Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Possibility and Necessity in arguments from reason

A redated post. 

Steve Esser, who has in general been skeptical of the argument from reason, think that our ability to think in terms of necessity and possibility is something that is difficult to explain naturalistically. The idea might go like this: if our reasoning is based on an interaction with the environment, presumably the environment is actually in one state. How is it possible for us to think in terms of possibilities, if all we interact with is the actual world?



At 1/19/2007 11:01:00 AM , Blogger Steve said...

Hello Dr. Reppert. I wanted to mention that I read your book a second time and I think I appreciate the AfR better now. As I said in that post, it is our apparent faculty for assessing metaphysical necessity and possibility that helped drive the argument home for me. Traditional naturalism, interpreted as a mechanistic materialism, can't seem to accomodate "real" possibility.

At 1/27/2010 01:29:00 PM , Blogger Doctor Logic said...

Even if there's one actual world, there are always epistemic possibilities. Given physics, a tiger necessarily is or is not in the thicket, but this appears to me as an epistemic possibility because I am not omniscient.

At 2/01/2010 11:42:00 PM , Anonymous Mark said...

in a world of mechanistic materialism, it may still be a fact that the world could possibly have been otherwise.
although in such a world how we could have knowledge of such a fact (or even knowledge of any fact) is beyond me.


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