PHIL 20B Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Nicolas Malebranche, Necessitarianism, Ata-Malik Juvayni

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7 Feb 2017
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Necessary through itself
Unique
Not possible since a necessary existent is not dependent on anything
They are dependent on that differentiating factor for their existence
If there are two, there must be something differentiating them
Not composed of parts
Anything material / made of matter is made of parts
Simple
Immaterial
Immateriality --> would be always thinking about everything
Avicenna believes that immateriality --> thinking
Intellectual
Avicenna thinks that the nature of goodness is to be desirability
Fundamentally, what beings desire is to exist in a perfect way
When things fulfill their nature, they are trying to be like the necessary being
Pure good
The Necessary Existent is:
Avicenna's Concept of the Necessary Existent (wajib al-wujud)
Full name: Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali
Persian, under the (Turkish, Sunni Muslim) Seljuk empire
Juwayni was a famous Ash arite theologian
Studied Islamic law under al-Juwayni (1028-85)
Madrasa is a school of Islamic long/theology
Invited by the grand vizier to teach at the leading Madrasa in Baghdad
Composed The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-falasifa) while teaching at the Madrasa
(1091-1095)
Doubting of knowledge
Ceased teaching and went on a pilgrimage
In 1095, Al-Ghazali went under a crisis of skepticism
Saved from his crisis only through a direct mystical experience of God
Embraced Sufism
Composed his autobiography. The Deliverer from Error (al-Munqidh min al-Dalal) and other
devotional works after this time
Al-Ghazali (1058-1111)
Who is associated with this argument?
The "No Necessary Connection" (NNC) Argument
We cannot know the true causes of things
Skeptic about causality
David Hume (1711-1776)
We cannot know the true causes of things
Skeptic about causality
Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715)
God alone is the true cause of all things
Creatures do not cause anything
Occasionalists
Nicholas of Autrecourt (1300->1350)
Philosophers Associated with the NNC Argument
Lecture 8
Monday, February 6, 2017
12:25 PM
PHIL 20B Page 1
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