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Theoretical Philosophy » A better argument from contingency. » 1/03/2019 6:20 pm

Calhoun
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John West wrote:

Last one: I've been at it for two days and I'm about to wind down with something nonphilosophical (Yukio Mishima's Runaway Horses, I think). I'm posting mainly to help clarify the discussion (if not for you gentlemen then for others reading you):

Calhoun wrote:

Also that does seem like somewhat odd definition of contingent, I think contingency is essentially a modal notion, it doesn't have some essential connection to explanations. Its just something that could not have existed, some state of affairs that could otherwise have not obtained. If something doesn't have any sort of explanation , it doesn't seem to necessarily follow that its thereby necessary as it still might not have existed. At least this is how I grasp the concept of contingency.

It's worth distinguishing modal contingency from dependent contingencyx is modally contingent if and only if x is possibly nonexistent if existent and possibly existent if nonexistent; x is dependently contingent if and only if there is some y such that (i) x is not identical to y; (ii) necessarily, if x exists, then y exists; (iii) y is in some sense the ground or source of x's existence. (The definition of modal contingency can also be put in possible worlds jargon: x is modally contingent if and only if x exists in some possible worlds but not others.) You're obviously right that it's unorthodox to call dependently contingent beings “contingent beings” without further qualification, but Monkey stipulates that is what he's doing at the start of his post so I don't really see a problem.

Right, got it. 
Well like I said I thought contingency is essentially a modal notion. It seems its better to just call dependent contingency, dependency. That would still get the whole point of the argument across I think.

Theoretical Philosophy » A better argument from contingency. » 1/03/2019 5:08 pm

Calhoun
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Noble_monkey wrote:

Calhoun wrote:

Noble_monkey wrote:

Since the totality of contingent beings is contingent then it must have an external explanation. 

This is a very controversial claim. Problem is that it seems totality of contingent beings(if there is one , this might also be controversial just like "conjunction of all contingently true propositions" is) is not itself some further contingent being or a being at all. Its a heap and that could have merely internal explanation.
 

Contingent here is a being that has an external explanation so it is not very controversial but rather follows from the definition of the contingent. That's like saying that "A bachelor is unmarried" is a very controversial claim when it is true by definition. You are free to treat the BCF as a set or heap although I do not; I treat it as a totality. It does not matter if it is a totality since the totality exists and since it exists, then it is a being (recall the definition of a being was just anything that exists).

Sorry, perhaps my statement isn't clear what I want to simply say is that this Totality doesn't seem to be something over and above each of its parts, the totality is just a collection of each of those contingent things. So if there is an infinite number of them then it seems it could have a mere internal explanation. Each one of those contingent beings would have another one that explains its existence.

Also that does seem like somewhat odd definition of contingent, I think contingency is essentially a modal notion, it doesn't have some essential connection to explanations. Its just something that could not have existed, some state of affairs that could otherwise have not obtained. If something doesn't have any sort of explanation , it doesn't seem to necessarily follow that its thereby necessary as it still might not have existed. At least this is how I grasp the concept of contingency.  
 

Theoretical Philosophy » A better argument from contingency. » 1/03/2019 1:46 pm

Calhoun
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Noble_monkey wrote:

Since the totality of contingent beings is contingent then it must have an external explanation. 

This is a very controversial claim. Problem is that it seems totality of contingent beings(if there is one , this might also be controversial just like "conjunction of all contingently true propositions" is) is not itself some further contingent being or a being at all. Its a heap and that could have merely internal explanation.
 

Theoretical Philosophy » How do you feel about WLC Kalam Argument? » 12/21/2018 11:38 am

Calhoun
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DanielCC wrote:

Ironically contra Craig I think the argument may even gain increased plausibility on a B-theory of time, as that helps the spatial analogy with Hilbert's Hotel.

True, I once read one such argument utilizing spatial analogy.

https://irl.umsl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=thesis

I don't know how plausible it is though and do all B-theorists think of time this way, it appears not. 
 

Theoretical Philosophy » Possible World Argument from Alexander Pruss' Necessary Existence » 12/14/2018 11:56 am

Calhoun
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Argyement looks pretty strong, I guess critic will try to either endorse some radical modal sceptism ( rejecting modal premises) or reject S5.

Chit-Chat » Reading recommendations on the metaphysics behind modern science? » 11/28/2018 4:25 pm

Calhoun
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RomanJoe wrote:

I've heard of that book before but never got around to reading it. What is a general overview of Ladyman and Ross' structural realism?

Ladyman has written SEP article on Structural Realism, gives an overview of Structural realism in general and its different version including OSR. 
 

Chit-Chat » Reading recommendations on the metaphysics behind modern science? » 11/28/2018 7:12 am

Calhoun
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From what I gather, Its actually quite difficult to say what kind of metaphysics science presupposes by looking at various scientific theories. Means from simply science its very difficult to get true ontology of the world, Although science does successfully discard certain class of views. I have seen philosophers argue that different aspects of science in fact entail contradictory metaphysical views or atleast leave too much open metaphysical questions. Some philosophers of science basically then try to eliminate the subject entirely from our ontology based on there being open questions on it for example Objects or Substances are eliminated by Ontic Structural realists because of the same considerations, from what I understand.

In a recent book which I haven't read but from its abstract the author Anjan Chakravartty argues that "In crucial respects, ontology is in the eye of the beholder: it is informed by underlying commitments with implications for the limits of inquiry, which inevitably vary across rational inquirers. As a result, the proper scope of ontology is subject to a striking form of voluntary choice, yielding a new and transformative conception of scientific ontology"

So maybe then to certain extent metaphysical presupposition of Science are decided by inquirers themselves.

You might want to check out this book.

https://www.amazon.com/Scientific-Ontology-Integrating-Naturalized-Epistemology/dp/0190651458

Also I would recommend "Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized" By James Ladyman and others, I think this is the most sophisticated defense of scientism and naturalism, I don't know if its successful and It seem Ontic-Structural realism is the most viable alternative to A-T philosophy at least more than what appears to be versions of atomism, although its not much engaged with by ATist yet. Its also uploaded online by some atheist blogger I think, try google

Theoretical Philosophy » How Do I Refute This Utilitarian Argument? » 11/22/2018 1:08 pm

Calhoun
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But my discussion seem to be getting a little off topic here. I should discontinue it.

Theoretical Philosophy » How Do I Refute This Utilitarian Argument? » 11/22/2018 1:05 pm

Calhoun
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Greg wrote:

Calhoun wrote:

Good points, but still responses to POE might not essentially depend on Utiltitarianism but some of them seem to take notion of "greater good" along the same lines.

Partly I think theists responding to POE take on some of the assumptions involved in the problem itself. There are good reasons to do that, as it is best to reject as little as possible of the argument one is disputing. But it seems to me that some replies to POE presuppose utilitarianism because POE does. That is, POE claims that even if some goods are only possible because evil is possible (i.e., goods associated with free choice or salvation), the evil in the world seems to outweigh the good, or else that as much good could be produced without the evil. But that is a pretty utilitarian way of setting up the problem.

Correct, most versions do seem to do that, Just to make a note here though there are some which seem to be based on deontological premises , what some philosophers of religion call commonsense POE and as I understand , which basically takes evidence on non-inferential basis, based on a seeming. I think Trent Dougherty has argued that justification of premise that there is gratuitous evil can be based on Phenomenal conservatism. 

IF this is correct then these are some ways to setup non Utilitarian POE I think.
 

Theoretical Philosophy » How Do I Refute This Utilitarian Argument? » 11/22/2018 8:22 am

Calhoun
Replies: 15

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And Yes, it seems you are right that rejecting Utilitarianism opens up possibility of other responses to POE.
Very recently I was reading a Paper on grammer of goodness, The author argued against POE based on Geach's work on goodness. Interestingly, he also argued that same also refutes Ontological argument.

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