Search found 86 matches

by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments
Replies: 486
Views: 19121

Re: A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments

As this thread shows, discussion of the issue of completed infinities tends to gravitate towards efficient causation and the possibility or impossibility of an infinite past. Where I think there is a possibility of a good "no infinity" argument is with respect to explanations for finite beings. I am...
by Lawrence Crocker
Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:51 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments
Replies: 486
Views: 19121

Re: A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments

[quote="ken"what are the actual "no infinite regress" premises you think are right?.[/quote]

The ones that deny an infinite regress of explanation.
by Lawrence Crocker
Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments
Replies: 486
Views: 19121

A Good Infinite Regress Step of Some Cosmological Arguments

Arguments for the existence of God purporting to show that there must have been a creator ex nihilo , first mover, or ultimate sustainer of physical reality all share a step that the particular sort of infinite regress that there would otherwise be is a metaphysical impossibility. This is often put ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: A Tad More on Causation in the Law
Replies: 1
Views: 338

A Tad More on Causation in the Law

If you have not been exposed to the distinction between “cause in fact” and “proximate cause,” which exposure is largely limited to 1L criminal law courses, you will not have much interest in what follows. Conceivably if you are read in the scientific cause literature or, a very different matter, li...
by Lawrence Crocker
Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Puzzles of Criminal Causation
Replies: 23
Views: 1415

Re: Puzzles of Criminal Causation

I have been on non-reversible routes (Yosemite, Royal Arches) where I might well not have taken a first drink until after the no return point (a pendulum). What are you talking about? First off, what is a "non-reversible" route? For anywhere you go as a hiker, you should be able to go back/retrace ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:48 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Puzzles of Criminal Causation
Replies: 23
Views: 1415

Re: Puzzles of Criminal Causation

That would be the same thing in my opinon--the sleight-of-hand party would not be responsible. Who would hike far enough without drinking any water that they couldn't hike back without dying from dehydration? The person would have to hike for at least a day without taking a drink of water. I have b...
by Lawrence Crocker
Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:23 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Puzzles of Criminal Causation
Replies: 23
Views: 1415

Re: Puzzles of Criminal Causation

]In that case, shooting B is a direct action that caused his death. The threat is irrelevant in my opinion. That's not analogous to the hiker scenario in my opinion. We are in agreement that even the most egregious fault on the part of the victim is not always a "contributory negligence" like defen...
by Lawrence Crocker
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:53 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Puzzles of Criminal Causation
Replies: 23
Views: 1415

Re: Puzzles of Criminal Causation

Re the hiker thought experiment, I wouldn't say that anyone is liable for his death. The fault lies with the hiker in this case. There is certainly plenty to blame in the hiker's conduct, and we might well say that it was his own fault. But this sort of fault does not usually cut off criminal liabi...
by Lawrence Crocker
Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:00 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Puzzles of Criminal Causation
Replies: 23
Views: 1415

Puzzles of Criminal Causation

In the, perhaps unlikely event, that any of you are interested in the causation component of criminal liability, I have a couple of shortish pieces looking at the problems of independent malefactors who, without knowledge of the other, give poisons that may be partial antidotes one of the other. In ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:49 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Lottery Democracy
Replies: 7
Views: 680

Re: Lottery Democracy

Too bad the Conservapedia decided to coin a new term when there were already a few in use for democracy with a random aspect, "sortition" having the longest pedigree, although I don't think it goes all the way back to Athens where is was a central feature of the equality they called "isonomia." I gu...
by Lawrence Crocker
Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Lottery Democracy
Replies: 7
Views: 680

Lottery Democracy

Put all the ballots into a salad bowl (hats have gotten too small), pull out one at random, and as it is marked so the election is won. I defend this “sortition democracy” for some cases of issue voting, so long as there is a durable minority on the issue or similar issues, the minority position is ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:26 pm
Forum: General Philosophical Discussion
Topic: Free Will vs Determinism
Replies: 1368
Views: 58357

Re: Free Will vs Determinism

The current nearly unanimous opinion among physicists seems to be that determinism is false. (Experiments have made the hidden variable interpretation of quantum mechanics very unattractive.) However, that is irrelevant or nearly irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion, as quantum effects pla...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed May 11, 2016 9:32 pm
Forum: Metaphysics
Topic: Does the past exist ?
Replies: 59
Views: 3626

Re: Does the past exist ?

The problem may be more with the word "exists" than with "the past." The past does not exist in the way that the present does; so for some purposes we want to say that it does not exist. The past, however, is not like the round square or the eggplant that ate Chicago, or a massless electron. There i...
by Lawrence Crocker
Tue May 10, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Philosophy of Religion
Topic: Adam & Eve and the Soul Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1118

Adam & Eve and the Soul Question

Many of those who believe that the Book of Genesis is divinely inspired also believe in evolution, and, in particular, in the descent of humankind from earlier species going all the way back to the unicellular. “God behind evolution” and “guided evolution” are popular ways of expressing their view. ...
by Lawrence Crocker
Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:21 pm
Forum: Political Philosophy
Topic: Self-Ownership and Individual Rights
Replies: 16
Views: 1203

Self-Ownership and Individual Rights

It has been said that all rights we have as human beings are rooted in individual self-ownership. If taken literally, and not as some sort of metaphor, this cannot be right. Property is not at a deep enough level. Its constituents are rights (and obligations). So it cannot be the basis of rights. It...