Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment by Bruce Reichenbach

By Bruce Reichenbach

1972, first version demanding hide from deepest assortment. No writing or underlining, reliable binding, minor put on, with dirt jacket

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E. one which is ordered per accidens, involves a temporal series: x causes y, which at a later time causes z. In this type of series, it has been deemed quite possible to proceed to infinity without contradiction. But this series is in no way involved in the cosmological argument; the argument is not trying to prove the existence of a first cause in time. 6. " Philosophical Review, LXXV, No. 4 (October, 1966), pp. 517-519. 7. , p. 522. 8. Bertrand Russell, Our Knowledge of the External World (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963), p.

For b is itself being [caused] by c, which — owing to the transitivity of "x [causes] y" — thus yields the implication that a is [caused] by c, with b serving merely as an instrument or intermediate. But in turn d [causes] c; and so on indefinitely. 7 And since the series continues indefinitely, the explanation of A Cosmological Argument 17 a is deferred indefinitely. Consequently, this type of series can never yield any sufficient reason for the existence of a. No matter to what extent one regresses in this causal series, one will never have sufficient causes to account for this particular being; the explanation is continually being deferred.

That we must pass each causal element in review. But it is not essential to the existence of a collection, or even to knowledge and reasoning concerning it, that we should be able to pass its terms in review one by one. This may be seen in the case of finite collections; we can speak of "mankind" or "the human race," though many of the individuals of this collection are not personally known to us. . And exactly the same happens in the case of infinite collections: they may be known by their characteristics although their terms cannot be enumerated.

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