Principle of sufficient reason

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Portrait of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

The principle of sufficient reason is the view that for every entity, event or true proposition, there is an explanation. This is usually attributed to Leibniz although it has been used in various forms since ancient times. The concept is a premise in various cosmological-type arguments such as:

The opposite view is called the Glendower problem which points out that not all events necessarily have causes or explanations.


Main Article: Eternalism

An alternative view of the universe and causality is that the past, present and future always exist. It is created in one go and we only perceive it from a limited view point. It may be possible for the laws of physics to operate in universes without a time dimension but still preserving continuity of space-time. In that case, causality as described in the principle of sufficient reason is a hasty generalization of physics.

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