Metaphysics Work-in-Progress Group (Tuesday - Week 6, MT20)
According to an important version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, every fact has a metaphysical explanation, where a metaphysical explanation of some fact tells us what makes it the case that the fact obtains. I argue that so long as we have not yet discovered that any fact is brute, we ought to be committed to this version of the principle—henceforth ‘the PSR’—because it is indispensable to a species of inquiry we ought to engage in. If my argument succeeds, then our attitude at the outset of inquiry should not be agnosticism about whether the facts have explanations. Instead, we ought to be committed to the PSR. The structure of my argument parallels explanatory indispensability arguments in the philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science: just as these other arguments support an ontological commitment to mathematical or scientific entities, I show that a practical indispensability argument applied to inquiry supports a commitment to the PSR.
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