Friday, January 16, 2009

On considering occasionalism.

I’m now in the position to grant Hume his critique of causation. To say that A caused B to happen in the metaphysical sense is tantamount to saying that there is something about A the necessitated B to happen. But, as Hume so annoyingly points out, there’s nothing to recommend our thinking there is something about A that necessitated B to happen. And thus there is little sense to saying that, in the metaphysical sense, A caused B to happen. Thus, on Hume’s view, events are constantly conjoined, and that’s all there is to say.

Or is there.

Sure. Because I can’t, for the life of me, begin to comprehend what it is about A that necessitates B to happen (in the strict modal sense of “necessary”), I don’t even know how to argue against Hume on this front. So be it. There is no necessary connection between As and Bs. But it can’t be that the constant conjunction between events that we perceive is just how the world must be. To say so tacitly assumes that saying so is self-evident in just the same way as it is for the non-Humean to say ‘A just is the cause of B’. So, Hume is obliged to explain to us why it is that events are constantly conjoined as they are.

I’m sure he’d respond by saying the answer to such a question is beyond our kin. I agree. If God exists, then every event depends upon His will, and since God doesn’t act from necessity, a world that is constantly conjoined is the very type of world we would expect the world to be like if God created it.

Hence, I now am motivated to be an occasionalist about efficient causation.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Idle thoughts.

The digital representation of an analog clock; I can't get over it. 


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