Thursday, January 8, 2015

Four arguments that there must be concrete entities

An entity is concrete provided that it possibly causes something. I claim that it is necessary that there is at least one concrete entity.

Argument A:

  1. The causal theory of possibility is true.
  2. So, necessarily there is at least one concrete entity.

Argument B:

  1. Necessarily, if there is time (respectively: space, spacetime, laws), there are concreta.
  2. Necessarily, there is time (respectively: space, spacetime, laws).
  3. So, etc.

Argument C:

  1. Every possible fundamental fact can be reasonably believed (respectively: known).
  2. Nobody can reasonably believe (respectively: know) there are no concreta.
  3. Necessarily, if there are no concreta, then that there are no concreta is a fundamental fact.
  4. So, etc.

Argument D:

  1. Necessarily, if there is nothing concrete, the only fundamental contingent fact is that there is nothing concrete.
  2. Necessarily, some fundamental contingent fact has a potential explanation.
  3. Necessarily, that there is nothing concrete has no potential explanation.
  4. So, etc.

And since, plausibly (though controversially),

  1. If it necessary that there is a concrete entity, there is a necessary concrete being,
it follows that there is a necessary concrete being. And this some call God. :-)


William said...

Regarding A: There seems to be an assumed premise that I do not perceive.

Do you mean that for natural laws, or true propositions or rules, to exist, they must apply to something outside themselves, so that there must be a concrete entity, or do you mean that a natural law or true is itself a concrete entity, or something else??

= MJA said...

One is One, and One is All there is.
The proof is in the measure. = =

Heath White said...

Doesn't (14) incorporate a fallacious quantifier shift? I.e. from "in all worlds there is a concrete being" to "there is a concrete being in all worlds"?

Alexander R Pruss said...


It would be fallacious if I claimed (14) to be a truth of logic. But it's a substantive controversial claim, albeit a plausible one. If each concrete thing is such that it may or may not exist, it would be implausible that every possible world happened to contain at least one concrete thing.


I assume you mean B. Both of your suggestions are plausible ways to argue for 3.

Mikhail said...

Why accept (6)?