A Universe of Explanations

In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Vol. 9. Oxford University Press. pp. 345-375 (2015)
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This article defends the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) from a simple and direct valid argument according to which PSR implies that there is a truth that explains every truth, namely an omni-explainer. Many proponents of PSR may be willing to bite the bullet and maintain that, if PSR is true, then there is an omni-explainer. I object to this strategy by defending the principle that explanation is irreflexive. Then I argue that proponents of PSR can resist the conclusion that there is an omni-explainer by denying that explanation distributes over conjunction. In the final section, I consider a plausible revision of this assumption. I argue there that, given the revised assumption, PSR seems to yield a striking picture of the explanatory structure of the universe. I explain why the resulting model does not appear utterly implausible to me.

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Ghislain Guigon
University of Geneva (PhD)


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