16 - T he principle of sufficient reason states that...

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The principle of sufficient reason states that whatever is actual ,whatever exists, does so by virtue of a reason why it exists rather than not. Human reason can gain knowledge of what is actual by appeal to the principle of sufficient reason; that is, if it is known that there is a reason sufficient for the thing, then it is known that the thing exists. In Leibniz's system, we know that God has a sufficient to create the best possible world, so we know that the best possible world exists. Hume recognized that the principle of sufficient reason, if true at all, is a necessary truth. He then inquired as to the justification of such a principle. If it is necessarily true, then its opposite is impossible, and therefore its falsehood is unthinkable. But he held that we can always think the possibility that A exists without B, despite the belief that A is a sufficient reason for B. To be necessary, the principle of sufficient reason would have to be provable from the law of contradiction, but it cannot be. ( Wolff and his followers, however, did try to derive the principle of sufficient reason from the principle of contradiction, though Leibniz did not.) (For a short discussion of this topic, taken from the Kant List-Server, click here .) As was stated in the lecture of January 11 , Kant held that sensibility and understanding each make their own contributions to human knowledge: intuition and concept, respectively. The two come together in the judgment, where they are connected by the copula 'is.' When I
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 113 taught by Professor Gerogemattey during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.

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16 - T he principle of sufficient reason states that...

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