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Why do people accept the PSR as sound?

SNP1
Posts: 2,403
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5/5/2016 3:57:49 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
PSR-Principal of Sufficient Reason.

Everyone I have talked to seems to accept the PSR axiomatically, but why?
What reason is there to accept it as a sound concept?
Personall,y I think Peter Van Inwagen has helped show just how ridiculous the concept is, yet I still see many people just assuming it is sound.

Is there an argument that exists to defend the PSR?
If so, what is it?
If not, then why accept it?
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
keithprosser
Posts: 1,895
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5/5/2016 9:13:39 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
Everyone I have talked to seems to accept the PSR axiomatically, but why?
EVERYBODY? I'm sure there must be at least one person you have talked to - possibly to buy a packet of chewing gum or a bus ticket from them - who has not expressed an opinion on the PSR? "That will be 50c, sir. And I consider the PSR axiomatic, in case you were thinking of asking".

The PSR - the idea that everything happens for a reason - is part of our constant, everyday experience. It is an empirical observation, not a theoretically derived principle as far as most people are concerned. Even Shakespeare has King Lear say "Nothing comes of nothing."

I am not aware of any theoretic justification for it, other than as a generalisation of common experience.

I think Inwagen's proof that PSR is not logically valid is sound and there are 'brute facts' that simply 'are so'. However I do not think the PSR is at all ridiculous. While there is the theoetical possibility of brute facts, we don't know of any fact that is certainly 'brute'. There are many facts we do not the reason for - the big bang for instance - but we do not know they are 'brute'.

Inwagen suggests there are brute facts, but his method does not give any way of discovering what they are. Inwagen does not tell us if, say, the big bang had a cause or not, so the practical significance of Inwagen's proof can be over-stated.

Is consciousness explainable? Inwagen can't say. All we can do is carry on looking for an explanation - or give up. Inwagen gives an excuse for giving up possibly too early, or (worse) not even trying. From that POV, assuming the PSR is good policy.

Even if some things are inexplicable, an awful lot of things can be - and should be - explained. Even if the PSR is technically flawed, its usefulness in practice is enormous.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/5/2016 9:40:27 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/5/2016 3:57:49 AM, SNP1 wrote:
PSR-Principal of Sufficient Reason.

Everyone I have talked to seems to accept the PSR axiomatically, but why?
What reason is there to accept it as a sound concept?
Personall,y I think Peter Van Inwagen has helped show just how ridiculous the concept is, yet I still see many people just assuming it is sound.

Is there an argument that exists to defend the PSR?
If so, what is it?
If not, then why accept it?

What is the reason or cause for the principle of sufficient reason?

I love doing that. lol.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
keithprosser
Posts: 1,895
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5/5/2016 11:33:08 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
And me - like the bored idiot I am - indulges you!
I think you are asking if there is a reason everything has a reason (if everything does, indeed have a reason)?

I will leave that question to someone else.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/5/2016 12:07:15 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/5/2016 11:33:08 AM, keithprosser wrote:
And me - like the bored idiot I am - indulges you!
I think you are asking if there is a reason everything has a reason (if everything does, indeed have a reason)?

Basically that.

I will leave that question to someone else.

Ok.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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5/5/2016 6:39:53 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/5/2016 3:57:49 AM, SNP1 wrote:
PSR-Principal of Sufficient Reason.

Everyone I have talked to seems to accept the PSR axiomatically, but why?
What reason is there to accept it as a sound concept?
Personall,y I think Peter Van Inwagen has helped show just how ridiculous the concept is, yet I still see many people just assuming it is sound.

Is there an argument that exists to defend the PSR?
If so, what is it?
If not, then why accept it?

that's an interesting thought, it would seem even if one could prove it bogus, it's not going to be easy to burst that bubble if it is one. it's so ingrained in, at least western culture and thinking. and besides what other thinking would replace it?

it's used in everyday reasoning continuously, even in figuring out what's broke to fix a thing.