“Explaining Contingent Facts”
By Fatema Amijee (SFU, Philosophy)
Date: Friday, 15th February, 2019
Abstract: I argue against a widely accepted principle taken to govern metaphysical explanation. This is the principle that no necessary facts can, on their own, explain a contingent fact. I then show how this result makes available a response to a longstanding objection to the Principle of Sufficient Reason—the objection that the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails that the world could not have been otherwise (i.e. that all facts are necessary).
About the speaker: Dr Amijee received her PhD from University of Texas at Austin and she is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. Her main research interests are metaphysics, modern philosophy, feminist philosophy and the history of analytic philosophy (esp. Frege, Russell, and early Wittgenstein). She has published in Philosophical Studies and British Journal for the History of Philosophy. In addition, she has a forthcoming co-edited book with Oxford University Press, entitled the Principle of Sufficient Reason.