Strong vs Weak Necessitarianism: An Avicennian Defense of The Principle of Sufficient Reason

Abstract

One common objection against the Principle of Sufficient Reason is that it leads to a highly counterintuitive position, namely, necessitarianism. In this paper, drawing on Avicenna’s modal theory, I differentiate between two versions of necessitarianism: strong necessitarianism and weak necessitarianism. I argue that the modal intuition driving this objection pertains to strong necessitarianism, while the Principle of Sufficient Reason, at most, leads to weak necessitarianism.

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Hashem Morvarid
Johns Hopkins University

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