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If you take PSR to be self-evident, what is it like when you think about it?

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  • If you take PSR to be self-evident, what is it like when you think about it?

    Mostly a curiosity thread. If you take PSR as self-evident or intuitively plausible, how do you see it? What is the phenomenology like? Do you visualize something? Some people are visual thinkers and like to picture thoughts, others not so much.

    With me, I kinda conceptualize a universe that exists while being equally able to not exist, or for other universes to exist in its place, and it flashes in my mind that this requires some sort of selection/act. I sometimes imagine a possible world which (ex hypotesi) exists eternally, consisting of a collection of purple balls, when it could've been a different world with blue balls, and it's like the purple balls universe absurdly "came" into being from nothing.

    I'm also very fond of Leibniz's way of putting it. Nothing is simpler and easier than something. "To be" requires an "oomph". I see a thing existing when it could not exist, and it is "oomphing" without any cause, which is absurd.

    I gues this is a very weird thread, but I was curious to see what it's like for others. Feel free to give careful and weird descriptions of the phenomenon.


  • #2
    Dominoes winding back to a blinding white Light, becoming less distinct, more form-like as they recede. And I wonder why this batch of dominoes rather than any other set or none at all?

    Not exactly a PSR vision but it feels related: Sometimes I see people as elaborate puppets, covered with wires that reach up and up to a place I can't see. Most of the wires are attached to their heads, controlling their thoughts, including the one that they're "free." This can be a source of comfort: they can't help being the way they are. And I can't help percieving them this way, which is itself controlled by the strings controlling my thoughts.

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    • #3
      I form a mental picture of someone seeing something, and saying "Well, there's no explanation for this being! It is, and that's all." Such a person is doing something which is wrong; that's what seems to me when I'm picturing a world where PSR is presumed wrong.

      That's also what happens when I see someone actually doing that. Basically, stopping with a brute fact is accepting that we can stop pursue inquiry in any matters

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      • #4
        I'm not sure I have any specific mental imagery connected with the PSR, more a few associations about my studies of it: the portrait of Leibniz, the great interlocking net-work of crystal I see when I think of possible worlds, my copies of Leibniz’ and Pruss’ books.

        The closest I get I suppose is when I picture this world (as in possible world)’s dependent on God as a spring of light which is refracted upwards through various prisms - were the light not there then all the prisms i.e. worlds would be in shadow/non-being*. This of course owes a lot to Plotinus and to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It’s worth noting that I tend to envisage God at the ‘bottom’ of the ontological structure rather than at the top as in Plato’s metaphor of the Form of the Good as the Sun – this is due to associations with phrases like ‘ground’ or ‘source’.

        *Even this is not ideal since strictly speaking we cannot 'see' a counter-factual as a mental image, though certain images such as those to do with the spatial position of objects present counter-factual aspects more clearly.

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