, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 97-108
Date: 23 Jan 2009

Explanation, Entailment, and Leibnizian Cosmological Arguments

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Abstract

I argue that there are Leibnizian-style cosmological arguments for the existence of God which start from very mild premises which affirm the mere possibility of a principle of sufficient reason. The utilization of such premises gives a great deal of plausibility to such types of argumentation. I spend the majority of the paper defending three major objections to such “mild” premises viz., a reductio argument from Peter van Inwagen and William Rowe, which proffers and defends the idea that a necessary proposition cannot explain a contingent one. I, then, turn to an amelioration of the Rowe/van Inwagen argument which attempts to appeal to an entailment relation between explanans and explanandum that is fettered out in terms of relevance logic. Subsequent to dispelling with that worry, I tackle objections to the utilization of weak principles of sufficient reason that depend essentially upon agglomerative accounts of explanation.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12133-009-0052-4