Berkeley between Malebranche and Locke
10/Jun/2014 17:54 Filed in: Culture | Modernity | Philosophy
The role of Malebranche in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche, a follower of Descartes, very influential in France, is important in understanding Berkeley. Malebranche understands ‘what is it for one thing to cause another’ in terms of necessity; it must be, when A happens, B necessary follows. Why is this? Because the only real cause in universe is God, and God sustains the world by recreating it every instant (see Malebranche 1688, 1.10; 2.4; 3.5; 3.16).
Revised OccasionalismRead More...
Hume on Cause and Effect
06/Jun/2014 12:44 Filed in: Culture | Modernity | Philosophy
According to Hume ‘cause and effect’ is one of the three principles of connexion among ideas (Hume 1902, III) on which all our reasonings are founded (Hume 1902, IV.1). This constant conjoining of objects/ideas is known by us humans only by experience (Hume 1902, IV.1; Russell 2009, 532; Moore 2011, 134). Our minds cannot discover the effect in the cause thorough scrutiny; this is so because the effect is ‘totally different from its cause’ (Hume 1902, IV.1; also Moore 2011, 133). They are distinct. Their connection is ‘not logical’ and there is nothing in A which should lead to produce B (Russell 2009, 532). Thus, this inference is not determined by reason but from experience (Russell 2009, 532).
Cause, Effect and ReasoningRead More...
Leibniz on God and the World
30/May/2014 12:05 Filed in: Modernity | Culture | Philosophy
The main outlook on God, by Leibniz, in his Discourse on Metaphysics, is given towards the end of his argument when he says that ‘we must think of God not only as the root cause of all substances and of all beings, but also as the leader of all persons or thinking substances, or as the absolute monarch of the most perfect city or republic - which is what the universe composed of the assembled totality of mind is’ (Leibniz 1686, 35). To this I have to add what he says at the beginning of his argument that ‘God is absolutely perfect being’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). The perfection of God applies to his power, knowledge, wisdom, and actions; they are of highest degree, he has them in ‘unlimited form’ (Leibniz 1686, 1). These three metaphors of ‘root cause’, ‘leader,’ and ‘absolute monarch’ give me the structure of the answer to the question ‘What is God?’ and the related terms of ‘all substances,’ ‘thinking substances,’ and ‘the most perfect city’ give me the elements of the answer to the second question of this assignment 'What philosophical problems is Leibniz working through his contemplation of God?'