Ghislain Guigon
University of Geneva (PhD)
This chapter explores an objection to explanatory universalism, the doctrine that the principle of sufficient reason is true or everything has an explanation. This objection is a direct argument to the conclusion that the PSR yields the existence of an omni-explainer, i.e. something that explains everything. The objection crucially relies on the assumption that explanation is dissective in its explanandum place, and its conclusion conflicts with the irreflexivity of explanation. So the chapter considers two responses to the mentioned objection. The first response consisting in restricting the irreflexivity of explanation is criticised in connection with topics in the metaphysics of grounding. The second response consisting in denying that explanation is dissective is vindicated. Finally, the chapter argues that a plausible revised version of the principle that explanation is dissective, the PSR, and the irreflexivity of explanation together yield a striking picture of our universe.
Keywords explanation, sufficient reason, special Explanation Question, explanatory universalism, necessitarianism, early modern rationalism, Infinity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729242.003.0012
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,268
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Paradox of Sufficient Reason.Samuel Levey - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 125 (3):397-430.
Is Backing Grounding?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):129-137.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Universe of Explanations.Ghislain Guigon - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 345-375.
Metaphysical Rationalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):379-418.
Merely Possible Explanation.Ghislain Guigon - 2011 - Religious Studies 47 (3):359-370.
Against Explanatory Realism.Elanor Taylor - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):197-219.
Foundational Grounding and the Argument From Contingency.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 8.
Explanation and the Explanatory Gap.Elanor Taylor - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):77-88.
Explaining essences.Michael J. Raven - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1043-1064.
Causal Patterns and Adequate Explanations.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182.
The Limits of Explanation.Richard Swinburne - 1990 - Philosophy 27 (Supplement):177 - 193.


Added to PP index

Total views
6 ( #1,098,833 of 2,444,935 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #232,632 of 2,444,935 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes