sufficient reason, principle of

   The principle of sufficient reason states that for every fact, event or state of affairs, there is a sufficient reason why that fact, event or state of affairs obtains. Leibniz viewed the principle as a first principle of reason, and it occupied a particularly important place both in his thought and in that of his student Christian Wolff. Leibniz used the principle in a version of the cosmological argument, as well as to explain why God created this particular world. Certainly the principle has a high intuitive appeal: for instance, if money goes missing from your wallet, you proceed on the assumption that there is a reason, while to deny that there is a sufficient reason would simply appear baffling. Despite its initial plausibility, however, the principle remains controversial. For one thing, it has been argued to imply universal determinism: that is, if everything that happens does so for a sufficient reason, then everything must happen. On a more contained level, some claim that the principle is false at least at the quantum level where there is an alleged indeterminacy to the position and velocity of fundamental particles.
   Further reading: Gurr 1959; Urban, Wilbur Marshal 1898; Woolhouse 1994

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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