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  1. Questioning the Question.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Tyron Goldschmidt (ed.), The Puzzle of Existence: Why is There Something Rather than Nothing? Routledge. pp. 252-271.
    Why is there something rather than nothing? Apparently many people regard that question as a challenge to naturalism because they think it’s too fundamental or too sweeping for natural science to answer, even in principle. I argue, on the contrary, that the question has a simple and adequate naturalistic answer: ‘Because there are penguins.’ I then diagnose various confusions underlying the suspicion that the question can’t have such an answer and, more generally, that the question, or else some variant of (...)
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  • Stop Asking Why There’s Anything.Stephen Maitzen - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):51-63.
    Why is there anything, rather than nothing at all? This question often serves as a debating tactic used by theists to attack naturalism. Many people apparently regard the question—couched in such stark, general terms—as too profound for natural science to answer. It is unanswerable by science, I argue, not because it’s profound or because science is superficial but because the question, as it stands, is ill-posed and hence has no answer in the first place. In any form in which it (...)
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  • Explaining Existence.Chris Mortensen - 1986 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (4):713 - 722.
    The problem of why something exists rather than nothing is doubtless as old as human philosophising. Of comparable antiquity is the observation that one cannot hope to explain why something exists rather than nothing by appealing to the existence of something else, on pain of vicious circularity.In this paper, I distinguish between the question of why anything exists, and the question of why particulars exist. These two questions are equivalent only if the only things that exist are particulars. Certainly many (...)
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  • Internal and External Causal Explanations of the Universe.Quentin Smith - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (3):283 - 310.
    By "an infinite series of contingent beings" is meant a beginningless succession of modally contingent beings, such that the succession of beings occupies an infinite number of equal-lengthened temporal intervals (e.g. an aleph-zero number of past years).
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