Why is There Something?

Philosophia 51 (2):835-855 (2023)
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The tension that many early scientists experienced between a reliance on religious tradition as a source of truth and scientific methodology as a guide to truth eventually led to a clash between theists who claimed that the existence of the universe required a creator and non-theists, who insisted that recourse to a creator to explain why there is something perverts scientific methodology. The present paper defends the position that physics and its foreseeable cosmological extensions neither requires nor excludes either opposed contention. Each has the status of an inference to the best explanation. This is developed in three stages. The first uses historical analysis to support the claim that the advancement of physics and cosmology do not rely on an appeal to supernatural forces. The second explains inference to the best explanation. The third shows how this accommodates these conflicting claims. An appendix examines an influential argument that the intelligibility of the universe requires a creator.



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Edward MacKinnon
California State University, Hayward

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The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
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The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.
Insight: A Study of Human Understanding.Bernard Lonergan - 1959 - Philosophy 34 (131):373-373.

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