David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy 75 (4):604-612 (2000)
This article responds to Quentin Smith's, ‘The Reason the Universe Exists is that it Caused Itself to Exist’, Philosophy 74 (1999), 579–586. My rejoinder makes three main points. The first is that Smith's argument for a finitely old, but causally self-explanatory, universe fails from probative overkill: if sound, it also shows that all manner of paltry event-sequences are causally self-explanatory.The second point is that the refutation of Smith's argument extends to Hume's argument for an infinitely old causally self-explanatory universe, as well as to Smith's two ‘causal loop’ arguments. The problem with all four arguments is their reliance on Hume's principle that to explain the members of a collection is ipso facto to explain the collection. This principle succumbs to counterexamples. The third point is that, even if Hume's principle were true, Smith's argument could not succeed without the aid of a theory of causation according to which causation is production (causation of existence).
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Richard T. McClelland & Robert J. Deltete (2000). Divine Causation. Faith and Philosophy 17 (1):3-25.
Paul Kabay (2008). Explanatory Atheism. Philo 11 (1):78-92.
Wes Morriston (2000). Must the Beginning of the Universe Have a Personal Cause? Faith and Philosophy 17 (2):149-169.
Ned Markosian (1995). On the Argument From Quantum Cosmology Against Theism. Analysis 55 (4):247 - 251.
William F. Vallicella (1997). The Hume-Edwards Objection to the Cosmological Argument. Journal of Philosophical Research 22:423-443.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #32,561 of 1,096,616 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #71,259 of 1,096,616 )
How can I increase my downloads?