Chapter 4 – The Limits of Causation
Chapter 4 The Limits of Causation
This chapter will engage in an inquiry that explores what happens when arguments on the nature of causation are stretched to their limits. The inquiry will deal specifically with a very special causal relation, the causal relation for which the effect is not just one object among others but the entire universe. This philosophical challenge is not new. Its long history has produced various debates, some of which have coined specialized words, often loaded with philosophical nuances characteristic of the age in which they were introduced. What follows is not a summary of what has been achieved through this long history. It is rather a study of an old problem from a new angle, the novelty consisting in the special attention given to how the concepts of causation and nature can be stretched to their limits. Since it deals with the ultimate cause, this chapter will produce resonances with various debates of natural theology; and, since it deals with the universe as a whole, it will touch on issues discussed and quantified in empirical cosmology. Special care, however, will be taken to adopt a method that is definitely philosophical, a method that is essentially related to conceptual analysis. The first section will deal with the very idea of the totality of nature, the universe. The second section will then present the main argument concerning the cause of the universe. The strength of this argument will then be reinforced by showing how three...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.