cosmological arguments

<metaphysics, scholasticism, possible, necessary> <a posteriori, existence of God> arguments purporting to prove the existence of God a posteriori from the fact of the existence of the universe or of certain properties of the universe and things. Aquinas' "five ways" include arguments from the existence of, the efficient causal order of, and the motion of the universe, to the existence of a first cause thereof, which he identifies with God.

[Philosophical Glossary]


<history of philosophy, metaphysics> an attempt to prove the existence of god by appeal to contingent facts about the world. The first of Aquinas's five ways (borrowed from Aristotle's Metaphysics), begins from the fact that something is in motion: since everything that moves must be moved by another but the series of prior movers cannot extend infinitely, there must be a first mover (which is god). The second and third of the five ways begin from efficient causation and the existence of contingent beings. Recommended Reading: William Rowe, The Cosmological Argument (Fordham, 1998); William Lane Craig, Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibnitz; and Bruce Reichenbach, Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment (Thomas, 1972).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]


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Nearby terms: correspondence theory of truth « corresponding argument or derivation « corresponding conditional « cosmological arguments » countable » countably many » counted