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RATIONAL4 - RATIONALE Plato argues for the necessity of a...

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RATIONALE Plato argues for the necessity of a first cause by distinguishing between self-generated motion and transmitted motion. Self-generated motion is not caused by any other motion. Transmitted motion is merely the transference of motion from one thing to another. There must first be motion before that motion can be transmitted. Therefore, an infinite regress of transmissions, with no origin, is impossible, since there would be no motion for the transmissions to transmit (pages 424 and 425). What Plato seems to be saying is that if B causes C to move by transmitting motion from A to C, then B is not really a cause of C's motion -- it is merely a conduit through which A causes C to move. Consequently, a series of transmissions, with no first element, would not really be a cause of motion at all. Hence, if motion is really caused, it must have a first cause. As we shall see, this rationale is repeated by many later thinkers, including Aristotle and Aquinas. It's plausibility depends on the fact that we find the idea of an infinite causal regress,
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