Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fundamental chaos

By fundamental chaos I mean a violation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, a situation that occurs for no cause at all, something brute. What would we expect fundamental chaos to look like? Suppose that for no cause at all a world made of a variety of blocks came into existence. Intuitively, we'd expect it to look something like the first image.

But there is no reason why it wouldn't instead look like the second image. After all, by hypothesis, there is no reason for it to look one way than another.

One might think that because most world look messy, we would expect the brutish world to look messy. But there are two problems with this argument. The technical problem is that while in my two images, the worlds were created out of a finite variety of blocks within a finite universe, in reality there are infinitely many possible arrangements, and there are just as many neat-looking as messy-looking ones (after all, there are infinitely many worlds that look like the dragon world, differing in fine-scale details of what's inside the dragon).

But more seriously, even if there are more messy than neat worlds, it only follows that we should expect a messy world if the worlds are all equally probable. But when the worlds come about for no cause at all, in violation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, there are no probabilities for the worlds, and so we cannot say that they are equally probable.

What this means is that the chaos hypothesis must be refuted a priori, not a posteriori. We need the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

1 comment:

Narpac said...

A new metaphilosophy blog:

While I really enjoy your posts on first-order issues, I wish you would post more on metaphilosophy!