosmos- world, universe Thomas Aquinas  1225-1274 0. Some history and other introductory matters 1. The First Way: the argument from change a) the argument - Whatever is moved is moved by another. - This cannot go to infinity. - Therefore, there is a first mover. b) a problem with the First Way: why not an infinite chain?  The scholastic idea of ‘motion’ of change  Why not infinite regree? o The world is not infinitely old 2. The Second Way: the argument from causation a) the argument Things have efficient causes. Nothing can be the cause of itself. The chain of causes cannot go back to infinity. Therefore, there is a first cause. b) a problem with the Second Way: ambiguity of "first" “Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate is cause be several, or one only. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate, cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect...all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause.”  The first two “firsts” mean ‘earlier’ the second two mean ‘unpreceded’ c) a better argument against an infinite chain: the impossibility of actual infinite series? (the “Kalam” argument: next Tuesday) 3. The Third Way: the argument from contingency a) the argument 1. If everything that exists exists contingently, there will have been a time at which nothing existed. 2. If that were so nothing could have come to exist, and nothing would exist now. 3. But things do exist now. Therefore some thing(s) must exist not contingently but necessarily.  The first principle relies on what is known as the ‘principle of plenitude’  Given infinite time, an
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